Best Of 2017: ANIMALS

Humans, it is often said, are animals. And whether this statement is true or false, we can all agree that humans share a lot in common with many animals. Perhaps no year has been more animal-centric than 2017. After all, this was the most recent year for all of animal life — including humans (or not)!

From baby zoo animals that became internet memes, to the oldest animals who still kill humans and hunger for their flesh, this was a year for all animals … or you could even say, “All creatures great and small.” And yes, Virginia, a creature is a type of animal.

So let’s visit the zoo and howl at the moon while we celebrate the TOP TEN ANIMALS OF 2017!

10. Pretty good animals

9. Animals that make the nightly news

8. Celebrity pets

7. Animals that do a nice job

6. Glamorous animals with a hint of danger

5. Gigantic animals

4. Animals that are soooo cute

3. “That (thing) is my spirit animal”

2. Animals we love

1. Some of the best animals

Best Of 2017: TURTLE PAPERWEIGHTS

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Years come and go, as surely as ever. But whether it’s 2016 or 2017, one thing is sure: Papers are at risk of blowing away. And this is why — no the matter the year — we must use paperweights. And if we’re being honest, using paperweights is akin to celebrating paperweights. And since celebration is what my lists are all about, is it any wonder that the time has come to make a list of the top ten turtle paperweights? (I’m assuming we all agree that when it comes to paperweights, there is simply nothing better than a paperweight that looks like a turtle, whether by accident or by design.)

And so we raise our glasses high, yell a grand “huzzah,” secure our papers from blowing away, and celebrate the TOP TEN TURTLE PAPERWEIGHTS OF 2017:

10. Mediocre turtle paperweights

9. Paperweights that really look like turtles

8. Heavy brass turtle paperweights

7. (TIE) The latest turtle paperweights / Professional-grade turtle paperweights

6. Turtle paperweights that amuse and delight

5. When you can’t get enough turtle paperweights

4. Turtle paperweights that educate and inspire

3. Will a major award be won by a turtle paperweight someday?

2. “Daaaamn son, that’s a terrific turtle paperweight!”

1. Championship turtle paperweights that win 1,000 gold medals every five seconds because they’re perfect

Best Of 2017: JOURNALISM

Some say journalism is the lifeblood of democracy. And since American democracy has never been healthier than it is right now, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the red blood cells pumping through our system: the hardworking journalists of 2017.

Whether it’s deep investigative reporting, insightful local coverage, or a classic instance of “he-said, she-said,” if there’s anything 2017 taught us, it’s that journalism has reached new heights of relevance, prestige, and principle. Especially cable news, which has never been more informative according to the latest research (which I saw).

So let’s stop the presses, because there’s breaking news: It’s time to celebrate the BEST JOURNALISM OF 2017:

10. Magazine articles

9. Infomercials

8. Well-researched newspaper articles that made us think in 2017

7. Exclusive interviews

6. (TIE) Movie reviews / op-ed columns

5. Investigative reports

4. International journalism

3. Blockbuster stories

2. In-depth analysis

1. The Pulitzer Prize for journalism

 

Best Of 2017: IDEAS

In a year with as much disruption and general excellence as 2017, is it any wonder ideas came to the fore? It’s been generations since we saw a year in which ideas — pure thoughts culled from the collective mind of human ingenuity — played as large a role as they did in 2017.

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From government, to business, to culture, to your own home, there was no American arena that was immune to the power of transformative ideas. Just think of all the ideas you heard about and shared with friends and family over the last twelve months. In our modern age, ideas are the only currency that matters — and so, like the song says (in its lyrics): “Let’s chit-chat about ideas til the break of dawn! / Hip-hip-hooray, three cheers for ideas, for he’s a jolly good fellow!” In fact, historians are already predicting that 2017 will be known as The Year Of The Idea. So let’s get a jump on history and celebrate the TOP TEN IDEAS OF 2017:

10. Pretty good ideas

9. Terrific ideas that are widely appreciated

8. Ideas that make sense

7. Profitable ideas

6. Brilliant ideas

5. Dangerous ideas

4. A-ha moments

3. “Gotta write down my latest idea”

2. Pure ideas

1. Game-changing ideas

This is a good list.

Best Of 2017: TELEVISION

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In spite of some hard times (despite what you may think, 2017 wasn’t perfect), this year will always be remembered as more or less perfect. And a huge cause of that sunny assessment will be the high-quality television we enjoyed during the past twelve months. Indeed, 2017 can honestly be called one of the platinum years in the golden era of television … an era we are all lucky to be living through: “Face it, we’ll be telling our grandkids about this premium era of television.”

From dystopian tales like “The Milkmaid’s Adventure” to emotional dramas like “We Are Us,” from blockbuster epics like “House of Swords” to cutting-edge comedies like “This Show Isn’t Funny,” 2017 was the year television grew up … and showed us all a little something about growing up, too.

So let’s raise a glass to another banner year for television, and tune in to the latest, greatest show of all: A show of hands for this being the best year of all time when it comes to TV! And now, here are the TOP TEN TV SHOWS OF 2017:

10. Pretty good TV shows

9. Better-than-average TV shows

8. Premium television

7. “My, my … Never thought I’d see THAT on TV”

6. TV that keeps us informed and entertained

5. Television that looks as good as a movie

4. Limited-run television events

3. “Hennnry!” “Yes, dear?” “What’s on TV tonight?” “Only the finest quality shows, my darling” “Thank you, Henry” “Okay”

2. Almost the greatest shows

1. THE GREATEST SHOWS

Best Of 2017: CULTURAL MOMENTS

What is our shared experience of life, if not our culture? And what is our cultural life, if not the moments that define us? If culture is the mirror through which we see ourselves and make sense of things, then cultural moments are those bright flashes when the mirror shines brightest and offers the clearest reflection. Sometimes all it takes to make sense of our current situation is a movie or TV show (or song) that helps us see our lives as they really are in the present — the good and the bad parts of them … and of our life itself, in these moments.

This is why watching movies and TV and listening to hit songs is never a waste of time — because at any second we could find ourselves in a new cultural moment that lends deeper understanding to the world in which we live, and that moment will have arrived via the pop culture we consumed.

So without any further ado or otherwise delaying the joy of our shared culture, join me in celebrating the TOP TEN CULTURAL MOMENTS OF 2017:

10. Political moments: “Where are we now?”

9. Racial politics: “Who are we?”

8. Comedies and dramas of relevance

7. Rethinking assumptions

6. Hmm … maybe things really do suck

5. (TIE) Rap music / Women

4. “You’ll never guess what I saw a movie about …”

3. Check your memes and do hashtags

2. Everything has gone crazy and this song describes it perfectly

1. The most relevant — and greatest — cultural moments

Best Of 2017: SPORTS

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From athletes to coaches to the guy at the end of the bar, 2017 was the year everyone seemed to have an opinion about sports. Whether you watched live or on TV, sports were an undeniable presence this year, and definitely had something for everyone. In divided times such as our own, sports can bring us together — allowing us to put aside our differences and “root for the home team, root root for the team, rah rah” as the old cheerleader song goes.

And that’s the power of sports: They give us something to believe in. Athletes at peak condition are models of grace and excellence, and we need these exemplars more than ever. And so we love sports and we are all better because of the sports we loved in 2017. The sheer competition of sports will never be beat.

And now, before this introduction goes into triple overtime (sports reference for my super-fans out there, must credit mnftiu.cc), let’s give out championship rings to the TOP TEN SPORTS MOMENTS OF 2017:

10. Semifinals in 2017

9. Peak performance in championship moments

8.  Hard-won victories

7. (TIE) The politics of sports / Team logos, uniforms, and equipment

6. Baseball

5. The spirit of competition

4. Good sportsmanship is key in 2017

3. Something to believe in … SPORTS

2. “Coach, did I do a good job?” “You did okay”

1. World championship

 

Best Of 2017: TECHNOLOGY

bestof2017_technology

Whether it’s the phone in your hand — which has more memory than a traditional library — or the computer your children use to finish their math homework such as algebra and trigonometry, there’s no doubt that I have just hinted at the amazing power of technology in today’s world.

In 2017, we saw technology affect our lives as never before. From the high-speed home office to the hyperlinked office kitchenette, from cable TV to the USA (government agencies), Americans’ ingenuity and savvy have increased our quality of life like never before … via “tech.” Simply put, it is now possible to own a plastic blob in your house that turns music on and off when you yell at it. If that’s not “technological awesomesauce,” then I don’t know what is — and baby, I don’t wanna know, if I can be honest for the duration of this special moment in which I write about my “technology feelings.”

And so let’s fire up the laptop, engage the satellite link, and upload THE TOP TEN TECHNOLOGIES OF 2017:  

10. Computer technologies

9. Digital workarounds

8. Efficient technologies

7. Cutting-edge technology

6. Marvelous technology that is coveted by smart people

5. System technologies

4. Wonderful technology

3. “Hennnnry!” “Yes, dear?” “Did you download the app?” (Sighing) “Yes, dear.” (But really he’s happy because it’s a good app)

2. Can you believe how lucky we are with the technology

1. Edible toilets

 

 

Best Of 2017: ANNOUNCEMENTS

stock-photo-businessman-on-a-podium-making-a-speech-or-announcement-207969922If you need to reach many people at once, there’s no better choice than making an announcement. From subways to shopping malls, from airplanes to football stadiums, when people hear an announcement, they pay attention and become informed. Because 2017 was a fast-paced year with high stakes — a year with shifting conditions and multiple factors influencing it — there can be no doubt we saw record numbers of announcements.

Some of these announcements (especially big political announcements) will quickly become part of our shared history. Others will be quickly forgotten. But one thing we can say about the announcements of 2017 is, “Turn the loudspeakers up and keep those announcements comin’!”

And so without any further ado, I am happy to ANNOUNCE that the time has come to commemorate the TOP TEN ANNOUNCEMENTS OF 2017:

10. Political announcements

9. Official announcements

8. Proclamations

7. Corporate announcements (concerning bargains, promotions, sales, etc.)

6. Announcements via loudspeaker

5. Family announcements

4. Announcements where you can’t believe what you’re hearing

3. Informative announcements delivered with normal inflection

2. When they announce something and you’re like “I’m here for this announcement”

1. The greatest announcements

Best Of 2017: PODCASTS

From downloading your favorite episodes, to listening to a new download of your podcast, 2017 was a banner year for the podcast industry. Podcasts have never been more popular or more influential, and the statistics to back up this claim are freely available to anyone who cares to learn more.

Happy man listening music

If you listened to a podcast this year, give yourself a round of applause — you are part of a vital new entertainment and information revolution, one that shows no sign of slowing down. Podcasts are now as powerful as movies and video games (to say the least). So pump up the volume, order a product using a special promotional code, and get ready to hear people talking … because that’s “the podcast way.” And the podcast way is here to stay. And podcasts have only 2017 to thank, for 2017 was truly the Year of the Podcast. And that’s all there is to it.

Here are the TOP TEN PODCASTS OF 2017:

10. “Did you hear the latest podcast?”

9. Political podcasts

8. New podcasts

7. (TIE) Innovations in podcasting technology / True-crime podcasts

6. Podcast networks

5. Comedy podcasts

4. Podcasts that make the days go by

3. Some of the best podcasts

2. Controversial podcasts

1. Your friend’s podcast