The List

1.  Highly controversial choice meant to enrage readers, thus drawing lots of links and hits

2.  Conventional but ‘artsy’ choice to prove aesthetic credentials

3.  Completely ordinary choice that is actually the thing you like best, but you put it third so as not to seem obvious

4.  Another completely ordinary choice meant to lull readers into thinking they can figure out your tastes, but…

5.  Utterly out-of-left-field choice of something you don’t even like but you put it here to seem unpredictable

6.  Another artsy choice to give your fellow critics something to nod sagely about

7.  Another completely ordinary choice

8.  Choice from disreputable or no longer stylish genre to show you are open-minded and get the geeks on your side

9.  Choice by an obscure, little-known ethnic minority, foreigner, or ‘outsider’ artist to establish your solidarity with the ‘other’

10.  Another completely ordinary choice

11.  Just put anything here because nobody ever cares what the #11 pick for anything is

12.  Another completely ordinary choice, but call it “underrated” so people will have something to talk about this far down the list

13.  Why not put in another super-insane choice here that no one would ever agree with in a million years just to shake them up

14.  Choice of some meat-headed but enduringly popular thing that shows you are down with the common folk

15.  Another completely ordinary choice

16.  Either something by a woman just to prove that you are a sensitive champion of the second sex, or something incredibly sexist and misogynistic to prove that you are “politically incorrect” or not a slave to prevailing opinion or whatever

17.  Your last completely ordinary choice, make it a good one

18.  Choice that has nothing to do with how good the actual creation is, but is based entirely on the personality of the creator

19.  Choice that you’re hoping you can use to get in with the creator’s agent, management company, or official biographer

20.  Something that isn’t very good, but is super old, so you can prove the depth of your historical knowledge

21.  Something that isn’t very good, but is really new, so you can prove that you’re au courant

22.  Something by someone known to you personally, or, if you’re feeling really ballsy, something by you yourself

23.  Throw some semi-obscure one here, but intentionally spell the title wrong or use the wrong date to drive the pedants crazy

24.  Something widely hated that you pick just to be a contrarian, or praise for the most arcane, meaningless quality imaginable

25.  Incredibly predictable choice that you defend by saying that really, you have nothing but disdain for the list format

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