Lots of pretty terrible things happened this year. It wasn’t all bad though. Here were the bright spots. (And here is the review of last year.) Enjoy the verbose headers.
A reminder on how to make listicles:
MUSIC I ENJOYED THIS YEAR THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN RELEASED DURING THIS CALENDAR YEAR
PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ME (OR SOMEONE ELSE) THIS YEAR WHICH WOULD CAUSE ME SADNESS IF THEY WERE DELETED OR OTHERWISE LOST
Or: In Case You Can’t Tell, We Have A Dog
MOVIES I WATCHED THIS YEAR AND WILL LIKELY PURCHASE ON DIGITAL VIDEO DISC (OR OTHER FORMAT) BECAUSE I ENJOYED THEM
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Lego Movie2
ARTICLES I READ THIS YEAR AND THEN BOOKMARKED AND PROBABLY SHARED SO OTHERS WOULD READ THEM AS WELL
The Future Of Culture Wars Is Here, And It’s Gamergate – Deadspin
In many ways, Gamergate is an almost perfect closed-bottle ecosystem of bad internet tics and shoddy debating tactics. Bringing together the grievances of video game fans, self-appointed specialists in journalism ethics, and dedicated misogynists, it’s captured an especially broad phylum of trolls and built the sort of structure you’d expect to see if, say, you’d asked the old Fires of Heaven message boards to swing a Senate seat. It’s a fascinating glimpse of the future of grievance politics as they will be carried out by people who grew up online.
Playing With My Son – Medium
If you have a kid, why not run experiments on them? It’s like running experiments on a little clone of yourself! And almost always probably legal.
It’s disappointing how many people have children and miss this golden opportunity, usually waiting until they’re in their teens to start playing mindgames with them.
My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday’s Endless Appetizers – Gawker
The day after “Endless Appetizers” was announced, I went to TGI Friday’s in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay. I wanted to challenge the hubris of a company co-opting the infinite for a marketing gimmick. I wanted to demand accountability from copywriters.
I wanted to call their bluff and eat appetizers until they kicked me out, to seek the limit of this supposedly limitless publicity stunt.
I soon learned the limit does not exist.
Squirtle, I (Should) Choose You! Settling a Great Pokémon Debate with Science – Scientific American
But no matter what my relationship to Pokémon is now, I can’t deny that it was one of the driving forces in my nerdy life. And like any fanboy or girl who has ever played the original games, Pokémon was singular in that it provided me the first life-altering choice in my young life: Which of the starting Pokémon—Squirtle, Charmander, or Bulbasaur—should I pick? It felt like a digital “Sophie’s Choice,” with any decision rendering two Pokémon forever un-catchable, destined to be used against me by my rival.
THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MEDIOCRE PEOPLE – The Rumpus
…We can’t all be grand visionaries. We can’t all be Picassos. We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy. My feeling, based on my own experience, is that aiming for grandiosity is the fastest route to failure. For every Mark Zuckerberg, there are 1000 Jack Zuckermans. Who is Jack Zuckerman? I have no idea. That’s my point. If you’re Jack Zuckerman and you’re reading this, I apologize. You aimed for the stars and missed. Your reentry into the atmosphere involved a broken heat shield, and you burned to a crisp by the time you hit the ocean. Now we have no idea who you are.
Programming Sucks – Peter Welch
You can’t restart the internet. Trillions of dollars depend on a rickety cobweb of unofficial agreements and “good enough for now” code with comments like “TODO: FIX THIS IT’S A REALLY DANGEROUS HACK BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S WRONG” that were written ten years ago. I haven’t even mentioned the legions of people attacking various parts of the internet for espionage and profit or because they’re bored. Ever heard of 4chan? 4chan might destroy your life and business because they decided they didn’t like you for an afternoon, and we don’t even worry about 4chan because another nuke doesn’t make that much difference in a nuclear winter.
BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR THAT CANNOT BE TOPPED, EVEN IF I WAS AWARDED THE POWERBALL JACKPOT BY A RECENTLY-RESURRECTED J. H. CHRIST
A healthy baby Pilch is on the way. It’s a boy.