I'm a sucker for lists. To-do lists, To-don't lists. Top 10 lists, top 20 lists. For the past five years, my friend Dan and I have been in charge of The Washington Post's annual Out/In List, which greets the New Year by distilling it into two categories. Every year, I receive more vitriol for my participation in The List than for any other story I write. People love to call it stupid, yet spend hours dissecting it. People love to say that Lists are Out, and that nobody cares what's on The List anyway.
Lists will never be out. Anything that makes temporary order out of the relentless chaos of the world will never be out.
Here's a link to the web version of this year's List. It's silly and serious, and not as smart as we think it is or as dumb as critics think it is.
Happy New Year.