Best of 2015: OUTRAGE

If you did something bad and hoped to stay out of the headlines, 2015 was not the year for you! If you thought everyone would be on their best behavior, you had another thing coming! There’s a famous bumper sticker that reads, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” Never has this bumper sticker been more true than in 2015. Sometimes I hypothesize that whoever wrote that bumper sticker already knew about 2015 and what was going to happen this year, and that’s why they made the bumper sticker. Why? Because this year (2015, the main year I’m talking about) was truly a year defined by outrage. Is it any wonder the Society of Historians probably just nbest_of_2015_outrageamed 2015 “The Year Of Outrage?” No. And you can feel free to put that on a bumper sticker!

Outrage was everywhere this year. And perhaps for the first time, it didn’t discriminate between the real world and the online world. From politics to entertainment to business to the internet to professional sports to journalism to science to your family to you yourself — if you hoped to steer clear of outrage, you were out of luck! And maybe that’s the biggest outrage of all, when you think about it.

But it’s important to keep outrage in perspective: After all, if there were no storm clouds, we would never have rainstorms. And rainstorms are one of the main causes of what makes flowers grow. Here are the TOP TEN OUTRAGES OF 2015:

10. Awful outrages

9. Depressing outrages

8. Loathsome outrages

7. Hideous outrages

6. (TIE) Disgusting outrages / Shocking outrages

5. Pathetic outrages

4. Terrible outrages

3. Pretty good outrages

2. Wonderful outrages

1. The best outrages

 

Best of 2015: TECHNOLOGY

As I predicted years ago, technology continues to influence our lives in many ways. We are living in the modern age, and the proof is in the technology that surrounds us and makes us human: From phones to computers to the most sophisticated instruments, whether you’re looking inside your body or beyond the stars, you can’t do anything without technology.

best_of_2015_technology copyTechnology keeps pace with the fastest changes in our nonstop world, and that’s what makes it great. And when Silicon Valley heat meets New York City cool — when the bad boys work with the smart guys — it’s explosive. That’s when technology really shines and we get all. The. Feels. And. All. The. Greatest. Technology. And  when it comes to technology, 2015 was no different. We’re talking about technology. So let’s have some fun.

It’s time to celebrate the triumphs of human ingenuity. It’s time to showcase the brilliance of our finest minds. It’s time to list the BEST TECHNOLOGY OF 2015:

10. User-friendly technology

9. Saying “tech” instead of “technology”

8. (TIE) Reading the coolest magazine and web sites about technology / Technology that uses batteries

7. Rolling your eyes at new technology, to suggest you are too cool to care about technology

6. Using technology to improve the quality of your life

5. Buying technology with your hard-earned money

4. Sharing technology with family and friends

3. Finding that new piece of tech that makes you smile

2. Writing and researching new technology

1. Going ALL IN on the hottest technology!!! THIS IS NOT A GAME!!!

Best of 2015: STYLE

photodune-218814-relaxed-young-guy-using-laptop-xs-300x200One of the defining characteristics of style is its changing nature: What may be cool one year could be lame the following year, but then in the next year it could be the hottest thing anyone has ever seen … but then you blink, and the next thing you know everyone hates it again. (Think of what happened with shirts recently.) Good style, however, never goes out of fashion. And 2015 was definitely one of the most stylish years in recent history. Could this be the year good taste finally grew up? Could this be the year when being fashion-forward meant more than following bad trends? Could this be the year style finally came into its own? We will never know. But one thing is certain: 2015 was a great year for style.

Here are the TOP TEN STYLES OF 2015:

10. Interesting styles

9. Classic styles

8. Hot fashions that stand the test of time

7. “Could you do some research on the latest styles and then recommend new eyeglasses for me to buy? Thank you, computer. Entering credit card information now …”

6. (TIE) Breathtaking styles / Tuxedos

5. “Hennnnry!” “Yes, dear?” “How’s my style?” “It’s very nice.”

4. That moment when you realize you have good style

3. Going on twitter to make fun of the styles and then realizing you actually love the styles

2. The newest styles

1. The greatest fashions of style

Best of 2015: TELEVISION

Here it is! The first of my BEST OF 2015 lists! (NOTE: please read this essay before reading this and any future lists.) We’re kicking things off with a bang this year: our first topic is TELEVISION!

Of all the popular art forms, perhaps television had the best year in 2015. Not only did we witness the rise of new platforms — Netflix, AmazonTV, HuluTV — but new ways of watching T.V. shows, like binge-watching and other ways. 2015 was the year when the “boob tube” finally grew up … in fact, from now on maybe we should call it “Dr. Boob Tube, PhD, Chair of the Literature Department.”

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This year gave us dramas with the sure-footed pacing of comedies and comedies with the emotional depth of dramas. Not to mention live spectacles (a new twist on an old tradition) and crime documentaries with the same commitment to truth as the finest newspapers! Whether you like it high-def or low-def, via cable or antennas, one thing is certain: T.V. is on the up and up. So let’s celebrate a truly amazing year for television. Here are the TOP TEN TELEVISION SHOWS OF 2015:

10. Riveting premium dramas

9. Informative cable specials

8. Creative animated cartoons

7. Enjoyable comedies

6. Serious television shows with an edge

5. “What a great show”

4. Television programs that kept us guessing … and also kept us SMILING

3. News on your television

2. (TIE) Television shows you can watch in different locations / Programs and related content I saw

1. The best in television shows

And just like that … my lists have begun! Check back soon for more lists.

A Quick Note About My Year-End Lists

The following post is painful, but I think it must be said. I know it will probably be controversial, but I’ve got to be true to myself and say what I feel is right.

I’ve been making my year-end “best of” lists since 2008. That’s seven years, give or take. When I started making my lists, almost nobody else online was making lists. I was one of the first people to realize that the internet was a place where you could make a list about things that happened in a year, and then share that list with other people who might enjoy it. And I capitalized on that realization to everyone’s benefit because my lists are the best.

list2PLEASE UNDERSTAND: I am not saying that I invented lists. Americans have been making lists ever since Henry David Thoreau made a list of the things he needed before he disappeared into Walden Pond. I wasn’t born yesterday — I’m actually one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet — so don’t say I am ignorant of the history of lists. I appreciate our country’s heritage. In America, we are free to make a list: we can type a column of numbers and then, for each number, type something that corresponds to that number, whether it’s the fifth best song of the year, or the third most important takeaway from the Republican debate, or simply: “Number six made me cry.” That is a profound freedom we enjoy, and I don’t take it for granted. Anyone in our country can make a list. But I need to emphasize: When it comes to making lists of the best movies, TV shows, trends, etc. of a given year … I AM THE BEST AT THAT AND I AM ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO DO THAT. If lists are a uniquely American phenomenon, then we must say I am the George Washington of lists.

So why am I bringing up this history? Because when it comes to lists, we have a problem, and I want to propose a solution. I feel that when people look at a year-end list — whether it’s a best-of list, or a worst-of list, or a this-is-what-happened-this-year list, they owe me a debt of gratitude and also a debt of money. Yes, I believe this. Have you ever heard of patent law, or trademark law? It’s the same principle. You can’t steal an idea and pretend it’s yours (and in some instances make it worse than it was before), and expect to get away with it. And I’m sorry, but … that’s what’s happening with all these year-end lists!

GroceryList41So how do we make this right? It’s pretty simple, actually: I am asking that people pay me a small “looking royalty” when they look at a list that I didn’t create. (You can still look at my lists for free.) Why is this fair? Because of one simple reason: Even if I didn’t create the original concept of a “Top Ten Movies of the Year” list (or a similar type of year-end list), what I did create was the idea of doing a good job making lists and trying to get people to look at those lists. And that is what everyone else making lists is trying to do, and that’s the “trademark” of my personal brand, which is “the man who makes the best year-end lists and gets everyone to look at his lists.” Or, to put it in natural dialogue: “Who’s that guy who always makes the best lists and gets everyone to look at them? I want to remember his name.” “Oh, totally! His name is David Rees, he’s the king of lists.”

Here is where you can pay your looking royalty:

 (I can’t post a donation link because PayPal is down. Please send me a check instead.)

As long as I’m writing this personal essay about lists, let me add another thing: It seems web sites’ year-end lists are starting earlier and earlier every year. People put away their Thanksgiving decorations, and the next thing you know, some online magazine is putting out a list of the best movies of the year! America, has it really come to this? How do these people know all the best things of the year have already happened if it’s still early December??? This honestly makes me very mad. And frustrated. So my pledge to you remains: I will NEVER start making my lists before the second week of December. Because everything hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes, when it comes to lists, I honestly can’t tell what the hell is wrong with everyone and sometimes if I think about it too much I toss and turn at night because it just drives me so goddamn crazy and a few weeks ago I almost fell out of bed I was so upset, and I could have hit my head on a wooden box that was near my bed.

Does all this mean I am going to stop making my lists? No. I am committed to my lists, and I am committed to being the best at everything I do. (That’s the secret ingredient as to why my lists are the best.) I will keep making my lists, I will keep sharing my lists, and you will keep loving my lists.

Okay, just wanted to get all that off my chest. Thanks for reading. Rest assured: I believe in lists, forever. My lists will start in a little bit. And it pleases me to say that this year’s lists are better than ever. You are about to enjoy some truly amazing lists. I am the best at lists.

Sincerely,

David Rees, a.k.a.

“The King Of Lists”

Best Of 2014: CARS AND TRUCKS

2009-acura-tl-sh-awd-4-588x390

As this year (2014) draws to a close, so to must our lists. This is the final list of the year … and the best list of the year.

Ladies and gentlemen, the list you’ve been waiting for: THE TOP TEN CARS AND TRUCKS OF 2014!

10. Blue cars

9. Dumptrucks

8. Big trucks

7. Noisy cars

6. (TIE) Aerodynamic cars / Aerodynamic trucks

5. Trucks for sale

4. “Honk honk”

3. Cars for the whole family

2. Brand-new trucks

1. Station wagons

Thanks for reading my lists! Have fun, stay safe, and I’ll see you next year on my web site!

Best Of 2014: THINGS

Ever hear the expression “some thing is better than no thing?” Well, 2014 was the year that showed it to be true. There were more things in 2014 than in any previous year, and here’s how to prove it: Try to remember every thing you saw, heard, tasted, experienced, or interacted with in 2014. Can’t do it, can you? “Too many things,” you say? That’s because 2014 set a new record for the amount of things in one year, and that’s why 2014 will forever be known as a “Classic Year For Things” (CYFT).

things

What are things? They are the stuff of life! They make up the universe and all our perceptions. Some things are very small (molecules) while others are bigger than you can imagine (the tallest skyscrapers). But when all those things come together … well, friends, that’s when we get something called a TOTAL THING PARTY. That’s what life is.

So take a moment to celebrate things … and enjoy this list!

Here are the TOP TEN THINGS OF 2014:

10. Amazing things

9. Cool things

8. Physical things

7. Abstract things

6. Happy things

5. Thing-a-majigs

4. The latest things

3. Impossible things

2. Really great things

1. SPAGHETTI

Best Of 2014: BOOKS

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Books, books, books! These old warhorses of the entertainment industry showed no signs of slowing down in 2014. The publishing industry has never been stronger, and this was the year that proved it: From best-selling thrillers to romantic adventures, every day brought a new book into our lives … and truly made 2014 “one for the books.”

Think about it: What is a book? Nobody really knows. But we know what we like — and what we like is BOOKS.

Here are the TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2014:

10. Classic books

9. New books

8. Pretty good books

7. Illustrated books

6. Second-hand books

5. Paperback books

4. E-books

3. “Check out the best-seller list, all the best books are on it”

2. Wonderful books

1. Damn fine books … really, just the best books

Best Of 2014: TOPICS

2--1876840-Business people talkingWhether chatting with our co-workers or making small talk at a party, in 2014 it seemed one thing was always on our lips: TOPICS. Topics are the building blocks of any good conversation — they keep the chit-chat moving forward while reminding us of what we’re talking about.

And 2014 offered an abundance of topics. Think about it: What happened in 2014? Answer: More than 1,000 topics. From the weather to the latest news, 2014 kept throwing out topic after topic after topic … sometimes it seemed like there were too many topics! But that’s what made this year so topical: Its one-of-a-kind things to talk about.

Here are the TOP TEN TOPICS OF 2014:

10. The latest topics

9. “Didja hear about the topic?” “I did, let’s discuss it together”

8. “I’d like to remind you of some key topics”

7. (TIE) Funny topics / International topics

6. The news

5. Sports

4. Riveting topics

3. Classic topics

2. Some of the best topics of 2014

1. Holla at ya boy for the topics