Twelve favorites on the twelfth

It’s that time again — I post my annual schizophrenic eclectic list of the media bits I enjoyed most in the last year.

Same ground rules apply for this, my fifth list: things have to be new-to-me in the last year, they have to be things you can still access (I don’t want to compile a list of “you missed this and it was the best experience of the year*” type stuff), and blogs and websites are out (because I write about the web and other blogs all the time). In no particular order, my favorites this year were:

Utata It may look like I’m breaking my “no websites” rule, but I’m not. I’m saying Utata — the flickr-based photography community — has, as a whole, produced some of the media bits I’ve loved the most this year, because it is a way to see fantastic photography. The group photo stream is full of powerful and wonderful images, and the projects always inspire.

The Long Run and The Last Dancer by Daniel Keys Moran. The more I think about it, the more baffled I am that practically no one seems to know who this guy is. He’s written some of the best science fiction I’ve ever read.

Fire and Ice by Michael Adams. When I blogged my review, I recommended it because Adams provided more in-depth and objective consideration of American (and Canadian) values than either Fox News or the New York Times can muster. Yes, I still want to move to Canada. Have I mentioned I score ten points higher than needed on the skilled worker self-assessment tool, and that is without extra points for having a job offer? I’m not in a hurry, I’m just saying…

X-Men: The Last Stand I have a soft spot for the X-Men. Mutants are complicated super heroes because, well, they really aren’t super heroes — they just have supernatural-seeming powers. The final flick in the trilogy was dark, with a relatively high bodycount, and I’m twisted enough to enjoy that. Yes, I watched all the way through the credits for the surprise at the very end, and I loved it.

Battlestar Galactica, seasons 1 & 2. Thanks to Netflix, I watched both seasons (and the miniseries, which counted as the beginning of season 1, I think). Lifeboat ethics and political intrigue in space, people! Kickass chicks and messy, flawed characters! There is so much to love… I won’t go on an on about it, I’ll just tell you to read this guy evangelizing the show.

Most of the Angels & Airwaves album We Don’t Need to Whisper. I say most of because, honestly, I never listen to an entire album of anything anymore. I will admit to playing “It Hurts” too many times. Ditto for “The Adventure” and “A Little’s Enough” and “Distraction” and it is becoming clear I have no shame so I’ll stop now.

Most the songs from Andy Bell’s Electric Blue. Yes, it is poppy and disco-like. The cicada vocal mix of “Crazy” is six minutes and twenty seconds of thumping goodness. I will not apologize.

Metropolis I’m on the verge of cheating with this one, because I saw it at the Barbican, with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg playing the original score. I believe the movie is available on DVD, so I’ve decided it counts. Science fiction from 1927, it will blow you away.

My favorite photos on flickr. Almost everything in this set was something I saw for the first time in the last year — they are the images that make me feel something, that I want to keep looking at. Sometimes I just play them as a slideshow when I’m having a bad day, or need some inspiration.

51 Birch Street is a fascinating family documentary. How much to do you know — or want to know — about your parents, really?

For the completists or the curious, bits from the past: 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002

*But if I did, theTakao Tanabe exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery would be on the list, because I loved it. I could feel something in my chest open up when I stood in front of Crossing the Straight.

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