MOST SIGNIFICANT EVENT OF THE YEAR
I joyously became Mr. Rebel Sinclair on January 20.MOST SIGNIFICANT HISTORICAL EVENTS
1st Place: The WikiLeaks scandal.
2nd Place: The Tea Party Effect.
The effect and ramifications from the WikiLeaks and the Tea Party influence on elections will linger for the next decade. Things like the Gulf Oil Spill, war in Afghanistan and earthquakes in underdeveloped countries are mere blips – we always have disasters and wars.
SOUTH CAROLINA’S MOST SIGNIFICANT EVENT
Election of the first female governor, Nikki Haley, or as she is known in political circle, Nookie Haley. I voted for her for that reason. Hoping and praying we get another good juicy sex scandal from our governor this year. Note to the Charleston Post & Courier: Univ. of South Carolina’s athletic achievements were NOT the biggest story in the state in 2010.
FAVORITE NOVELS of 2010
The Girl Who Chased the Moon / Sarah Addison Allen. Allen writes quirky little books full of magic, wonder and romance. I highly recommend all three of her novels.
61 Hours / Lee Child. It’s not often that the 15th book in a series is the best, but this may be the best ‘Jack Reacher’ book yet. A great thriller.
Fatal Error / F. Paul Wilson. Over the past 20 years, Wilson has been writing one of the most entertaining sagas in fiction, the life of Repairman Jack. These books are a rich combination of action, sci-fi, horror and mystery. And according to the reality contained within these books … the end of the world is one book away.
Fall Of Giants / Ken Follett. Follett is THE current master of historical fiction. This is Vol. 1 of a trilogy.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest / Stieg Larsson. The conclusion of the Millennium Trilogy is an outstanding crime novel.
MOST PERSISTENT HILARIOUS NEWS HEADLINE
Unemployment rises ‘unexpectedly’
Unexpected for whom? Only for the news people and Obama’s White House staffers. For the rest of us, it was never ‘unexpected’ when the unemployment figures kept rising.
MOST DISAPPOINTING MUSIC RELEASE
Charleston, SC, 1966 / Darius Rucker
Darius Rucker’s 2010 country release was named in homage to one of the greatest country LPs of the past 30 years, Radney Foster’s seminal Del Rio, Tx, 1959. Both albums were named after each man’s respective hometowns and their birth years. Darius and Radney have become friends and musical buddies through the years while Radney has helped ease Darius’ transition into mainstream county music. However, Radney’s LP was filled with brilliant self-penned songs of soul-searching angst and universal truths, while Darius’ CD is middle-of-the-road mainstream country at its finest (or worse.) Twenty years from now, music critics will NOT be listing Charleston, SC, 1966 as one of the most influential records. Sooner or later, Darius will get around to creating a classic but this is not it.
Note: In case anyone interested, Radney Foster is coming to perform at the Windjammer this May14. I’ll see you there.
FAVORITE MUSICAL RELEASE
Mojo / Tom Petty. Great rock and roll. Petty is one of those artists who started out good and slowly crept into greatness, and has managed to sustain that greatness for more than 20 years, with very little letdown. Petty’s quasi-reggae workout, “Don’t Pull Me Over” will have you tapping your toes with a smile on your face.
Memphis Blue / Cyndi Lauper. Yes, a blues album by the girl who just wants to have fun. And this is loads of fun. Not to be missed.
LEAST SURPRISING ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE YEAR
Joe Riley seeks 10th term as Charleston mayor.
As long as he can continue to brainwash all the SOBs, why wouldn’t he keep running for mayor? But of course, history does prove that Charleston has never been known for its intelligence.
THIS YEAR’S ‘ AVATAR
Definition: a movie that was hyped by everyone that turned out to be completely awful. You know, like Avatar.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Not only was it a bad movie, it also ripped off its subtitle (with a slight re-wording) from a great Neil Young LP. Oliver Stone is the 2nd most overrated director of the last 30 years.
WORST NOVELS I READ THIS YEAR
The Ghost / Robert Harris. A joke of a book. My review on Amazon has created a lot of hate-filled responses. I pointed out a huge lapse in the main character’s behavior and for some reason it pissed off a lot of people who were loving the book because its liberal political ideology. It’s not my fault these people want to passionately defend a poorly written book. Read my review.
Revolutionary Road / Richard Yates. When the academia critics all pontificate that a book is “brilliantly written” that’s my clue to leave it alone. However, I was forced to read this book in college in the 1970s and found it awful (my professor found it “brilliant” of course) so when all the hype of the movie came out, I gave it another reading. IT STILL SUCKS. Truly a piece of 60s crap. People this tortured over their lives, deserve to be depressed and alcoholics. Superficial and silly.
THE PASSAGE / Justin Cronin. Over-hyped horror novel. This year's The Road. Read my review.
Freedom /Jonathon Frazen. Rule #1: Fiction should be entertaining. Rule #2: Fancy writing should not get in the way of the story. Mr. Frazen, try following the rules next time out.
Men and Dogs / Katie Crouch. So bad, there is no way to describe it. Read my review (it’s better than the book.)
JOKE OF THE YEAR
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a prostitute?
A prostitute won’t screw you after you’re dead.
MOST USELESS PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC EYE
1st Place (Tie): Sarah Palin / Keith Olbermann
Runner Up: Lady Gaga
BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS
Composed / Rosanne Cash. This is NOT a by-the-numbers biography; Cash focuses her memoirs on the journey she took to become a great songwriter. Fabulous and poignant.
Last Call / Daniel Okrent. THE definitive history of Prohibition and the Roaring 20s. Outstanding!
Me, the Mob and the Music / Tommy James. James recounts (with some good humor and bits of harsh honesty) his odd and wildly successful career as a 60s and 70 hitmaker, while under contract to the "Godfather of the music industry", Morris Levy. This HAS to become a movie!!!!
SIGNS THAT THE APOCALYPSE IS PENDING
- Snow on the ground twice in Charleston, SC in the same year – February and December, 2010.
- Keith Olbermann is still taken seriously.
- More people know who the Kardishians are than who Nevil Shute was.
- Lady GaGa is considered a musician.
- Jane Fonda is being marketed as sexy.
- Michael Vick is out of jail.
- NASA has been releasing information about what’s out there, subtly preparing the TV news-watching masses for some of the reality that is coming in the next two decades.