After last week’s screed against Rolling Stone, I should probably refrain from engaging Entertainment Weekly‘s lame — really lame — special double issue “The New Classics,” in which they anoint the 1,000 best movies, TV shows, albums, and other junk of the last 25 years using some sort of bizarre algorithm that somehow results in Moulin Rouge occupying the #10 slot on the movie list, ahead of GoodFellas, Schindler’s List and Fargo (and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off doesn’t even appear on the list!). In the magazine’s favor, I can’t dis the sensible television selections, other than to question the nonsensical decision to deem Cheers ineligible simply because it debuted 26 years ago, in 1982 (we’re talking about a sitcom that ranked in Nielsen’s top ten each season from 1985 to 1993). And the top 50 video-games list, with Tetris correctly at No. 1, is a’ight despite the glaring absences of Star Wars (Atari’s 1983 arcade classic), Myst (massively successful and imitated computer adventure game) and Golden Tee (ubiquitous bar upright).
But the music list — wow. Remember that they’re naming the most important, influential, culturally relevant, popular and flat-out great albums released from 1983 to 2008. With that in mind, take a look at number six: Green Day, American Idiot. That ranking puts it way ahead of Nirvana’s Nevermind, because Nevermind doesn’t appear on the list. (Why? Because these people selected MTV Unplugged in New York instead and they’re limiting artists to one or two albums each, an infuriating list-devising practice that I rant about in Perfect From Now On.) I won’t even comment on Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain getting the top spot or Kanye West landing at number four or Amy Winehouse sitting at number nine other than to say, “Hurt me.” The Strokes are on there, of course. (What is it with New York music critics and the Strokes? 60 Minutes — not on the TV list! — needs to look into that.) They picked the wrong R.E.M. album — Life’s Rich Pageant over, say, Reckoning. No Sonic Youth. No Hüsker Dü. No Shins. No fun.
But as usual, they got me. Lists are designed to make readers disagree, so they’ve done their job. Bravo, EW people, some of whom I know personally!
WHY I’M ANGRY TODAY
I have “Sister Christian” stuck in my head.