11 Points

11 Lists From 2009 That I Most Enjoyed Writing
written by Sam Greenspan

Over the past couple of weeks, a few people have written in to ask if I planned any 11 Points Year in Review lists. Well... I hadn't really planned on doing any, but all it took was a tiny nudge in the right direction to get me going.

I enjoy writing almost all of the lists (with the exception of 11 Totally Different, and Mostly Crazy, Systems for Calculating Your Age, which became an absolute nightmare, but the sunk time costs got too great to pull out) -- but these are the 11 from this year that I enjoyed the most.

  1. Me at my desk. (Granted, this is not a photo of me working on 11 Points, but it's still me at my desk.)
    11 Early Roles the Cast of Lost Wishes We'd All Forget - This was the first list I did where I edited 11 videos for one list. I always get a kick out of seeing actors in crappy early roles -- and digging these up for the "Lost" cast was a fantastic scavenger hunt. I was particularly fond of Mr. Eko in "Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls".

  2. 11 Famous Men Who Were Beat Down By Their Women - My favorite thing to do is to do justice to a subject that, beforehand, is only being served by a generic, incomplete, unresearched list that's getting copied and pasted all over the Internet. This was definitely one of those cases -- the subject of celebrity male domestic abuse victims. I found it to be an interesting topic, and one that I really wanted to dig in to. It was also a great challenge to write a humorous list about something that's inherently troubling.

  3. 11 Drunkest Presidents in U.S. History - Offbeat lists about presidents are always a favorite of mine. Writing about which ones were drunks -- well, it was almost too easy.

  4. 11 State Laws About Marrying Your Cousins, From Strictest to Loosest - I don't remember how exactly I stumbled on the subject of cousins getting married -- I assure you, this is not a relevant topic in my life -- but, once I did, I was just fascinated by the laws. I remember looking at all of the different state laws and trying to figure out how to coalesce it all into 11 items... and I ended up pretty happy with the results. (Plus, I think this list, more so than most of my others, is actually a good reference point.)

  5. 11 Worst Japanese-To-English Translations in Nintendo History - This took me down an incredible journey of nostalgia and broken English -- aka two of my favorite things in the world.

  6. 11 Photos Where Black People Were Awkwardly Photoshopped In or Out - Whenever I'm telling a new person about my website, this list is one of the first ones I name as an example. I think it really sums up what I'm doing here. I also am happy that, since this list, people have continued to send me more and more examples of this -- if I can become the hub of only one thing, I'd like it to be these kinds of photos.

  7. 11 Famous People Who Were in the Completely Wrong Career at Age 30 - I did a few lists about turning 30, but this was my absolute favorite. It was motivational for me and, based on the responses I continue to get, motivational/inspirational/reaffirming for lots of other people too.

  8. 11 Secrets for Taking Amazing Nude Photos - I really thought writing this list would lead to people sending me naked photos based on my advice. It has not. Still fun to write, though.

  9. 11 Most Ironically Banned Books Of All Time - I like doing lists where I feel like I'm actually making a statement... you know, not just adding more unnecessary clutter to the world... and I think this list actually said something.

  10. 11 Accidentally Inappropriate Puzzles and Games - There's no other list even remotely like this one out there, and I think I mined some gems. This is one of my favorite lists to go back and reread.

  11. 11 Dirty TV Moments That Slipped Past the Censors - As I sat there for hours and hours watching episodes of "The Norm Show", trying to find the moment where Artie Lange shouts about a blumpkin, I asked myself if this list was worth it. It absolutely was. I did manage to find that clip (and become an expert on "The Norm Show") and put together one of my most well-received and widely-linked lists of the year.

As a final note, thanks to everyone for reading this year (not that I'm done posting for the year, but it feels like an appropriate thing to say at the end of this list). In January I was basically posting to a handful of readers who'd somehow discovered this site... over the course of the year I've been lucky enough to have millions more find it and help build the site to a level I never expected. So, genuinely, thank you for reading and please stick around -- I have a ton of content planned for 2010, including, finally, some oft-requested lists about "Arrested Development", "Saved by the Bell" and movie sequels that were better than the originals.

This post was originally published on Monday, December 28, 2009 at 09:00:00 AM under the category Personal.

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