Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year memo

Hey everybody. Well, shit. This past year. Where do you start? Bowie's death was sad but kind of sweet, all things considered, and at least it was natural enough. Prince was just sad. Real sad. And it went downhill from there, into a bad political campaign season and an even worse result we are going to have to figure out how to live with. It was just cruel to finish off with George Michael and Carrie Fisher, and then, Jesus Christ, Debbie Reynolds the next day. Too much death this year. I'm still picking up the pieces, more or less, with scattered thoughts about What To Do and what to expect, but it's not at all clear. For now, long term, I'm partial to the ideas in the Indivisible what-you-call-it. That make the most sense to me at the moment. We have to start thinking long-term and 50-state. I also think Obama's OFA site offers many good ways to direct energy right now, and I am hoping it will continue to do so. Things are likely to happen fast in the coming months and we're going to have to push back every way we can, even though our options are limited. It's heartbreaking to think about. The Supreme Court. Health care in America (my health care in America). The environment. The corruption and the horrors ahead. Or so it looks to me at the moment, on these dark nights. It's probably going to be bad, that's all. But we have to do what we can to resist an autocratic America that no one really wants.

On that note, Happy New Year and all best as always to readers. Really. Here's what's ahead on the blog, because I'm still planning, as always, to continue it until stamina do me part. The short story project started slow last year while I figured things out, and then in November I started to catch it up more. But it still has a ways to go—125 stories, as billed, and so far I've just covered 32.8% of that. So this year Thursdays and last Sundays will be short story celebrations, accompanied with probing questions. I'm going to poke away at albums, approximately every other Saturday. I'm going to keep reviewing new movies that I go out to a theater with noisy annoying people to see. Those will continue Mondays. And books on Sundays, movies on Fridays, some things never change.

Here are 16 movies I saw in 2016 that were extremely swell, in approximate descending order of swellness (subject to endless revision in the years ahead):

1. Frontière(s) (2007)
2. Histoire(s) du cinema (1988-1998)
3. Manchester By the Sea (2016)
4. Sing Street (2016)
5. The Handmaiden (2016)
6. Love & Friendship (2016)
7. Leonard Cohen: Live in London (2009)
8. Inside Out (2015)
9. Trainwreck (2015)
10. Sicario (2015)
11. Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
12. Deadpool (2016)
13. Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
14. Babel (2006)
15. Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Live (1974, 45 min.)
16. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (2015)

Oh yeah, and GO BUY MY BOOK.

1 comment:

  1. I know three of sixteen off your list, so I'm batting below the Mendoza line. See what I can do to rectify that in the coming months. I personally keep hoping that my feelings ab the election are symptomatic of my usual chicken-little hysteria b/c my guts say this is real bad and going to get worse. If nothing else, I suppose it will surely put to the test Obama's conviction, put eloquently in his farewell address in Chicago from the other day, that our constitutional government, and the American revolution, are the greatest manifestation of the enlightenment dream in history. The amazing thing ab Obama is how he manages to make that sound not so much like hokum but simply a reasonable conclusion. But can American democracy even survive Trump? It's not like there is anything much new ab Trump's autocratic corruption, we've just never seen it on such open display in the presidency. What will the lasting damage be? Thinking ab joining one of these rallies planned for the day after the inauguration, adding my body to a mass of other bodies, hopefully representing the large numbers of us who oppose all the horrible shit he stands for. So it begins. Anyway, happy new year, and now that sounds like pure hokum, but I really mean it. I do.