Best of Year, Best of Decade Lists

Why do we love lists? Is it some gene for categorization? Is it the thrill of controlling circumstances? Is it our belief ion the innate ability of reviewers and critics and experts?

What do you enjoy about best of lists?

While it is probably all of these factors, I know why I enjoyed looking at the lists for best of the decade in today’s Washington Post. I wanted to see how many of the movies or television shows I saw, how many of the music listed I owned and whether I have been to see the best theater, dance, concerts and art shows over the past decade. The feeling is confirmation in our choices.

I read the lists for theater, concerts and dance. I’d seen some of them. All took place within Washington, DC so I had the chance to see them. Then I looked at the art best of list. Damn, there were shows in New York City, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney. It’s only five hours away, so I thought maybe I could have  seen it.

Then I read further. Chicago, mmm, that’s stretching it. Wow, Kessel,  Germany, Parma, Italy, this is ridiculous.  Why are these on this list? It’s not like a person can go out and by a tape of the show and experience it.

Should best of lists include activities that are way out of the range of the ordinary person to experience?

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