Society willingly consumes shallow lists masquerading as internet journalism on sites like BuzzFeed that post “articles” with titles such as, “25 Ways Your Significant Other Fails to Live Up to that Gay Porno You Accidentally Rented.” Likewise, people generally see nothing wrong with the Chicago Tribune placing a three paragraph article on three separate pages accompanied by a 25 picture slide show to generate click through. Despite our collective fascination and adoration of lists, people seem to poo poo them as a lazy cop out when it comes to generating content on an amateur literary journal that uses a WordPress template.
I think they’re wrong and display a stunning lack of insight. In no particular order, I made a list of five reasons why lists have an inherent value worthy of poetry or prose or McSweeney’s.
Lists enumerate random and arbitrary opinions to create a semblance of order and talking points for debate.
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke should be at the top of the list for disgusting, creepy, misogynistic pop songs, but if you think about your Mom shaking it to “Little Sister” by Elvis Presley you do gain some perspective.
Lists notify us when someone undesirable is present and it establishes an esoteric authority.
Are you on the no-fly list? Then you can’t fly, Cat Stevens! If you have a problem with that, TALK TO THE LIST. The list lacks empathy and is indifferent to your plight because the list has been written.
Lists give people something to do before they have to do something.
I need to go grocery shopping. I will make a list first. Then I will make a list of things I will do before I go grocery shopping. Then I will get drunk and take a nap.
Lists are capable of producing social change.
Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door and said, “Suck on this fucking list Catholicism!” After which, he created Lutherans. Pastel suits have been worn and parties have been stopped when the punch is spiked ever since.
Lists serve a practical purpose in the interest of objective and rational intellectual pursuits.
Taxonomic rank, motherfuckers! List, what what! A hierarchy of authority for life itself. Try using the pick up line, “Hey baby, have you ever had an organism? What’s your phylum?” Make a list of reasons why you live alone in a basement apartment.