The nominations are in, and here the finalists for the Reader’s Choice Best Article of 2011—presented here in chronological order. Relive the magic… and vote for your favorite at the end!
Think Tank: The Economics of Death Star Planet Destruction
This modern classic was the source of OTI’s first link from The Economist, as well as the source of several gems, including:
Perich: War in general makes poor economic sense. Thousands of lives are lost and millions of man-hours are spent producing things that will break, explode or be exploded. Even the shittiest factory in the world at least produces crappy T-shirts. It may produce them at a higher cost than would justify the operation of the factory, but at least at the end of the day there’s some shirts.
By most critics’ accounts, [Zookeeper] has major flaws in storytelling and comedic execution. No surprise. I’m not hear to talk about that. Instead, I’m here to talk about this movie’s relationship with labor market economics and our changing attitutudes towards blue collar work.
Pick up a serious respectable novel off the shelves at your local bookstore, and I will wager you dollars to donuts that the synopsis on the jacket has a lengthy description of the main characters. But we do not know what they will do.
The Baby Project 3: Indie Rock
Mark Lee’s “Baby Project” takes a turn for the hipster. Refresh your memory:
The Blueprint for a Monument
Perich pauses on September 11, 2011 to reflect on a ten-year anniversary. Not the one you’re thinking:
The Blueprint not only did well, considering its unfortunate release date, it thrived. It is widely considered one of Jay-Z’s best albums, if not his best outright. And it was recognized as such at the time, receiving the coveted five mics from The Source. So while the rest of the world reflects on loss, we’re going to reflect on triumph, picking apart what could have been Jay-Z’s funeral dirge and realizing why it catapulted him to the success he enjoys today.
Miss Bianca: The Ultimate Disney Princess
Fenzel tells Princesses Aurora, Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, et. al to sit down:
As far as I’m concerned, any conversation about admirable characters in Disney cartoons has to start with The Rescuers, and any discussion of admirable female characters in Disney animated features has to start with Miss Bianca.
Beavis and Butthead Doe(s) Plurals
Matt Wrather weighs in on the raging is/are controversy.
Bill and Ted are in the phone booth in the circuits of time, but Bill and Ted is in the five dollar bin at Blockbuster. Harry and the Hendersons (a great example because the title contains both a conjunction and a proper noun in plural but we still use…) is a moving tribute to the humanity of yetis everywhere. The Kardashians is a terrible show, but the Kardashians are terrible people.
Special Category: Guest Writers
Conan The Liberal by Ben Dobson
Not only are the movies Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer politically charged, they’re also, despite being directed by John Milius, much more progressive than most movies released around that time.
Beauty and the Beast’s Dark Delusion by Peter Gross
Belle’s story is a tense psychological drama, following her struggle with schizophrenia while using her hallucinations as a lens through which we can examine our own ambivalence towards class conflict.
Pick your favorite OTI post of 2011.
- Think Tank: The Economics of Death Star Planet Destruction (49%, 45 Votes)
- The Well Made Video Game Plot (19%, 17 Votes)
- Miss Bianca: The Ultimate Disney Princess (18%, 16 Votes)
- The Baby Project 3: Indie Rock (5%, 5 Votes)
- The Blueprint for a Monument (3%, 3 Votes)
- Beavis and Butthead Doe(s) Plurals (3%, 3 Votes)
- The Labor Market Economics of Zookeeper (2%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 91
Pick your favorite OTI guest post of 2011.
- Beauty and the Beast's Dark Delusion by Peter Gross (67%, 46 Votes)
- Conan The Liberal by Ben Dobson (33%, 23 Votes)
Total Voters: 69
Overthink the criteria for “best” OTI post? Think another writer wuz robbed? Sick of the end-of-year self-congratulation? Sound off in the comments!