One of my weaknesses is television 'year in review' wrap-ups. Montages of the best and worst of the year backed to sentimental music (invariably a Coldplay track these days). As a somewhat enlightened man, I imagine that I should be able to transcend these cheap transparent appeals to sentimentality and/or ratings, but I can't get enough of them. If that makes me a media muppet, then string me up, Jimmy.
With that in view, and given Sparks in Hiatus 2.0, I have decided to take up arms and commit my own montage to the year of 2006 and, in doing so, pen the first kimchi for the year Two-Bond. [(c) denz 2007].
My random musings begin, of course, with everyone's favourite jack-off medium - the internet.
Best online development of the year: Erm..
*crickets chirping* - Um... how about a lifetime achievement award for porn? You know what, aside from the resurrection of the PK, the internet can go fuck itself.
Worst online development of the year: Video Blogs
Damn those V-Blogs or whatever they are called on Youtube (and their associated drama bombs). Honestly, as a fan of words, I love a decent blog. But watching some heavily edited narcissist film his or her opinions is just a bridge too far. Honestly, why aren't these the people getting car-bombed? Pareto optimality anyone?
Worst realtime development of the year: Desensitisation to Iraq.
How we came to tolerate this clusterfuck, I'll never understand. Our capacity for emotional and moral atrophy knows no bounds. And at 3000+, the administration has fucked more Americans than Wilt Chamberlain.
Runner-up: The de-evolution of the Sports Guy.
Best realtime development of the year: Bush
Por... wait... Knowing that the reign of Bush will soon be over. It is my sincere hope that history paints him as the most incapable and deleterious leader of all time. We all know he'll get off. Nevertheless, I'm counting the days until Obama in 2008. What's not to like about Barak?
Best Book: The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Up until a few days ago, I hadn't read any book published in 2006 that had blown me away. It wasn't until my dear old Ma sent me McCarthy's book as part of a Christmas package that I discovered the one and only contender. Much has already been penned about this book, but I'll leave it to the book itself to speak for its force:
He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.
Best Not Quite Book: Tuvalu - Andrew O'Connor
I wanted to give homeboy a chance. He's an ex-ESLer repatriated Australian much like myself, but Tuvalu felt ... ehh... If Number9dream was Murakami lite, Tuvalu is like diet, decaffeinated, sugarless David Mitchell zero. But props where props are due; the man went out and won the Vogel. Which is one more than I have. O'Connor: 1 v 0 : Denz
Best Movie: Children of Men
It's a rare thing to feel both transported and connected to a film set in the future, but Alfonso Cuaron brings it home like a god damned DeLorean. Wonderfully shot, well paced and just flat out intelligent. The religious undertones might irk some, but the last sweeping one-take action sequence is divine.
Runner-up: The Departed
Another exceptional film. Damon and DiCaprio nail it. Looked great, felt great and ... *headshot* ... oh yes.
Best Performance: Monica Bellucci in 'Combien tu m'aimes?'
I'm not sure if this is classifed as acting, but when a performance from an actress leaves my own wife somewhat flushed... well... you get the nod. Honourable mention to Holly Valance in DOA. I have to represent.
Best in Show
Nate Robinson's block on Yao.
Worst in Show
Carmelo Anthony - don't even get me started on how flatout lame Melo is in for cold clocking Collins and running away like a big girly girl. Watching the Sports Guy attempt to justify Melo's actions only made it worse.
Best in Hoops
Aiight. This is for my boy: Rebound
Best Fantasy Pick-up: Marques Colston
Things started out fairly awkard for me this season. Drafting Willis McGahee (busted), Chris Chambers (bust) and Caddy Williams (nothing but a buster), things were looking wrong, well wrong. In week 1, I picked up a little WR by the name of Marques (erroneously registered as a TE by the good folk at Yahoo!) and promptly brought my fantasy season to life. Granted I got Saddamed in the semis, but hey - it's all swings and roundabouts.
Best Story: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints
As much as I love hoops, there really isn't any better sports story than a dumped and injured Brees signing with the Saints and becoming an MVP candidate, drafting R-Bush, unearthing Colston and just completely turning around a city that was dead in the water. Inspiring stuff. Makes you wonder if the NFL didn't somehow plan this all along... and not just the draft picks/signings, I'm talking about the Hurricane. Voodoo, baby. Sing with me...
Runner-up: Amare 'Microwhat?' Stoudemire.
Skillz has his rap-up wrapped up on Myspace and the AV Club also provided their usual great review of music in 006. My thoughts? Nah, never that. Instead, some random songs that you should own:
Best Drinking in the Flatbed: Space City - Drive-By Truckers
Best Life is Good: Love Generation - Bob Sinclair
Best Suicide Watch: Anything off 9 by Damien Rice
Best Kickflip: Lupe Fiasco (turns out I was outdrafted like a motherfucker)
Best Sophomore Slump: When You Were Young - Killers
Best Narrative/Onion Reference: Shaky Dog - Ghostface
Best Driving Song: The Witch - The Broken Keys
Best Rehash Beat: Hiphop is Dead - Nas (Thief's Theme anyone?)
Best Ressurection Beat: Jay-Z - Kingdom Come (had to dust off the hammer / damn can't touch this...)
Best Black Keys: Your Touch - The Black Keys
Best Love Song: I Called You Back - Bonnie Prince Billy
LIFE, THE UNIVERSE & EVERYTHING
Best Death: Irwin/Hussein (tie)
Both were batshit insane, both died doing what they love (Irwin in the wild. Saddam in the execution chamber), and both had their death videos become the top rated search on YouTube. That, my friends, is how to live and how to die. (I heard Saddam said 'Yeah, fuck all ya'll' in Kurdish just before they dropped him like a sack of Tikrit potatoes).
Runner-up: The Knicks.
Who will continue to die for the next three or four years. Now that's a dynasty, baby.
Best Hope for World Peace: The PS3.
Another sterling year for women - Cheryl Tweedy, Emmy Rossum, Autumn Reeser, either one of those Rihanna/Ciara/Amerie girls, Yukie Kawamura and Risa Shimamoto.
Runner-up: Ayame Misake.
The Japanese World Cup girl would have taken home the entire pig if it wasn't for the Lohan Precedent (Translation: A brother has to stay out of Folsom, right?).
Best Hero: Harry Kewell.
Even my wife loves you, Harry.
Best Villan: Fabio Grosso.
So help me god, if I ever see this man in the street I will string his arse up like Mussolini.
Arrrgh. I can't even stand thinking about this again. I'm still gutted. You know what... fuck 2006.
Happy 2007, expletives.