January 10, 2008

10 Worst 10 Worst Lists of All Time

by Nick Montfort · , 9:22 pm

Things are bad! And ten of them are the worst of all, the worst of all time. With that in mind, and in the spirit of looking into the bottom 5% of user-created content, Grand Text Auto presents you with this list of the 10 worst lists of 10 worst things.

[10] The 10 Best and 10 Worst IT-Related Super Bowl Commercials of All Time (So Far). The compilers of these two lists say “we must admit to a soft spot for monkeys,” which won’t save them from a fusillade of my abuse. The lists are not ranked, precluding an exciting buildup of interest; they can’t keep themselves to ten and include an honorable mention; the article is broken up over six pages for no good reason; and there is only one case in which the commercial itself is included – every other entry just has a textual description. The payoff we get for clicking through this is learning about things like Autobytel.com’s lugubrious advertisement The Pajama Purchase. And, as the one person who bothered to comment on this list has written: “You should post a follow-up article to this: Top 10 worst spelling and grammar mistakes in this article.”

[9] Top 10 Tuesday: Worst Videogame Haircuts. Mercifully, it takes only few seconds to rake one’s eyes over this page. And when one does, one sees … really bad videogame haircuts.

[8] The 10 Worst Skateboarding Brands. An amazing exercise in ranking and enumeration. The time spent putting this list together could have been invested, however, in extreme walking.

[7] PS2 10 Worst Games. Pardon me, but WHERE IS THE LIST? I click on the visually illiterate “Top 10 Worst Video Games” icon (“Top” 10? How are the worst games at the top?) and I get nothing but a bigger and even less aesthetically pleasing image of the same icon. Are the advertised games supposed to be the worst ones? Is this place just sold out of the nine other monumentally sucky games right now?

[6] Top 10 Worst Video Game to Movie Adaptations. Fish. In. Barrel.

[5] 10 Worst Male Attributes of All Time. The banner ad collides with the text file format on this web page like anti-peanut butter with anti-chocolate. And what does the text file say? “It sometimes helps bring solace to a bitch to accept the fact that God is forcing the … ” is about all I can bear to quote from this one. Except for the sentence “In essence, men and women both quite literally suck.” I would venture to say that men and women are both quite literally in the 10 worst sucking genders of all time, and that this text file is in the 10 worst sucking 10 worst lists of all time list.

[4] Top 10 Worst Movies to Feature a Pro Wrestler. Hey, About.com is still online! What do you know.

[3] 10 Worst PVPers on Durotan. Not a list. Not even conceptually a possibility for an interesting list. A thread, the reading of which is far less interesting than is mindlessly slaughtering boars.

[2] The Bottom 10 College Mascots. At least when you read the list of 10 worst products or 10 worst ideas, you know that we might learn from them. At least when you read a list of the worst 10 natural disasters, you know that people aren’t directly responsible for them.

[1] The 100 Worst Porn Movie Titles. To start, let’s have a pixelized icon appear and say “LOADING” to the sound of robotic moaning, why not? After all, I’m a blow-up toy inflated with my own drool and have never witnessed a web page loading before. And after that, how about we have a huge amount of cruft around a single sentence fragment with “NSFW” next to it? And no obvious link to get to the actual “goods” of the list? Which is not really safe for anything, at least ten times as long as it needs to be, and illustrated with images of a kangaroo fingering herself and Hello-Kitty-like figures initiating sexual contact?