For this editorial board, it’s no secret that I am pretty evasive of columns, copy desk cook-offs, copy couch recommends, etc. No, it isn’t that I dislike these fun opinion pieces; it’s really that my sole involvement with the news section through my full three and a half years at The Oracle has drained my creativity and sense of whimsy. But something I can always do is admire the work of my peers. So, as a result of my laziness and unwillingness to really try my hand at some creative writing, here are my top 10 Top 10s.
10. Madalyn’s Top 10 “Classic Horror Films”
This is a top ten I really appreciate because I would’ve pretty much picked all the same films Madalyn does. Having an eye, ear and set of nerves for recognizing a good horror movie is a quality many people don’t have due to their tendency to look away during the really beautiful bloody parts. After reading this piece when it came out to the desk I said “hey Madalyn you are pretty weird,” and she said, “yes I am.” Madalyn also touches upon and recognizes a very important lesson horror films teach us, and we should all take note of this: as soon as you have sex in a horror movie, you die. Of course, everyone else in the movie who doesn’t have sex dies as well, but I always remind myself that abstinence is my ticket into heaven.
9. (I’m) Jack O’Brien’s “Top 10 Notable Intersections in New Paltz”
My favorite part of this top ten is not because of the writing itself, but because of the collective eye-rolls and sighs the piece was met with once it hit the copy desk. I always say that Jack had this senile sense of humor that seemed to really be sprouting towards the end of his Oracle career, but after looking at this list again, it definitely started earlier than I thought. Because here’s the thing, before this top 10, you didn’t care about the intersections in New Paltz, but Jack made you care. Jack really made you care.
8. Meg’s Top 10 “Broadway (And Off-Broadway) Musicals”
Nothing underscores my inability to be playful and prolific in my writing better than deferring to Meg’s childhood memories of theater and mini-vans rather than my own. I didn’t actually see any of the musical she names in the list, but her mentions of pixie dust and youthful energy in describing “Finding Neverland” really waters my brittle, hard news soul with joy.
7. Chris’s Top 10 “Favorite 1990s Hip Hop Tracks”
Interestingly enough, this was a top ten I had attempted to do before Chris’s time on the paper, but got frustrated while writing it and gave the space to someone else to write a top ten. I can remember the debate this sparked between the hip-hop fans in the office, however, there was a lot of concurrence on the tracks he chose. Chris is absolutely a music snob, but I’m living vicariously through his byline in that piece.
6. Rob’s Top 10 “Songs from 2007”
Rob has a connection to the current local music scene like no one else on this paper, but his emotional attachment to 2007 definitely outshines his love for the beloved New Paltz DIY bands. If he is the DJ for a production night at the paper, you can always expect an unsolicited musical throwback from Rob. I’ll add that I also appreciate his list because many of these songs were played at my batmitzvah back in my hay day of 2009, and listening to the tracks helps me relive that glory.
5. Meg’s Top 10 “Books That Still Speak to My Soul”
Again, I defer to Meg’s profound writing style and ability to convey her emotions through words to fill the holes of my shortcomings in writing like a human. Something Meg and I can always talk about is our love for “Harry Potter,” which is number 10 on her list. I grew up in a very pro-Potter household and I’m one of those people that will make a snarky remark about your empty childhood if you haven’t seen the movies or read the books. I’ve never read the books however, only seen the movies, I must admit. So every time me and Meg have a conversation about Harry Potter, it ends with Meg saying “read the books, because I think you need help with your depression.”
4. Brandon’s Top 10 “Favorite Video Games”
In addition to “Harry Potter” being a large part of my childhood, video games were just as prominent. Brandon definitely touches upon some games that are too violent for my faint-hearted nature, as my main thing for the past few years has been just to play low stakes games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. But of course, his mention of Kingdom Hearts remains to be my favorite on his list—even though my sister and I never finished any of games in the series.
3. Sam Manzella’s Top 10 “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Episodes”
The best part about this list is how Sam starts it out: “It’s raunchy. It’s tactless. It’s problematic and highly offensive. But here I am, an unabashed feminist, confessing my greatest sin in a written publication.” I, like Sam, have plenty of morals and values that are smashed to bits by the characters in this show, but we love those characters for it, we love their inability to change and have any sort of character development.
2. Jess Napp’s Top 10 “New Paltz Eateries”
Jess is one of those people that when you think about them, you think “hey, they had really good judgement skills.” Her preference in food really reflects her decision making skills and judgement value. Why? She understands that Convenient Deli absolutely deserves a spot on that list.
1. Brandon’s Top 10 “Facebook Meme Pages”
Everything in this list, 10-2, had no real meaning in where they fell on the list. But Brandon’s list as number one is deliberately written as so. I really don’t know much about the meme pages he refers to, but the self-loathing nature of this list seriously gets me every time, and was a really great piece to read the night it came out. Because you know what? Shampoo probably is a conspiracy.