I have an odd question, which I will attempt to ask as clearly as possible. What things or people, in their respective categories, are viewed as the “greatest” by a general consensus.
What do I mean by that? Well, there isn’t really any single “greatest baseball player” or “greatest movie star” or “best rock song” that a solid majority of people would agree upon.
But, even bearing in mind the fickle orneriness of public opinion, there are a few categories where almost everyone would agree on who or what “the greatest” is.
A few examples I’ve come up with:
Greatest playwright: William Shakespeare
Greatest hockey player: Wayne Gretzky
Greatest painting: Mona Lisa
Greatest late-night host: Johnny Carson
Greatest checkers player: Marion Tinsley
Greatest 20th century saintly humanitarian: Mother Theresa
Greatest fantasy movie: Lord of the Rings
Greatest mountain climber: Reinhold Messner
Greatest director of suspense movies: Alfred Hitchcock
Greatest blonde bombshell: Marilyn Monroe
Greatest rock group: The Beatles
Greatest Guy Who Fights Ignorance Through a Newspaper Column: Cecil Adams
(Note: I’m not saying that there’s no one who disagrees with the statement “Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time”. I’m just saying that anyone knowledgeable about the issue realizes that Wayne Gretzky is the accepted, de facto, greatest hockey player of all time, and if you hold an opposing view, you’d best be prepared to defend it…)
What other examples are there? Does anyone take issue with any of mine?