Why lists do not matter

Literally moments after I posted a list (List of 10 states with the worst drivers), I encountered a post explaining why list do not matter.

The post is found on "With both hands," written by Pat Hickey, one of Chicago's most astute (if not the most) bloggers. Called "Lists and Polls are for Donkeys -Jean Shepherd Pray for Us!" Hickey begins his post with this quote from Shepherd (If you haven't heard of Shepherd, well….)

"I was new to New York, and I suddenly became aware that New York is almost entirely a city that really does run on lists.  . . . has it occurred to you that these lists are compiled by mortals and that they are human just like you are and, in fact, they have many more axes to grind than you?" Jean Shepherd Not on the Top Ten Famous Guys List

With apologies to my fellow listing bloggers on ChicagoNow.com,  I've always been puzzled by why lists seem to be so popular. Some lists are just stupid. (Creating my own irony, I hereby give you a link to a list of the 15 most ridiculous lists.) They're kind of cotton candy for the mind, giving the reader an instant of entertainment, with little insight.

So, I recommend that you start with Hickey's usually acerbic post and then watch the videos (below) how Shepherd managed to create a best-selling book out of whole cloth.

Get two copies of my historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812," for the price of one in this Christmas sale. For details and how to order, visit http://www.madness1812.com

Filed under: Humor

Tags: hoax, Jean Shepherd, lists, Pat Hickey


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  • Thank you Dennis! Acerbic? Ascorbic to be sure, like OJ and other fruit juices,but Acerbic? Okay, Acerbic.

  • In reply to PatHickey:

    As in "sharp" and "forthright." Thanks for leading me to this very interesting topic and video.

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