A List of the Best “Best of 2017” Lists of 2017
It’s human nature to take the random messiness of life and categorise it to make things easier to understand. So as 2017 draws to a close, the internet is awash in attempts to make sense of the chaos of the past 12 months through the medium of lists. But as is to be expected in our media-saturated digital age, there are just too many lists to keep a track of, creating a deeper sense of disarray and existential uncertainty. So please enjoy this meta-list of the best lists of 2017. In doing so, I hope that you may find some meagre, reassuring crumb of order in these mad times we live in.
It’s tempting to focus on all the ways in which 2017 wasn’t a great year for women, but here we want to include something a little bit more positive and inspirational. This list is a celebration of women of all ages, ethnicities and abilities, and the ways in which they’re trying to overcome the challenges facing them today. What’s more, it doesn’t just focus on celebrities or world leaders, but on everyday people who are having a huge impact in their communities.
Look, I’m nearly 30. I have outlived my usefulness to popular culture. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I watched this epic tribute to the pantheon of YouTubean gods and I didn’t recognise a single bloody person in it. The joke’s on me, though – these people are making millions by screaming nonsense to camera for audiences of a size that traditional media can only dream of. We grown-ups can scoff all we want at the inherent silliness of it all, but this video showcases arguably the biggest media personalities in the world right now.
Jon Ronson has a great anecdote about when, in 2012, a woman questioned why he wrote about tech. “It’s just dull,” she said, “the internet is not the real world.” The absurdity of that statement is illustrated by this interactive whatsit from Slate showing a year’s worth of New York Times breaking news notifications. This is how we experience reality now: as a series of alerts and notifications that whittle down complex issues (society, politics, racism, inequality, poverty, gender) into easily digestible headlines.
To stop this list from getting too heavy or preachy, here’s a strategically-placed gallery of the funniest animal pictures of the year.
In a year when “fake news” was named Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year, it’s safe to say that our relationship with truth has become increasingly strained. So remind yourself of some of the biggest falsehoods peddled this year (featuring, of course, Donald Trump, the patron saint of fake news) and remain vigilant for mistruths in 2018.
Our famed sense of humour has never been more necessary than in 2017. Let this collection of great British wit soothe the pain of having to watch our country soil itself, agonisingly slowly and obliviously, before the entire world.
If you’re like me, and nothing makes you smile quite like a terrible band name, then this exhaustive list of misguided musical monikers from the past 12 months is for you. Warning: many, many of these are incredibly offensive (you stay classy, grindcore bands), so I wouldn’t recommend this if you have a sensitive disposition.
Remember when that BBC producer, in a volcanic fit of road rage, yelled “prepare to die” at a family? Remember the guy who retweeted his way to free nugs? Remember the Tinder poo girl? Oh man, the Tinder poo girl, what a story. It’s nice to be reminded that not everything that happened this year was awful, some things that happened this year were amusing, absurd and awful.
I only bring this up because a far superior analysis of this year’s festive adverts exists elsewhere online.
And with that shameless plug, we bid adieu to 2017, the most relentlessly eventful year many of us have ever experienced. It’s been a wild ride, you guys, but we just about got through it. All that’s left to do is to wish you a wonderful holiday, and hope you have a cromulent and embiggening 2018.