On making lists

Making lists is one of my favorite things ever. Though I do make (lots and lots) of to do lists, the rest of the lists are not as useful. I don’t make grocery lists, but I have a list of favorite movies. I don’t have a contact list (really) but I used to keep a list of the books I read in a year. Then goodreads came and kind of ruined that for me.

And I made this list of reasons I love DC. The list was originally on facebook (etc) and was never intended to be an actual real list. Then it became a list. Then it became a blog.

For the list part, I am sorry. I am very over lists right now and feel bad for contributing one more to the dozens of millions of absolutely irrelevant lists that are already out there. I feel bad for adding one more list to the long list of bad lists, as it were.

Before internet, lists meant something. A list of ingredients is something. A list of your coworkers’ birthdays is something. A list of all the stuff you’re not supposed to eat in some restrictive diet is something. Many (probably most) of the lists the internet has made available to us are an absolute waste of time and complete, well, mierda.

I will elaborate with examples:

The ten commandments is a real list. Here’s ten things you really should try to do. Says god. Boom. “23 embarrassingly ironic complaints on twitter” should not be a list.

The 44 presidents of the United States is a real list. “25 fake letters warning students not to masturbate in dorm showers” is not a real list.

I dislike these lists because the numbers are arbitrary. Were there really only 23 embarrassingly ironic complaints on twitter? Only 25 fake letters? It seems oddly specific. Were these the most embarrassingly ironic? the most fake? Then why not say that? Real lists have real numbers. There are really only ten commandments, only 44 presidents of the US and so on.

I dislike them because the things they tally up are completely irrelevant. None of these lists pass the “who cares?”/”so what?” test. They are a way of passing time, I guess, but I don’t think time should be “passed.” I think it should be “well spent” or “enjoyed.”

The lists I dislike the mosts are the ones that list “signs”. “25 signs you’re from Northern Virginia.” You only need one: proof of address. “20 signs you grew up in Catholic school.” Again, hopefully you only need one: a diploma.

And on and on.

This is all to say that for all the ways in which this blog resembles a list or, god help me, a post on buzzfeed, I am very sorry. Truly sorry. I am happy to provide you a list of the many ways in which I am sorry, or the 20 best blog apologies ever, or whatever it takes. I can even add pictures and make you click multiple times if you really want to kill a lot of time.

So for all the reasons I explained (but did not list) I am sorry.

[End of rant]

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One thought on “On making lists

  1. Pingback: Reason 229 | fabifabiana

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