2018 is a year that I will be happy to see go. Unfortunately, I am not holding that much hope for 2019 given the current occupant of the White House and the Party of Stupid controlling the United States. So in terms of the nation and the world I am keeping the expectations extremely low. As I mentioned in "My Reading List for 2017," 2018 for me was summarized as follows:
I self-imposed a moratorium on reading, or paying attention to most media, dealing in politics, most current events, activism, social issues, and such. I felt I had to do it for the sake of my sanity, and I succeeded to an extent. In terms of reading, I managed to do so fairly well. On social media, given the constant bombardment of fuckery the Pendejo In Chief and the Party of Stupid, along with the Republican Lite Party, keep tossing out, that gets harder to ignore. So I will give myself partial success on that. One things that helped was cutting out a lot of sources from my feeds. In 2019, I expect to be cutting out quite a few more. I pretty much did not give much of a fuck in 2018 when it comes the world out there, and I plan on giving even less of a fuck in 2019. I will add as a small note of light that things in the home front remained pretty stable. Some ups and downs, but overall things were good, and I am grateful for that.
In the end, part of looking back at 2018 and making this post is to look back at things I may have missed due to my moratorium. Also, I tend to miss a lot of current entertainment things since I've tended to favor watching older things on DVD or streaming rather than trying to set new habits with unknown (to me) shows, movies, so on. Way I see it, if something is good enough, it will likely make it to DVD or streaming eventually. If not, I can probably skip it. In addition, I've been reading a lot, which I will discuss in my end of year reading list and report.
So, let's see what the fuck happened in 2018:
A lot of stuff, mostly bad it seems, happened in 2018. Here are some of big news summaries.
- The Japanese summed up 2018 in one word: it was a "disaster." Via Global Voices.
- The Guardian, in a bit of self promotion, has a nice quickie summary of 2018 in a 1:30 minute or so video.
- Al Jazeera offers a look at their most memorable stories in a four minutes video.
- New York Magazine's Intelligencer offers their year in review.
- Washington Blade has their top ten stories.
- They also have a list of top international LGBT stories of the year.
- 2018 was pretty much dominated by the Pendejo In Chief, whether we like it or not. Here is a look at his worst via Salon.
- However, believe it or not, there were some serious scandals and scams that did NOT involved the Pendejo In Chief, and VICE has a look at the seven wildest scandals and scams of the year.
- A look at 2018 in photos via The Atlantic. Some reminders of stupid shit for 2018 here include: the false alert in Hawaii about a missile, Elon Musk's Tesla in space stunt (justify it however you want, it was a publicity stunt pure and simple), and the dumbass flat earther who put himself in a rocket to try to prove the Earth is flat (it is round).
- BuzzFeed has what they deem as the 48 most powerful photos of the year.
- Living Dangerously. Al Jazeera highlights a variety of "man made" disasters and atrocities.
- Most Wetness. It is now the wettest on record for Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities. Via NPR.
- The Vaping Teen. NPR reports that teen vaping soared to record levels in 2018.
- The Labor Strike, according to TruthOut.
- The worst on record for gun violence in U.S. schools. Via The Guardian. Because America: Fuck Yea! Where they love their guns more than their children.
- Scary data breaches. Here are 21 of them via Business Insider. It does not matter how much good online hygiene you practice and how many precautions you take or think you take, odds are good your favorite online site or service got hacked in 2018, often due to total lack of security and responsibility on the part of those companies.
- Rage charity giving. After the 2016 elections, it seems a lot of people, especially progressives, gave a lot of money to charity in angry response to said elections. The trend has kept rising. Via Yes! Magazine.
- Finally getting some new works out of copyright. Finally, this year, after 20 years due in large part to Sonny Bono's fuckery in Congress (may he rot in hell), we are getting some new works into the public domain. Report via NPR.
As some of you may know, I do not go to movie theaters, and I rarely bother with the latest when it comes to movies. So for me, many movies on this list are ones I definitely missed, and I may or not look them up down the road. Other films mentioned are ones that were either popular, so they get mentioned in every other end of year list, or ones that seem interesting but fell off the radar.
- Best movie lists:
- Here is GQ's list. From this list, I would love to watch Won't You Be My Neighbor? sometime; it is the documentary on the life and work of Mr. Rogers.
- BuzzFeed has their list of 11 for the year.
- The Atlantic offers their 17 best films for the year.
- The Houston Press has their list.
- At VICE, Noel Ransome looks at the best movies he watched in 2018. From this list, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is the one I will be looking for. Marvel has rebooted/retconned/reconditioned Spider-Man in film more times that I can count, so by now if they announce yet another Spider-Man movie, I am leery. However, this particular movie, if the reviews are accurate, sounds like it could be fun. Anyone out there seen it? Feel free to comment and let me know how you liked it or not.
- Noel Ransome also presents the worst movies he watched in 2018. Based on what I see on the list, better him than you and me. On a serious note, you get a lot of "best of" lists in major media, but outside of YouTubers and some bloggers, not many "worse of", which I think can be a public service to tell you what to avoid. Among the worse? Apparently there was a remake of Death Wish starring Bruce Willis. I am sticking with Charles Bronson, thank you very much.
- Strangest films of the year via In These Times.
- Best documentaries:
- Rolling Stone's documentaries list for 2018. Again, the Mr. Rogers documentary is mentioned here. As for the others, I had no idea until I saw the list, and tempted as I may be, I am probably skipping Monrovia, Indiana about yet another white safari into "Trump Country" to try to "understand" those assholes that inflicted the Pendejo In Chief and the Party of Stupid on the rest of the nation. Besides, I lived in Indiana long enough that I really do not feel a need to watch a documentary on some small Indiana town.
- The Advocate offers their 11 best LGBTQ documentaries of the year. They also argue that 2018 was best year ever for LGBTQ film and television.
- A list of feminist films via Ms. Magazine.
- Best 13 horror films of 2018 via iHorror. From this list, Overlord sounds intriguing. Also, I keep hearing the remake of Suspiria is one to watch. Since I hear the 1977 original is pretty good, I may try to watch that first, then see the new one.
Apparently, there was some stuff in television that some people claim was good. For the most part, I read about it here or there, enough to be informed but otherwise I did not care much (same as for films). So while I was watching things like old reruns of Supermarket Sweep and the original Muppet Show, let's see what the "experts" say I should have been watching in 2018. By the way, if you check the "film and television" tag for this blog, you can find my "Media Notes" roundup posts to see what exactly I watch now and then.
- Here is GQ's list. Then again, I question the definition of "best television" for a list that features Jersey Shore Family Reunion (or Jersey Shore anything for that matter) and Survivor (yes, apparently it is STILL on the air).
- Here is the Houston Press's top ten shows of the year.
- The Advocate has their best 15 LGBTQ shows.
- Speaking of reality TV, Reality Blurred offers the best of reality TV of 2018. That blog sums it up well: "For a genre that still is perceived as universal garbage—so much so that people now use different words to describe their reality TV shows, like 'docuseries' and even 'film'—and for which mediocrity is often enough to satisfy both networks and fans alike, reality TV is still thriving." It is crap for the most part no matter what they rename it, but apparently it does not take much to satisfy the U.S. television audience. The catch with this genre is that it combines relatively good things like National Geographic documentaries with trashy stuff like Big Brother (they are both "reality").
This is an area that I definitely do not keep up with very much. So making note of these lists is as much reference to me as it may be of interest to my four readers and anyone else out there. Having said that, in this day and age where people just stream music or buy tracks they want online (or get them through less ethical means), I have to ask: does anybody still listen to a whole album of any kind of music?
- General lists:
- The 23 best albums according to The Atlantic.
- Fact Magazine has their 50 best albums for the year. They also list their 10 best music labels, a lot of it in electronica and similar.
- Rolling Stone has some lists by genre:
- Sounds and Colours has the list of 15 best Latin pop songs.
- Some striking survey findings in 2018 from Pew Research.
- Vox offers 10 top science stories.
- It was not all good news in science. The anti-science assholes and ignoramuses were out in force, including the anti-vax fuckbagels. Some of those fuckbagels even ran for office or peddled their dangerous influence from their political office. Meanwhile, thanks to their misguided and stubborn willful ignorance and selfishness, outbreaks of diseases we usually consider under control are making a comeback. The stupidity of the anti-vax movement even cost me an acquaintance or two online as basically there is no reasoning with people who are happy to let others die "as long as the government does not tell them what to do" or whatever other excuse they use. I say good riddance, and I hope in time the Cosmic Joker gives them what they truly deserve. Anyhow, you can read about the worst anti-science bovine caca of 2018 over at Mother Jones.
- Via USA Today, a video of the juiciest celebrity feuds, whatever they were.
- The always popular listing of who died in 2018 (as of this article), via Kentucky.com. In my humble opinion, 2018's Grim Reaper took way too many good people and not enough assholes. However, among the assholes the Grim Reaper took in 2018 are George H.W. Bush, John McCain (he never fooled me with that "maverick" act. Sure, he was a military hero, but as a politician, his moral compass left much to be desired, and I will leave it there), Efrain Rios Montt (former Guatemalan dictator), and James "Whitey" Bulger. Among the good ones we lost are Aretha Franklin, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (artist who among other things drew for Marvel works like Spider-Man), Harlan Ellison, and Anthony Bourdain.
- Harper's Bazaar has the 25 biggest fashion moments, again, whatever those were.
- For your amusement, Boing Boing presents a video of the best bloopers in news broadcasts for the year.
- Want to see how stupid Americans can be and despair? Jimmy Kimmel and his team go out in the street and get Americans to remember the best events of 2018. The issue? The events did NOT really happen. Via Rolling Stone.
- Some pop culture stuff happened from fuckery in comics, like the Batman non-wedding, to some Star Trek show (streaming only if you pay, so I have no idea) to all sorts of things you might barely remember (probably because, despite some of them making a brief fuss, they are mostly niche things most people outside of the niche could not care less). Via IO9. I barely remember half of these.
- COED has a look at the ten most googled women of the year.
- Pornhub offers 2018 in Review, looking at things like trends in porn, tech, searches online, and other bits and pieces of data and trivia. This part of their site is relative safe to look over.
- Hey Epiphora offers her best and worst sex toys (with some additional trivia. Warning: this site can be NSFW) for 2018.
- Working Knowledge, the blog of Harvard Business School, presents their most popular stories and most popular research papers for 2018.
- Tricycle, a magazine focusing on Buddhism, mindfulness, and similar topics, lists their best features of the year.
- Here are 10 LIS stories that shaped 2018 via LIS News. I gotta have at least one library related item.
- And if you are not depressed enough by the news already in 2018, Nieman Labs takes a look ahead at 2019. Spoiler: it does NOT get better.
- Finally, I wanted to share some of the work of the Rude Pundit, who often tells it like it is.
- The Advocate looks at the biggest bigoted homophobes and transphobes of the year. Naturally, Texas made the list thanks to their Party of Stupid branch.
- Amazon did quite a bit of fuckery in the 2018. Via Vox.
- The "year in civility" which is mostly what Right Wing Nut Jobs and the Pendejo In Chief whine about when someone calls them out on their bullshit. Civility in this context usually means the Republican Lite Party lacking a pair when they want to "find common ground" with the Pendejo In Chief, as Nancy Pelosi recently said (because finding common ground with a terrorist apparently is a thing). Story via In These Times.
I will take this moment now to wish you all, near and far, a Happy and Safe 2019. See you all next year.