my year in lists

November 26, 2009

You’d be forgiven at the moment for thinking we were nearing the end of a decade. The interwebs have been awash of late with more countdowns, best ofs, top tens and general reminiscences of the 2000’s then you could poke a digital stick at. Suddenly everybody is a critic, and while some of the countdowns have been insightful and thought-provoking, others have been….well, like this one. For the nostalgic, these countdowns are practically memory-heaven. But for those who don’t buy into that sort of stuff, it gets a little tiring. So, what better than to list some of the best (and worst) ‘best-of’ lists currently clogging up cyber-space?


Pitchfork: P2K

Over the past months American music site Pitchfork have taken an in-depth look at the decade in music. Way back in the dark ages of 2001 the site barely existed, but since then has grown to be one of the most formidable online music news and reviews sites on the net. Not only does P2K count down the best albums, songs and music videos, it also features a series of essays detailing some of the more interesting developments in music over the past ten years. Of particular note is the ‘Decade in Indie’ and the social history of the mp3.

Highlights
Best Album: Radiohead- Kid A
Best Song: Outkast- B.O.B.

Paste Magazine: The 25 best Album Covers

Slightly more obscure is Paste magazine’s countdown of the best album covers. It has been argued that as digital sales boom and physical CD sales decline, the quality of modern album art is going steadily downhill (as this cover would seem to prove). Regardless, Paste have put together an interesting countdown, which includes the likes of The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire and Lil Wayne. Whoever decided to award Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone cover as number 1 though needs to go back and re-take primary school art classes.

Highlights
Number 1:
Neko Case- Middle Cyclone
Number 2: Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion (and rightly so)

The A.V. Club: The 30 best TV Shows

The problem with critics is often that their views on what is ‘good’ differs from the majority of the viewing public. Which is a shame, but it’s also the reason why most of the shows on the A.V. Club’s list of best TV shows of the decade have either ended or been cancelled. Still, it’s a formidable list. The top 3 (The Wire, Arrested Development and the Sopranos) are undoubtedly some of the finest productions since television’s inception, let alone in this decade. Other notable shows include Mad Men, Lost and The West Wing, just scraping in at number 30. The best part of this countdown though is the shitfight in the comments as to what constitutes a ‘decade’. Hilarious.

Highlights
Number 1: The Wire
Number 15: Veronica Mars
Number 22:
Six Feet Under

News.com.au: Moment of the Decade

Oh, News.com.au. Purveyor of fine, quality journalism. Not content with simply telling Middle Australia what the best bits of the noughties were, good old Rupert has gone and encouraged everyone to name their own favourites! For anyone that’s ever read the comments to any article on the site, that should be enough to click your way on over. In case you need any more incentive though, today’s category is ‘Killers, Haters, Tools: Choose the Villian of the decade’. Apparently Kyle Sandilands and John Mayer are in the same league as Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Who would have thought? The fun doesn’t stop there. Oh no siree, it doesn’t. For you creative types, you can even have a go at naming what the next decade should be called! An issue of utmost importance, of course. Seriously, the sooner this site becomes paid-only, the better.

Lowlights
Pop Culture
Money
Sex & Life
…actually, just spend a good 15 minutes trawling through the site. It’ll make your day.

Times Online: The 100 Best Movies of the Noughties

Slightly more classy news outlet Times Online went all out and counted down the top 100 cinematic releases of the decade. With everything from political drama Milk to Roman-epic Gladiator to comedy Knocked Up, the list does well to cater for everyone…up until the odd choice of The Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum at number 2 (So really it should have been the best 101 movies). And Team America World Police in the top 5? You must be joking.

In Brief
Number 1: Hidden
Number 16: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Number 34: Finding Nemo
Number 64: Anchorman

Well that’s about it. Some of the best (and worst) countdowns of the best (and worst) things to happen in the noughties. Of course, a quick google search will reveal thousands more best-ofs then the ones here. But really, is there much point? When it comes down to it, who gets to decide that Franz Ferdinand is better than Hot Chip? Or that Monsters, Inc. deserves to place ahead of Pan’s Labyrinth?

Perhaps the best countdown of the decade should go to Hungry Beast. They look at the ten best years of the 2000’s. You can check that out here.

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