2003 in review
So, it turns out that Elliot Smith's heart-rending (!) death may not have been a suicide after all, but a murder. Thank GOD! Even if they can't conclusively say one way or the other, I'll sleep better knowing there just might be somebody out there brutally murdering hipster scum.
Anyhow, since I can't (and wouldn't) get you drunk or stoned, you'll have to make do with my sincere wishes that this New Year treats you and yours well. Let's hope you can keep with those resolutions past January 5th!
Likewise, to spare you from my usual bitter (or violent) ramblings, which are only intensified by the holidays, I'mma throw two -- not one, but TWO -- 'special features' at you.
First, let's get the obligatory 'Best of 2003' list outta the way. Everything I've chosen represents the best in its category that I've come across this year, not that it was the best introduced this year; it could be 1000 years old, but I had to first come across it this year.
- Fragile by Yes (1972).
Not much to say about this one that can't be better said by somebody else, but there is one thing I wanna address before moving on: allmusic.com, do not say that Sigur Ros makes Yes look like the Minutemen. You've said some outrageous shit over the years, but that has to be the stupidest.
Feuertaufe by Morgenstern
Last Fair Deal Gone Down by Katatonia.
Epoch Eclipse: 30 Year Anthology by Hawkwind (Okay, this one's a box set, but still!)
Best Nonfiction Book:
- The State and Revolution by V.I. Lenin.
This, considered to be the most libertarian of Lenin's works, is really a timeless masterpiece of scientific socialism. Fuck, I don't agree with Lenin on much, but this book is a real gem. Essentially a polemic against western social democrats ('the renegade Kautsky', to name but one) and a restatement of orthodox Marxist views on the state, Lenin's assessment of the state is as valid today as in 1917. Ralph Miliband writes in The State in Capitalist Society that "Marxists everywhere have been content to take this thesis as more ore less self-evident; and to take as their text on the state Lenin's The State and Revolution, which is now half a century old [Miliband was writing this in 1969] and which was in essence both a restatement and an elaboration of the main view of the state to be find in Marx and Engels and a fierce assertion of its validity in the era of imperialism." As I said, it's his most libertarian, but there is a passage which raises some alarm: "(The question of control and accounting should not be confused with the question of the scientifically trained staff of engineers, agronomists, and so on. These gentlemen are working today in obedience to the wishes of the capitalists and will work even better tomorrow in obedience to the wishes of the armed workers.) "
In the Name of the Working Class by Sandor Kopacsi.
Dynamite by Louis Adamic.
Best Work of Fiction:
- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales, edited by Chris Baldick.
Best TV Show:
- Family Guy
Very excellent show. Watch it for yourself!
Best Blog of the Year:
Like I'd actually say! I gotta give credit to everyone on my friends list. You're all very smart, good people. I'm glad to have made your acquaintance during my short time on LJ!
And the second part of my special feature...
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:
I want to drink less soda. I've finally taken heed of Lou's monitions! Maybe 5 cans a day at the most.
I need to avoid the sun. Become paler on the outside, darker on the inside (figuratively).
I must think of some better resolutions for 2004.
Must work towards smashing the bourgeoisie.
Get beat up for wearing a Yes t-shirt.
And that's all... Have a happy and safe New Year!