Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013: It Was What It Was

Another hoary year-end wrap-up? Yes,please!          
After all, nobody's hoarier than I am. Or is that whore-ier?

2013 will be known as the year we got our collective panties in such a wad that they may never unravel  Pontificate all you want about social media giving everyone a voice, however anonymous, but we're all speaking at the same time and nobody is listening to each other unless they are in agreement. The loudest of the bunch are usually the most ignorant and that's what becomes the meme. (2013 is also the year I first used the word meme in a sentence) It's all so deafening.

Then Nelson Mandela dies, a man who faced adversity and struggle like no man in modern times, then was able to rise above it all by his shear humanity.His passing should have given us pause to reflect on his example of how a life should be lived.
We paused all right, just long enough to collect our thoughts on the Duck Dynasty debacle.
Heaviest of all possible sighs..............................................................................................
See? I'm as guilty as the rest. I couldn't wait to lambaste the moronic opinions of others. Stop the vicious cycle, I want to get off!

Enough of this hoo-hah. Let's talk about the good and the hell with the bad and the ugly for the time being, otay? Otay!
This is an incomplete list, but these selection definitely deserve your attention.

Favorite Album of the Year
I honestly did not listen to very much music this year. Nothing really grabbed me, so I have to take a step back to 2009 for Grant-Lee Phillips' LITTLE MOON, which counts because I hadn't heard it until now. In full disclosure, yes, I know Mr. Phillips, even though I've never called him Mr. Phillips. Even if I wasn't a friend, I'd still be his fan. But never have I experienced the unbridled optimism that emanates from this collection of tunes. The unconditional love Grant expresses to his new born daughter in "Violet" as well as the pure joy of being alive in "Good Morning Happiness" warmed the cockles of this aging cynic's heart.

Switching gears abruptly...
Favorite Horror Film
Not a genre I follow as I once did, decent horror films are few and far between for my tastes these days. I'm not usually up for treasure hunts. However, a couple of titles caught my attention. The name Guillermo del
Toro's name attached to MAMA piqued my interest enough for a late night viewing that paid off in spades. Andres Muschietti's film delivered some damn creepy goods to my psyche. On the other hand, DREAM HOME, was definitely the NASTIEST damn picture I saw this year. When I say nasty, I'm talking brutal, over the top, crossing the line way too far violence as I've never seen before and hopefully never will again. However, Ho-Cheung Pang's film is also the best indictment of the housing crisis I've seen. A political conscious splatter warned. This shit is brutal

Best Male Performance
Damn you, Matthew McConaughey. Now that you've finally decided to act instead of pose, I'm forced to spell your name correctly. Dick. And he's superb in Jeff Nichol's MUD.
Best Female Performance
Hands down-Tatiana Maslany in ORPHAN BLACK. Seeking this show out, first airing on BBC America, is well worth your time.
Favorite Film
I'll be damned. I don't have one this year. My favorite is last year's DJANGO UNCHAINED, so that's going to have to do it unless I see something in the next few days. As it stands, Tarantino gave me the best time I had at the movies all year.
Favorite Books
Three titles: & SONS by David Gilbert, a sweeping saga of a famous author's children that make Jonathan Frazen's work pale in comparison, is my number one, followed by Michael Chabon's super-duper ode to the East Bay TELEGRAPH AVENUE and Michael Daly's TOPSY, a fascinating and cruel tale of circus elephants that PETA probably has in their permanent collection. Of course, my guiltiest pleasure of the year had to be Alan Goldsher's PAUL IS UNDEAD: THE BRITISH ZOMBIE INVASION. Sounds incredibly insipid, but it works. I'll be damned if Goldsher doesn't get it right. Well done.

On a personal front, 2013 saw the publication of my new book, SONG OF THE CANYON KID as well as the announcement of a new production of the play from which it's based set for summer 2014. Those came in just under the wire. So, hooray for me.

I lost a couple of friends at almost the same time. Ray Rustigian, a crony from my Pollardville days and Doug Hansen, a fair and decent human being that I had the privilege to know in the past couple of years. I mention him because he deserves to honored in some manner just for being a good guy. Isn't that enough?
Biggest highlight of 2013 was the trip to Colorado this past summer, spending time with my daughter and son-in-law and most of all, my too-gorgeous-for-mere-words granddaughter who owns my heart and it's hers to keep. Combine this with the rest of my incredible family that makes me, like Goerge Bailey, the richest man in town.

So see? 2013 was what it was. It was frustrating. It was rewarding. It was aggravating. It was inspiring. It was annoying. It was the year I fell in love again.

Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.
Bring on the Proseco.

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