Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Year-End Lists

This is the best time of year, and it's just beginning. The magazines and websites bravely set forth their Top 10 (20, 50, 100), and then everybody else takes potshots.

Here's how it works:

1) Magazine publishes list.
2) Stereogum reposts list on website.
3) 893 hipsters leave comments, stating that the 1,493 albums mentioned in the comments are the albums that really should have appeared on that Top 10 (20, 50, 100) list.
4) 1,922 hipsters leave more comments, ridiculing the tastes of previous 893 hipsters. Popular rejoinders include:
a] I can't believe you put [Album_Name] at #33. You suck.
b] No, you suck. You're probably some 14-year-old who has to repeat fourth grade for the fifth time.
c] Yeah? Well you're probably some 55-year-old boring old fart in slippers who has to carry around a colostomy bag.
d] No, I'm not. What's a colostomy bag?
e] I knew you were clueless.
5) 2,873 commenters leave comments stating that lists themselves are stupid, that they, as the true arbiters of popular taste, are above lists, and that they are content with creating a year-end music matrix, the goal being to sniff haughtily at the very presupposition that music can be numerically and/or objectively rated.
6) All hell breaks loose when 5,983 commenters begin the round-robin debate on aesthetics, invoking names such as Cicero, Duns Scotus, Alberti, Shaftesbury, Hegel, and Ulrich of Strassburg.
7) Pitchfork publishes the definitive list at the actual (December 31st) end of the year.

Five more weeks to go, and that doesn't even include all the post-mortems of the Pitchfork list.


anchors said...

...But until then you can enjoy the impeccable Pitchfork 500 ;)

Anonymous said...

Well put. Thank you for reminding me why I unsubscribed to Stereogum, and why I remain subscribed to your blog.

Andy Whitman said...

Best Comment of the Month Award:

Jim, over at my Paste blog (where I've cross-posted this).

Jim's comment:

"I can't believe you put "Magazine publishes list" as #1. You suck."

Kyle said...

haha i love it...i'm really enjoying your best of 2008 mixtape, lot of new bands for my ears, thanks andy!