Margaret Hair: See you in 2008 | SteamboatToday.com

Margaret Hair: See you in 2008

Margaret Hair

Steamboat Springs — For those who follow arts and entertainment reporting in just about any publication in the country, you'll notice something around the middle of December every year: — For those who follow arts and entertainment reporting in just about any publication in the country, you'll notice something around the middle of December every year:

— For those who follow arts and entertainment reporting in just about any publication in the country, you’ll notice something around the middle of December every year:

Arts writers love to make lists.

That can mean ranking favorite releases from the previous 12 months (see page 4), reflecting on the events that have shaped how we look at our community (see page 9) or plotting out one last night to say goodbye to 2007 (see page 8).

Do we do this because it’s easy, because it’s easier to write in bullet points than in coherent paragraphs that flow from one to the next?

No.

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You’ll find lists of the top 10 records of 2007 in almost every music media outlet you see for the same reason that people make New Year’s resolutions – putting them together gives you a chance to look back on what’s important to you, weigh the impact and move on.

Say, for example, you’ve been trying to get up at 6 a.m. and go run on a treadmill before work for the last, I don’t know, four months. And it’s never actually happened, so you resolve to start getting up and running on the treadmill, just as soon as 6 a.m. on Jan. 2 rolls around.

But that’s still a few days away, which gives ample time to reflect on the year that’s gone by and remember why exactly that gym-in-the-morning thing never happened.

Now say you listen to new music as it comes out and are trying decide what made the biggest impact on you. For the list in this edition of 4 Points, eight people from around town and the Pilot & Today staff listed and ranked their favorites, and the results were compiled into the list you’ll find on the other side of this page.

Putting together my list took at least as much reflection on the past year as the thought process that goes into not ever making it to work out.

The first time I heard some of those records, I was a floundering college senior/library publicist/newspaper editor/record store clerk/sandwich shop manager living in Carrboro, N.C. If you had told me I would be living in Steamboat Springs by the time I heard the list’s more recent releases, I would have asked you if steamboats could actually fit down any river in Colorado.

We approach media based on our lifestyles, and I probably would have heard something different listening to my favorite record of the year, Josh Ritter’s “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter,” in May than I would have in November.

The same goes for resolutions – what we want to change about ourselves (except possibly for the standbys of being healthier, smarter, nicer, better people), changes with our surroundings and our experiences.

Sure, writers make top 10 lists and do year in review roundups to recap the news, but they also do them to recap their own lives.

Lists also offer writers a handy excuse to skip resolutions. We already did our reflecting.