Even the literary-pretentious New Yorker has seen fit to publish one of those droning lists article: â€œ10 Best Cars, of 2010,â€ â€œFive Best Places to take a First Date in New York,â€œÂ â€œFive Best Church Chapels for a Wedding,â€ etc. (John Updike and other renowned New Yorker contributors may be spinning as I type.)
All these easy-to-toss-off â€“ and equally easy-to-pass-over â€“ â€œTen Bestâ€ list articles can leave a blog looking like the inside of a spam sandwich. Or, worse, like one of the breakfast entrÃ©es from Monty Pythonâ€™s famous â€œSpam, spam, spam, spam!â€ skit.
Adam Gopnick, writing for the New Yorker â€˜s NewsDesk blog is cognizant of the effect produced by the overuse of the â€œTen Bestâ€ format.Â He starts his article, â€œFive Fine Moments,â€ with the following disclaimer:
I am personally wary, not to say disapproving, of â€œTen Bestâ€ lists and the like, partly because I find them tendentious, but mostly because I find them deeply depressing, a reminder of time passing, matched by an effort to pretend that the time came in a neat package of quantaâ€”these movies or booksâ€”rather than in its actual messy, decade-bending, sequence of shadings. But many nice things happened this year, mostly in sports, so here, in praise, are a few . . . .
Yet, self-mockingly, he tosses out his four favorite sports moments from 2010 and, as a sop to New Yorker readers, a reference to Nabakovâ€™s â€œPale Fire.â€ Read More