During this time of year, it's de rigeur among anyone with a keyboard and an opposable thumb to come up with a list of the best and worst of 2003. Hell, I got paid to do it today.
But some do them better than others. And that just screams for one more list!
BEST TOP 10 LISTS LIST
1. BEST ASTRONOMY PHOTOS OF 2003
The Hubble light echo shot alone is worth a visit to this site. You gotta love when they build a device like the Hub and it scares astronomers because they don't understand what they're seeing. That thing was a bargain.
2. TOP TEN WORDS OF 2003
Actually they're the top words in a variety of categories, from "Worst New Product Names " (Hywire - GM's name for its new experimental fuel cell car) to "Top Ten Youthspeak Words" (No. 7: Poppins - Perfect, as in 'Mary Poppins is perfect in every way.').
3. THE YEAR IN MAGAZINES
The Washington Post's Peter Carlson is a god of a writer. Loved this passage: "After veteran magazine photographer Herb Ritts died, Vanity Fair, which had published dozens of his pictures, ran a one-page tribute to Ritts and a 25-page retrospective of the photographs of . . . Annie Leibovitz. Which raised the question: When Leibovitz dies, will Vanity Fair run a gallery of Ritts photos?"
4. THE SHIT LIST
I've never heard of a majority of these bands or these songs. But the descriptions and the name of the list itself killed me. An exerpt under the heading of Worst Singles of the Year: "4: Fast Food Rockers - "Fast Food Song.' Child obesity is not a joke. FFR should be fucking strung up by their fucking nipples and beaten with chainsaws." I love blunt trauma that's disguised as music criticism.
5. THE MOST ANNOYING PEOPLE OF 2003
Neal Justin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune nailed this list cold. Not by listing "rich girls" or "metrosexuals" or "The Cat In The Hat." Nope. Neal became my hero by pegging Oven Mitt, the stupid talking mascot from the new Arby's commercials. Justin calls it "the most annoying non-human mascot since Subway created Jared." In the interest of fairness to those who might disagree with this assessment and thus find him an adorable and, possibly, sacrosanct spokesmitt, you can purchase high-quality products adorned with the Oven Mitt visage at the Arby's Web site. May God have mercy on our souls.
6. 2003: A YEAR IN PICTURES
The San Francisco Chronicle takes a left turn where most go right when compiling a photo list. Everyone else has shots of Saddam's fallen statue in Baghdad or Sammy Sosa's corked bat exploding. The Chronicle has a very tasteful shot of naked women near Bethesda Fountain in New York's Central Park running to lay down in the snow to spell "No Bush" with their bodies. That cracked me up on a number of levels.
7. MOST INTRIGUING MEDICAL FACTS OF 2003: A YEAR IN PICTURES
When you consider that this was the year of SARS, cruise ship viruses, epic levels of flu and Michael Jackson was able to convince Ed Bradley that his disturbing facial appearance wasn't something that a "60 Minutes" reporter needed to investigate, 2003 was one wacky year for health. This page compiles the weirdest arcana in that category. Until reading this page, I had no idea that only 10 percent of Americans die suddenly; 90 percent experience a steady decline in health. Or that 2 quarts of mucous flow each day from the sinuses into the nose. Then again, maybe I didn't need to know that.
8. MOST LIKABLE ADS
The picture of the Miller Lite women above notwithstanding, my personal favorite was the Reebok series featuring Terry Tate, the "office linebacker" who tackled employees who did not practice workplace etiquette. Tag line of the year: "Here comes the pain train! Whooooo, wooooooo!"
9. MOST E-MAILED ARTICLES OF 2003
Not to make you nervous or anything, but The New York Times keeps track of which articles and photos that its online readers e-mail to other friends and family online. (And to think, they bitch about Ashcroft.) No. 75 was the tale of a carp that shouted in Hebrew. Coy gevalt!
10. FIMOCULOUS.COM: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
This is the list of lists that inspired this list. So there.