Hello, New Year

Hi, 2021.

I have little faith in you. 2020 was promised to be a fantastic year, and look how that turned out! I know that it is unfair to blame a man-constructed unit of time for all the failings that we experienced, but 2020 was kind of amazing. To do a rundown of all the not-goodness would take way too long, so I will just leave the note as “last year sucked” and move on from there.

Really, what we saw was mankind falling suddenly and harshly. Minus the earth quakes, everything can be easily traced back to something we did as a species. Even if it wasn’t species related directly, we saw large portions of our population for who they really are. It turns out that a large portion of us are racist, and even more are blind of fascism and hate.

There were some amazing things that came from the year, and they are easy to forget. We saw unprecedented speeds in developing a vaccine for the worst pandemic that we have seen since the Spanish Flu, though I am not saying their impact was one-for-one. We have done some amazing research into the things in our immediate biom, and continue to make massive leaps in space travel.

We have lost some amazing talent in the acting sphere. Some due to pandemic-related stuff, some not. We have seen a host of ironic deaths where the people were convinced (publicly, anyway) that they were invulnerable to the plague, then succumbed to its apathetic hands.

It is hard to do a retrospective on the year without spending a majority of time on COVID: it truly had defined the year. If it was a person, it would be very proud with the impact that it has garnered. It ALMOST over shadows the immensely important and (unfortunately, still) necessary message of black lives matter (BLM) that shook society to its core this year. We (whites) didn’t know that it needed to happen, but a large majority of us are so happy that it. brought so much to the forefront.

So, what should we expect from 2021? Are we going to be barraged by the same stuff, or will the next year actually be better?

I am taking a lesson from this year: next year will just be another in a long line of years. Do I think society will collapse, that we will finally see racial and sexual freedom on a grand scale, or environmental reform? I wish I could say we will. I do think some things will get better. I think we will start to see the impacts of the change that needed to happen. I think that the arts are fucked for the next few years, and I think the environment has passed the point-of-no-return.

Overall, I feel pretty uneasy. I would love to be proven wrong.

Please, let me be wrong.

…so this is the New Year…

I have not worked in the music industry, in any capacity, for over five years. That means that I have no idea what came out in the last year that I can bring your attention to in the music world.

This also means that, minus Netflix, I am at a loss for pretty much all media.

I can say what I have been binging for the last year! One of those has actually come out in the last year, and a few of them are continuing from years past with this being one of the most impactful seasons ever!

Bojack Horseman is firmly in a position of power, being as it is one of my favourite things ever made. The new season is much less funny than last, but far more poignant and important. It brings a much needed spotlight onto pharmaceutical addiction and trounced on taboos regarding storytelling. I will point out that it is, by far, my favourite show of all time. I find it unapologetically blunt and almost vindictive, but there is no direct target.

Archer had its eighth season, and it was in the same vein as Bojack: horribly nihilistic and not as in-your-face funny as it has been in the past. This does not change how it is still one of the most important comedies on TV. 
On a personal note: I enjoy how it can be equal parts incredibly offensive and the least offensive show ever. It attacks a situation, then mocks its own joke within moments. Does not make it less rude, but it does say “fuck you” when it comes to politically correctness.

Maniac I cannot say anything on, but I do have a duty to say something. I have not finished the series, but I find it incredibly intriguing so far. Maniac reminds me of something Michele Gondry would have directed. I am sure that I will have greater opinions on this as time moves forward, but it stands that I am more than willing to state this as the greatest creation ever.

My wife and I just marathoned Haunting of Hill House. It’s fucking fantastic. As much as it is a regular horror show, I could not ignore the commentary that was being made in response to mental illness. It puts a spotlight on the delicate way to talk about and deal with others who have a hard time with reality.

I must say: I am excited beyond belief at the future of visual cinema. This world that is being created is one of binge watching and experimentation.

With that said: we could see the experiments end abruptly if there is little to no support shown. Outside of Stranger Things, there has been little visible excitement over the trend-bucking shows and movies that have come out as of late. Will this spell doom for them? Or are we looking at a kind of renaissance that we have not seen since the 70’s.