Friday, December 29, 2006

Ringing out the old: The 2006 list of 2006 lists

There is something about year-end lists. For me, it isn't the end of the year until the end of the year lists begin. It is then that I am reminded I will soon have to write a new number on my checks and in my journal and in the one or two other scenarios in which a computer doesn't date my life for me. I am reminded to make plans to avoid the approaching mayhem surrounding the worst excuse to drink yourself into a stupor, light things on fire, and go for a drive since July 4th.

That's right, I'm a bit of a New Year's Humbug. But this time of year is a natural time of reflection as well as a reason to go out of the house in costume. What have we learned this year? What are the most significant events, cultural, political, and otherwise? And, most importantly, who are the hottest people doing (in)significant things today?

These are some 2006 round-ups that have captured my interest in one way or another so far, ranging from the reflective to the funny to the disgusting.

1. Topping my list is this gem from gizmodo. It was not the first list I'd seen this year, but it was the one that inspired me to move my fingers from the mouse to the keyboard and create this collection. Reactions to this post seem split between those expressing outrage at the inclusion of several not-quite-hot-enough-for-even-a-geek-to-fuck bloggers to those expressing disgust at the sexism underlying the existence of the list itself. I'd tend to fall into the latter camp. What is the relevance of these bloggers' cleavage, anyway? And just how creepy is it that some of these photos appear to have been snapped surreptitiously by some geek-stalker's cell phone? And how can I get a shot at next year's list? Focus my energy on good blogging or on finding a good plastic surgeon and photographer?

2. Perhaps the guys at gizmodo are emulating some of the men profiled in the next list. The Top 10 Sex Stories of 2006, posted on SFGate, has it all: law, order, scandal, sex toys, cross-dressing, sex-with-scientists. Best sex story of 2006 in my book? Joe 'Girls-Gone-Wild' Francis gets his comeuppance.

3. Now I'll restore the feminist balance with this intelligent synopsis of some significant national and global events in women's issues this year from Salon's Broadsheet. [Note to Broadsheet's bloggers: how about throwing some photos up there for the fine gentlemen at gizmodo?]

4. Next, check out Science News' Environmental/Ecological stories of the year (and scroll around for other science news of the year.

5. Finally, another Salon list that is also a gift of sorts: Thomas Bartlett's top 20 free Salon downloads of the year.

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