2006 is gone! Time for some thoughts on it from the position of middle-brow cultural consumerism.
Movies - There was a lot of good alternative stuff coming out of the US for a change, a little challenging, a little wacky - Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93, An Inconvenient Truth, Shortbus, The Aristocrats. The Devil Wears Prada & Casino Royale were solid popcorn fun.
Only saw one Australian film, and it was worthy - Ten Canoes.
Mission Impossible 3 was the worst film I saw at the movies (why won't Tom Cruise's character just die!!!), while Date Movie was the worst new film I saw on dvd. Burn the copies. All of them!
Music - most enjoyable aspect this year for me was getting to know some tuneful man bands better - Keane, Belle & Sebastian, Matthew Sweet and The Sleepy Jackson come to mind.
And of course, there was the memorable 2 seconds during which Chris Isaak shook my hand.
Books - I'm rarely as grateful for the new release of a book as I was for Chris Masters' much-needed Jonestown. And after all the subtle threats before publication, no lawsuit from Jonesy? Pity the pathetic ABC management had to behave so foolishly about the whole thing.
The most powerful novel I read all year was The Leopard, by Guiseppe De Lampdesua, while the most powerful short story I've EVER read turned out to be Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx.
Media - With the publication of Jonestown, Noami Robson leaving Today Tonight, and the improving fortunes of crikey.com and The Monthly, is the Australian Media a safer saner place? Even Murdoch's papers have changed their tune (at master's orders) over global warming & climate change. Still, channel 9 has Eddie Maguire, and Shane Warne & wifey are poised to be the new over-exposed tv celebrities of '07, so all isn't completely safe.