Thursday, July 29, 2021


Top ten video game sequences, ten worst video game presentations, ten worst generals, ...

I'm sometimes curious about history-related evaluations--I figure I might learn something--but almost none of these sorts of things involve any action. Top ten home laptops--yes, we had to buy one recently. Best washing machines of 2021--maybe, if something else breaks. Top five vacation destinations--no, we don't have that kind of money. Ten most livable cities in the US--if you don't have to live there. (It turns out that livability is measured differently when you're on a fixed income.)

Even an interesting list leaves a bad aftertaste. The "worst ten" sorts feel a bit ghoulish, and even the "best five" judge their subjects on limited grounds and don't seem quite fair. Even Satan's chewing gum in Inferno doesn't seem perfectly just: Judas fits the bill, but I'll bet you could find better candidates for the honor than Brutus and Cassius.

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