Arts Vanity: Bottom Five Top Fives

Top Fives have always been here. Our earliest ancestors scrawled them between cave paintings, foundational works such as “Top Five Things That Have Eaten Gronk’s Children” and “Top Five Debilitating Illnesses That Will Probably Kill Me Because Science Doesn’t Exist Yet.” God tossed a hat in the ring with his seminal “Top Five Commandments,” a listicle so popular on the ancient version of the Internet (Moses) that a sequel instantly ensued. The form of Top Fives has seeped deep into our very being, influencing our routines, giving structure to our thoughts. Just today, you have most likely formulated lists of your own: “Top Five Groceries,” perhaps, or “Top Five Places I May Have Left My Newborn Infant.” Top Fives preceded us, and Top Fives will certainly remain long after we are gone.

Yet not all Top Fives deserve to be celebrated. Some are a discredit to the craft, worth reading only as cautionary tales. To both atone for our sins and learn from them, here are the most shameful Top Fives The Crimson has published.

5. Top Five Stepfathers by Moby F. Neutrogena ’13
A maudlin, irrelevant Top Five. Especially suspect, as all five stepfathers appear to be Neutrogena. Notable for its surprisingly rigorous scoring system, which evaluates each father’s proficiency in “playing catch” and “kissing Mommy,” and a cameo from Tim Allen (listed as number 5).

4. Top Five Uses of Time Travel by Dilda E. Bobbin ’73
Either a hoax or a glitch in time, both unacceptable. A list of historical “mistakes” “corrected” with time “travel,” published in “the” year “2473.” Suggests unnervingly that the world as we know it has been reshaped according to the gauche tastes of our disappointing descendants. The denizens of 2473 claim responsibility for the career of Alanis Morissette (listed as number 2) and also racism (listed as number 4). Smarmily written.

3. Top Five Slurs by Tom. A. Toetamahtoe ’43
A mid-twentieth century listicle that has aged somewhat poorly. One of the most widely read Blog pieces of all time, despite being published in 1941, when everybody had like DSL or something. Each slur is accompanied by instructions for use and enthusiastic customer testimonials, three of which are credited to Colonel Sanders.


2. Top Five Top Fives by Kot N. Flagrante-Delicto ’10
A disgrace to the art of Top Five, even as it purports to pay reverence. Leaves out such classics as “Top Five Syndromes” by Jonathan P. Trang ’19, or “Top Five Font Sizes” by Jonathan P. Trang ’19, or “Top Five Moles on John Oliver’s Body That He Should Probably Have Examined” by Jonathan P. Trang ’19. Granted, these were published long after Flagrante-Delicto ’10’s tenure at the Crimson. Yet she should have had the foresight to refrain from such a premature victory lap, especially one that includes Fyodor X. Groudon ’03’s “Top Five Fingers (Left Hand)” instead of its superior sequel, Borgesiana G. Jiggleflap ’05’s “Top Five Fingers (Right Hand).”

1. Top Five Serial Killers by Laird T. Milk ’19
A more than passable piece, admittedly. The detailed, almost loving descriptions of the methods of each murderer are poetic and useful. But Laird is a rank coward and a fool who should learn to let his pistol speak for him rather than his lawyer. I apologize for this intrusion of the personal, but I have no other platform through which I can publicly demand satisfaction. Meet me at the dueling grounds, Laird! The one next to Noch’s!

—Incoming Blog Series Exec Jonathan P. Trang ’19 is deeply unpleasant. You can reach him over that new Animal Crossing app, which is now his primary mode of communication.


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