Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'd Rather Be #1

For another year, Forbes.com has put out it's annual list of "America's Most Miserable Cities". On the list put out at the begging the 2008 (for the most miserable cities of 2007), Detroit proudly grabbed the top spot on the list. On this new list rating the cities of 2008, Detroit has fallen all the way to #7. The rest of the top 10 list can be seen below:

1. Stockton, California
2. Memphis, Tennessee,
3. Chicago, Illinois
4. Cleveland, Ohio
5. Modesto, California
6. Flint, Michigan
7. Detroit, Michigan
8. Buffalo, New York
9. Miami, Florida
10. St. Louis, Missouri

First, it is difficult to put too much stock into lists like this. They explain their criteria, including things like weather, commute times, corruption, unemployment, etc., but really what happened is some dick at Forbes was like "hey, I have a great idea. Let's make the most dick-headed list of all time to make people feel terrible about where they live." So with that, I say screw you Forbes.com, you are the first entity that has resulted in me calling you a naughty name. What a bunch of haughty Dicks. Even my old friend Zac B. didn't elicit that type of response from me.

Second, I'd much rather reclaim our old spot of #1. If we're going to be on the freaking list, it might as well be at the top. Since we used to be #1 and we're still in the top 10, Forbes still takes some time to explain why their new weighted ranking scale still makes us pretty miserable, but less miserable compared to the new top 5. I'll take being the best at something even if it means being the worst at something. Everyone remembers that Gigli is possibly the worst movie of all time, but will we remember Paul Blart 20 years from now? I sure hope not.

Third, and possibly my biggest complaint with the list is that as far as I can tell, it in no way attempts to take into account some sort of quantifiable metric partially-defined by the residents of the analyzed city. It would seem that if you're going to throw 10 cities under the bus and make them wide open for public ridicule, perhaps you should first verify that the residents of that city are, well, miserable. I'm not saying that people within these cities aren't miserable or that the list is wrong, but there should be at least a little more proof than that of the department of scientific dickishness at Forbes.

In conclusion, screw you Forbes.com.


TimChi said...


I agree - I'd much rather finish first than have the sixth and seventh lamest cities. Sort of like Prefontaine - if I'm not going to finish first, I'd rather not win a medal.

What I find more absurd is that Forbes seems to have done nothing more than shuffle the top spots in a failed attempt to make it appear they actually TRY.

Imagined quote from editor: "Detroit was first last year. Bump them down a few notches and it will make it look like we're doing real work here. And make it snappy."

Dan Anderson said...

Naturally Forbes also listed Chicago and Miami in the top fifteen places to live for singles. Guess single folk are in the business of misery.

Jeff Caminsky said...

It almost makes you want to demand an "BCS"-style computerized ranking...until you realize what the BCS rankings have done to college football.

I can imagine the list created: Honululu would likely be vying with Detroit for top honors, with the computer citing such factors as "Weather: lack of climatic variability (ie, it's always perfect) reduces inhabitants' appreciation of nature; Local Zeitgeist: inhabitants feel wads of guilt over living in Hawaii, when everyone else on the planet has to rough it; and Economic Factors: everything costs a lot there, but people are "too contented with life to want to work very hard." Conclusion: Living in a tropical paradise every bit as miserable as living in Detroit.