Now that I've done mt top 10 albums, some other year-end retrospectives on the way. The last one will be an indulgent bit of self-reflection. This, however, isn't the last one.
This is the year in pop culture! So... let's get to it!
There are still plenty of Oscar-worthy films to see but, my movie-going 2010 is just about over. And my pick is for Inception. It may not win the big awards, though it should win some, but here was a movie that I didn't need to wear silly 3-D glasses to enjoy. A great concept, well-executed, buy a fantastic cast. Had no idea where it was going to end up. It felt fresh and didn't make me think as hard as Mission Impossible did all those years ago despite a much more complicated concept.
Disturbing trend of the year
Glee glorification. Seriously, this needs to stop. Rarely did anyone ever think a cover of an original song was superior to the original. Now, every week, someone in my Twitter feed has to tell me that some song from Glee is so much better than the original. I actually heard someone say they couldn't wait for a song to hit Glee so they could buy it. Think about that. That's like saying "Man, I cannot WAIT for someone to photocopy that Monet so I can frame it in my home." Also, someone seems to think the writing on the show is amazing. A lot of someones. Many of them writers. This is even worse because I would expect anyone who saw a single episode of Mad Men could gather that good TV writing isn't ridiculous dialogue to fill time between songs. If you love Glee, that's great, but be aware you are watching a show that is basically a scripted American Idol that gives guaranteed revenue. That is why this show exists.
Best ad of the year
To me, it takes a lot to unseat "The Most Interesting Man Alive" by Dos Equis. But... it has been done. Thank you, Geico:
Greatest sports moment of the year
You might think my high point would be getting to see the Yankees four times, including once in the new Stadium, would be the easy choice. Or perhaps watching Sidney Crosby win it for Canada in the Olympic on home ice. Maybe the schadenfreude of watching NC Tar Heels fans realize that - gasp - they might not win every game every year (the horror!). You would be wrong.
It's the Sounders. And I have never seen anything like it anywhere. The crowd is simply... astonishing. And Qwest Field is loud. Louder than they make it sound on TV. I went to three games. At each one, the lower level of the stadium didn't sit. They chant. They sing. And - this is the best part - Vancouver and Portland enter MLS next year. Each city already has fans for its teams that are equally rowdy. MLS actually has to change rules about ticket allocations for visiting fans because the "Cascadia" teams have fan bases that will travel to each of the other cities in the Pacific Northwest to cheer. I hear you... you're going on an on about how it's nothing like an SEC football game or whatever. These clips do not do it justice, but this is what it's like... but for every moment of every game:
If you know me, you can just guess: My Kindle. Simply put, it is one of my favorite things ever. It is light. It travels easy. Books are cheap. I can read it for hours. I can hold it in one hand and a drink in another. I hear a lot of folks complaining it's not in color. The funny thing is most books I read are black text on white pages, so it hasn't been an issue. I guess these people read different things than I do. But I guess the best way to put it is this... I use it as much, if not more, than when I first got it. Rare is the fun electronic gadget that you use more as time goes on.
Ridiculousness of the year
This whole controversy over the TSA, pat-down searches and the like. There are so many angles of ridiculous to take on this, but let's talk about the one that really shows how out of hand this is: the core issue for airport security. No one is talking about this. They talk about violations of privacy, long lines and annoyance. No one has raised a hand to ask just what 10 years of TSA security has done to protect us. I'd like to know. Specifically, I'd like to know why it's safer the way we have it now than it was prior to 9/11. Before 9/11, you still had to go through security at an airport. Granted, anyone could walk in... but, shouldn't going through security, you know, make things secure? From what I can gather, all the new measures we're taking is inspiring innovation among terrorists. Underwear bombs? Look, in 1999, if you had a bomb, you tossed it in your suitcase. And we knew that. So we knew to search suitcases! Now? Who knows where to look?! I'm all for securing our airways, but the simple fact is this: In more than 30 years, no US-based airline has had a domestic flight hijacked... except on one day when there were four. If I told you I could give you a security system that would work every day over the course of 30 years, except for maybe one day, would you think that sounded good? I bet you would. Well.. the old system did that. Bu no one dares ask.
Moving to Seattle greatly improved my music options (sorry Charlotte. Facts is facts.). I managed to see The Dandy Warhols twice this year. I saw the Avett Brothers. I saw Arcade Fire. The concert that sticks out? Bumbershoot. I blogged all about it in September. Everything I wrote there still applies.
Looking forward to a great 2011!