PROLOGUE TO MY ESSAY: “AN ARCHIVE OF MY LISTS”
Here are my year-end lists for each of the past ten years:
(For each page, read from the bottom up)
PART 1 OF MY ESSAY: “WHERE WE’VE BEEN”
Simple question: Do you remember what you were doing ten years ago?
Another simple question: Ten years ago, did you change the world?
I’m proud to say that I can — and always will — answer “Yes” to both these simple questions.
Simply put, ten years ago, in December 2008, I began a tradition unlike any other. A new tradition that has since stood the test of time, gone toe-to-toe against other traditions … and left them gasping for air with blood streaming out of their noses. A tradition that has made the internet a better place than ever before.
Ten years ago, I started my year-end lists!
I must admit that I did not invent the tradition of year-end (sometimes called “year-in-review”) lists. Indeed, I have admitted this before, in a now-classic essay on the matter that I wrote exclusively for my web site. However, in the ten years I’ve been making these lists, I have elevated this humdrum practice into a higher form of intelligence. In fact, I have yet to see ANYONE or ANY PUBLICATION do a better job than the job I am doing when it comes to summing up the highs and lows of a year via lists.
Time Magazine year-end lists? Funny you should ask: They SUCK
Pitchfork Music Website year-end lists? Press “mute” on your speakers …. because they SUCK
New Yorker Magazine year-end lists? Don’t make me laugh … or even SICK … because they SUCK
New York Times year-end lists? Hmm, so I guess you wanted to see me barf after all
In fact, I would put my WORST year-end list up against a major publication’s BEST year-end list and wager my list would come out on top. That’s how confident I am in my lists.
It feels good … to make something you’re proud of. And therefore it feels good … for me to make my lists.
PART 2 OF MY ESSAY: “WHERE WE ONCE WERE”
“Has it already been ten years?” Think about how different our online world was back in 2008. There wasn’t youtube probably. And twitter maybe had started but wasn’t as popular as it is now. Facebook was around, but who cared? Same with Roku (TV) and iPhones (Apple computer phone). Blogs were the king of content, and many bloggers looked to me as a game-changer. (Granted, this was not simply due to my lists; there was also a general excellence factor that I was happy to promote and embody.) It was within this media ecosystem that I began my lists in 2008, with a simple list of the BEST FOODS OF 2008:
3. Flour (I was loving flour this year!)
9. Ice cream (DUH! Still one of the greatest foods)
10. Animal legs
Things only got better from there, as I spent the next DECADE paying close attention to every element of society, culture, politics, trends, and the human experience in order to definitely quantify them at the end of every year. With ironclad judgment and a brilliant mind, I was able to transform the overwhelming, unmanageable chaos of reality into easily digestible lists that could be read exclusively on mnftiu.cc (my web site). And that, my friends, is wonderful … I don’t need to put it on a list, you know it’s true in your gut.
For example, take a look back at this list of the BEST PALINDROMES OF 2012:
10. “Obama, mama I’m mad-O!”
9. “Boehner’s taxes ax a hen’s orb”
8. “XEROX AN OX AREA”
7. “2012’s sis is 2102″
6. “Olympics legend dealt gel to pics o’ Mylo”
5. “Lady Gaga is googoo for Coco Puffs, a gag ydal”
4. “Mars Rover drove to rams over Ma’s oven”
2. “Kim Kardashian annihilates darkish milk”
1. “Joe Biden is just bidin’ his time”
Reviewing this list now, we notice that the entire year of 2012 has been simply and elegantly captured in these palindromes which can be read backwards and forwards.
PART 3 OF MY ESSAY: “WHERE HAVE WE GONE AND WHERE ARE WE GOING”
As I have proved above, my lists are the best. It has been said by poets and historians that “The Best Will Someday Not Be The Best Anymore,” but it’s my hope and intention to prove that false in the highest degree. How will I achieve this? By continuing to bring my readers the highest-quality lists on any media platform, without fear and without favors, focused only on celebrating the best elements of each year (in a given category that will be the focus of each respective list). “Have I got your attention? Good. Now PAY ATTENTION EVEN MORE” because what I’m going to say may surprise you: I have no intention of stopping or not doing my lists every year. I realize that these lists are a holiday tradition unlike any other, an extreme form of joy and release for many of my readers — perhaps even you! A wise man once said, “With great problems come great responsibilities,” and since the problem of my lists are that they are so enjoyable, the responsibility that I have is, simply, to make more enjoyable lists.
Why is this significant? Because we live in a world of flux. A world of change and disruption. What is here today, may be “gone tomorrow.” Amidst this every-flowing landscape, my lists will stand tall, like cliffs above a churning sea.
And so, without any further ado, it is my great pleasure to once again bring you my year-end lists!
“The King of All Lists”