The other Rex’s list is growing ever longer: Rex Sorgatz’s 2005 version of his annual list of lists is proof enough that this whole year-end list thing is out of control. However, as he explained to me recently, there’s something intriguing about them.
“In the process of becoming a listophile, I’ve evolved a two-part theory about the motivations behind our ineluctable desire to make lists.
First off, we live in a culture where events fly by so fast that history never has time to establish itself. (VH1’s “Best Week Ever” is the personification of this — a week is as far back as we can see, and pop culture events from three days ago already feel like ancient history.) Lists allow us to peer back with the context goggles on.
Secondly, with this surfeit of media and culture reportage, lists allow people to establish an identity. By saying “These Are The 10 Best Albums of 2005,” you’re allowed to declare some ownership over this vast culture machine that spits out much more than we can possibly consume. In that sense, making a list is a little like starting a blog — it’s an attempt to take back the media and recontextualize it as your own.”
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