I just am not sure who.
Some suggest it is because we have ten fingers. Others dispute that, or point to something else.
The zero, now that is one of those things that arose in two different places, presumably independently, i.e., Indian and Mayan.
But the base ten seems to have proliferated in a lot of places. And it has caused untold harm, or at least it does today.
In fact, at no time of the year does it wreak more havoc than it does now, at the end of a year.
To what do I refer?
Why the ubiquitous TOP TEN LIST.
Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, there is some yahoo from Dopesville insisting that you listen to his or her stupid list of Most, Least, Stupidest, Smartest, Oldest, Narrowest, Deepest, Longest crapola things on the planet.
You doubt me?
Some might suggest that Barbara Walters is at fault with her “10 Most Fascinating People” whose first winner was Julius Caesar just months before the Ides did him in. But I’m sure it even predated her. I am quite sure it antedated our cave days, since if we were still running around shoeless, no doubt it would have been the “Top 20” list, since count ’em, we got twenty digits in all.
Ever since forever, then, (don’t forget the “10” commandments) we have been rating everything from soup to poop in some fashion at the end of the year.
Part of the reason for this crap is that nobody wants to work at the end of the year, so cablevision needs plenty of crap filler. So we have the “top 10 overtime plays of all time” and the “top 10 hail mary plays of all time” and the “top 10 best football hairdos of all time.”
I know that the top Green Bay Packer of all time is some guy that played in the thirties, whose name I have already forgotten.
I know what the “top 10 sports scandals of 2011” are, though I am trying hard to forget that too.
I know that I have not read a single of the “top 10 books you should read from 2011” are, and I have not heard any of the “top 10 albums of the year” either.
Meanwhile, in science, Discover magazine will tell me the “top 100 stories in science of the year” proving that science is indeed arrogant and insufferable in its self-importance. (Coming in at #3 was the winning of Jeopardy by a computer, which should tell you all you need to know about the earth-shatteringness of scientific discovery these days.)
Let’s not forget the “top 10 movies of 2011” which will be done all over again in March when the Oscars are held and we are forced to sit through awful speeches just to make catty remarks at the dresses chosen by various actors and wish-I-were-one-too ones.
No doubt somebody is compiling a list of the “top 10 websites of 2011” and of course that will have three dozen subsets, since everyone agrees you can’t compare CanIHaveCheeseburgers with the Drudge Report.
Most of all this crap is funded of course, by people who have a dog in the fight as it were. I mean you draw up a list of “the 10 best restaurants of 2011” to make money selling food right? To say nothing of the food critic who decides, and thus gets to move up the scale of fancy-smancy restaurant fare.
Who doesn’t want to feel “in” by wearing one of the “top 10 best fragrances of 2011”? I know I sure do. As long as whatever it is don’t cost more than $3.99, I’m in.
I want to live in one of the “top 10 nicest neighborhoods in the US” as long as it meets my “warmth” factor. Surely I do.
Now, I can’t hope to have or live in the “top 10 penthouses in the World” or “the 10 most expensive yachts”, but I can sure admire how the hoity-toity live, that is, if I can afford those high-end magazines that feature that crap, which I can’t so, I can never feel bad that I don’t have a $500,000 aquarium as a conversation piece in my dining room. Heck I don’t have a dining room.
No, I’m more down to earth as they say. Who says? They!
I can tell you what the “top 10 pizzas” I made last year were, and I can tell you the “top 10 most satisfying toilet cleanings” I accomplished. I’ll not get more personal about bowel habits and hair cuts, eyebrow plucking, and toenail clipping artistry. I’ll leave all that to your imagination.
The Contrarian has quite a list of his own. His “top 10 wood cart stacks” would rival anyones I promise you, and his thumbwork has been dazzling on the remote on at least 10 remarkable occasions.
We 99%’ers have plenty to crow about in the Top 10 category to be sure. How about “top 10 jobs I didn’t get” or “top 10 lines at the unemployment office I stood in”? Or there is “top 10 best protest demonstrations” I went to and/or got arrested at.
Yes, it’s been a top 10 year.
Hey, we could have adopted the Babylonian base 60 system, and this could have taken a whole lot longer. So consider yourself lucky.