Archive for Friday, June 20, 2008

Niccum: Lists prove anything but listless on the Web

June 20, 2008

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I was watching the latest AFI special this week - "America's 10 Greatest Films in 10 Classic Genres" - and I realized how much I love lists.

I'm hooked on any number of topics as soon as somebody offers "the 10 best (blanks)" or "the top (blanks) of all time."

This is the result of an ongoing affair that began when I was in junior high and borrowed a friend's tattered edition of "The Book of Lists," with its detailed rosters of sports accomplishments, breeds of dogs that bite the most, Jack the Ripper suspects and famous people who died during sex. (All incredibly captivating topics during that period of my life.)

As prevalent as lists have become in our media (especially TV), they are but a blip on the cultural radar compared to the amount that populate the Internet. One new site is quickly becoming the repository for the most entertaining lists around.

Oddee (www.oddee.com) bills itself as "a blog on the oddities of our world." But its collections are more visual-oriented entries that are far more enticing than typical blog ramblings.

Take the latest post: the 12 Worst Photoshop Mistakes Ever.

It begins with a magazine ad featuring a beautiful blonde walking on a beach with a man's hand clasping her shoulder - only there's no man attached. (Perhaps Thing from "The Addams Family" went on holiday.)

Then there's the JCPenney layout where the model has no lower jaw. Or the Sports Illustrated picture where a basketball player is going in for a dunk while a teammate looks on, except the head of the "onlooker" has been removed during print production.

Another standout is one titled 20 Most Bizarre Mugshots Ever. Part of the fun is guessing what crime the subjects were booked on. How about the girl with the 2-foot-high mohawk that looks like a fake fin on the back of a "giant lizard" from "Lost in Space"? That would be "erratic driving." Or how about the skinhead with words tattooed above each bruised eye and a Nazi Luftwaffe emblem carved into his neck? Murder, of course.

Other intriguing lists include ones highlighting Strange Mailboxes, Greatest Office Pranks, Most Bizarre Political Candidates, Weirdest Diseases, Most Bizarre Wedding Rings, Most Unfortunate Logos and - my oddball favorite - Most Creative Business Cards.

And we can't end without a self-referential dig. This from the 20 Funniest Newspaper Headlines: "Puerto Rican Teen Named Mistress of the Universe."

Perhaps she's gunning to be included in the next "Book of Lists."

- Entertainment editor Jon Niccum explores facets of pop culture that have established a unique niche on the Internet in Net Worth. He can be reached at 832-7178.

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