Well kids, it’s that time of year again, so possibly for the last time before the holocaust…
NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR – Years ago, when I started this blog, I would write once a week about the state of our United States of America on many fronts. I did what every writer would do, wrote what I liked, which was, and still is, politics, music and sports.
One of the things that my readers loved was how I would call out those who spouted what was either dishonest, ridiculous or flat out wrong. When you expose a lie or tell a joke about something you may find contemptuous, people respond to it, and hopefully minds open and things change.
I do not keep this up weekly anymore for many reasons. One is that I do not have the time on my hands I once did, but more importantly, facts do not seem to matter anymore. You see, I never set out to necessarily change anyone’s mind, just entertain and inform a bit. Maybe that sounds self-important, but I was just having fun. The problem is that minds have become so closed, it has become not even worth it to try and open them.
Now politics could be the most significant news story of any year, particularly in the times we are living in now, but I do not think that any story has been more captivating, more compelling or more quickly to cause an immediate change in the cultural landscape not only in politics, but in pretty much every form of the entertainment industry than finally bringing the horny to light.
Yes I believe that the story of the year was our reaction to, our failure to react to, sexual harassment. Yup…whether its politics or the entertainment business the horny have now been brought to light, and many a powerful man (so far it’s been just men) have been ruined due to their self-importance, arrogance and well, horniness.
So first let’s start with the entertainment business. This actually started last year with Bill Cosby, but blew up and out of control with Harvey Weinstein. Until this year, everyone was “outraged” but no one called for changes. Proof, yet again that much like Rock n Roll, you can be as gifted and talented as Chuck Berry, but the minute Elvis shows up…well, you know.
And not to be outdone by those liberal media entertainment types, Congress had its share of sexual harassment issues as well. There was a racist and accused child molester judge in Alabama running for Senate, and there was a Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, who was accused of improprieties before he became Senator, mostly consisting of inappropriate touching, which could pretty much mean anything given the general nature of the accusations. Of course, the cowards in Congress, on the Democratic side I have to admit, refused to even acknowledge that equating what Al Franken was accused of and what Ray Moore (more on him later) was accused of was ridiculous and insulting to the American public. Even Republicans at their most ignorant were unable to justify the comparison, but Democrats were so enraptured in their own self-importance that they did it for them and are refusing to listen to the “will of the people” when 56% of voters in Minnesota do not want Franken to resign.
Now these accusations against such powerful people may have started a movement empowering victims to come forward with their stories so that crap like this never happens again, but we must be careful with making accusations, and lives cannot, and should not be ruined over unfounded accusations, or overzealous attacks on even the mildest of offences. One false accusation and the backlash could turn around and whup you on your own self-righteous ass. Like everything else, a perspective must be had, or this will go nowhere.
You cannot claim permanent damages just because you brushed up against it back in 2003. And in the words of Morrissey (who I never quote, but he kinda has a point this time) “Sometimes what you see as harassment is just a pathetic attempt at courtship.” So if you take this too far, then you will end up with people so afraid to interact with each other that the only acceptable way to communicate with anyone without getting arrested is through a fucking app. Now is that really the world we want to live in? Having your smartphone make your relationship decisions? Is the phone that fucking smart? Twenty years ago if anyone had predicted this you would accuse them of Orwellian paranoia. I may not be the most social of human beings, but I always thought that part of getting laid was that you had to at least have some sort of talking game. And a world where everyone lives in fear of interacting with one another for fear of being accused of harassment is certainly not one I want to live in.
My subjective threshold is not just the act of assaulting someone physically, it is also fear. Discomfort however, is not something anyone should consider a fireable offence. Someone glances at you out at work, they should not be called up to HR or made to sit through a seminar just because they are plain looking and do not live up to your expectations.
I would also remind those on the attack on this issue that you have a lot of light and a lot of power now, but if you make so much as one false allegation, your movement will lose credibility. If you start attack everyone who does not take as strong a position as you do on every aspect of this matter, then your movement will lose credibility. That’s why I think that Rose McGowan needs to chill, before someone whips out this old picture and reminds her that outfits like this might make her a target for both harassment and ridicule. When you are this desperate for attention, your credibility may be in question. When you attack Meryl Streep and other actors for not being as militant as you just because they are invited to a party that you are not, it makes you look ridiculous and takes away from the good you say are trying to do. “#Me Too” is a good start, give it a chance, Rose.
Then there are the accused that are becoming equally disturbing. Harvey Weinstein? OK there is a definite pattern of piggish behavior there, but Garrison Keillor? Really? Sure I was shocked, but mostly because I thought he was dead. The man lost his job because he put his hand on a woman’s shoulder when she was upset at something else. WTF? Kevin Spacey may be a bit creepy, but the accusation against him was that he propositioned someone at a party, they said no and went home. Well shit how many times has that happened? Do we all lose our jobs now? But my favorite is George HW Bush. What? George HW Bush? From his fucking wheelchair? Well yeah the horny have no bounds I guess, and are not limited, not even by physical infirmity.
Now I believe the culture will change, I just hope it is for the better.
QUOTE OF THE YEAR – “Nevertheless, she persisted.” - Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Feb. 7.
Leave it to this Republican asshole to be so out of touch that his criticism of a woman gave women a quote that they should continue to use as a rallying cry. When the Senate majority leader cut off Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) speech against attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), he accused Warren of attacking another senator’s character, which is apparently against the rules of the Senate? OK. “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” McConnell probably didn’t expect that the last sentence would become the soundtrack for women to speak out, run for political office, and otherwise engage more in the political process. So whether it was the Women’s March, the number of women running for office, the #MeToo movement, and more, women have “persisted” in speaking out.
Let’s hope it lasts, and more importantly, let’s not only make sure we remember this quote, but let’s continue to give its author credit every time a woman wins a political seat or makes this country a better place.
I just realized that Netflix seems to have overtaken cable TV as the general public’s main form of TV watching. Maybe it’s just me but I do not have the time to be that heavily invested in the thin, lighted box that occupies my bedroom that I only turn on to disappoint and disillusion me as I fall asleep, so I really do not watch a lot of TV.
It has also been my experience that the TV shows I tend to like, are so outrageous and offensive that they end up getting cancelled after one season. Such is what I believed would be the fate of my pick for TV show of the year, but there will be a season 2. Seriously, Hank Azaria has created a character that is utterly hilarious and just all sorts of wrong. I love it, and you will too.
ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR – Harvey Weinstein
Ever just look at someone and get totally grossed out? No explanation needed here, just look at this picture then scroll the fuck up.
OVERUSED PHRASE OF THE YEAR – “Groping”
Look, my views on this are already documented, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear it again. Seriously.
MOVIE OF THE YEAR – “Blade Runner 2049”
Believe it or not, this was a tough one. Usually whatever Star Wars concoction comes out in any given year is the winner, but this year was a bit different. First off, “Blade Runner 2049” was awesome, I don’t give a shit what anyone else says. Remember the first “Blade Runner” was totally misunderstood and dismissed when it first came out as well, and the general public has gotten no wiser. I mean, just look no further than the idiot who they elected as President of the United States.
COOLEST MOVIE WITH SOMEWHAT FAMOUS PEOPLE IN IT THAT YOU STILL DIDN’T (YET/PROBABLY)
SEE BUT YOU
SHOULD HAVE – “Wonder Wheel.”
I remember predicting that Cate Blanchett would win an Oscar for her role in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” and I was right. I don’t know about this year, but this was a good movie. One day I will write my thoughts on Woody Allen, but for now let’s just say he made another enjoyable film. I never thought that I would be praising Justin Timberlake’s fucking acting, but even I have to admit he was pretty solid.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – “Everything Now.” Arcade Fire. Yeah I know this may be the record that turns them into a lame pop band, but I still love the way they do things. It’s catchy and it kinda reminds me of those songs played during an inspirational montage in an 80’s teen movie. John Hughes would have loved these guys and put them on every soundtrack
COOLEST SONG BY A MAJOR ACT THAT WASN’T A BIG
HIT – “Bones of Saints” – Robert Plant.
Much like Paul McCartney, Robert Plant has been a solo artist longer than the band that made him famous was active. Led Zeppelin is known for being a pioneering hard rock band, but a closer listen will reveal a great many musical influences, like Moroccan sounds that Plant still subtly incorporates into his music today. This is still very present in Plant’s 2017 offering, “Carry Fire.” Of course, the only radio station that even pretends to play music that matters is 90.7 WFUV, and had it not been for this station I have to admit, I might not have even known about this album.
Honorable mention goes to Depeche Mode for “Where’s the Revolution.”
COOLEST SONG OF THE YEAR – “Across the Room” Odesza featuring Leon Bridges. Neo-Soul is making a comeback that is, of course, not even noticed on mainstream (lamestream) radio. While they are busy with Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and equally shitty collaborations by equally shitty so-called artists, this brilliant collaboration went mostly unnoticed, but not by anyone who actually likes music.
COOLEST ACT OF THE YEAR – The xx.
Yes there were some bigger acts this year, but if I had to pick that one “cool band that just you and a few of your friends know about” it would be this one. Thank you again 90.7 WFUV.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
– The Houston Astros, MLB.
Much like the much maligned Philadelphia 76ers, the Astros implemented their own version of what has now become known as “the process.” That is, to tank for a few years to get high draft picks, then develop those picks as you play along for a few seasons, regardless of whether or not you are acting in good faith by not really putting the best team possible on the field. I remember when this Houston team lost 101 games in and were nothing short of a complete and utter laughingstock. Well who is laughing now? They managed to beat a very good, ahead of schedule in the process New York Yankees team to make it to, then win, the World Series.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Colin Kaepernick, Free Agent, NFL.
If there was one reason I probably should have blogged more this year, it would have been to address this rather polarizing situation with Kaepernick. Believe it or not, I am not here to write this guy’s canon for sainthood, in fact, I have a few problems with him. So let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
There are people who think that when he started this “kneeling down during the anthem” protest a few years back, it was simply a calculated move by Kaepernick to agitate his employers, The San Francisco 49ers, because he knew he was going to lose his starting QB position. And, yeah, this is a plausible theory considering that his play had declined, but who cares? Just because it may have been calculated and selfishly motivated, does not mean it was wrong.
Since then however, he has allowed the narrative to slip away from him, and if he is to have any further consequential effect on this issue, he needs to get it back. First of all, he needs to address the accusation that his protest against police brutality and justice in America, is somehow Un-American, disrespectful to the flag or disrespectful to those who served in uniform under it. All these accusations are wrong for one simple reason that no one seems to be talking about: When Kaepernick first thought to protest, he asked military personnel how to do it, and it was THEY who suggested kneeling when the National Anthem was played. This was not something Kaepernick pull out of his ass, this is something that he took the time to research as to make sure that he wouldn’t offend the military. Why do you think no one who actually served, said he was being disrespectful? It was only cowards like Donald Trump, who got five deferments so that he wouldn’t have to serve, or FOX News that never does any research and is a joke of a partisan news organization, more concerned with which female staffer to grope that actual news, that were critical of the movement? Not anyone who matters. Kaepernick did nothing to illustrate this very important point in his defense.
Then there is the problem I have with this guy. Like it or not, Mr. Kaepernick, your actions started a movement, a movement that even though it has become bigger than you, you can still control. But you will not get any support from people if you actually declare that you DON’T VOTE!?!?! Dude, what are you thinking? You cannot send this message and expect change to happen. It is borderline hypocritical to illustrate that which is wrong with America, then refuse to participate in its greatest tool for change. Don’t you know that even if the election for President might be flawed, direct elections are constantly held for judges, local politicians, and legislative proposals? It is those things that have a greater more direct, more immediate impact on the lives of citizens, and he should be encouraging and participating in them. Maybe I should restrict this award in the future to on-the-field accomplishments, but this is one time I couldn’t ignore the off-the-field movement so forgive me.
BIGOTED ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR – Judge Roy Moore
Much like LeBron James is the NBA MVP every year even though he may not get the trophy, Donald Trump is fit to win this award every year. But much like the NBA I am also gonna mix it up a bit, and give it to someone as a final parting gift. That’s right… Who else but the gun totin’, ugly vest wearin’, child molestin’, racist, good ol’ boy Roy Moore? Yes, the man accused by multiple women of child molestation and who was banned from a mall as a middle-aged man because he was making the teenaged girls uncomfortable, was really a Senatorial candidate in the great state of Alabama. He also was quoted as saying that things were better when we still had slavery. Wow, just think about how we are gonna look back at these times.
DEAD PERSON OF THE YEAR – Chuck Berry.
To be honest, the fact that I even have to write this entry to justify my position on the importance of Chuck Berry is a bit insulting and yet a further example of the dumbing down of American society. A dumbing down primarily due to a serious lack of appreciation or understanding of history.
Here’s hoping the New Year brings you everything you want! And of course…FUCK DONALD TRUMP!!