So I was going to write a lengthy retrospective on 2008, with my thoughts on both the positive and negative changes we’ve experienced as a whole and the current face of pop culture. However, I got a late start on it, it’s doubtful a lot of you are going to have time to read it, what with your party preparations and getting an early start on drinking and all, plus, honestly, what new do I have to say? I know it’s sort of self-defeatist for a blogger to claim they have nothing new to say, but in this case I think it’s correct. Especially when it comes to pop culture: as far as music is concerned I could post my top five lists and have it contain a bunch of bands you plebians have never heard of and claim that the best songs in 2009 are only going to come from the Green Bay mumblecore-calculus rock-country funk scene. Or I could take the populist approach and write a treatise in defense of “I only pretend to be bi to get guys” pop twinkie Katy Perry, claiming with a mostly serious face that she’s breaking down barriers and playfully redefining female sexuality, all while failing to mention Jill Sobule, who did the same thing nearly fifteen years ago with a song with the exact same title, and actually is bisexual. The truth is, I didn’t listen to a lot of new music this year. Most of the albums I purchased or pirated were by well-established performers and bands, such as Beck, the Killers, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and the much-maligned Coldplay. If I had to pick a best album of the year, it would probably be Nine Inch Nails’ The Slip, and not because it was offered on his website for free. Even for free it was a fine addition to NIN’s substantial catalog. As far as singles, my favorite song of 2008 was actually recorded in 1997: it was Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘The Beginning is the End is the Beginning,’ used in the stunning first trailer for Watchmen. Despite its inauspicious beginnings as a track on the soundtrack for Batman and Robin, easiest the worst in the series, it still sounds fresh and is a perfect companion to the dark, apocalyptic tones of Watchmen‘s trailer. No word if it will actually appear in the movie itself, but it would be nice.
Oh, wait, no, I also liked a song by TV on the Radio. I guess I’m a tiny bit hip after all.
As far as movies, I can’t say that my pick for movie of the year was a documentary about Tibetan goat herders or anything small and artsy like that (though I did enjoy the documentary about Hunter S. Thompson, which qualifies as “artsy” I suppose). My favorite movies of 2008, Wall-E, The Dark Knight and Milk, all made a bunch of money and will win a bunch of awards (and not just the People’s Choice Award), so I probably have no room to sneer at the people who liked Mamma Mia! I didn’t see as many movies as I normally do, mainly because there seemed to be only a few bright spots, such as the ones mentioned above and a couple I missed, hidden amongst a whole lot of dreck, like The Love Guru and Disaster Movie. Hopefully 2009 will be better in that regard, though considering that the first release of the year I’ve seen previews of is something called Paul Blart, Mall Cop, it doesn’t look promising.
TV? I didn’t watch a lot of TV this year. But have you ever seen Flapjack on Cartoon Network? Man, that’s some crazy shit.
And hey, we voted for the first black president! That was pretty awesome, huh?
A very Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for reading, I hope you come back for more in 2009. There’s going to be a new look (hopefully, if I can get my barebones HTML skillz to work with me), with bigger things ahead. With that, there will be another brief hiatus until Monday. Until we meet again, be safe and be well.
Yr. Pals at DSF