2014 is but a month away, which means it's time to look back, with the onslaught of 2013 "Best of" lists – the Year's Winners and Losers, Person of the Year, the Year in Ideas and so on. In perhaps the best parody of the genre, GQ released its own annual round up last week: The 25 Least Influential People of 2013, put together with meticulously sarcastic care by Internet ranter-in-chief Drew Magary.
What counts as "least influential" by GQ standards should not be taken literally. Magary was engaged in more than a little bit of trolling – he included President Obama on the list, to the delight of right wing bloggers. But his list also speaks to the undeniable fatigue readers often feel about such round-ups. Must we read about Miley Cyrus again?
As if to prove Magary's point, Barbara Walters announced Monday nine out of the 10 figures she deems "The Most Fascinating People of 2013" (her top choice will be revealed on Dec. 18's broadcast of the list); three of her selections, including Cyrus, also appear on GQ's Least Influential. (Four if you count Kim Kardashian, as Magary has placed the Kardashian clan in the Least Influential Hall of Fame).
Walters includes NSA leaker Edward Snowden and royal baby Prince George, also considered least influential by GQ. And the GQ list also anticipated the inclusion of Pope Francis on Walters' list by naming his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI one of the year's least influential. Magary writes: "The newest pope is sooooooo much better than Benedict, isn't he?"
Of course, GQ's satire only works because it's deeply invested in the reality of Walters' and other year-end best-of lists. Walters' "Most Fascinating" special has been broadcast annually since 1993. But this year's list will likely also be her last, as she announced she will be retiring in 2014 – meaning GQ will have one less round-up to make fun of next year.