Top ten reasons you can't avoid reading this top ten list
10. The form is like quicksand. Top ten lists are the 21st century's only true contribution to literary form. Unlike all other types of literature invented in recent centuries -- modernist novel? spoken-word poem? -- the top-ten list format is both reassuring and tantalizing. This makes it literally impossible not to read. You never see a link that says, "Limerick Explaining Why Your Sink Is Liable To Turn On Your Baby At Any Moment." And if you did, you wouldn't feel compelled to click on it.
9. You think there might be a slideshow. The only thing people enjoy more than top ten lists are slide shows. This accounts for the perennial popularity of the Huffington Post, since it features things like Top Ten Slideshow-Reasons That What You Are Doing In The Workplace Isn't Working For Megan Fox in a Bikini -- which is, frankly, unfair.
7. It will quickly give you information about something you have been saying you cared about at cocktail parties, like Seeming Emotionally Invested In Other Humans, Impressionist Painters, Underrated Films of the 90's, Sports Players Who Were Better Than Other Sports Players, or Reasons Your Metropolitan Area Is Superior To Other Metropolitan Areas.
6. You are studying for Family Feud
5. You think you might be on the list. The title of the list is a phrase that you have always secretly used to describe yourself, like People With Rich Inner Lives You Might Overlook On The Bus, or People Who Deserve Your Sympathy Because of the Difficult Break-Ups They Are Going Through Right Now, or Ten Most Humble Individuals Ever.
4. You are hoping that your favorite thing will be number one on the list, which will make you feel warm and vindicated. Usually, it is number four. You angrily continue reading to see what gosh-forsaken waste of space the listmaker selected as number one instead. It's probably Citizen Kane.
3. The list's title involves sex in some way. Based on the contents of most of these lists, an anthropologist from another planet would assume that the only thing uniting millions of human beings is the vague sense that we might be doing it wrong.
2. You have read the rest of the list, and you might as well keep going, even though you sense that the listmaker was beginning to lose steam and really only had eight items in mind when he or she started. Besides, you can't abandon the list mid-stream, because what if the Number One is totally wild and surprising? Alternatively, what if it was a total cop-out?
1. Citizen Kane.
| January 7, 2011; 2:45 PM ET
Categories: Only on the Internet, Petri, Top Lists | Tags: Cosmopolitan, awareness, lists, parody
Save & Share: Previous: Why the Constitution Congress read was just fine
Next: Of course John Edwards isn't engaged to Rielle Hunter. I hope.
Posted by: divtune | January 10, 2011 1:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 54Stratocaster | January 10, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nancydsouza3098 | January 12, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse