The Top 10 Top 10 Lists

by Zach Udko
2012 was the year that was supposed to destroy us — and it nearly did.

After surviving an unparalleled disaster that rocked us to our core (Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick), we pulled together as a nation of Thelmas and Louises, ready to boldly drive off the fiscal cliff together.

Now, as December draws to a close, our nation’s critics and bloggers have once again generously given us their thoughts on the main cultural and newsworthy events of the year in the form of Top 10 lists. Since my earliest childhood, I have always been a sucker for these holiday treats, savoring the opportunity to measure the tastes of each scribe against my own.

These essential lists provide us with a sense of perspective, comfort and order. They fulfill a deeply spiritual need to make sense of our existences in the face of a cruel and capricious universe. As the Italian novelist Umberto Eco explains, “It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

And so, in recognition of their enduring value, instead of offering my own Top 10 films, plays or books, I present to you my Top 10 Top 10 Lists of 2012. I hope that a close inspection of these items (varied in content, unparalleled in exuberance) helps you grapple with the incomprehensible as we begin to face new mysteries in 2013. Without further ado, these are the lists that fascinated and enlightened me this year.

Click here for the list.

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