THE BLOG

The Top 10 Top 10 Lists of 2012

12/27/2012 06:28 pm ET | Updated Feb 26, 2013
  • Zach Udko Writer, critic and lecturer at NYU
AP

2012 was the year that was supposed to destroy us -- and it nearly did.

After surviving an unparalleled disaster that rocked us to our core (Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick), we pulled together as a nation of Thelmas and Louises, ready to boldly drive off the fiscal cliff together.

Now, as December draws to a close, our nation's critics and bloggers have once again generously given us their thoughts on the main cultural and newsworthy events of the year in the form of Top 10 lists. Since my earliest childhood, I have always been a sucker for these holiday treats, savoring the opportunity to measure the tastes of each scribe against my own.

These essential lists provide us with a sense of perspective, comfort and order. They fulfill a deeply spiritual need to make sense of our existences in the face of a cruel and capricious universe. As the Italian novelist Umberto Eco explains, "It's a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don't want to die."

And so, in recognition of their enduring value, instead of offering my own Top 10 films, plays or books, I present to you my Top 10 Top 10 Lists of 2012. I hope that a close inspection of these items (varied in content, unparalleled in exuberance) helps you grapple with the incomprehensible as we begin to face new mysteries in 2013. Without further ado, these are the lists that fascinated and enlightened me this year:

The list that inspired me to learn how to cook.

Any list that places Tilda Swinton on top and Justin Bieber on bottom is one we need to talk about.

For teaching us that Soylent Green is no longer science fiction... in China, at least.

7. Top 10 Worst Grooming Mistakes (FoxNews.com with Men's Health)

The most insightful, significant and responsible piece of journalism from Fox News in a long time.

6. Top 10 Credenzas (Elle Décor)

For alerting us to the harsh truth that you are nothing without a credenza. Nothing.

We finally found a species that urinates out of its mouth. Thank you, National Geographic!

Question: What could be better than the very best of anything Oprah?

3. Top 10 Worst Tweets of 2012 (Time magazine)

Answer: Reading a tweet from Oprah begging you to watch her network.

2. This list

Unfortunately, I missed out on the number one spot, which clearly had to go to...

The most devastating and effective gag reel produced all year, featuring the GOP's number one mistake this election cycle.