I’m not going to be so negative as to dedicate a whole post to the worst of the year. Just imagine George Osborne’s cold dead eyes and you have the essence of it.
So here is a selection of the better (cultural) parts of 2011, at least for me:
Best TV Programme:
Match of the Day, Sunday May 22nd – The final day of the season, this programme was not so much a rollercoaster for this Wolves fan, as a journey on a bus, driven around mountain roads by a drugged-up maniac. Luckily, the bus did not crash, but ended up somewhere lovely (safety!), albeit with only three minutes to spare.
The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt – A fascinating account of the ideas of Epuicureanism, and how they were rediscovered and spread in the 15th century and beyond, in the ferment of the Renaissance.
Heartbeats and Brainwaves, by Electric Six – Those of you reading this who know me will find this completely boring and predictable, but yes, this was my album of the year. Nothing else was released that was anywhere near as good, it’s the best Electric Six album released since Fire (and may even be better than that) and the band continues to be great live. Next year the triple album by Ginger Wildheart might have it though, we’ll see.
Best Live Comedy:
Dylan Moran – In a year in which I have seen comedians as far apart in style and content as Milton Jones (very funny, misses out to Dylan Moran by a whisker) and Jerry Sadowitz (an experience to be sure, but I wouldn’t see him again), Dylan Moran triumphs. What is most remarkable about Moran is that the topics he deals with are so prosaic – there is none of the fantastical or surreal, nor deliberately controversial. He talks about ordinary life and ordinary things, but his sheer force of personality and verbal skill and imagination raises him well-beyond the realm of ‘observational comedy’. Absolutely brilliant.