The iPod Test

THE iPOD TEST….Everyone’s pissed off over Jacob Weisberg’s weird rant about Hillary Clinton’s iPod, and they’re right to be. He basically used it as an excuse to demonstrate that Hillary is exactly the conniving fake he always thought she was, and it’s likely he would have written the exact same thing regardless of what songs had made her top ten list. It was a remarkably lazy piece.

But I’m curious about something else: How do people even come up with these top ten lists in the first place? I don’t think I could do it. That’s not to say that I don’t have any favorites. I do, and it would be easy to prepare a list of ten pieces that I like a lot. But if you asked me to do the same thing next week, there’s a pretty good chance that I’d choose an entirely different list.

On the other hand, I’d have an easier time choosing a list of favorite books, even though I own way more books than CDs. Is this because I’m not much of a music person and pretty much only listen to it as background noise in the car? Are you more likely to have firm favorites in a medium that you pay more attention to?

And why is everyone so obsessed with music, anyway? Why not ask Hillary for her top ten list of books? Or movies? Or tourist destinations? Why does music continue to be the ultimate Rorschach test of our times?

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation