To begin with two acknowledgements:
- I acknowledge that the year is over. I acknowledge that the prime time to do this is mid-December of a year. However I normally do this in the week between Christmas and January, and I was out of town during that week
- I acknowledge that the pun I forced into the title of these in 2019 was funnier than this but I am an employed man now and I am not wishing to jeopardize that for what I must say was kind of a funny pun to make. At least it was a funny phrase to see if I could get people to Google. “Vas Deferens” is a much easier pun to work into something, though.
Music was kind of the only thing I enjoyed this year, outside of sports. I don’t know if sports can fit on here, though.
It kind of changes from year to year whether my favorite song or favorite album is more important to me in the grand scheme of things. This year it was the favorite album, really because I can only probably point to about four or five albums I really enjoyed in full, so… damn it how do I drop this in the text of the article naturally…
Album: Like a Stone by Remember Sports is the winner. There we go.
The video linked above is my favorite track on the album, in context especially it’s an absolute killer, right after “Out Loud”, which is my other favorite track on the album, and right at the end of the album, ending on that absolutely devastating lyric, “I don’t know why but I think my odds are good this time,” cementing it solidly into the “I cannot listen to this while driving” tier of tracks, in the teary-eyes sub-tier. Joins “Godsend” by Beat Happening and the “Tell me again that it’s all in your head” lyric of “Dendron” by The Hotelier in there. The other sub-tier in that larger tier is “Will start speeding without thinking about it,” prompted by the entire Initial D soundtrack.
Shameful thing is that I spend so much time bracing myself for that last lyric in “Odds Are” that I forget about how bad the last line in the third verse hits me, and then it hits me very hard. Like I’m more worried about the right hook that I forget about the uppercut. Great track, devastating, ends off a great album. The album as a whole is great as well, but I had to focus on one track.
Other Albums: TV Baby by PONY, Always Something by UV-TV, JOY by Dusky
Song: “Ferry” by Moontype is the winner
I only linked the song there, which I believe actually came out in late 2020, because, while I think the video’s perfectly fine, it really doesn’t fit with my interpretation of the song. I always hear it as morose, melancholic, melodramatic even, but they’re really quite joyous in the video. I don’t want to take that away from them, but I don’t interpret the song that way. That’s probably actually what they were going for there and I’ve been subverted.
I just had a dangerous thought, about which songs I will most directly associate with my experience in the latter four months of 2021, because there were many of them. Among the candidates that wouldn’t be eligible for the 2022 list were “Pants” by Lemuria, “Custom Scenes and the Parties that Make Them” by Johnny Foreigner, and Late as Usual by The Love In. Released in the year of 2021, though, that’s either the songs linked as winners of the prior categories or “Local Newspaper” by Dusky, which I associate viscerally with few fleeting moments of study I was able to get at the university library.
Other songs: “I’M RIGHT BACK IN IT” by PRONOUN, “Guest Room” by Future Teens (and I dodged a huge bullet not having to write a paragraph on that song), “Girl K Is For The People” by Girl K, “Quivering in Time” by Eris Drew
I genuinely don’t think that I read a book published in 2021 during the year of 2021. Outside of that shitty NBA “Bubbleball” book I read in the summer. This is not to say I read no books published at all at any point. I really enjoyed Ann Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Congratulations Ann!
In terms of any literature or adjacent to literature anything published in 2021, I gotta give it up once again to the man, Pablo Maurer, who found one of the guys from the old Columbus Crew logo. Great work. I loved reading that.
General Motion Pictures:
Film: Didn’t watch a single movie that was put out in 2021. I’m starting to recognize the folly of all of this. I would separate 2021 into three chunks – January to April 2021 was unending labor, May to July 2021 was euphoric joyousness, August to December 2021 debilitating depression. Really three extremes there, and it’s very rare even in non-extreme times that I go to the cinema anyway, but even less so when I’m in those extreme states of being, and it’s all computer superhero bullshit or a remake of some movie from the eighties when I do go there anyway, which I did not this year.
Television: I watched the NFL Network morning show Good Morning Football probably every weekday this year and the ESPN+ original show Futbol Americas on the two days it came out each week this year. Otherwise… Same as the prior. I don’t care that much about staying up to date with television anyway. I like Branson Reese’s Swan Boy cartoon on Hulu a lot and the second season of I Think You Should Leave was very good as well.
General Online Video Entertainment: Everyone loves watching some GOVE, don’t we, folks? We love GOVE. The Best GOVE of 2021 in my eyes was the Bois/Rubenstein Dorktown production “The History of the Atlanta Falcons”. But they’re very well known quantities at this point, and since I watch too much of this stuff anyway I wanted to put forward a few GOVEs from creators I like a lot:
Pandamonium’s Corpse Killer Documentary/Review Video:
As often as I spiral into the whole “Internet was a mistake/scale back the internet/ultimately detriments of the internet have outweighed its benefits by some margin” thing, I must admit that I have wanted an in-depth history doc on Digital Pictures’ games from the early 1990s for my entire life, and I would not have seen this come to fruition without the internet. Pandamonium, who goes above and beyond for every video he makes on the entire North American Sega Saturn library, went above and beyond here to discuss this game, getting a ton of documentary footage, interviewing one of the actors in the game, just fantastic work. I don’t know when I could ever expect him to get around to Quarterback Attack and Double Switch, but I am quite excited for those if they come around to it.
hazel’s “Weird Old Video Game & Anime Fansites” video
Hazel really blew up this year in popularity on YouTube, and deservedly so. She does so much interesting work and puts so much into it all. This was my favorite video of hers, touching on a different internet world, one that I only briefly got to really experience and never contributed to.
In General, Jose Briones’ Feature Phone Reviews
This guy’s the best guy to go to if you’re looking for a feature phone, he gets out reviews for basically any feature/dumbphone that comes on the market, always gives them an honest and fair shake. Great stuff. I used his recommendation to purchase an AGM M7 phone back in the summer and it’s about the closest thing to my ideal phone that I could feasibly find in the world.
In 2020, I was way overexposed to video games as a crutch, to the point where I ended up resenting them, and this year I way overcorrected and really played like four games from 2021. The best of those were Golftopia and Mini Motorways, both of which were fairly idle experiences anyway. Sorry!
So there we go! With this post’s posting, a stake has been driven into the heart of 2021 and we can all move on. We can all move on.
Bison has been paid for his crimes and our friends who have died here will have died for nothing, but we can all move on. Ideas like peace and freedom and justice, they get packed up, but we can all move on. Well, I’m not moving on. I’m going to get on my boat, and I’m going up river, and I’m going to kick that son of a bitch Bison’s ass so hard that the next Bison wannabe is gonna feel it. Now who wants to go home. And who wants to go with me?