2011? Yeah, I Hated It Too

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hey, I’m the editor and I have a note. Um, I apologize for the lack of writing these past few weeks. I’ve been busy and quite frankly haven’t been in the writing kind of mood. BUT THIS IS IT! I’ve put this off for, oh, nineteen days now. Guess it’s time to put something down for everyone to read and/or get distracted by.

2012 is here. Well, we’re actually almost three weeks in, but it’s still staring us right in the face saying, “Hey, I’m here. Y’all best get your Chap-Stick ready ’cause in the next year I’m gonna be bringin’ some of that pain and you’re gonna be kissin’ your asses goodbye.”

Or so says the Mayan Calendar.

Seen Here: The Mayan Firefighter Calendar (December)

But before the imminent doom we are bound to face — or the crazy amounts of looting, rioting, and unprotected sex that the world participates in due to intense fear — I have some things that I want to throw out there, things that touched me in 2011, whether it be in the safety zones, the naughty spots, or the gray areas. I’m a bit peeved with the year itself, but I did find some scraps of good throughout that I want to share with all of you so you can sort of see where I’m at. Is it three weeks late? Absolutely, but only because I actually have stuff to do now and more time/people to do it with.

I sort of have been wanting to do a “Top (x) List” for 2011, highlighting things I loved and hated and the stuff that sort of fell in between. The topic sounds a bit cliche, but when have I ever given a damn? The answer is never. Without further ado…THE LIST.

–THE GOOD–

1. Puscifer’s “Conditions of My Parole”

I feel like I have to give this album and this band the props it didn’t receive in 2011. If you don’t know already, Puscifer is Tool/APC frontman Maynard James Keenan’s side project. In it he is free to express himself in ways that his other bands would not otherwise allow. The previous albums — V is for Vagina, C is for (Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference HERE), as well as other various remix albums and EP’s — were works of art, but this one is, to me, a masterpiece. It’s an eclectic mix of music, a jumbled mess of beautiful/hard/funny/smart lyrics and rhythms, and just an overall complete album. I wanted to talk about it here because various sites and magazines that seemed to have left it out of their Best Albums of 2011 lists. I think it deserves a spot in at least a handful of them, especially if those lists are focused on good music. Yeah Machine Head and Mastodon had (arguably) the best albums of the year, but I think this definitely takes the third or fourth spot on my list. Not convinced by words alone?

PUSCIFER – TINY MONSTERS

There ya go.

2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Fincher’s 2011 adaptation of the book was perfect. Seriously. I have never seen the 2009 Swedish version, but frankly I don’t want to. This movie is fucking GLORIOUS, from the script to the acting to the cinematography to the soundtrack to, um, everything. It’s cruelty and beauty and suspense and heavy metal all rolled into one. Let me make on thing really clear right now: I NEVER CHANGE MY TOP 10 FILMS. True Romance, The Lookout, Swingers, The Crow, Clerks, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Devil’s Rejects, Chasing Amy — all of these films have been cemented in slots of my top for a long time now. The first movie that caused me to alter my list was Spencer Susser’s Hesher over the past summer; I bumped down The Departed. The list remained the same until I saw THIS. As soon as I walked out of the theatre I took down As Good As It Gets (don’t be hatin’ nah) and slipped Tattoo into the fourth place position. Not many people will agree with my intense love for this movie, but it’s a goddamn gem. If you say otherwise you can feel free to stop associating yourself with me.

Oh, and Lisbeth Salander, believe it or not, is everything I look for in a woman. Tattoos, piercings, an I-don’t-give-a-damn-and-probably-never-will attitude, and everything else. Rooney Mara dominated the role and I now have my eyes open for a Lisbeth. At U of M? Shiiiiiit.

A NOTE THAT I ADDED JUST NOW BECAUSE THIS BLOG HAS BEEN “IN PROGRESS” FOR THREE-ISH WEEKS: Rooney Mara was beaten out at the Golden Globes by Meryl Streep, which sucks and all, but Streep deserved it. I haven’t seen The Iron Lady — nor will I ever — but the Margaret Thatcher I’ve seen in the previews is spot on. Doesn’t make Lady better than Tattoo, but you get my point.

3. Habitat for Humanity

I have to give a shout out to the Ohio Habitat for Humanity for helping out my family. After years of struggling financially and about losing all sense of sanity and hope, Habitat came in and gave us a place to call home. No jokes, no long paragraph, just my undying gratitude and thanks. Not a day goes by that I don’t hold these people in the highest esteem.

4. Willpower

I’m on a journey to a skinnier me…again. I know I say I’m going to lose weight every year, but I’m actually DOING it now. With my great amount of willpower and determination, I’ll be down to a much better size by the time I head home for summer. I’m basically doing the whole eat less, exercise more thing to get myself looking half decent. (Who knew that would work?) The compliments and everything I’ve been getting already is enough motivation for me to start looking like a normal human being and not an only slightly smaller version of Gilbert Grape’s mom. That chick was FUH-FUH-FUH-HUUUUUUGE! Still a good movie though. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Get the hell out.

Special Shout-Out to Marky Mark. GOOD VIBRATIONS!

5. Heavy Metal (In General)

Machine Head. Mastodon. Trivium. Megadeth. Chevelle. Dream Theater. Opeth. KoRn. Riverside. In Flames. Lazarus A.D. Evergrey. All of these killer bands produced new albums in 2011. For once in a very long time the metal scene has gained MORE recognition due to the onslaught of new material they’re playing on the radio, as well as through word of mouth. Add in movies like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that sort of embody the image and have phenomenal scores by a guy like Trent “King of Industrial” Reznor and you’ve got one of the best years for metal heads. \m/ \m/

An HONORABLE MENTION to Dropkick Murphys, who, though not a metal band, produced a stellar album this year. These guys go down as one of my favorite bands of all time. They make me proud to be Irish, dammit.

This song about makes me cry every time:

— THE BAD AND IN BETWEEN —

1. “That awkward moment when…”

Shut the fuck up and never start any of your sentences this way. Ever.

2. Dubstep

This is an in between kind of thing. I resent the fact that this noise qualifies as its own genre of music, but at the same time KoRn produced one helluva rock album with dubstep mixed in. I LOVE the music on the record, but I think KoRn did a little sum-sum different with it by making it, oh what’s the word, tolerable. Honestly, I can only stand so much wubwubwub bschhhhhhh peedoo bopbopwubwubwubbopbop pfffssshhhhttt before I feel like holding an entire McDonald’s Playplace hostage. If KoRn hadn’t come out with a face-melting album I probably would diss dubstep until I couldn’t breathe, but they gave it a fighting chance…

For now.

3. SOPA

If SOPA were to go into effect, this blog wouldn’t exist. My hard drive filled with torrented movies wouldn’t exist. My music wouldn’t exist. Porn…oh God…porn wouldn’t exist. The world would become a very bleak place. SOPA can pucker up and suck it. Seriously.

NOTE: Two local comedians — Pat Stansik, director, and Eli Yudin, improv extraordinaire — made an anti-SOPA video that I think is absolutely genius and informative. You must watch.

OK, OK. I must leave on that high note. This list isn’t as comprehensive as I had originally hoped, but I had to put these thoughts SOMEWHERE. I might add to it in the near future as I think of more things, but this will have to do for now. If my Mom or Grandma or Aunt is reading this…I’m sorry for swearing. If you’re not any of those people, I’m not as sorry.

G’bye now.

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