Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Good Stuff 2007

This seemed like a watershed year for terribleness. Even my naturally cynical mind can't comprehend the idiocy perpetrated by our federal government, and from Sherri Shepard to Britney Spears to Don Imus it seemed like the whole world was trying to out-stupid each other. The presidential race makes me want to move to northern Europe, and the strident anti-intellectualism of the evangelicals makes me wish the Romans had been more diligent in feeding their lions. The only thing more depressing than being alive to witness the decline of our nation is that my children will have to deal with it.

Still, there were a few bright spots. There was some decent music produced this year, and some decent music that I learned to appreciate. My favorite albums:
  • The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
  • Midlake - Van Occupanther
  • Rogue Wave - Asleep At Heaven's Gate
  • Manic Street Preachers - Send Away The Tigers
  • Fair to Midland - Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You 3 Times is True
  • Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings and All
  • Ari Hest - The Break-In
I also developed a taste for Bob Dylan this year, especially The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and Highway 61 Revisited.

I didn't see a lot of movies again this year, but of those that i saw Eastern Promises was far and away my favorite. The new Bourne movie was good too.

I didn't read many books this year either. I got into the Thomas Covenant series of books as a way to tide me over until George Martin publishes the next book in his Song of Fire and Ice series. The most memorable of the books i read this year:
  • A Perfect Hell: The True Story of the Black Devils, the Forefathers of the Special Forces - John Nadler
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks
  • Warriors of the Steppe - A Military History of Central Asia - Erik Hildinger
All war-related, maybe that's significant.

Some random stuff that didn't suck:
  • Haile Gebrselassie set the world record in the marathon.
  • I got to see Ryan Hall win the US Olympic trials for the marathon in Central Park.
  • Chicago. I was there 3 times this year, and i just love the city.
  • Ron White - White might be the funniest comedian working. I was horrified when he was included in the Blue Collar Comedy tour along with mediocrities Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall, and the egregious, mentally retarded Larry the Cable Guy.
  • Free software. I am continually amazed that stuff like R, Eclipse, Knime, and JFreeChart are available free of charge.
  • Reddit. Sure, it's got some problems, but it's my favorite Internet time killer.

1 comment:

J said...

I concur whole-heartedly with that first paragraph. I was wondering if the world had gone crazy, or if I was just aware enough to notice things in make me think it had indeed gone crazy.

Maybe we should dub 2007 "The Year That Sucked".

Looking forward to a bright 2008.