Today's post is all about entertainment.

First, I must start on a sad note. R.I.P. George Carlin. I'm not going to be able to say anything that won't be covered in his various obits around the web, but I will note that a critical American voice has been silenced and it is a sad day for all. Carlin was a boundary tester, a man who pushed the limit of acceptable speech. People like this are crucial in a free society - they intentionally shine a light on cultural taboos, to make us question whether those taboos even make sense anymore.

Moving on, usually there's a flood of "best of" lists around New Year's, but apparently people are getting in on the game early. Entertainment Weekly put up a list of their "1000 New Classics from the Last 25 Years" online, as well as dedicated a double issue to it (I just got mine in the mail). Conversely, Television Without Pity just put up their 10 Worst Shows of the New Millennium. I'll be going over the EW list in upcoming posts this week (I will just address the Top 25 in each category), but here's my problem overall with these lists: by what criteria does one judge the "greatness" or "terribleness" of a piece of pop culture?

For the 10 Worst Shows list, do you count shows like "Viva Laughlin" which were so bad they were cancelled after 1 episode? Do you count shows that are on terrible networks that no one ever watches, like the Flavor Flav sitcom on My20 (and really, isn't that shooting fish in a barrel)? Or do you count shows that are undeniable shitty and yet unexplicably draw huge audiences, like "According to Jim"?

For the 25 Top New Classics list (they do the top 100 per category, but I'll stick to the top 25), what defines "classic"? Do you pick something that's a great work of art, though it may have had a limited audience (a la "The Piano")? Do you pick something that changed the cultural lexicon, like Seinfeld? Do you pick huge blockbusters that everybody saw and will probably re-watch a million times (like Titanic)?

This week will be dedicated to commenting on the EW lists (to start) as well as suggesting my own "Best/Worst" lists. Stay tuned for that.

Lastly, the final sign of the apocalypse is upon us:
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On 11:31 PM , Brownie said...

Are you serious? Did Tyra get an emmy?