Oh, I love crap like this…
Writers, particularly critics, love debates like this. Put me in a room with any number of my closest friends and we are destined to have a debate like this.
I totally agree with Michael Smith though – nothing, really nothing, annoys me in this context more than people who will not play by the rules. I wrote for a magazine for a while that published a list of the top 10 records of the year by every writer on the staff. Half those jerks submitted lists with 12, 15 or even 20 records.
Seriously? We asked you for 10. Pick 10. You can count, right?
I came to the conclusion that I would keep a list of these writers who couldn’t pick 10 and make a commitment to never go out to dinner or lunch with any of them. I do not need to see someone who can’t pick their 10 favorite records try to choose food from a menu.
The argument is always the same, whether it’s records or movies or baseball players or basketball players or classic muscle cars. Tell people to pick their 5 top choices and they’ll give you 6. Tell them 10 and they’ll give you 12.
No. No. No. No. No.
Make a flippin’ choice. Are you going to leave something/someone deserving off? Yes. That’s the point. That’s why this is fun.
The Oscars got caught up in this whole trap a few years ago, so now we have 9 nominees for Best Picture every year. Ugh. Really, ugh. You’ve diluted the gene pool, folks. You haven’t made the award more worthy or deserving. You’ve increased the odds that people will not have to make a commitment, the votes will get spread around thinly throughout the field and something mediocre will win.
The more options you have, the harder it is to make a choice, not easier. Give me a choice between two things and I can probably make that choice without even thinking about it. Three and I can probably still make it easily. Give me four an it require some thought. 5 and I might have to actually fuss over the decision. And so on.
I don’t even like Basketball and I can pick 4 guys to go on Mt. Swishmore – Wilt, Bird, Jordan and Bill Russell. Make it about baseball and I’m going to start sweating. But, again, that’s where the fun starts.
Want my Mt. Rushmore of rock guitar players? Beck, Hendrix, Page and Van Halen. Easy. Drummers? Bonham, Moon, Paice and Peart.
But then again, I always turned in my top 10s with 10 albums on it.