Lists are an internet mainstay, right up there with porn, cleverly disguised porn and apple-eating simulators. Who doesn’t love a good list, eh? When people tire of all the cocks and cox, they turn to lists. Often they’ll have an introductory paragraph that no one really reads, purple monkey dishwasher, before quickly skimming the headings and seeing if the rest is worth reading. Don’t read this one though, this one really missed the mark – here’s why:
1. I’ve left off more deserving entries
Right, what the hell am I playing at? Seriously, there’s something wrong if perhaps the most important, seminal, genre-defining entry is left of a list so crucial to the topic at hand as this.
Now, such an omission could be down to sheer forgetfulness, or ignorance; maybe it’s the fact that researching the subject matter would require several years to accurately include each esoteric entry; but most likely is that it’s all because of unremitting arrogance on my part. There are simply no excuses other than the former three.
2. These are crap suggestions
Point one serves to support point two, further demonstrating the obvious disdain for the subject matter at hand. I mean really now, if someone who isn’t even interested in the topic is allowed to write it, then anyone can.
And that’s a bad thing. You wouldn’t just drop a pithy list title on anyone’s desk, would you?
3. It’s in the wrong order
Some would say that it doesn’t matter that a hastily composed list is thrown together in no particular order but they’d be wrong. It does matter.
You need to set the tone with a list. And you do that by accurately distilling the subject at hand into accurately-placed sections, not by sticking the most recognisable and/or controversial headers at the start so they draw in a little bit of traffic. I mean, imagine if Sgt Pepper’s started with When I’m 64? The whole album would be out of whack.
4. I haven’t gone into enough detail
Why have I only written a little bit for point number two? Do I hate point number three? Am I deliberately offending fans of point number three?
Of course I am. Without an equal amount of words for each entry, undue attention is given to an entry either incorrectly included, or that intelligent readers already know about.
5. I’ve belittled the subject by writing a list
No matter what, this whole exercise is a tragedy, an exercise in belittling the very subject of journalism in the first place. “Is this what journalism has come down to?” wonders Indignant, “a series of paragraphs designed to attract page views?” Err.
Ultimately, this list is a damning indictment of a once proud journalistic tradition; a plague of the written word that was not meant to be sorted into self-contained entries.
6. What, I couldn’t think of more reasons?