I have a friend who insists that all those lists you find on Al Gore's Internet ranking signposts in popular culture are made by men. I have so far resisted the impulse to point out that she is making her own list, of one. But keeping that aside for now, I believe she has a point. It is a rather distinctly male chore to slap some sort of hierarchy on top of people, places and things that are primarily subjective. Clicking on a link that portends to give a definitive grade to the thirty greatest rock guitarists is first of all an exercise in patience, wading through endless pop-ups and poorly arranged pages that have the net effect of generating disagreements with the editor of said list and a sincere wish for those ten minutes of your life back.
So why go down that rabbit hole in the first place?
To see if you're right, of course.
Everyone knows the correct answer is Eddie Van Halen.
Just like I know that the best Batman was Michael Keaton. Or maybe Adam West, since he's the only one who didn't seem to need to growl once he put his mask on. Which is precisely the reason I have so much difficulty creating my own "best of" lists. Once I get up near the top, I start to get indecisive. I feel pretty comfortable saying that the hands-down all-time best portrayal of Frankenstein's Monster was Boris Karloff. Which may seem like a no-brainer until you consider there have been seventy-some actors who have played the role, with varying degrees of success. I'm looking at your, Robert De Niro. Special commendation to Lon Chaney Jr. who pulled off the superfecta of playing the Monster, Dracula, the Mummy and the Wolf Man.
Which sounds like I'm already beginning to waver. But I'm not. Boris Karloff. For sure.
Now I have to figure out some sort of rating system for the other sixty-eight or so. That just makes me tired. So maybe I'll have to wait for that notch more incisive individual who can complete the list for me. And then I'll take ten minutes to click through it, and another day and a half to argue about it. Seems like a pretty male avocation, doesn't it?