At the end of every year, you can't pick up a magazine/newspaper or watch TV or listen to the radio without being bombarded with end-of-the-year lists. There are 'best books of the year' and 'best songs of the year.' We also get the 'worst of' lists,' too. This leads us right into the 'awards' season and MORE 'best' lists--unless, of course, you are a 'Razzies' fan and then you can read all about the 'worsts.' We are fascinated with lists and it seems to get more so every year. I really wonder if it all has to do with our politically correct stance on competition between kids--the 'you get an award just for participating' turn we seem to see these days. Maybe it's human nature, but we really do want to know who is 'best' and who is 'worst'--so we have lists.
For the most part, lists are nothing more than starting points for fights. Everyone has an opinion on who performed the best in a movie or who put out the best song. The best author is no less subjective than the best song writer. And this makes for a lot of heated discussions--especially on the interwebs. To fight about these things is a complete act of futility--no one will change anyone else's mind no matter HOW much they 'scream,' 'yell,' and 'holler.'
About the only time a list isn't completely subjective is when it comes down to money. You CAN list the best SELLING books/albums/songs. The top-grossing movie is easy to figure out. These are not subjective and really can't be disputed--but some will STILL argue for the sake of arguing. There are people like that. I know some of them.
While I don't always--or ever ;)--agree with any of these lists, I won't get sucked into an argument over them. It is best to keep opinions to oneself, usually. However--and you KNEW I was going to say that, right?--there are two things I will ALWAYS defend.
Music lovers--make that ROCK lovers--have debated who the best guitarist of all time is. The lists usually have two names at the top: Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. I'm from the era, so I remember Hendrix and remember how good he was. However, my number one is Clapton--always was, always will be. Hendrix could possibly have surpassed Clapton if he had lived, but because of his shortened career, I believe Clapton can be crowned 'Best Guitarist of All Time.' And after all this time, I don't see where he has lost much, if anything at all.
The other debate I will have is 'Best Defenseman to Have Played in the NHL.' The two guys who flip-flop between #1 and #2 are usually Bobby Orr and Nick Lidstrom. Being a Red Wing fan, I probably should be in the Lidstrom camp, but I'm not. I was a Bruins' fan back in the day and I will always defend my naming Orr as 'The Best,' because I remember him well. He redefined the position and changed things for all of the guys who played defense for the years after him. It was a challenge to watch him play--both a joy and hard at the same time. His career ended far too early and we, as fans, are much poorer for it.
So, what list always get YOU going? Do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing more with lists? Or do you ignore them more than pay attention? Let's talk!