Arbitrary, unscientific and subjective though they are, I am in love with the glut of year- (and decade-) end Best Of lists infecting media right now, and not just because they draw more page views to this blog than I ever would have imagined.
Here’s why, in a convenient list:
1. Tidy packages
Most mornings, I post a list of fun things to do around Atlanta. It might be more comprehensive to just Tweet links to AccessAtlanta.com all day long, but if I’m going to wade through 200 listings anyway, it seems worth sharing what I found in a manageable, organized, clean way. Why not think the same way about a year’s worth of events? A few weeks ago, you nominated and voted on your favorite events of 2009. I tacked on my own list because, well, it’s my blog.
2. Sweet reminders
Catherine Fox’s list of Top 10 Exhibitions shows slivers of the visual art offerings around Atlanta. I have a friendly interest and zero expertise in art, but I’m surprised by how many of these I saw, and how happy I was to see someone else thought as well of them as I did. You can still see some of these exhibitions, but if you’re not quite sure where to start, just this list of venues and artists is a good guide.
3. New ideas
The Top 10 Classical Music Performances list by Pierre Ruhe’s list says to me that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is lovely, but oh right! There are other outfits innovating classical music in Atlanta, too! For the casual or curious concertgoer like me, this is a great starting point for new experiences.
4. Trend spotting
There’s not enough time in the day to keep up with the adventures in every scene around Atlanta. But a list like the Top 10 Plays reveals who is consistently growing and improving, and tips me off for what types of shows to look for next year. Same for the Top 5 Dance Events. Just consider Ruhe’s words — “The recession has hampered expansion of the performing arts, yet dance accelerated in 2009.” That begs the question: what next?
5. Discussion and debate
Short of learning something new, the best thing about any of these list is the debate it stirs. You know this: when that band, that book, that movie, that athlete, that gadget tops some list and for you, it serves only as asign that all is not well in this world! Oh, the injustice! I rather loved contributing to the Our Favorite Things list from Burnaway.org because the motive was identifying inspiration and talking about it.
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