What I'm Reviewing: A Year
Year according to statistically trained logicians: 2008
This was a year of misled enlightenment and strict haberdashery. The North-American public veered in many directions as if on a train track of rusted ingots which were simultaneously upward and downward but never level. Yes sirs and madams, this year was a bumpy ride. Amidst the first non-mustachioed Mexican president, the ink crisis, and the ever-growing race to see which nation has the cutest eight year old (I'm still sold on Myanmar), we may have forgotten some of the subtler shades and dimples on the rubbery bruised face of 2008. While your brain's memory will have undoubtedly decided to make haste with conserving footnotes of annual global occurrences, fear not, for I have tallied them all according to the two words that structure the world of art, economics, trivia, sports, poetry, slam-poetry, and the elusive blunt-force-trauma poetry: THE BEST and THE WORST. You see, I'm here for a reason.
AND SO IT BEGINS:
The Best Movie: Fool's Gold, featuring the glorious Kate Hudson and the dexterously southern Matthew McConaughey. If you have the balls to contest this choice of best movie, you sir probably have warped balls. Sure, some from the pretentious crowd may say this was just glorified movie execs playing a kind of monetary grab-ass in the platinum locker-room suite, but that pretentious crowd is once again ignorant of clever symbolic use of mise-en-scene to create a satire the entire family could enjoy. Don't be misled by the clever title, it's hollywood gold.
The Worst Movie: The Dark Knight. I'm sorry, but this sequel to Brokeback Mountain just doesn't make any fucking sense. There's all these new characters, they've replaced Jake Gylenhaal with his homely sister, Aaron Eckhart. Heath Ledger's just taken the whole "bad boy" thing a little too far. He's got potential, but he'll have to work on a few things if he really wants to eke out a real career. He hit the mark in 10 Things I Hate About You, as the loveably 'bad' Patrick Verona, but now this Joker thing is just downright dorky. Clean it up, Heath.
The Best Idea: Texas wins this one. Around June, it was made illegal for any computer technician to touch a CPU without first becoming a licensed private investigator. I rallied for a total of one day to try and make the same legislation be put into effect by Canadian parliament. Unfortunately all politicians inside were too busy making fun of a chubby kid I didn't know. While the entire "big move" for private investigation licenses may be one big underground conspiracy put into effect by the underground super-government of dwindling texan gumshoes, I think it's a good idea. As you know, I'll be lobbying against chubby children in the near future, in order to later push my pro-PI agenda.
The Worst Idea: Another dumb Beach Boys Boxed Set. I assure you, I enjoy the thrill of a Jardine strum as much as the next dad, but there's enough beach boys on the airwaves. If there was a boxed set that was worth getting this year, it was the highly unappreciated Reggaeton classic: Gatas Sandungueras Reggaeton 6 DVD Collectors Limited Edition. I believe reggaeton music videos are the ideal representation of what the overblown Woody Allen enthusiast, Marshall Mcluhan, called a "global community". I'll let the cover art speak for itself:
The Funniest Joke: "What has two eyes, smells bad, and only starts talking after four years? Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th reincarnate of me!" - Dalai Lama, humorist.
The Least Funny Joke: "WHAT was Elvis Presley's WORST ever release? *phlegmy cough* The ejaculation containing Lisa Marie? Mmmawwh" - Neil Hamburger, joke phantom
I do admit, I'm still laughing at this one, despite it's classification.
The Best-Looking Cat:
The Worst Looking Cat:
The Best-Looking Mouse:
Pink Mouse Griptron 3001
The Worst Looking Mouse:
Ugly Kevin Bunt
The Best-Looking Human:
Jason Morris, entrepreneur, ex-fisherman
The Worst Looking Human:
Aaron Eckhart, Actor, Fisherman
The Best Author: Don Cherry for his book "Hockey Stories and Stuff". With the long awaited work from renowned sports renouncer comes a shift in the cultural saga that is Canada. Soon after this book was released, all the kids started getting their hair in "Cherry Cuts" and wearing Cherry Cuffs. It's Cherrymania. Due to confusion and bad radio-signals, overenthusiastic Ottawa fans mistook this for Charamania and each respective Ottawa citizen accidentally grew to thirty feet in just a fortnight. I must repeat, do not get your hair done in a "Zdeno Zwhoop", you will only be sorely disappointed and mocked for years.
The Worst Author: Julia Jarman for her book Tooth Fairy in Trouble. I couldn't identify with this book at all. While keeping a kingdom made entirely of children's teeth is perfectly acceptable and in some societies, obligatory (Philadelphia for instance), who the hell goes around looking for the baby teeth? If I'm making a kingdom, I want rock solid substance. It's easy. You go to a morgue, bribe the morgue-keeper, then just walk in and take out all the nice big adult-teeth, using rubber-crowned pliers. Don't waste your time on the baby stuff. Half of it's rotten from sugar and can only really be melted down to make malleable combs anyway. If you want brickwork, get some real teeth, my friend. Jarman's tooth fairy also bears a striking resemblance to Aaron Eckhart. Fail.
The Best Stain-Remover: It was a tough one, but once again, good old vinegar mixed with hot water wins out.
The Worst Stain-Remover: Tide's "Blass". A mixture of Blood and Glass.
The Best Stain-Creator: Tide's "Blass Lite". A mixture of Blood, Glass, and premium lager. Consequently, this is also what little boys are made of (in Montreal).
The Worst Stain-Creator: Pan grease. No one likes a grease stain. Not even the local greasers/film students, The Kubrick Klubz. In fact, earlier this year, there was a petition from Hal, the head of the gang to stop grease stains in our community. Incongruously enough, the Klubz have really been cleaning up this neighbourhood. A little domestic violence here and there is hardly asking much, right? Right?
The Klubz have threatened me with hobblings to endorse their awful cleaning frenzies, I urge anyone to take them down, for I cannot stand up to them while my legs are in such a condition.
The Best Invention: Smog-Eating Cement. I can't really stress how cool this is. Way cooler than the bionic hand, or the 46th Mersenne Prime. This is the kind of technology I've been waiting for, something we can use to whipe out those grim spectres known as Koffing and Weezing, two of the least attractive and most team-rocket affiliated Pokémon. It's About Time!
The Worst Invention: Soup-Eating Cement.
The Best World-Expo: Expo 2008, taking place in the obscure, yet exotic Zaragoza, Spain. What you're probably wondering is if it could hold a candle to the great Chicago World Fair/Columbian Exposition of 1893, staple to the saturation of Tesla's AC electric power into every day society. Well friends, I didn't say it was the "Best" for nothing. Zaragoza brought us the Water Tower. A giant architectural colossus made entirely out of water collected from the tears of the Spanish druglords. Who's the man? Spain's the man. Not only that, it would seem Spain was smart enough to appropriate the game, Spore, to create their mascots, loveable water-based aliens, Fluvi and Ica.
Fluvi and Ica at it again!
The Worst World-Expo: Garage Sale Day in Chateauguay. This is the closest thing we have to a world expo. It was downright depressing; each person in Chateauguay decided that the look they were going for with their respective garage sale would directly mimick the isolated geography of the indie film, Gummo.
Typical Chateauguay Salesman
The Best Facial Hair: The only word I can think of that accurately describes this year's beard and moustache set is "disappointing". The World Beard and Moustache championships are bi-yearly for some strange reason and, of course, this year the competition was inactive. I suppose proper grooming would take some amount of time, but for this blog I am at a loss for really awesome facial hair material. But wait! Flickr has been useful. Aaaand we have a winner:
"Mr. Mean" (This can't be his real name. I won't accept it)
The Worst Facial Hair: This reclusive minstrel.
If this year's facial hair has told us anything, it's that beards and mustaches have again become a rampant trend among the youths of America. But not in the traditional sense. A subversive tool that once proclaimed one's honor and class in society, beards have followed the same track as the inverted mohawk, the multi-feathered quill, and that ago old glory, the bowl-cut. Let us hope the Cherry cut does not meet the same transition.
The Warmest Soup: It would have to be Campbell's tomato soup. Just look at the ad from their website:
Now with all that salt outta there, it leaves room for more warmth in an already extremely warm soup. Not to mention the fact that you now have a bald black man wearing a hairnet (clearly for irony's sake) emerging out of your bed mattress! The soup is so warm, it makes other non corporeal elements of you warm by proxy of a black dude. I bet you're wondering where his bottom half is. Don't look in the fridge!
The Least Warm Soup: Uncooked Hair soup
The Highest Jenga Tower:
The Lowest Jenga Tower:
The Best Number: Seventy Three!
The Worst Number: 2 Billion. More like too much.
The Best Awkward Silence: The one created by the SilGen3.2. The update to this silence generator has almost perfected the technology now that they've taken out those rusted motors from the three foot tall carapace. Not only that, it converts any remote noise into extremely loose fitting socks and paper.
The Worst Awkward Silence: The one that disrupted the din of the keyboard strokes as I tried to think up something for the Best Awkward Silence. 2008's been quite the year for silence.
The Best Comic Strip: Garfield Minus Garfield.
The Worst Comic Strip: Between Friends. Awful. Garbage.
The Most Slippery Ice patch: You're just going to have to trust me with this one. I'll tell it to you in story form. I was walking to Villa Maria Metro from work, up on Cote St. Luc Road. It was really slippery. At one point I fell. My backside became very wet from the slush. No one saw it happen, so I was spared the humiliation of anyone laughing at my folly.
The Least Slippery Ice Patch: Way back in April when everything began melting, I ran at a patch of ice on the ground near my house with the intention of sliding and looking cool in front of a pack of journalists. Unfortunately, that patch had already melted to the point at which the terrain was only half ice and half gravel. I did not slide at all- in fact, I stopped dead in my tracks. There was a two page story about it in Chateauguay's Le Soleil about how uncool I had looked in that brief period of time. Close to a year later, everyone is still talking about it.
The Best Crayon: Macadamian Nut Red
The Worst Crayon: Coldsore Grey
The Best Bed: The Feel Seating System. Once again, a really really cool piece of technology that also happens to fit perfectly into the category. I have no idea how this works, but I'm thinking this is how all furniture will look like in the future: giant felt balls with small segmented black legs. My ideal future furniture includes ironing boards, dining room tables, and best friends (giant felt ball robots). I'm thinking the bionic hand people could borrow from this technology.
The Worst Bed: The notoriously adoptable flower beds from The University of Alberta. They want you to adopt a flower bed. I attempted to try this new service out, as I briefly needed to adopt a child in the spring of 2008. Unfortunately, adopt-a-bed was not what I thought it was... at all. I tried playing catch with my flower bed, I tried three-leg-races, I tried pie-eating contests, and last of all I brought him to a gay pride parade since none of the true father-son principles were working. Luckily, my adopted bed was not gay, and did not respond to the parade. But he wasn't responding to anything. At the end of it all, I laid down on the flower bed in disgust, as it had become a sodded mess. When I tried sending it back via pony express, The University of Alberta sent it back to me with the cryptic words "Sir, this is yours forever now" branded on to the pony's back along with an further disheveled flower-bed. The bed now sits next to me in silent loathing, providing what will most probably be the worst awkward silence of 2009. This must be what all fathers feel like.
The Best Religion: Believe me, this was a tough one. But the mormons pulled through as the only religion to try and persuade me to their church this year. For pure effort, The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints wins out on this one. But Jacob, you say, aren't you a fervent drinker and enjoyer of other penance-deserving past times? Of course I am, so I'll offer an explanation to this odd choice. If you know me well, you know I am good friends with Mike Noonan. About two years ago, Mike was approached by a Mormon. Mike gave said mormon the number of another close friend who he was pretending to be, Shawn McNamee. Earlier this year, Noonan committed the same act with a UNICEF worker, pretending to be me. You can see why I was overjoyed by the oppurtunity to meet a Mormon. Not only was this affirmation of my dashing good looks, but also an outlet through which I could get back at Mike. Pretending to be Mike, I freely gave Noonan's phone number to the "Elder". Michael had a very awkward phone conversation two days ago. For being the perfect tool to figuratively shaft Noonan, the Mormans win BEST RELIGION!
The Worst Religion: Scientology. I remember back in 2007, with wondrous PR, it won out among the most popular religions without even trying. All scientology needed to stay aloof as Kings of The Religion Wars was a steady flow of Tom Cruise interviews. But 2008 saw a serious decline in the popularity of Scientology to the point of where it had just become a wrinkly dated joke, much like slanderous comical George Bush tee shirts, the youtube video of Rick Roll, and I-can-haz cats.
A Physical Representation of Modern Day Scientology
My REVIEW WILL CONTINUE IN.... PART 2