A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Friday's List: The Worst Lists Ever

UPDATE: I found a few (three) more bad lists out there. So, even though nobody else seems captivated by this topic, I'm updating my list of bad lists. New entries are in Red.

There are a lot of top 10/25/100 lists out there on the web. Loads of 'em. Most are movie lists, or quote lists or the like. Some of them are quite, quite odd. Some are just plain silly.

And some of them are just... wrong.

So, this is my quirky Friday list-- the dumbest or wrongest lists out there. It's a tad abbreviated as I am on vacation today, so I did this last night, and I did not have time to build a complete top 25. So sue me.

Some of the lists are just by folks, so you can perhaps excuse them their personal foibles, I suppose, but many of them are "expert" lists or compilations of lots of people voting. These are less excusable. At any rate, here 'tis:

14) Channel4 100 Greatest Albums. Any list that has a Madonna album in the top 10 of all time is crep. Any album that has an Alanis Morissette album ahead of Zeppelin IV is crep. Still, it's a much better list than some of the ones that come later in this list.
13) Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. Vito Corleone at 1 is okay, though I'd probably put Bond there, but Fred C. Dobss at #2? Scarlett O'Hara at 3? Annie Freakin' Hall at 6? Some credit to them for putting Carl Spackler (Bill Murray's character in Caddyshack) in the top 20, but the Terminator (40) ahead of Darth Vader (84) and Dirty Harry at 42? Come on.
12) The AskMen.com top 20 Classic Rock albums of all-time list. The top 10 isn't too bad-- Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones in the top 5, I'm okay with that. But man, that 11-20 list is AWFUL.
11) Brett Meisner's Top 10 Most Influential Bands of All-time. Who is Brett Meisner. Well, he's a musician. And apparently dumb as a Box of Rocks. Poison? Emerson, Lake and Plamer (sic)? Poison?!? This would be higher, but it's just one nincompoop.
10) The Top 50 Television Shows of All Time. As picked by members of an MSN group. This list isn't as bad as some (see below), but any TV list with Seinfeld at 19 (behind the Brady Bunch!) is pretty bad.
9) Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Better than Q Magazine's (see below) but worse than AskMen.com. But I would've expected better from Rolling Stone. Bob Dylan #1?
8) Bernard Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Goldberg claims that the main issue in his book is "that America has lost its civility, and its public demeanor is held hostage by trashy TV shows and celebrities, where profanity and near-nudity are the only way to get a producer's (and the consumer's ) attention." Which is why the top-10 contains 0 TV personalities, and no nude celebrities (thankfully-- do you want to see Ted Kennedy or Jimmy Carter naked?). This is liberal bashing, pure and simple, and it's unfortunate-- because there is a serious loss of civility and public demeanor in America these days, and Goldberg's little money/publicity grab with this book actually feeds it.
7) ESPN's Top North American Athletes of the Century. Okay, for starters, any "greatest athletes" list that doesn't have Jim Thorpe in the top 5 is off to a lousy start. Secondly, any "greatest athletes" list that has Babe Ruth at #2 has issues. No offense to Ruth-- but #2? As Ty Cobb noted, "Ruth runs pretty good for a fat man." Lance Armstrong not on the list? Hmm... Secretariat at 35? They do know he was a horse, right?
6) Q Magazine's Greatest 100 Albums of All Time. I know nothing about Q Magazine but judging from their best albums list, the editors called it Q because they weren't sure they could spell anything more complicated. Either that or they were all stoned beyond the point of knowing what they were voting for-- Nirvana #1? Radionhead #2? Madonna at 17? Eminem at 5?
5) The Guardian's top 100 Books of All Time. Could this list be any more pretensious? Four Dostoyevsky novels? Three Tolstoy works, three Kafka novels? ONE Hemingway? One Dickens, and not even his best work? Salinger or Steinbeck? Nada. And certainly not anything low brow, like Tolkien, or Stephen King.
4) IMDb Top Rated "Comedy" Titles. It's good they put comedy in quotes, because a fair number of the films listed here just flat out aren't comedies. The Sting, The African Queen, Forrest Gump, The Incredibles? All good to excellent films. All not comedies. If not for AFI, this would be the worst film list I found.
3) TV_vote: best 5. Apparently only blithering idiots are allowed to vote at this online site. It's the only explanation I can find to explain Angel, Scrubs, Star Trek (the original series), Grounded for Life and Roswell in the top 16.
2) AFI's 100 Years 100 Laughs. Most of AFI's lists are pretty bad. This one is just horrendous.
The top 2 feature cross-dressing men-- apparently that's just Da Bomb over at AFI. Had 'em rolling in the aisles wathcing Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Dustin Hoffman in dresses. Only way I can figure Tootsie to even make the top 50, much less as #2. No Ghostbusters, no Caddyshack, no Animal House, no Holy Grail in the top 25. 'Nuff said.
1) The Discovery Channel's 100 Greatest Americans of All Time. I don't know who all was allowed to vote in this thing, but apparently they know as much history as... well a rock, and have the brains of... well, a rock. And this is not rocking in the Rod sort of way. Madonna? Elvis? Bob Hope? Bill Gates? Clinton? Bush? George Lucas? Rush Limbaugh? Are all of the voters on medical marijuana? Donald FREAKIN' Trump?! Ye Gods what a dreadful list.

Feel free to send along links to other dreadful lists. I wouldn't mind updating this one when I get back on Monday.


I can't believe that no one commented on this. But I have to agree with the inclusion of the Rolling Stone 500 greatest songs list. They had 2 songs from this decade and both were by Eminem. They would have had fewer songs from the 90s if it hadn't been for Radiohead.
But it was nice of Rolling Stone to point out how pointless they really are, cause if there isn't any good music coming out anymore, why should we read about it.
Be fair to Babe Ruth: he was a great pitcher as well as the guy who set hitting records that lasted for decades. He became an industry to himself, one of the very first superstars. He dominated baseball like Michael Jordan dominated basketball.

That said, there could be an argument made that baseball players aren’t really athletes. Babe’s records have fallen. But he belongs on any ‘greatest’ list.

As does Lance Armstrong. He has accomplished the extraordinary, over and over again. He’ll probably never have a true rival. Of course, hanging out with John Kerry, and divorcing his wife for Cheryl Crow shows a remarkable lack of judgment. But that does nothing to diminish his amazing accomplishments.
what do you have against carl spackler?!?!?
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