by Walter Brasch
The mass media have a fixation upon throwing up lists.
Sports editors run innumerable lists of the “Top 10” high school and college teams.
Arts and entertainment editors run lists of the top books, movies, songs, and even video games.
Financial and business editors tell us who they believe are the “most important” moguls, and rank each on a scale that has no meaning to anyone, especially the moguls themselves.
Fashion editors love making lists of “best dressed” and “worst dressed” celebrities.
News editors love making end-of-the-year lists of the “Top 10 Headlines.” Like the other editors, they don’t tell us why their pick of the top news story was more important than the No. 2 story—or why the No. 10 story was any more important than the thousands that did not make the list.
TV Guide also loves lists. This month, it threw out a list of what some of their editors irrationally believe are the “60 Greatest Shows on Earth,” complete with a sentence describing each show. And, like most lists, it’s little more than annoying static.