As 2008 mercifully ends, I think we can all agree that it was one shitty year. Any year in which Paul Newman dies is, by definition, a bad year. With the exception of Barack Obama being elected president, I’m hard pressed to think of any “feel good” news stories. Maybe the fact that less people are getting killed in Iraq? Although I don’t know that “less people being killed” qualifies as good news. No, it was a year filled with terrible, terrible news stories – one worse than the next. Our country is officially in the shitter, metaphorically represented by the billion gallons of coal sludge which poured into two Tennessee rivers as the year closed. But for all the horrible news from 2008, at least 2009 will probably be worse. In fact, we may look back on 2008 and go, “I don’t know what everybody was bitching about. That was a walk in the park compared to 2009!”
On the other hand, I just saw “Kung Fu Panda” for the first time and I have to say, I think it should be a serious contender for “Best Picture of the Year.” "Wall-E" may have had the critics all a-twitter for its trite anti-consumerist message, but “Kung Fu Panda” was the superior movie in every respect. It looked better, was more entertaining, was a hell of a lot funnier, and left me feeling considerably more optimistic about humanity. Chances that “Wall-E” will be nominated for Best Picture? Fifty-fifty. “Kung Fu Panda?” Zero.
Just a couple other things to feel good about as this crummy year draws to a close:
• Bratz dolls are off the shelves. If you don’t know what Bratz dolls are, you either don’t have children, or you're not into kiddy porn. The reason they are off the shelves? Not because they encourage the sexualization of five-year-olds but because of copyright infringement. That’s fine with me – after all, they put Al Capone away for tax evasion.
• The Southwest Salad at McDonalds. I am a big fan of McDonalds. I think they have pretty much cornered the market on deliciousness. But, I think it’s fair to say that their food isn’t necessarily over-healthed. When I am there, I like to get the Chicken Selects Meal, which is basically like pouring out a salt shaker onto a tray. From time to time, out of guilt, I try to find a healthier option. Well, not only is the Southwest Salad healthier, it’s also fan-fucking-tastic. I got one the other night, and I talked about how good it was so much that my wife finally told me to shut up. That’s how good it was.
• The Anthropic Principle. Although this isn’t anything new, it’s new to me. Basically the Anthropic Principle states that our universe has too many life-supporting coincidences to be explained mathematically, leaving theorists with two possible conclusions: either our universe is part of an infinite “multiverse,” or there is a God. Either conclusion is awesome. I have always wanted to believe in God. The Anthropic Principle has given me an in.
• This kid playing “Guitar Hero.”
• I no longer have to choose between “Lipstick Jungle” and “Cashmere Mafia.” They’ve both been canceled.
• AC/DC released a new album, which I have not heard and do not care about. What I do care about, however, is the fact that Angus Young is still wearing the schoolboy uniform, even though he’s a hundred. Something about this pleases me like nothing else in music. Please let him be buried in it when he dies.
• Kitty cats!!!!
Peace, love, and all that jazz in 2009.