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Gin or Ginsberg: The Compelling Power of Lists

October 26, 2010

I bought my mate this book last Christmas. All Known Metal Bands. Basically a list of all known metal band names. I couldn’t put it down.

Why do i find lists so compelling? Why is it I can sit and read a book of list for hours, pouring over every new line with as much fervor as the one before?

Today I was presented with a list of Gin-based cocktails. An idea in the department. “Read this, they all sound so cool!” I read through the conjunctions and was surprised to see how exciting something so seemingly banal could be. I realised the power of the whole and it felt that in that simple presentational context i was reading a new kind of poetry. Sounds a bit wanky perhaps, but it’s true. Pick up a list and read it. Look at a menu and see it as one thing. There’s something exciting going on there.

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