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General Pop Culture, Lists

Fringe-y List-Mania!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of guest-posting on my friend Kelcie’s blog, On The Fringes, and I wrote a whole bunch of mini-lists outlining some random opinions I hold. For the sake of keeping all my online ramblings in one place, I have recreated the post here as well, minus a paragraph or three targeted at the Fringe fanatics, as I like to call readers of her blog. Here’s the original post, and check out the rest of that Fringe-y wonderland for Kelc’s thoughts on fashion, music and all sorts of things.

But here’s the meat of the post: Cory’s Cascading Cavalcade of Cogitation Collections. I make no claims of objectivity in my opinion catalog below.

The Top 3 Literary Devices

3. Verbal irony. I’m talking real irony here, not the Alanis Morissette “rain-on-your-wedding-day” weaksauce faux-irony.
2. Alliteration. Best read in small doses, but wielding words wondrously will win wars.
1. Chekhov’s Gun. Is there anything more literarily satisfying than a throwaway character/item becoming vitally important at the close of a story? Like the late, great Amy Winehouse says, “No, no, no.”

My Favorite Internet Memes

3. Slenderman. Creeeeeeeeeepy. Not for the faint of heart, but any horror aficionados will enjoy.
2. Honey Badger Don’t Care. The original documentary video is cool enough, but Randall’s irreverent, lispy narration makes it so much better.
1. Ken Lee. I mean, the phrase, “tulibu dibu douchoo” makes me snicker just thinking about it.

The 3 Best Beyonce Songs

3. Halo. Yes, this song was EVERYWHERE in 2009/2010, but have you heard the riff at the beginning of the second verse on “my darkest night?” Whoo, child.
2. Crazy in Love. Beyonce’s first solo single knocked it outta the metaphorical park. Those horns, that chorus, those dance moves!
1. Countdown. The funkiest song King B’s ever done, complete with an inspired Boyz II Men sample, and the immortal lyric, “Me and my boof and my boof-boof riding.”

The Best Shows on TV Right Now

3. Parks and RecreationThe Amy Poehler vehicle hit its stride in the third season with the addition of Adam Scott and Rob Lowe to the cast, and season four of the mockumentary is even funnier.
2. Game of Thrones. An ensemble drama done right, bringing epic fantasy, taut writing and Peter Dinklage into the homes of the masses.
1. Happy Endings. The second season just ended, but if you haven’t caught this show yet, you’re missing out on one of the quirkiest, zaniest and wittiest comedies in recent years.

The Best Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

3. Await Your Reply. Dan Chaon’s third novel is a case study in identity and how we define it. The book’s three separate storylines explore characters that are drawn so effectively that they might as well be actual human beings.
2. The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic helped set the stage for the current young adult dystopian fiction boom spearheaded by Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games Trilogy.
1. The Shadow of the Wind. This novel contains some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever encountered. It is at once haunting, romantic, sweeping and startlingly original.

My Favorite Tumblrs

3. Write Place, Write Time. A really fascinating look into the offices and creative processes of writers who are willing to share.
2. All Creatures [Great and Small]. Animal pictures get me. Every time.
1. The Syllabi. A blog that collects interesting reads from around the Internetz. Much of my time has been “wasted” here.

Three “Try It…You Might Like It” Albums

3. The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monae. This album is an unstoppable creative force. Ms. Monae doesn’t sound or look like anybody else in the music biz today, and this rollicking R&B futurescape captures her persona perfectly. Key Track: Oh, Maker
2. Robyn, Robyn. This Swedish dance-pop chanteuse got her start as a teen star, but she evolved into a mature, intelligent master of her genre. The emotional core to her lyrics lift her above her contemporaries. Key Track: Be Mine!
1. Ohio, Over the Rhine. A folk-pop tour de force, this album captures Americana in its double-disc set. The one album I’d tell ANYONE to listen to. Key Track: Ohio

The Best Punctuation Marks

3. The Slash. The slash gives indecisive writers (ahem, me) the opportunity to avoid deciding between two words and lets them instead use them both. How convenient/effective is that?
2. The Hyphen. The hyphen allows for the creation of completely unique words by smashing them together. Totally rad.
1. The Semicolon. Not only does it look cool, it carries powerful weight in sentences and is an excellent way to vary sentence structure in an intelligent, knowledgeable manner.

Please feel free to agree or disagree with me in the comments, y’all! I’d love to hear you defend “Love On Top” as the best Beyonce track or argue that the exclamation mark has more weight and power than the slash in modern English. (Clearly, those two were the #4 selection for their respective lists.)

About Cory Hershberger

Neurotic/eclectic critic obsessed with pop culture who enjoys good food, good company, and, most of all, good books.


4 thoughts on “Fringe-y List-Mania!

  1. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.

    Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country

    Posted by Sean Schultz | April 12, 2012, 2:35 pm
    • While I adore the phrase “transvestite hermaphrodites,” I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Vonnegut. Semicolons have their place, at least in my writing, though I will admit that if used too frequently, they can seem pretentious.

      Posted by Cory Hersh | April 12, 2012, 3:08 pm
      • Saddly, in his later years Mr. Vonnegut became quite bitter. Still, that’s no excuse for the joyful obit. Fox News aired days after his death.

        Thank you for not giving props to the ellipsis by the way. If any piece of puctuation is over used it is most certainly these three innocuous looking dots. I often have to fight the urge to over use them myself.

        Posted by Sean Schultz | April 12, 2012, 3:52 pm
  2. I can’t believe you would think to actually rank punctuation. Only you, Cor!

    Posted by Sarah | April 12, 2012, 6:28 pm

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