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Friday, July 22, 2011

Is GQ just trying to piss everyone off?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I bet LSU is gloating big time about this one. Tiger Bait, amiright?
  • I bet LSU is gloating big time about this one. Tiger Bait, amiright?

Every time a city tops an unflattering list published by a national publication, the response usually follows a specific arc: local publications (like us!) report on the ranking, people on Twitter express their vehement disagreement with said ranking, then a few people come out and say they actually agree with the ranking, and some make comments displaying some pride in the unflattering distinction — Twitter fights ensue — then everyone gets on with their smelly, fat, poorly dressed selves until the next list comes out. Basically, those lists get press and spark conversations, and the publication ends up with the promotion and page clicks.

I can't even keep track of how many lists New Orleans has topped the past few years, but the most recent honor bestowed on our city was a No. 12 ranking on the GQ Worst Dressed Cities list. Although I see where they're coming from, given the popularity of black-and-gold everything and awful Jazz Fest attire, it's hard to take it seriously considering the other cities on the list. How can Austin, with its great boutiques and vintage stores, and Brooklyn, where Etsy crafters (the good kind, not these) abound be considered worst dressed? Cliche or trendy perhaps, but I'm sure fanny packs, pocketless jeans and dad sandals are mostly rare.

About a week later, GQ has yet another list, this time ranking The 10 "Douchiest" Colleges in America.

The list, which started circulating around Wednesday, thankfully does not include LSU, Tulane, Loyola, etc. (those schools are too busy occupying top spots in the Princeton Review's drinking categories), but the list has a diverse range of schools, from tailgate-y state schools (University of Florida) to Ivies (Yale). The definition of "douche" is nebulous and can mean anything from football bros to Mormons (Brigham Young University is on the list).

Maybe churning out a bunch of inflammatory rankings is part of a strategy to drive up readership and web traffic. Hey, times are tough, and while some publications are posting more videos of baby chimpanzees in an effort get page views, others piss off huge groups of people, like college students/alumni or entire cities. Pissing off entire cities, in particular, is something in which GQ has experience.

So that's why from now on, I'm ignoring any of these lists involving Louisiana. Unless one day New Orleans ends up on lists for Cities With Absolutely No Murders Ever or Most Efficient Public Transportation Systems, because that would be pretty cool.

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