The Internet loves classifying things into easily consumable categories and hierarchies. It also loves bitching about classifying things into easily consumable categories and hierarchies. The new year sees this practice in full force, where the best, most memorable, worst, most significant, most distracting, or simply the most events are exhaustively catalogued, either for thoroughly organized and astute analysis of pop culture or click-friendly web ephemera – or, let’s be honest, sometimes both. But the style of pop culture writing perfected by Cracked and overextended by Buzzfeed (with FSR somewhere in the middle) is hardly exclusive to the age of the Internet. In fact, it stands to evidence that pop culture listology has been around as long as pop culture has existed. The following image was screen-cap’d from Gerald Peary’s 2009 documentary For the Love of Movies: the Story of American Film Criticism, an informative – if a bit clunky – chronology of what the job of the film critic came to be in America during the past century-plus (it’s currently available to stream on Netflix). The image shows up about six minutes into the film, as Patricia Clarkson narrates about the earliest film coverage in newspapers, which was primarily information-based, rarely extending beyond basic plot descriptions to help consumers navigate through the multitude of titles presented at local nickelodeons and vaudeville theaters. This was, in short, a way of writing about movies before feature films existed, meant to accommodate a nascent medium associated with passing spectacle.