By the numbers

Who can resist a good listicle? You could spend a lazy Saturday watching listicle TV, like VH-1′s “300 Most Profound Reality TV Moments,” or you could read the equivalent here on the Web.

Here’s a bunch of recent listicles that I found thoughtful, helpful, funny and/or entertaining. Books, maps, feminism, wonkery, UFOs, dinosaurs, Hitchcock, debt collectors, civil disobedience, toxic churches, living wages and cruel politicians — all enumerated for your reading pleasure.

101 Every Day Ways for Men to Be Allies to Women

CIA Acknowledges Existence of Area 51 Testing Ground

Alfred Hitchcock’s 50 Ways to Kill a Character

40 Maps That Explain the World

28 Favorite Books That Are Huge Red Flags

24 Books You’ve Probably Never Heard of But Will Change Your Life

23 Things That Debt Collectors Are Not Allowed to Do

20 Facts for the 20th Anniversary of America’s Family Leave Policy

20 Science Fiction Moments That Will Make Absolutely Anyone Cry

16 of Your Favorite Things That Climate Change Is Totally Screwing Up

11 Strange Science Lessons We Learned This Summer

10 Best Television Series Finales

Top 10 Weirdest Dinosaur Extinction Ideas

Nine Reasons to Run From a Church

Here are Eight Stupid Lies Fox News Keeps Telling About Food Stamps

Seven Guidelines for Civil Disobedience

Seven Ways the Drought in the West Really Sucks

Six Crazy — and Cruel — Things Said by Cory Booker’s New GOP Opponent

Five Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage Right Now

Five Biblical Concepts Fundamentalists Just Don’t Understand

One Small Change

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  • Launcifer

    There’s a colouring book version of Atlas Shrugged? Damn it, now I want this…

  • Amaryllis

    And now it belatedly occurs to me to wonder if I misinterpreted the question. Maybe it wasn’t which character is more unlikeable as a person, but which is more unlikely as a character?

    Maybe it’s possible to think that Joffrey, although a nasty piece of work, is a believably-written character, while Sansa is unconvincing?

    I wouldn’t make that argument myself, but maybe someone would?

  • LoneWolf343

    Of course not! Children are parasites, constantly demanding charity!

  • AnonaMiss

    Really? I think #1 is the best of the lot, with the possible exception of #3. There’s a Roald Dahl quality to #1, and a level of scenery and atmosphere which becomes continually sketchier over the course of the series.

  • Michael Pullmann

    I would say “pompous” rather than “pretentious”, but yes, he is an ass.
    .
    He also either didn’t read Fight Club, or dind’t understand that Pahlaniuk agrees with him.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Quoth George Carlin: “Fuck Tucker, Tucker sucks.” He meant the name, but I haven’t met a person who disproved the sentiment yet.

  • AnonaMiss

    I am profoundly disappointed by the mischaracterization of the plot of Pride and Prejudice as “waiting around for Mr. Darcy.” The story’s been adapted and readapted so much that the version that’s been absorbed into pop culture is completely unlike what actually goes on in the book.

    Elizabeth doesn’t wait around for Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth would rather be single, with the poverty that implied in that day, than refrain from speaking her mind. While excessive adaptations have turned out a legion of “Darcy” fangirls who don’t understand the basis of his original appeal – the fact that he valued a woman for her mind, and was attracted to her outspokenness, not repelled! – there is room for an intelligent and especially a historically-grounded love of the novel.

    (It’s not my favorite, but I’m grumpy because it’s not at all what the five thousand adaptations have turned it into, and it attracts a lot of flak for the vapidity of its adaptations. 9:1 odds the list-author only ever skimmed P&P, because Chick Lit Isn’t Serious Literature Amirite.)

    (My favorite is probably A Doll’s House. Though I will admit that I don’t read much literature these days. Most of my reading is here, dear Slacktivist.)

  • connorboone

    I have not read 12 Years a Slave, but I have read Incidents. It was pretty rough going.

  • Michael Pullmann

    “The name on your collar was Bandit. U R Bandit.
    .
    “Run, Bandit! Run far!”

  • stardreamer42

    I do agree with his point that there’s a difference between liking a book and calling it your favorite book of all time, and the latter is what he’s thumping on. I like a lot of books that various people would consider problematic (different people for different books), but I don’t consider them my all-time favorites.

    In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to name an all-time favorite book, but my fallback position is Lord of the Rings — which some people consider problematic because of the institutionalized racism.

  • stardreamer42

    That puts you squarely into his final category of “I do most of my reading online.” :-)

    I had the same feeling about P&P — even though I’ve never read it myself. But I have a lot of very intelligent friends who have, and what he described doesn’t sound one bit like what they talk about when they’re discussing the book. If it’s that obvious even at second hand, he’s got a problem.

  • stardreamer42

    Yeah — I’m really tempted to go look for Twelve Years a Slave now, because it sounds painful but fascinating in much the same way as Black Like Me.

  • stardreamer42

    Indeed. Somehow I have managed not to acquire any version of this in my CD collection. This must be rectified — it’s a natural for the playlist I’m compiling for my own wake!


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