Well kids, it’s that time of year again…
QUOTE OF THE YEAR – I’ll start off with something simple, and since brevity is the soul of wit, brilliant as well…"There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no libertarians in financial crises." / Paul Krugman on “Real Time with Bill Maher“
TV SHOW OF THE YEAR – It was almost the Summer Olympics, but the most watchable television this year wasn’t exactly a show. CNN’s coverage of the 2008 Presidential election. The coverage combined with the background stories and cool graphics kept you informed as well as interested. When that holograph thing was on it was the coolest thing on TV.
NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR – You know, all I hoped for was that President George W. Bush, or as I have come to call him, President Fuck Up, didn’t actually have the energy left in him for one more big, well…fuck up. He has proven his mettle by giving us yet one last big fuck up to remember him by…the worst economic failure since The Great Depression. So his legacy will not only be that he couldn’t find oil in Texas, he also couldn’t turn a war in to an economic success like Truman did after World War II or Clinton did after the first Iraq war in 1991. Wars equal economic progress, that has been true since Ancient Greece…how can you possibly fuck that up? Well our boy is resilient. I so wanted the most historically significant election ever in the US to be the news story of the year, but the economic crisis will unfortunately have a greater, more immediate impact on us all.
BOOK OF THE YEAR (Fiction) – “Mercy”/Toni Morrison. I first read “Sula” when I was in college. I have to say I have been hooked ever since.
BOOK OF THE YEAR (Non-Fiction) – American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House / Jon Meacham. I guess when you are the editor of Newsweek, you have access to historical material that we peons don’t.
ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR – Sean Avery? Plaxico Burress? I wish it were that simple, and I wish the actions of these two buffoons were the worst things done this year by an individual, but they were not. That’s why this year’s award goes to Ponzi scam genius Bernard L. Madoff. I have nothing against rich assholes getting burned by their own greed. Mort Zuckerman publishes that worthless rag the New York Daily News. Norman Braman owned the Philadelphia Eagles, so they can stand to lose a few million. Fred Wilpon just built a new Stadium for the New York Mets, so it looks like the Yankees won’t be the only team dramatically raising ticket prices now that this idiot lost his shirt. But when a charitable institution like the JEHT Foundation, (Justice, Equality, Human dignity and Tolerance), has to send an e-mail to the Fair Food Foundation based in Ann Arbor, which set out to find ways to get fresher, healthy food to residents of poor city neighborhoods, the Rhode Island Family Life Center, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights out of New Orleans which used a grant from JEHT to pursue a lawsuit charging "environmental racism" in the predominantly black Louisiana town of Mossville, where the soil and water are polluted by 14 surrounding factories, saying that the $30 million in checks that they were waiting for isn’t coming, then this prick Madoff should be held accountable.
POLITITIAN OF THE YEAR – The first two-time winner in the history of this award, President Elect Barack Obama made history as we all watched. For me, it was never about the first black president, it was about this country putting its petty, bullshit fears behind it and electing the best man for the job, regardless of race. It was a shining moment in an otherwise abysmal period in our history.
FELONY CONVICTION OF THE YEAR – Well it looks like “the Juice” is no longer loose. OJ Simpson is finally going away. The judge said that she was not going to try a 13 year old case and was only going to concentrate on this one, but who really believed that bullshit? Look, the Juice is probably a murdering asshole, but look at this from an objective, purely legal standpoint…OJ was the only one that got nine years, and he wasn’t even armed. And technically it was his first offense in that state, how do you get nine years for that? I say what I’ve always said…let’s give OJ a chance to escape, and here’s how we do it. Since he was the fist running back to ever rush for over 2,000 yards in the NFL, how about we put him 2,000 yards away from the Mexican border, if he can make it before the US Border Patrol shoot him, let him go.
MOVIE OF THE YEAR – “Che.” Over four hours long, and the entire film will keep you in it from start to finish. When a story can keep you interested for four hours, how can it not be the movie of the year? Whenever a film is made about a historical figure, there are always stories you wish had made the film, like the time a boat he was in was sinking, and he could save either his medical bag or a box of ammunition. Keeping in mind that he was a doctor, which one do you think he chose to save? I won’t tell you the answer, but I would have liked to see an interpretation of that choice on film. But that’s just me. Regardless, this was the best film of the year, one of the best films of this decade. Did I mention it was four hours long?
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR – “Religulous.” Bill Maher wasn’t trying to offend anyone when he made this film, he just managed to. And anyone offended by this film is so afraid of their religion they can’t be objective.
COOLEST MOVIE WITH NO OVERLY FAMOUS PEOPLE IN IT – “Twilight.”
COOLEST MOVIE WITH FAMOUS PEOPLE IN IT THAT YOU STILL DIDN’T
SEE – “Choke.” I don’t know shit about the Oscars, but it would be really lame if Anjelica Huston doesn’t get at least a nomination for an Academy Award for her performance in this movie.
ACTOR WHO MANAGED TO GET HIMSELF INTO EVERY COOL MOVIE THIS YEAR – Sam Rockwell for “Frost/Nixon” and “Choke”
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – “Chinese Democracy”/Guns & Roses. I hate to believe the hype, but I can’t believe how good this record is.
COOLEST SONG BY A MAJOR BAND THAT WASN’T A BIG HIT - “Cath…”/Death Cab for Cutie
COOLEST SONG BY A BAND YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF – “Kim and Jesse” / M83
COOLEST BAND OF THE YEAR – Kings of Leon
SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR – The New York Giants. Winning what was arguably the greatest Super Bowl in history in the biggest upset in history makes them an easy pick. What I loved about them is how no one gave them a chance, and everyone wanted to watch the New England Patriots make history. The media talked about the Giants the way you do about a hated stepchild, as if they weren’t even there. Well they certainly showed up at the Super Bowl. When will Boston/New England ever learn? We always beat you when it matters most. Sure you have won one recent ALCS against the Yankees, but that is out of how many that we have crushed you people? Just accept second place, you will feel better. Plaxico Burress drama and Michael Strahan retirement aside, this team is not only the best team in the NFL so far this year with a 12-4 record, but for the second season in a row has given us the best late season game of the year. Last year around this time they gave the New England Patriots all they could handle, a precursor of the Super Bowl. This year they have once again thrilled us at the end of the season this year with an overtime victory against the Carolina Panthers, clinching home field advantage.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – Michael Phelps, Swimmer. OK so Sports Illustrated beat me to it by naming him their “Sportsman of the Year” but who else could it have possibly been? He kept us glued to the TV for two weeks this summer, and no one wanted to see him fail. He has no felony convictions (at least not yet), he is not shooting himself at a nightclub or beating a live-in girlfriend. How can you not like this guy?
OVER-RATED ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – This is going to hurt me more than it does you, but this years most over rated athlete is, objectively…Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo. Known more for banging famous airheads than airing out passes, Bill Parcells was right when he said “Don’t anoint him just yet.” For all his hype, he has yet to get the Cowboys out of the first round of the playoffs, and this year seemed to just implode under pressure in Philadelphia, missing the playoffs altogether. As a Cowboys fan I have to say it’s disappointing to see him on the cover of every stupid, supermarket celebrity rag and not have any championships to show for it. At least Tom Brady has 3 Super Bowl rings.
BELOVED ATHLETE WHO REALLY SHOULD RETIRE – Oscar De La Hoya. Here is a guy that I watched fight in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. What I don’t understand is why he keeps fighting. Here is a guy who made more money in his first three years than Felix Trinidad ever made in his entire career, and Trinidad was a much better fighter. And when he wasn’t busy recording albums (I’m serious, he was actually nominated for a fucking Grammy Award, proving yet again how clueless these people are) he actually did fight the best fighters of his time, win or lose. He never ducked anyone, and even managed to gain respect after his losses. Even the guys that beat him like Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley ended up working for him. So why would you possibly twitch the nose of Manny Paquiao when he is the best fighter out there right now? After that dismantling, it really is time for the Golden Boy’s Golden years to commence. Dude, you’ve had a great career as a fighter, an even more lucrative career as a promoter, hang ‘em up before you get hurt.
RACIST OF THE YEAR – Mississippi head basketball coach Andy Kennedy. Here’s why he wins the award even though there has been no trial or actual footage of the event like there was last year when that asshole Don Imus won the award. Kennedy was arrested and accused of simple assault of a cab driver named Mohamed Moctar Ould Jiddou. With a name like that, how could racial slurs not be far behind? In all fairness to Kennedy, he did file a defamation suit against said cab driver who filed the charges, but so did Roger Clemens. And let’s not forget Kennedy was arrested for the incident, so I can’t believe he is totally innocent. For a university that had to be integrated at gunpoint…literally, this situation clearly does not help their reputation for racial tolerance.
DEAD PERSON OF THE YEAR – I’m really gonna miss Bo Diddley, Tim Russert, Issac Hayes and George Carlin, and my writing style has been heavily influenced by Studs Terkel since my college history professor suggested I write a paper in the first person narrative from the subjects point of view. It was my first “A” in college. Thank you Dr. Umansky. But I would have to say the person who dropped dead this year that I will miss the most has to be “The Hustler” himself, Paul Newman. I eulogized him when he died, so I won’t do it again here. But there are so many reasons why he will be missed. Such an accomplished individual makes the world a better place.
Here’s hoping the New Year brings you everything you want!