Well that 2010 done. It’s been a fairly good year all things considered; take last years resolutions as evidence.

Get a PhD, even if I have to do the sort of things that would make a Liverpudlian whore blush:
Task complete And thankfully without gaining the glazed, dead-eyed stare of a sink-estate teenage girl in the process.

Find a piece of the true cross and drive it into Dark Lord Mandelson’s chest thus banishing him back to the realm of shadows:
Task complete, though I won’t bore you with specifics. However we all know true evil never dies.

Ensure my body resembles a Greek statue that is adored by men and worshiped by women:
task completed before it was begun, aha. No. Sadly. A broken foot in May and inexpensive pizza put pay to this little plan.

Of course experiencing a malicious and cold-hearted act of ultimate betrayal by the woman I loved for 5 years wasn’t on that list… but one can’t have everything

 


As I say, it was an interesting year

Anyway, suppose I better make a list of the best, worst, most interesting, silly etc things of the year gone by.

Favourite Film – Inception
Actually a tough one this as there were a lot of great films released this year. A great action thriller in the vein of The Matrix. It’s not that complex (unless you find a Wedding Cake complicated to understand) but is certainly more cerebral than anything Michael Bay has forced upon the world recently (Come to think of it, so is a wedding cake).

Honourable Mentions:
2) The Road, 2) Monsters, 3) Scott Pilgrim vs The World, 4) Kick Ass, 5) The Girl the the Dragon tattoo, 6) The Ghost, 7) Prince of Persia, 8) A Prophet, 9) Centurion, 10) Four Lions

Favourite New TV show – Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Bet you thought I’d say The Walking Dead. But no, it’s Spartacus. On the surface it seems little more than a gratuitous tripe of gore and softcore pornography. However past the first few episodes a genuinely compelling story develops containing all the Machiavellian machinations the Romans are so famous for. What is worrying however is, given this year’s cancellations (See TV tragedies), it seems the only way to fund an intricately woven story for a second season is to hide it behind a writhing mass of blood-soaked titties.

Honourable Mentions:
The Walking Dead – A surprisingly excellent and high budget adaption of the comic book
Sherlock – the BBC’s new adaptation of London’s greatest detective was also a pleasant surprise. I can’t claim to be a Holmes aficionado but I thought it an great modern reimagining of a classic character.

Favourite piece of artistic criticism – Mark Kermode’s Sex and the City 2 rant
It really must be heard to be believed. Brilliant. Another close call with the below but the caustic vitriol of the good Dr’s review is spell binding. I could listen to it on loop for hours. I hope the writers of SATC have heard it and are thoroughly ashamed of themselves

Honourable Mention:
The Attack of the Clones dissection by red letter media. The Anakin/padme romance section – “how to make a girl like you: Endorse fascism, bring a corpse home, murder women and children, have a psychotic rant” deserves special mention – but Dr K’s true disgust beats Plinkett’s considered analysis.

 


I understand why you killed the Sand-children… but why did you keep the heads?

Favourite New Album – Avenge Sevenfold – Nightmare
I must admit to not paying that much attention to the music scene this year, and a lot of the bands I did hear released LPs in 2009 (So technically are excluded). I also cannot express my disappointment with Anathema’s We’re Here Because We’re Here: What exactly is a doom metal band when they no longer sound Doom-laden or Metalic? Thankfully Nightmare saves the day with is metal/riffy madness. In my humble opinion it dies a little towards the end, but the first 6 or so tracks are pure gold: With both the eponymous Nightmare and Welcome to the Family being particular favourites.

Honourable Mention:
Florence and the Machine – Lungs:
I love this LP, but alas it was officially released in 2009. But thought I’d just say it’s great. for those who haven’t heard it, here’s the wonderfully creepy Girl With One Eye

Worst (Television) Tragedies – Syfy Channel’s decent into cancellation madness!
Caprica: What began as a failed series only commissioned due to the writers strike was turning into a real gem; a beautiful noir aesthetic, multi-layered story, crazy steam-punk VR world and the decades trope of choice; religious terrorism. And in it’s place? Battlestar: Blood and Chrome. Wow, I’m sure this will be as intelligent, serious and in no way gratuitous as it sounds.

Stargate Universe: Starring the ever watchable Robert Carlyle, this was another series that was finally hitting it’s stride: the story was coming together, they’d stop using the damned communication stones and the characters were becoming three dimensional. It clearly had to go. Religion/God was an emerging theme in both these series; so Religion = cancel, Breasts = commissioned appears to be the rule.

 


To be fair, how else would SciFi SyFy channel fund Mega-Shark vs Regular Bridge

Honorable mention:
Legend of the Seeker – another series drowned just as it was beginning to walk, this time by the insane executives of ABC. Even it’s delightfully buxom cast couldn’t save this sword and sorcery adventure

Favourite Book
Again this one suffers from publication dates. For books published this year:
Fiction – The Evolutionary Void (P. F. Hamilton): An acceptable end to the Void Saga if still not achieving the heights of The Nights Dawn Trilogy
Non-fiction – Mao’s Great Famine (Frank Dikötter). A very detailed, and often horrifically so, tale of the disaster that was The Great Leap Forward. A vital purchase for anyone with friends in the Socialist Workers Party: If they’re not convinced it’s hefty enough to function as a bludgeoning device

Most surprisingly entertaining program – The Grid (BBC 4)
At the risk of sounding a massive geek, it was really interesting series about The National Grid. And surprisingly so (hence the name of the award). Fascinating stuff about the early competing voltages, the huge undertaking of the grid itself and the resistance to the giant pylons – Something to consider in regard to the furor surrounding wind turbines – as well as the way electricity changed Britain: I had no idea that pre- consumer electronics, even the moderately middle-class had servants!

A series of unfortunate events
2010 was also the year nature fought back with a vengeance, and like any good bully did so against the weakest of it’s enemies: So while ten of thousands of people died in earthquakes in Haiti and floods in Pakistan, volcanoes and unlikely snow forced the denizens of the West to brave delayed flights, trains and endless vox-popping about how awful this was. Where was our concert eh, our parade!

 


Well played Mother Nature, well played

New Years resolutions
OK, some quick aims for the coming year
1) Get to the point where I enjoy playing guitar to an audience and not find the whole thing terrifying
2) Publish a paper in a journal with an impact rating above “Kitten Sneeze”
3) Continue my lackluster and half-arsed exercise regime

Happy New Year everyone. 2010 is dead, long live 2011!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness you’re still on here Dave! Everyone else has deserted this place for fucking facebook!
    Inception was amazing and I still need to watch ‘Sherlock’..but as a massive fan of the books I am unsure…

  2. Anonymous says:

    :: Objects are closer than they appear :: – Post a comment

    Cool written! Interesting stuff, it is seen that the author has tried.

  3. Get No Happy says:

    Ay, though I generally use it as a blog/rant space rather than anything personal. It’s a shame really as Lj was great in the old days

    Should watch Sherlock, Becks is a fan of Holmes as she really liked it