Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year! May 2007 not suck so much...and lists!

Hey kids! Happy New Year! Let's all hope that 2007 is better than 2006!

2006, all in all, sucked a giant crapsicle. Nationally and internationally things pretty much sucked. Earthquakes and other natural disasters, genocide, global warming (Al Gore was right), disease, and war still ravage the globe. War in Iraq still marches forth for no reasonable explainable reason as thousands of civilians and military unnecessarily die as Haliburton profits and Dubya smirks. Unemployment in the US may be on the very slight decline, but it is soaring locally. Michigan is in a shitload of trouble. The American automobile market is hanging by a frayed thread. Ford Motor Company is essentially just short of looking at bankruptcy as it is currently laying off/firing/buying out thousands of employees. Our car companies are not subsidized by the government unlike the Japanese. It is severely depressing living around here. Especially as most of the local businesses are somehow dependent upon the auto industry. I've never encountered so many people that are contemplating moving out of Michigan just to find a job. This is a desperate time. It's ugly out there. I bought a Ford this year largely out of local guilt, but I'm feeling better and better about my purchase. I love my car! Support the Big 3! Buy an American car and feel good about it! They may be a little more expensive, but peace of mind is comes cheap. The world, this country, and this state are in a world of hurt, but it takes just a small effort to get things going the right way. Remember, as they say, think globally and act locally. Even the smallest gesture or action can help motivate a larger mechanism to change. The recent Democratic victory in Congress is one fo the few highlights of an otherwise bleak year. Hopefully this will be a catalyst for peace and forward thinking.

Nothing especially good or bad happened to me personally in 2006, but it was a veritable shitfest to many that are close to me. And that affects me greatly as friends and family are vitally important to me. 2006 is a year that has seen an innocent friend go to jail, a friend have to give up on his dream (Die illegal downloaders! Die!!!), friends have a scare with a premature baby (Baby Colin is doing well so far. Pray that his progress continues!), and recently a friend's heart has been stomped on. Tragedies both large and small have defined 2006. It's simply been an awful year. What affects my friends affects me. I try to keep my head up, but there's just so much ugliness. I try to be hopeful, but at the same time I'm realistic. This is an ugly world right now. Let's try to put some makeup on it and make it look good, but not make it look like a clown or a tranny. Let's be hopeful for a better 2007!

2006 does have a few positive attributes. Personally, I did get to enjoy a trip to New York last January and was able to see some of my friends from my Australian trip. That was a great experience! I look forward to going again in a couple weeks! I also got to spend a few relaxing days Up North this summer. I truly value all the time I was able to spend with my exceptional friends this past year. They mean so very much to me. Friends are a bright light in a dark world. I don't know what I'd do without them. I love you all so much! Nothing makes me laugh more than my friends, and laughter is what the world really needs right now. Thanks for be being funny!

As promised I have come up with some of my Best Of/Worst Of 2006 lists...
(Regarding films and albums- All of the films/albums listed have a US release date in 2006.)

Jason's Top 10 Movies of 2006
(I didn't get a chance to see a lot of movies in the theater this year. I barely got to see any indies this year at all. Most of my Netflix viewing this year consisted of pre-2006 film.)
1. The Proposition (I may be biased as I love Nick Cave, but this is truly an amazing film. Written by Nick Cave with wonderful performances by Guy Pierce, John Hurt, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, and Emily Watson. Amazing cinematography! Dark, brutal, violent, and beautiful! Even Entertainment Weekly said it was the 7th best movie of the year! I'm not alone!)
2. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (I think this may be Spike Lee's best work...and I think that Spike Lee is the occasional genius. This documentary about Hurricane Katrina and the people it affected, the inaction of various government agencies, the confused action of various agencies, and the effort to rebuild is deeply moving, shocking, and brilliantly done. This is a MUST SEE! You'll be torn down, uplifted, and torn down again...but it's worth the ride.)
3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (An amazing adaptation of my favorite childhood book. Top notch!)
4. Borat (The funniest movie that I've ever seen! Ever!)
5. Tsotsi (A sad, beautiful, compelling South African film. Stunning!)
6. Clerks II (Even better than the first! Filthy, smart, and hilarious!)
7. An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore is right! Ask the polar bears. I've heard most of the information in this film before, but this compiles everything neatly and it's oddly entertaining. This is basically Al Gore telling us that we're in deep shit. You have to see this!)
8. Little Miss Sunshine (Although this is just about the most blatantly dysfunctional family I've seen on film, it's probably the most realistic portrayal of any family I've ever seen on film. Toni Collette is brilliant as always and Alan Arkin steals the movie! Lots of fun!)
9. Jackass II (Stupid, dumb, vile, and funnier than poop!)
10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Not Will Ferrell's best work, but good for a lot of cheap, over-the-top laughs.)

The Worst Movie of 2006
The Benchwarmers (I don't even like to admit that I saw this piece of crap. The movie I wanted to see must have been sold out.)

The Funniest Movies of 2006
1. Borat
2. Clerks II
3. Jackass II
4. Jesus is Magic
5. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Best Book of 2006
The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain (It is truly an excellent book, but it's also probably the only book I read in 2006 that was published in 2006.)

Best Albums of 2006
(Most of the albums I bought in 2006 were older albums or re-issues.)
1. Neko Case "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"
2. Sonic Youth "Rather Ripped"
3. Yo La Tengo "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass" (I don't even have this album yet and I haven't heard it. But I know it belongs on this list as the band frickin' rules! I've also heard good things.)
4. Johnny Cash "American V: A Hundred Highways"
5. Johnny Cash "Personal File"
6. Beatles "Love"
7. Elbow "Leaders of the Free World"
8. Tom Waits "Orphans"

Most Disappointing Album of 2006
Flaming Lips "At War With the Mystics" (Although it's not a bad album, I just expect a lot from this band. There's really nothing exciting or ground-breaking on this album. I guess I just expect a lot from this band."

The Top 12 TV Shows of 2006
1. Battlestar Galactica (No joke! This show is phenomonal. Even Entertainment Weekly said it's the 3rd best show on TV. (It's nothing like the campy original which I dearly love!) This is the best written drama on TV. The gritty, dark space drama tackles issues such as genocide, birth rites, religion, justice, prejudice, suicide bombing, and the nature of humanity. Don't mock it until you watch it! It's pure genius!)
2. The Sopranos (Damn! I can't wait for the last episodes! Bloody brilliant!)
3. No Reservations (I love anything that involves Anthony Bourdain! His "Beirut" episode devolved into Israeli/Lebanese crisis footage, but is some of the most riveting TV I've ever seen. That episode should win an Emmy. The regular episodes are pretty damn good too!)
4. Globetrekker (I absolutely love this show even if they keep changing times/nights or taking it off the air. It's great entertainment! Episodes presented by Ian Wright or Megan McCormick are fantastic! If I can't travel to these amazing places I'm honored to join them via the boob tube. This show is an absolute treat!)
5. 24 (Best season ever!)
6. House (Love it!)
7. Lost (Confusing but fun as hell!)
8. Reno 911! (The funniest show on TV!)
9. The Office (Funny!)
10. Law and Order: SVU (A tense and brilliant season!)
11. Family Guy (Hahahahahahahahhahahaahaahahahah...)
12. South Park (As funny as ever and topical as hell!)

2006 sucked! Let's be hopeful about a better 2007! Do your part to make the world a better place. Be philanthropic, volunteer, be politically active, do your part to stop global warming... Do whatever you want if you feel it's going to better society.

I can't believe that President Clinton was impeached for fooling around while Dubya is still in office and he's fucking the entire nation. ITMFA!

I wish you all a year of PEACE and HAPPINESS. Be kind to others and be kind to the planet we live on. Be kind, be hopeful, be strong, be resilient, be loud, be soft, be smart, be curious, be forward-thinking, be tolerant. Be nice! May peace break out in every nation. Spend time with family and friends. Encourage a better future with positive thinking!

Happy 2007!



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