I tend to bemoan list-making, when I'm asked to do so. And yet, here I am compiling not just a Top 10 singles/albums/movies/moments/boys that made me swoon of the past year, but a 'cross-the-board, mixed-media uber-list of my favorite things about 2008. Maybe it's that I'm getting older (like, monumentally so), maybe it's that I'm getting easier to amuse, or maybe it's just that 2008 was brimming with noteworthy pop culture, but whatever the case (even though I think it's more the latter than anything), something's telling me to organize my year in entertainment into a countdown. So that's what I'm doing this week: 10 items per day, except for Friday, which will carry the Top 4 (and maybe a few things I hated about this year, as well). A lot of what shows up shouldn't be surprising, but I'm also going to take the opportunity to cover some stuff I loved but never got around to writing about or felt that my take didn't deviate enough from popular opinion to warrant sharing. It maybe still doesn't, but hey, hindsight's 20/20 so I'm gonna hold onto that, just like I expect you to hold onto that grain of salt you should always take with lists in general and me specifically. Because if 2008 has taught me anything, it's that the more things change, the more comfort there is to be taken in cliches.
Actually, I already knew that before 2008, but whatever.
Reason 266.6 - Because 2666 by Roberto Bolaño was published in English
But I bought it for myself for Christmas, so I'm only about a tenth of the way through it, see. Still: yay for sentences that run through pages on fumes of wit alone!
44. Because Tila Tequila was such an awesome punching bag
Not gonna lie: if this bogus bisexual with the looks of La Toya Jackson and the intellect of a MySpace glitter graphic weren't given another shot at a MSM platform this year, my 2008 would have had a little less joyful derision. Some people teach us how to love again; Teelya Tequeelya taught me how to hate. And for that, I kind of love her.
43. Because the year was mostly Fergie-free
Teelya comments notwithstanding, the joy of hating has its limits. And so, I feel fortunate to have avoided Fergie almost entirely this year, with the exception of that abomination that tried to turn the Sex and the City theme into a pop song. It wasn't a hit and that, people, is America's best call of the year. Even better than Obama!
And I'm not including a picture with this entry on purpose. Frankly, a lot of my decisions come directly out of consideration for the well-being of my readers.
42. Because Gwen Stefani gave birth to the cutest baby in the history of fertilized eggs
I don't care about celebrity babies, and I barely care about real-people babies, but I could seriously look at this little monkey with iridescent-sapphire eyes for hours. If looking at Cute Overload is "like taking a happy pill," this kid is like swallowing a bottle.
41. Because Perfume taught us that "Love the World" sounds the same in Japanese as it would in English
Really, what else could they be singing about? I had a brief, intense passion for Perfume, thanks for a brief, intense rash of ONTD posts about them. They faded from my consciousness as quickly as pop music is supposed to.
40. Because the emergence of Stains turned out to be a good thing
This year's DVD release of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains meant two things: "Join the Professionals" was never very far from the front of my head...
...and, it allowed me to appreciate Katarzyna's appearance in a BUST photo shoot beyond the usual aww-cute-an-ANTM-girl-gets-enough-work-to-postpone-going-back-to-Wallgreens-for-at-least-another-week deal...
(Thanks to Marygrace M., for sending in the shot of Katarzyna a while ago.)
39. Because Savage Streets managed to summarize the concept of masculinity in a mere 14 seconds
Speaking of '08 DVD-issues of lost '80s classics!
Have you seen Savage Streets, btw? It's notable for more than just Linda Blair's tits and sexy plumpness. If you can get past the rape of a deaf girl, the dialogue is fucking astounding. Here's one example, and there are plenty more to be enjoyed at IMDb.
38. Because Vast Aire proved that Pharaohe Monch's "Simon Says" has yet to be milked dry
In fact, I'd argue that with his second solo disc, he did an even more compelling album's length swagger-jacking of that track than he did with Vordul Mega as Cannibal Ox on the oft-labeled-classic-but-probably-just-overrated The Cold Vein. You can deride indie hip-hop for being stuffy, but rarely is it as suffocating as Dueces Wild, between its dust-caked production and breathless streams of imagery ("You are not the better man / Like wacko Jacko ain't Peter Pan / Actin' like you ain't nervous / Now that's a true lie like Jamie Lee Curtis"). Aire doesn't so much spit as catapult with urgency so palpable, you can practically see hear the tendons in his neck straining. I strained along, too -- for its raw, masculine energy Dueces Wild was my workout album of the year.
37. Because I amassed articles that put me further along my way to having the greatest T-shirt collection of all time
I already shared my homoerotic Jesus T-shirt, but my real favorite T-shirt of this and any year was of Anna Nicole, who's basically my Jesus anyway...
(See more of it and even buy it for yourself here.)
Annnd, there's my Rock of Love shirt, which I got for free. It was too big for me to actually wear for real (and I totally would have), so I cut off the sleeves and made it into gymwear (which, actually, is exactly what one should do to a Rock of Love T-shirt, come to think of it)...
I actually wore it to the gym today, hence the sweat mark/brief glimpse into the scary world of my personal hygiene.
And that's to say nothing of the shirts I had a hand in creating.
36. Because YouTube made living forever a little bit easier
Speaking of Jesus, I mean Anna Nicole, I miss her. I think about this almost daily. I've never been more affected by a celebrity's death and I feel so fortunate that I have at my fingertips a well-stocked bank of clips to keep me reminded of her awesomeness. The video below was posted over two years ago, but I only discovered it a few months ago. I've been saying, "He's just a sexy man! You gotta admit! He knows it all, he tells it all..." in my head on a loop ever since.
Because even in death, it's still true: anything goes with Anna Nicuuuuuh!
35. Because Megan Hauserman's star was born
If you know who Megan is, there's a good chance that you disagree with my assessment. If you don't, she's on the left. But on the former point, it's rare to come across a reality show contestant who's so polarizing: in most cases, people either hate her, or they really hate her. And it makes sense, as she deprives people of the schadenfreude they watch these shows for because she gets to it first: her scathing, efficient interview quips on her "pathetic" competitors are like verbal id. That efficiency, by the way, is what I find most impressive about her: she can bitchily sum a dude up in a sentence ("He looked like an uglier Kenny G") or sit back in a bikini and remain mute while people freak out in her wake. As far as VH1 catalysts go, no one since New York has proved to be such a natural.
And because of that, she made my day job a lot more entertaining. But my bias goes beyond that into the realm of interpersonal, as I'm someone who's pretty easily won over by niceness. Megan's been nice to me since the first time I talked to her, and while it is in her best interest to do so, I'd like to share what finally won me over completely: She and I were talking at the I Love Money after party and somehow my sexuality came up. I don't remember how: someone else might have mentioned it. Or maybe I did. Something. She said something to the effect of, "I didn't know you were gay" (I find that people in L.A. often don't -- they either note this out of perceived politeness or they really don't realize it until they're told, most likely out of self-absorption). I replied, "Don't you think I'd be a little more flirtatious if I weren't? I'd at least, like, look at you more? Your breasts maybe?" She replied back, as serious as a bank statement, "I just thought you were professional." That's when I swooned.
That shot was taken a few months later. As you can see, I'm still swooning.
The list will continue tomorrow! Obviously!