by Hugo Terrible

The idea of the listicle is a noble one: draft a concise collection of the best or worst in any given category to save the reader some time and render a valuable service. But, two problems tend to rear their heads rather abruptly: most people are savagely bad arbiters of what constitutes good and what constitutes bad, and most categories for anything we would actually care about cannot be circumcised to fit the listicle format. 

MTL Blog, alongside its regularly scheduled programming of clickbait, publishes scores of listicles each more vapid than the next. I don’t normally like to assign blame for the degeneration of internet culture to one particular website, but on the Island of Montreal, the worst offender is hiding in plain sight. It seems necessary, therefore, to name and shame in this listicle to punish listiclers. Without further ado, I give you the definitive Top 7 Dumbest MTL Blog Listicles:

10 Do's And Don'ts If You're Moving To Montreal

Link, if you must.

Far from including any helpful information for someone considering a move to the city, this list merely catalogues tedious stereotypes about Quebec and/or Montrealers. Maybe if you had just arrived in Canada from Korea, or had just awakened from a 20-year coma this post would serve a purpose. Barring those two situations, it is equal parts recycled garbage and half-truths. Did you know that the road work in a town whose construction industry is run by an unholy alliance between Italian crime syndicates and equally criminal unions sometimes takes a while? Well if you didn’t, I’m sure that seeing a reposted Instagram photograph of orange pylons has convinced you. 

10 Montreal Restaurants To Eat At For $10 Or Less

Link, if you must. 

This article would be genuinely interesting if it weren’t patently obvious which restaurants on this list purchased their spot. Also, virtually none of the images display meals that can be purchased for less than $10. I suppose that creative ordering, drinking tap water, and expecting someone else to cover Quebec’s exorbitant array of provincial taxes could theoretically mean you pay for lunch with a Johnny Macdonald. In any case, it’s a dumb list. 

10 Halloween Activities Under $10 You Can Do In Montreal This Month

Link, if you must. 

Another money-saving listicle, this compilation purports to point you in the direction of ‘Halloween’ activities around Montreal last October. Given our current proximity to October, this list felt like it was worth revisiting (for critique, not for information). By my reckoning, only four of the activities listed are related to the spooky holiday at the end of the month. The other outings are either loosely autumnal or simply celebrate the fall harvest which is basically just Thanksgiving… 

Top 10 Cute Montreal Bakeries You Can Go To For Cupcakes

Link, if you must. 

As an adult I eat cupcakes a few times a year, usually at bake sales or potlucks and only when my body image is sufficiently inflated that I don’t want to off myself for wantonly eating pastries. The inanity of the idea that I would appreciate a list of bakeries that sell cupcakes is beyond the pale. Not only do I not care where you can buy miniature cakes, I resent the suggestion that I would eat them myself. That being said, if this listicle were to be syndicated, at say, a publication targeting pre-diabetic 11-year-olds, that would be fine. 

The 10 Food Commandments Of Montreal

Link, if you must. 

It totally baffles me why certain portions of this list have been bolded out and others are not. Why, for example, would the author feel the need to emphasize toasted hotdogs? One of the commandments is actually fairly authoritative, the prohibition on applying ordinary french fry condiments to your poutine, but the others are just observations about the culinary habits of Montrealers. Oh, you figured out that a smoked meat sandwich tends to escape the limits of its outer bread boundaries, congratulations, you waited in line once at Schwartz’s. 

10 Real Reasons Why Redheads Are Actually The Best

Link, if you must. 

You know the old bit of advice: ‘dog bites man isn’t news but man bites dog is news’? Well this listicle would have benefited from a bit of forbearance. As in, the author should have had the forbearance to know it should not have been written. Seriously, “Everyone wants to be a redhead”? It reeks of insecurity. And, we all know the only socially acceptable position on redheads has already been articulated by Jonah from Tonga

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days: According To Montreal Men

Link, if you must. 

Number 10 on this list isn’t even a complete sentence, so it’s really How to Lose a Guy in 9 Days, which sounds like a direct-to-DVD Nollywood spoof. That would be more interesting than this list. Granted, I’m not MTL Blog’s average brain dead reader, but I think it would genuinely be more entertaining to watch a cast of Nigerian movie stars (a default oxymoron in every case except maybe John Boyega) wander around Lagos gunning down eachother’s paramours and dramatically fake-crying. My personal favourite bit of advice from this list is actually the penultimate caution: “Appreciate People.” The author then goes on to clarify that appreciation for people can be as simple as a thank you--highly useful if you were cryogenically frozen as homo erectus and only recently joined the rest of us in 2019.