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January 2, 2014

1:50
P.M.

The List: Discuss what's in and what's out

Total Responses: 90

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Monica Hesse

Monica Hesse

Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.

Read the The Web Hostess Archive .
Host: Dan Zak

Dan Zak

Dan Zak is a feature writer and general assignment reporter based in the Style section. He has reported from a bathroom of the Vanity Fair Oscar party, a Hurricane Hunter over the Gulf of Mexico, an MRAP in Iraq's Anbar province, the East Room of the White House, and the gymnasium of the Alexandria jail. He joined the Post in 2005, after stints as an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a city-desk reporter and obituary writer at The Buffalo News. He was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y.

About the topic

Washington Post writers Dan Zak and Monica Hesse were online Thursday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss The List, Style's guide to what's in and what's out in 2014. They welcomed your additions, dissent and clown questions.
Q.

Monica Hesse :

Welcome, chatters, to the dissection of the Washington Post's annual OUT/IN List, a tradition dating back to 1978. This year's is available for perusal here, along with an archive of past Lists, and a mockumentary we made last year.

 

Dan Zak and I will be online, starting at 2, to accept your lukewarm praise and vociferous criticism. Be nice, but if you can't be nice, at least be funny. And if you can't be funny, then at least give some context to your criticism. (Context: IN). 

 

What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Let's go.

Q.

Year to year lists

When doing the list, do you take last year's "in" list and make it this year's "out" list? Seems that it would be an easy way to get half the work done.
A.
Dan Zak :

You may be on to something here.

– January 02, 2014 1:58 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Except that some items have a long tail for IN-ness. Trends can last three or four years. Trends can last so long that by the time we finally decide to call them OUT, we realize we never got around to calling them IN.

– January 02, 2014 1:58 PM
Q.

List Quotations

"This is everything." "You do you." Sources?
A.
Dan Zak :

Snowden.

– January 02, 2014 1:59 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Also, Dan's Facebook feed.

– January 02, 2014 1:59 PM
Q.

Everything Old is New Again

Has a past year Out item ever resurfaced as an In? Something that was an Out in the 80s making a brilliant comeback in a more recent year?
A.
Dan Zak :

Red wine and white wine traded places again and again during the '80s-era Lists. On the 1984 List, sequins were OUT, while we put "everyday sequins" IN for 2011. Jessica Lange was IN in 1983, and I'd argue that she's been IN these past couple years too (though we considered putting her OUT on this List because of the rotten air of the now self-parodizing "American Horror Story"). Cyndi Lauper was IN in 1985, and we just put her (or her revival) OUT this year. Y'all should page thru the archives and let us know what you find! There's a drop-down menu to the right of the header on the main List page.

– January 02, 2014 1:59 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Especially with items like fashion -- the ever-lengthening and shortening of hemlines or tapering and widening of pantlegs -- you can't help but see items recycled over and over. And, as I said last night on CNN when talking about The List, some items are evergreens. It's a scientific fact that every year is either a Ben Affleck year or a Matt Damon year, and similarly, every year could either be a Stevie Nicks year or a Cyndi Lauper year.

– January 02, 2014 1:59 PM
Q.

IN/OUT choices

who picked these? It wasn't even mildly amusing, and then when I got to the end, and read your idea for the Redskins name change, all I could think of was OUT Hesse and Zak; IN ANYONE ELSE
A.
Monica Hesse :

Well, if our item regarding the Redskins name change inspired you to creatively think of anything else, then I'm turning this insult into a compliment.

Senses of humor are so personal. One person's "not even mildly amusing" is another person's "hilarious," and we can't possibly please everyone. That being said, humor isn't our only, or even our primary goal. Did you find something provocative? Interesting? Did you click on one of our hyperlinks to learn mor about something you didn't understand? I care about that more than I care about whether someone giggled at our Origin stories / Orgy stories comparison.

– January 02, 2014 2:00 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Can we talk about how we got "Orgy stories" above the fold in a section of The Washington Post? Also: spatchcocking.

– January 02, 2014 2:00 PM
Q.

Have you guys ever considered doing a Style Invitational contest with The List?

I'm just curious: it seems like a good time could be had with stroller derbies accompanied by drone-shooting. Or, team figure skating with cauliflower bouquets. ...No?
A.
Dan Zak :

I think there's actually a political-action committee called Moms with Strollers for Guns.

– January 02, 2014 2:02 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Also, Strolling Moms Against Drunk Drone Driving.

– January 02, 2014 2:02 PM
Q.

Jennifer Lawrence

I gotta tell you I am so so pleased she is on the out list. Not only am I beginning to think she is grossly overrated as an actress, I don't buy for a second her goofy, I fart and aren't I adorable and so sincere and genuine? act. As for Shailene, I loved her in the Descendants, but Secret Lives was just so idiotic...the jury is still out on her for me. Rant over.
A.
Dan Zak :

See, both Monica and I really like J-Law, and I think she's charming offscreen and most of the time onscreen too. I will say, though, that her performance in "Silver Linings Playbook" didn't even merit an Oscar nomination, let alone the statuette itself, and that she is being similarly overpraised for "American Hustle." I think she can be a great movie-star actress -- think Julia Roberts: charismatic but by no means Streeply -- but she's got some growing to do (he said in a Stella Adler voice).

– January 02, 2014 2:02 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

The JLaw item was the source of a lot of last-minute handwringing, because I still think she'll have a big year, and, as Dan said, we both still really like her. But "It" status is so fleeting -- Shailene has several big movies coming out this year, including the launch of the YA franchise ("Divergent") seen as the heir to "The Hunger Games."

– January 02, 2014 2:02 PM
Q.

I Guess I'm Too Old ...

I guess I'm just too old to try and make sense of this list. I don't understand 90% of what is there. For example, I do understand that "Citizen journalists" applies to bloggers, but what does "Citizen Therapists" refer to? And "Madwomen in the attic"? I guess I just feel like an outsider to people telling inside jokes when I look at this list.
A.
Monica Hesse :

With "Citizen Journalists," we were actually thinking specifically of a few incidents of 2013 where crowdsourced journalism really blew up in negative ways -- namely, the "investigators" on Reddit falsely accusing innocent teenagers of being the Boston bombers.

 

Citizen therapists refers to a real project in some Third World countries, where mental health treatment is limited Average people are given rudimentary mental health training for triage purposes to assist their fellow citizens.

 

But moreover, Citizen Therapists is an ethos. It's saying, "Let's not use our skills to accuse and defame people. Let's use it to assist people." 

– January 02, 2014 2:03 PM
Q.

Death on Mars is in!

For once, my family is ahead of the curve. At Christmas, we were trying to convince my 16 year old great nephew that dying on Mars would be a great career move. Think of the memorial services, the mentions in history books, the schools emblazoned with his name, the tourist appeal of his memorial on Mars itself. Of course, Nephew would have to be the first person to die on Mars; no one is going to care about the second. We weren't able to convince him, though, as he seemed to be hung up on the dying part.
A.
Monica Hesse :

See, he doesn't have to die right away. This item came from an Elon Musk quote about how he hopes to die on Mars. We're not talking about a fiery crash on the planet. We're talking about the formulation of a successful Martian colony, which early settlers will live in, happily, for several decades, and then die peacefully.

– January 02, 2014 2:04 PM
Q.

No question...

...but thank you both for an enjoyable, lighthearted read this morning! After browsing the comments section, I think it's fair to say that an ungrateful, hyper-critical commentariat is OUT in 2014, hopefully to be replaced by insightful, appreciative folks who are (almost) as witty as you two! Happy New Year.
A.
Monica Hesse :

We actually love hyper-critical commentary, when the commentary prompts intersting discussions. It's less useful when commenters say, "This is terrible," but what they really mean is, "I didn't understand it," or "I disagree with it."

– January 02, 2014 2:05 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Hi mom.

– January 02, 2014 2:05 PM
Q.

I can't be the only one wondering this, Monica

- but what on earth was the sex joke you made about JFK's death?!
A.
Monica Hesse :

Dan assured me it wasn't a sex joke. It appears online somewhere on the Washington Post site, but not in The List. I shan't ever tell.

– January 02, 2014 2:06 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

It might have involved a grassy knoll.

– January 02, 2014 2:06 PM
Q.

What's In

Yes to soccer legs! Yes yes yes!!
A.
Monica Hesse :

Mostly we did it because the World Cup is coming this summer. But also because soccer legs are so pretty.

– January 02, 2014 2:06 PM
Q.

What? I am in? A first.

One more way strategic Luddism is serving me well. And nothing beats soccer legs. Ever.
A.
Dan Zak :

As the owner of a pair, I agree.

– January 02, 2014 2:07 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Dan has very nice soccer legs.

(I have never seen Dan's legs.)

(Or have I?)

– January 02, 2014 2:07 PM
Q.

Ja'mie

Do you think Ja'mie will grow up to become Katie Hopkins?  

A.
Dan Zak :

TYLER. COME HE-AH.

– January 02, 2014 2:08 PM
Q.

So, which entry has turned out to be the most contentious?

Twitter seems to indicate that the Lawrence/Woodley pairing caused the loudest ruckus, but I'm wondering if anything else was responsible for other uproars. Not that this matters, but I've long loved The List even when I didn't get most of the references or when things I hold dear are declared Out. Bring on the egg creams and the Allspice Dram, I say!
A.
Dan Zak :

We were spoiling for a fight with J-Law/Shai-Woo, but the negative reaction pales in comparison to when we called Ryan Gosling OUT in 2012. We did hear from Hillary supporters who were, as you might imagine, beside themselves. There were other typical mini-gripes: We are too early on Fort Totten, too late on egg creams, etcetera.

– January 02, 2014 2:08 PM
Q.

I am in a dudgeon about DC Statehood

But it's not a high dudgeon.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Are you in a dungeon? If you were in a dungeon about DC Statehood, I'd be really interested in this comment.

– January 02, 2014 2:09 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

People were pissed about this one, especially people who work hard for statehood on behalf of the otherwise lazy citizenry. We included this item not to say that D.C. statehood should be OUT as a notion, but that whatever we're doing -- or not doing -- isn't working. Time to rethink tactics. Might I suggest every resident of D.C. (and I am one of them) refrain from paying federal taxes? This would only work if EVERYONE did it. For those of you joining us from outside the metro area: Washington residents do not have a voting representative in Congress. (I know, right?!)

– January 02, 2014 2:09 PM
Q.

How's the sausage made?

Just curious how you two go about putting together this list? Extended white-board brainstorming session? Create your own lists separately and then compare? I was initially annoyed that DC Statehood was "out," but it did get people (probably mostly people who live in the district) talking about statehood again. So, that's good. But JLaw will never be "out."
A.
Monica Hesse :

It's a multi-tiered process. We have a day where we spent 8-9 hours in Barnes and Noble (used to be Borders; Borders is OUT!) pouring over stacks of magazines to get a sense of coming trends. We email all of the smartest people we know -- experts in a lot of different fields -- and ask them what's on the horizon in their particular areas of expertise. We do a little bit of work on our own, but 90% of the items, I'd say, don't become fully formed until we're sitting down together.

 

80% of the items don't come until we're sleep deprived and hysterical. 

– January 02, 2014 2:10 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

The great secret of The List is that maybe only 5 percent of it is written by us. The rest of it is stolen by smarter friends and colleagues.

– January 02, 2014 2:10 PM
Q.

Out: 3 × 11 × 61

In: 2 × 19 × 53
A.
Monica Hesse :

Is this a Bingo joke? A Battleship joke? Either way, I'm on board.

– January 02, 2014 2:10 PM
Q.

Fireball whiskey

It's out because my mom had it in the house for Christmas, right?
A.
Dan Zak :

Yes.

– January 02, 2014 2:10 PM
Q.

Mockumentary

Where is it?!?
A.
Dan Zak :

On the right hand side of this page, below the ad, but above the polls. Speaking of the polls, y'all should vote. Twerking, selfies and Thanksgivukkah are ruling the day so far...

– January 02, 2014 2:12 PM
Q.

Definitely "out"

Cutesy pseudo-names like "J-Law." Please.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Oh, nobody thinks it's clever anymore. It's a self-referential comment on a joke nobody thinks is clever anymore but we all still use somewhat ironically.

– January 02, 2014 2:12 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Duh.

– January 02, 2014 2:12 PM
Q.

Marina del Rey, CA

"The Washington Redskins" (as a term) will never ever EVER be "out." Sincerely, a fan for the last 30-plus years
A.
Monica Hesse :

I don't get this. I really don't. Please explain it to me. You've been a fan for 30 years. If the name changed, would you stop being a fan? Why? Things change all the time, and we find ways to embrace their history while still looking to the future? Why does the inflexibility of your 30-year fandom make it okay to use a term that many people find deeply offensive?

– January 02, 2014 2:14 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Still trying to get everyone behind The Washington Potato Skins.

– January 02, 2014 2:14 PM
Q.

OUT: Socer legs

IN: Fat dumpy guys who smoke cigars.
A.
Dan Zak :

Hi dad.

– January 02, 2014 2:15 PM
Q.

I'm so depressed...

Cinnamon Whiskey is out, when I only just discovered it December 23rd. At 9 am. In the office. What can I say? The cats were away and the mice were playing.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Pssst. You are still legally allowed to consume the things we say are OUT. I'm having Brussels sprouts tonight.

– January 02, 2014 2:17 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

And I'm eating a pot brownie right now.

– January 02, 2014 2:17 PM
Q.

Elon Musk

My question is, where did Elon Musk come from, and why is he such a tastemaker all of a sudden? Does it have anything to do with his memorable name, which sounds like an edgy cologne?
A.
Dan Zak :

It's definitely his name. It exudes tastemaking (and maybe sex?). We kinda had him IN last year, as part of SpaceX, although Tesla is OUT this year. And yet we're invoking him on the IN side with "Dying on Mars." I promise you there won't be a whiff of Musk on next year's List.

– January 02, 2014 2:17 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

I think his name is a secret anagram for something and he might be a robot. I'm just throwing this out there. S-Tec Astronomy. Too Many Secrets.

– January 02, 2014 2:17 PM
Q.

Also out

Blather like this which uses both "self-referential" and "ironically" in the same sentence: "It's a self-referential comment on a joke nobody thinks is clever anymore but we all still use somewhat ironically." (Nothing personal.)
A.
Monica Hesse :

Oh come ON. My response, itself, was purposefully blatherish.

 

People. Really now.

– January 02, 2014 2:18 PM
Q.

Up(state) and in?

What's the deal with the secret bias toward upstate NY? Buffalo and Gillibrand are both IN this year. Probably not a coincidence. I won't throw any shade, but I will give you a little side-eye.
A.
Monica Hesse :

A writer from Buffalo.com asked us this morning about Buffalo's inclusion, so I'll just paste my answer here. Was there bias? Of course. The List is always biased and subjective. It's a list!

 

"Dan is a Buffalo boy, born and bred – so we did have a little insider knowledge on your city that made it easier for Buffalo to reach our attention. That being said, we wouldn’t have included it if we didn’t have reasons to back it up. This isn’t the first time we’ve called one city IN and another OUT – a few years ago, we called Portland OUT and Pittsburgh IN, because the latter displayed many of the same crunchy/bicycle/recyclable features of the former – only a lot cheaper and less smug. This year, we knew we wanted to call Austin OUT, because the intimacy and funkiness that made it popular to begin with seem to have been devoured by the giant SXSW monster. We’d seen several articles in recent months talking up Buffalo as a great place to live, with a blossoming culture scene and interesting community, so we thought we’d herald it as the next destination for young people of a certain mindset."

– January 02, 2014 2:20 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

While its inclusion on the List was indeed emotional, it was also empirical. The revitalization of its Larkin and Cobblestone districts, the several NY Times stories about its upswing, its obscene affordability and natural beauty. I could go on.

– January 02, 2014 2:20 PM
Q.

Literary ins and outs

So I will assume YA is ongoing for now, what genres are in and out?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Contemporary realism is IN. Fantasy is on its way out. We've done all we can with mysterious creatures for the time being.

– January 02, 2014 2:20 PM
Q.

J-Law

I agree with both your comments on J-Law. She seems nice and personable enough, but certainly wasn't even the best actress in 'American Hustle' as I thought Amy Adams stole the show.
A.
Dan Zak :

Amy Adams is indeed the better actress. The best part of "The Fighter," for example. Although one of the worst parts of the Public's "Into the Woods" in Central Park in the summer of 2012. You know what movie y'all should watch? "Junebug." Best movie of the aughts, and Adams's breakout role.

– January 02, 2014 2:21 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

And then watch "Drop Dead Gorgeous." She's almost unrecognizable as a blonde, but that whole cast is so great.

– January 02, 2014 2:21 PM
Q.

Another Out item?

Can't recall. Did Edward Snowden make the Out list? If not, man does he deserve to be there. Although I guess he was never really In. As Ruth Marcus's column points out, he is far too smug and self-righteous to be taken seriously. What an arrogant a$$ he seems to be.
A.
Monica Hesse :

He made the intro. He was there with us, in space, trying to convince us to seek asylum on the moon.

– January 02, 2014 2:22 PM
Q.

Dying on Mars

Would have to be timed carefully if your main interest was public acclaim. Think of the folks in the Roanoke "Lost" Colony who came ashore in the New World and disappeared.
A.
Monica Hesse :

And yet, here you are, publicly acclaiming the Lost Colony citizens, 400 years after their disappearance.

– January 02, 2014 2:23 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

A moment of silence, please, for the Lost Folk of Roanoke.

– January 02, 2014 2:23 PM
Q.

voting representation for the District

What is worse? No representative or one who embarrasses you every time he opens his mouth? (speaking from a Midwest state where my county got revamped into "safe" district for someone highly toxic)
A.
Dan Zak :

Um, no representative is definitely worse. OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THE REJECTION OF TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

– January 02, 2014 2:23 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Truly, the only thing lack of representation has gotten D.C. is the country's most subversive license plates.

– January 02, 2014 2:23 PM
Q.

In and Out

Were two the cool kids in high school? Or editors of the yearbook?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Are you implying that the editor of the yearbook could not have been a cool kid?

I was Tracy Flick in high school. Not, you know, the sleeping with the teacher part.

– January 02, 2014 2:26 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

I was Regina George.

– January 02, 2014 2:26 PM
Q.

Fancy Lady Hair for Men

How on earth did you ever come across this one? Very bizarre. Unless you're a crossdresser.
A.
Monica Hesse :

A colleague sent us that link, when we told her we needed an "IN" item to match with "OUT: Undercuts for ladies." She was joking, but once we saw it we couldn't go back.

– January 02, 2014 2:27 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

"You updo you."

– January 02, 2014 2:27 PM
Q.

References would be nice...

I'm not that old, but I don't recognize half of the items in this list.
A.
Dan Zak :

Most of the items on the List are hyperlinked. Click your way to some clues. Also, it bears repeating: If everyone understood everything on the List, it wouldn't be much of a List, right? The List is designed to be instructive and predictive. Also, inflammatory. It's okay not to get it. When we don't get it, we learn.

– January 02, 2014 2:28 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

For the record, some people said this year's List was easier to understand, and some people said it was way harder. Getting 50 percent of the items is a perfectly respectable track record.

– January 02, 2014 2:28 PM
Q.

Being an Editor

In the mockumentary last year, the joke was made about List editors usually being too old to be editing the list. How do you feel about this? Does being slightly beyond the super-hip age help you have clarity when editing the list? Or do you miss your first years of being List editors when you were younger, couldn't see the forrest for the trees-ier?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Eh. I often think the best list Dan and I did (we've been doing this for five years) was our first one, when we were young and dumb. But that might also be that we now have five years of perspective, to really judge clearly what we included or didn't. I like this year's List quite a bit. It might be my second favorite.

– January 02, 2014 2:28 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

We're both in our 30s now. There have been rumors that this is our last List. Anyone want the job?

– January 02, 2014 2:28 PM
Q.

Mr. Musk

General question (not necessarily related to the list) - is he good-looking? I mean impirically speaking? I can't figure it out. Sometimes, it's like "whoah" and other times it's like "meh".
A.
Monica Hesse :

No.

– January 02, 2014 2:28 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

No.

– January 02, 2014 2:28 PM
Q.

Help!

There are so many things that are now out that I didn't even do (Like Ryan Gosling or the Dulles Toll Road)! Am I forever doomed to be a social outcast or can I just chalk it up to the fact that I'm always doing me which is an umbrella for my overall in-ness. I'm having an existential breakdown right now.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Just wait a few years. The Silver Line is going to get all clogged, people are going to be annoyed about the lack of parking. In 2025 we'll be calling the Toll Road IN again.

– January 02, 2014 2:31 PM
Q.

Out: People that voluntarily move to DC...

and then are shocked, SHOCKED, that there is no representation in Congress. This isn't a new thing people.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Does this happen?

– January 02, 2014 2:33 PM
Q.

Bentonville Dining

I went to Bentonville Arkansas based on the 2013 List. Where are you sending me in 2014?
A.
Dan Zak :

To the Arctic? Also, speaking of Bentonville, look at what a gracious reader/commenter sent us.

– January 02, 2014 2:34 PM
Q.

WaPo Staff in and Out List

Do you do this for your fellow staffers so they know who's star is ascendant? IN: Sean Sullivan OUT: Chris Cilliza IN: Alex Petri OUT: Jenifer Rubin
A.
Monica Hesse :

We do not do this because we generally enjoy things like having dental insurance and being employed.

– January 02, 2014 2:35 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

I don't actually read the paper, so I'm not sure who these people are.

– January 02, 2014 2:35 PM
Q.

Key & Peele

How are Key & Peele already out? They've barely had the (over)exposure of some of the other outs. Beyoncé should be out unfortunately there is no one to take her place I guess that's why she is still in...sigh. (Btw she's so in the accent aigu came up automatically or WaPo text box super intuitive.)
A.
Monica Hesse :

And then the Post's chat software ate the accent, and I can't seem to bring it back.

 

Beyonce really transcends Lists. There are some celebrities who do. We realized that with Clooney last year. George Clooney is perpetually in.

– January 02, 2014 2:36 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

What we're saying with this item, really, is that "Broad City" will have an even better year than "Key & Peele" had last year. We wanted to pair Comedy Central shows featuring a duo, and we felt like "K&P" will plateau this year.

– January 02, 2014 2:36 PM
Q.

Jennifer Lawrence

She was absolutely fantastic in "Winter's Bone." When I see her in "The Hunger Games," I couldn't even recognize her as the same actress. She can act.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Again, we both really like her. Sometimes The List makes you hurt the ones you love.

– January 02, 2014 2:36 PM
Q.

J-Lawrence

Everyone should watch Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone" before concluding she's not that great an actress. A break-out role in a movie about a kid that's neither snarky millenial navel-gazing nor fantasy, YA-based. P.S.- Can snark be out? I'm so over snark.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Sorry -- snark was briefly out, but then it had a resurgence thanks to this essay, which postulated that the real problem wasn't snark, it was smarm.

– January 02, 2014 2:36 PM
Q.

Jeff Bezos

I was expecting Jeff Bezos to be on the IN list with a couple of smiley faces and hearts. Good for you for resisting!
A.
Dan Zak :

I mean, he's on the List, in a way. We are kind of endorsing the shooting down of his eventual drone delivery fleet.

– January 02, 2014 2:38 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

What Dan means to say is that both he and I are loyal Amazon Prime subscribers, and I enjoy my Kindle Fire very much.

– January 02, 2014 2:38 PM
Q.

"The Washington Redskins" (as a term) will never ever EVER be "out." Sincerely, a fan for the last 30-plus years

Does that person still root for the Washington Bullets, too?
A.
Monica Hesse :

I dunno. Previous chatter? You there?

– January 02, 2014 2:39 PM
Q.

Reaction

While I wouldn't call The List just a big joke, it is obvious you're doing it with your tongues ripping through your cheeks... this is for entertainment and enjoyment. Are you surprised by some of the negative backlash you get? The responses you're posting are bad enough, I can't imagine the one's you're not posting.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Nah, I'm not surprised. As I said earlier, senses of humor are really personal things, and some people just don't get it. And some people just receive really weird satisfaction of anonymously saying things are stupid.

– January 02, 2014 2:40 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

I'm glad you get it. And as of now we are answering and publishing every submission that comes thru the transom...

– January 02, 2014 2:40 PM
Q.

OUT: TED, Upworthy, Buzzfeed, etc.

Is there something new out there that will change the way one thinks about everything? Books, maybe?
A.
Monica Hesse :

There definitely is something new out there -- but we're hard pressed to identify it at the moment. Chatters? Tell us!

– January 02, 2014 2:42 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Monica and I just realized that we may have dropped an item accidentally. We originally had Upworthy / Upworthit on this year's List, but now can't remember if we cut it purposefully or if it got lost in the shuffle. But yes, we've already called TEDx and BuzzFeed OUT in past year. As for what replaces it, I'm going to guess Flurgle. What is Flurgle? We'll know soon enough.

– January 02, 2014 2:42 PM
Q.

Washington's Football Team

THANK YOU! When I got to the last line I high-fived the paper, which got ink all over my hands. Because I am a strategic Luddite.
A.
Dan Zak :

God bless you.

– January 02, 2014 2:45 PM
Q.

Buffalove

How is that pronounced? And is it promoting bestiality now that we have gay marriage? You know, just like Rick Santorum predicted.
A.
Dan Zak :

BUFF-uh-luv. It means "sex with bison."

– January 02, 2014 2:46 PM
Q.

Portland

Out: Portland, Oregon. In: Portland, Maine.
A.
Dan Zak :

We had Portland / Pittsburgh two years ago.

– January 02, 2014 2:46 PM
Q.

Elon Musk

Add an "M" and you get Muskmelon (a synonym for cantaloupe, which is always IN during the summer in my book!)
A.
Dan Zak :

Anyone else getting turned on?

– January 02, 2014 2:46 PM
Q.

"Buffalove"

Several years ago I read an article in . . . Newsweek? Time? Some dying magazine . . . about what cities would win and lose with climate change. Buffalo was in the WIN column - it will have a beachy climate and still has lots of lovely Victorian homes for newcomers who will flock to it. I'm glad to see that even before the almost-tropical weather hits, Buffalo is getting some love.
A.
Dan Zak :

Believe it or not, this was part of my rationale too. People keep saying to me "Oh it snows a lot in Buffalo." Well, it used to.

– January 02, 2014 2:47 PM
Q.

Mid-year assessment?

Do you get together in July and look at your list to see if the IN items are still percolating? Or do you wait till the end of the year to do an evaluation of your predictive success?
A.
Monica Hesse :

We don't have to "get together" so much since we sit about 20 feet from each other -- but yes, we're constantly evaluating how we think we did. Last year we had one item that was "OUT: Teddy Wins and IN: Draft Taft," referring to the presidential bobblehead at Nats stadium that we would be most excited to see. A month later, the Nationals announced that President Taft would become the new racing president. I don't think it's an overstatement to say it was a highlight of our careers. 

 

This year, we did a small photo gallery in mid-December grading a few of the items.

– January 02, 2014 2:47 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

We usually get three to five items dead right. Like, shockingly, clairvoyantly correct. "Draft Taft!" was the ultimate, though.

– January 02, 2014 2:47 PM
Q.

Bad things

Past years have usually included items that were definitely in, but also kind of loathsome. This year doesn't seem to have many of those. Are there any things that are IN this year that you just hate the fact that they are undeniably in? For me its Arctic Sovereignty. Why should an ice float get self governance before the people of DC? Also Arctic Sovereignty is kind of anti-Canadian, and as a Canadian I'm not totally on board with that notion.
A.
Monica Hesse :

I mean, I find Betty Who kind of irritating...but we were trusting our pop music critic, Chris Richards, on that one.

– January 02, 2014 2:48 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Make sure to click on "arctic sovereignty" on the List for a related article. As for Betty Who, naming her IN was a vote of confidence that she can do/be better. I actually saw her in concert earlier this month at the Rock 'n' Roll Hotel and wasn't very impressed. Nevertheless, we think she will get big this year.

– January 02, 2014 2:48 PM
Q.

Out: People that voluntarily move to DC...

An awful lot of people move there involuntarily. More than do so voluntarily, I would wager.
A.
Monica Hesse :

People who want representation just move to the Maryland or Virginia burbs.

– January 02, 2014 2:49 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

I myself would never be caught dead in the "several states."

– January 02, 2014 2:49 PM
Q.

Final vetter of the List

Did Jeff Bezos get an advance copy?
A.
Dan Zak :

Only if he's capable of time travel. (Which he might be? I keep hearing about some magic clock in Texas.)

– January 02, 2014 2:50 PM
Q.

Cauliflower & brussel sprouts

I have both in my fridge right now. Does that make me in or out?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Oun.

– January 02, 2014 2:50 PM
Q.

Hesse and Zak, don't ever die.

Points for breakfast, Stoya and soccer legs. Demerit for Fort Totten. Have either of you ever been there? Also, don't tell Nate Silver that "boy wonder knows it all" is out. #eggcreamsforever
A.
Monica Hesse :

I was just there this weekend. Two big developments are under construction right now -- one anchored by a WalMart and one anchored by cultural and art space. Both will have condos and apartments. Seriously, Fort Totten is right between Takoma Park -- a settled and expensive neighborhood -- and Brookland, which has been skyrocketing in terms of development. It might not look like much now, but with real estate being so expensive in the District, it's going to boom in the next couple of years.

– January 02, 2014 2:51 PM
Q.

Snark and smarm aside

You two are excellent chat host persons. Do we have to wait a whole year to hear from you again?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Y'all can come talk to me every week -- I have a regular chat on Thursdays at 2. We just decided to take over that time slot this week for List purposes. 

– January 02, 2014 2:52 PM
Q.

OUT: Upworthy et al.

Back IN: Jezebel, who still hasn't lost her snark!
A.
Dan Zak :

As a man, I cannot respond to this comment.

– January 02, 2014 2:53 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

As a woman, I somehow sense that responding to this comment would be akin to kowtowing to the patriarchy.

– January 02, 2014 2:53 PM
Q.

Fort Totten

An excellent transfer spot for the Green or Yellow line, but what else does it have going for it?
A.
Monica Hesse :

See above. The convergence of Green, Red and Yellow lines alone makes this space a goldmine.

– January 02, 2014 2:53 PM
Q.

At my next orgy, I'll be the guy spatchcocking in the kitchen

Unless the Supreme Court stops me.
A.
Dan Zak :

Look for me. I'll be the one with fancy lady hair.

– January 02, 2014 2:54 PM
Q.

Out: Taxation without Representation license plates

In: Taxation without Representation taco trucks.
A.
Dan Zak :

Food trucks were OUT last year.

– January 02, 2014 2:56 PM
Q.

J Law

Love her. I hated Sliver Linings Playbook (way to trivialize mental illness, Hollywood!), but Winter's Bone is just mindblowing, and she made the popcorn Hunger Games seem a little more respectable.
A.
Dan Zak :

I'm gonna be esoteric and say that her best perf was in "The Burning Plain." And yes, no one saw it except me.

– January 02, 2014 2:56 PM
Q.

Old lady

"You do you" didn't have a link, and I have no clue what it refers to. Help an old lady out?
A.
Dan Zak :

It means, essentially, "do your thing." Or "do what's best for you." Or "I don't really care what you do." You do you, old lady chatter.

– January 02, 2014 2:56 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

This is everything.

– January 02, 2014 2:56 PM
Q.

Binge watching vs Fast forwarding

THANK you for this. It is so irritating to try to watch tv - yes apparently I too am a strategic luddite as we have a PC, a laptop, and I have a Kindle Fire, and I still watch the actual television - and see many channels showing an entire season of a single listed for hours in the menu, one episode right after another. Sheesh. Variety is good!
A.
Monica Hesse :

I'm already earmarking some series for fast-forwarding. I'll watch the premiere and the finale, and then just read recaps for the middle. It's the only way to stay afloat in a cultural sea.

– January 02, 2014 2:56 PM
Q.

Marina del Rey, CA (again)

First NBA game I ever went to was the Bullets at the Cap Center in the Manute Bol days. But was I ever a fan? No. Didn't really start getting into pro ball until I moved to Indianapolis in the late Eighties and shortly thereafter became an Indiana Pacers (and Reggie Miller) fan. (And to the question of, if they DO bow to political correctness and change their name, well, there are 29 other perfectly good cheering options [Dallas and Oakland are non-starters though]).
A.
Monica Hesse :

Posting. But dude, really, if a name change is enough to make you stop being a fan, -you were not a real fan to begin with.-

– January 02, 2014 2:56 PM
Q.

Hunger Games vs Divergent

I've read both, and am not the target audience. HG is way better source material for movies. Divergent is better off left as a single movie.
A.
Monica Hesse :

Divergent was better left off as a single book, in my opinion. And I say that as someone who likes Veronica Roth a whole lot.

– January 02, 2014 2:57 PM
Q.

Too many secrets

A SNEAKERS REFERENCE!!!!! Still love this movie, and more relevant than ever today with the NSA stuff.
A.
Dan Zak :

Gosh, I freaking love "Sneakers." Best ensemble cast ever?

– January 02, 2014 2:59 PM
Q.

Consulting your crystal ball...

What's in during 2014 that's going to be out by 2015? And what do you foresee (or at least hope) will be in for 2015?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Red wine, feathers, chocolate labs and retro roller skating movies are going to be very in 2045.

– January 02, 2014 3:00 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Flurgle.

– January 02, 2014 3:00 PM
Q.

Out: misosophy

In: filiopietism
A.
Dan Zak :

I can get behind that. Nana wisdom is IN, after all.

– January 02, 2014 3:00 PM
Q.

Fireball and List Liqueur

So Fireball is out, which I'm pretty sure we can all celebrate! In years past (eg 2012, OUT St. Germain, IN Sherry) the booze related items seem to be genuine statements of cocktail trends (at least on the OUT there, your IN didn't really pull through in my world). This year, I feel that the OUT was less about what's going into drinks, but more this weird trend that Fireball has promoted the hell out of, it being a celebratory shot. Does awful candywater going OUT and a proper cocktail ingredient going IN signify a move back to well crafted cocktails, or does someone just like their Lion's Tails too much?
A.
Dan Zak :

You are correct, on all accounts. You are a very good List chatter.

– January 02, 2014 3:01 PM
Q.

OUT: Downton Abbey

IN: Orphan Black
A.
Dan Zak :

This is a good item. You are not the first person to tell me that "Orphan Black" should be on the List.

– January 02, 2014 3:01 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

Including our own television critic. Hank Stuever suggested an Orphan Black item, but at that point we were feeling a little pop-culture heavy.

– January 02, 2014 3:01 PM
Q.

Amy Adams

Can someone please put her on the OUT list with Jennifer Lawrence? She has been in so many movies in the past couple years that I find myself grimacing involuntarily every time a trailer comes on the television for a new movie. She's become just so much white noise, a generic brunette you cast and then forget.
A.
Dan Zak :

Interesting, because she is a red head. That's how good of an actress she is.

– January 02, 2014 3:02 PM
Q.

People keep saying to me "Oh it snows a lot in Buffalo."

"Yeah, but it's a dry cold."
A.
Dan Zak :

I'd take a Buffalo winter over a D.C. winter, which is rudely damp.

– January 02, 2014 3:02 PM
Q.

Hyperlinking

Just discovered the hyperlinks -- awesome, a game changer for me. Although, the hyperlink to orgy stories seems to be malfunctioning? Also, I read the hyperlinked gawker story on "shade" and I still don't get it. Is that a humorously erudite linguistic take on something that's not really that subtle? I will say, the drinking vinegar story is amazing. Thought you guys made that one up. Great find.
A.
Monica Hesse :

We make almost nothing up. Real life provides so much better fodder than our imaginations. Orgy stories: We weren't specifically thinking of this, but the 50 Shades of Grey movie will be coming out late 2014, early 2015...

– January 02, 2014 3:03 PM
Q.

Draft Taft

Now do you feel bad because Taft was a mistake? They should have kept it at four presidents...
A.
Monica Hesse :

It was a lose-lose situation. Teddy perpetually losing was getting boring, and they needed a new schtick -- but any addition was also bound to rock the boat.

– January 02, 2014 3:03 PM
Q.

Buffalove

Does inclusion of Buffalo mean the Bills and the Sabres will do better in 2014 or just the city?
A.
Dan Zak :

Just the city. Sorry.

– January 02, 2014 3:03 PM
Q.

Stroller Derby

Is that like the Labor Day Drag Race in Dupont Circle?
A.
Dan Zak :

You mean the Halloween week high-heel race?

– January 02, 2014 3:03 PM
Q.

You missed this one, because it was posted after you made your list!

OUT: Celebrating New Year's Eve at midnight in your own time zone. IN: Celebrating NYE in the Azores time zone.

A.
Dan Zak :

If the Azores are IN, another island chain has to be OUT. The Canaries?

– January 02, 2014 3:04 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

We called The Maldives IN one year. How about the Seychelles? Favorite vacation destination of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

– January 02, 2014 3:04 PM
Q.

List begging

Do you consider things that aren't technically "out" due to apparently un-ending popularity, but very much deserve to be out?
A.
Dan Zak :

Well, Jennifer Lawrence is an example, right? We called George Clooney OUT last year -- note: George Clooney is never OUT -- but that was because we paired him with Eva Longoria. It was a "celebvocate" item.

– January 02, 2014 3:04 PM
Q.

OUT: Lincoln

In: Woodrow Wilson
A.
Monica Hesse :

Woodrow Wilson was a dean at my college, and apparently so persnickety about the noises of students going up and down the stairs near his office that he had them declared "senior-only steps." 100 years later, and still only upperclassmen are allowed to use them. That is all.

– January 02, 2014 3:04 PM
A.
Dan Zak :

Obama has made noises about staying in D.C. after he leaves office, so Sasha can finish school. The last president to stick around D.C. after departing the White House? WOODROW WILSON.

– January 02, 2014 3:04 PM
Q.

Why all the hating on Sliver Linings Playbook?

Show me another movie you can take your wife to AND enjoy some football. Plus the Iggles won the division. That's IN baby.
A.
Dan Zak :

Please welcome David O. Russell to our chat.

– January 02, 2014 3:05 PM
Q.

I keep hearing about some magic clock in Texas.

I thought it was all of them. "Welcome to Texas. Please set your watch back one hundred years."
A.
Monica Hesse :

Ba-dum-bum.

– January 02, 2014 3:06 PM
Q.

Not previous Redskins chatter . . .

But, the change to Washington Wizards does give me pause. "Bullets" might have been on the violent side, but "Wizards" is an abomination. God knows what a focus group on Washington football naming would come up with. Whatever it is will certainly be "out" in its second year, because of course it will be "in" the first time around.
A.
Monica Hesse :

It's really too bad the Wizards couldn't have found some way to capitalize on all the Harry Potter popularity of recent decades. Could they not have become professional Quidditch players instead?

– January 02, 2014 3:06 PM
Q.

Baltimore Bullets if you don't mind...

Washington Bullets always makes me think of the Clash song on their Sandinista album.
A.
Dan Zak :

What are you, 45 years old? (Sorry, that's not very filiopious of me.)

– January 02, 2014 3:06 PM
Q.

WeChat

Is that more or less pornographic than ChatRoulette?
A.
Monica Hesse :

It's the beginning of Chinese dominance over your social networking, is what it is.

– January 02, 2014 3:07 PM
Q.

What are you, 45 years old?

Actually 49. Is there an age limit on being hip enough for your chat?
A.
Monica Hesse :

Yes. It's seven years younger than Dan and me.

– January 02, 2014 3:09 PM
Q.

How about the Seychelles? Favorite vacation destination of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Oh, the Seychelles will be OUT (or at least down) soon enough without any help from you, as ocean levels rise due to ice melting!
A.
Monica Hesse :

Right. Actually, our Maldives item was about that, too. In: "The Maldives Are Sinking!" it was an item about which catastrophic cause to get involved with.

– January 02, 2014 3:10 PM
Q.

Here's what Isaac Asimov thought would be in 50 years ago

http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/asimovs-2014-predictions-were-shockingly-conservative-1221478312
A.
Dan Zak :

According to "Back to the Future II," the hoverboard should be on the market next year. That's all I really care about.

– January 02, 2014 3:11 PM
A.
Monica Hesse :

It's all any of us care about.

– January 02, 2014 3:11 PM
Q.

Dan Zak :

Thanks for this lively and occasionally erotic chat. Once again, The List is here (make sure to tour the archives in the drop-down menu) and you can always tweet your additions and criticisms using the hash tag #TheList2014. We're at @MonicaHesse and @MrDanZak, by the way, and if you follow us, you will fore'er be IN. Have a happy and safe 2014. We love you.

Q.

 

A.
Host: