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MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Making the list
People love lists. Remember the huge best seller back in the day that I think was entitled something like The Book of Lists. Somebody made a lot of money by just numbering and rating a bunch of subjects, topics etc, because a lot of people bought it to see if they agreed with it, or at least were intrigued enough to see how it worked.
Speaking of making money, David Letterman and his writers have done OK with their nightly Top Ten lists, that both mimic the idea of the format while working it to great comedic effect at the same time. To be honest if I’m going to stay up to watch Late Night on a weeknight (yes, I’m old), I only stay up long enough to watch the monologue and, what I’m really waiting for, the Top Ten list cause that’s the highlight for me anyway (but don’t tell Dave that).
I’ve also stole the idea for a couple columns over the years cause it’s a great forum for getting a point across, hopefully with a few laughs (again, maybe don’t mention it to Dave).
Hey, according to the movie The Social Network, rating girls on campus is how Facebook came to be, and apparently it’s turned into something that’s fairly popular and even made a few bucks for some people along the way, despite its politically incorrect roots. Personally I haven’t got into the phenomenon, I’m waiting a couple more months to see if it has staying power, ahem.
Of course the nightly sports highlight shows have their top 10 lists, which again is usually one of the reasons to stay up until the end of the show.
And anytime you want to start a debate amongst hockey fans, start listing the greatest players of all time, or the toughest, or the most exciting, or the best player to ever wear the jersey No. 15 (it’s Bobby Rousseau by the way), or the best mullet, or the.....you get the idea.
It’s part of the fun of being a sports fan.
Anyway, the reason for all this musing about lists, and I’m already more than halfway through my column before I get to the point which is never a good thing, is the recently published rankings of Canadian cities in MoneySense magazine.
Apparently Vernon, drum roll, please, is the 127th best place to live in Canada.
Right on. Somebody get out the “We’re No. 127” signs and we’ll celebrate with a rally at Polson Park.
Now I should point out we beat our sister Okanagan cities, Penticton, No. 132nd, and Kelowna, No. 144th, which is always a good thing and something we can lord over them at every opportunity, but 127th?
I mean there’s only 190 cities ranked and last time, in 2009, we were ranked No. 20. Apparently life around here dropped off a cliff in the last three years. Not sure why, and I have been around the last three years, even longer. Certainly there have been challenges over the last 36 months, especially economically, but I read the papers and I’m pretty sure it’s the same across Canada, actually the world, and we’ve held our own better than most.
Now to be fair, a magazine with money in the title is going to be focused on the green stuff, and, yes, most people here know it’s an expensive place to live and for too many residents the wages, well, suck. Especially for younger people starting out.
We prefer to call it the sunshine tax and most of us, if we know what’s important in life, are grateful to be able live in, well, frankly, paradise. In fact if the rest of the country wants to think we’re second-rate, or even one-hundred-and-twenty-seventh-rate, that might work to our advantage in the affordability category. Quick. Somebody get those signs going. We’ve got a rally to organize.