He's had a very bad year

Music, movies, TV, whatever. It’s all pop culture to me. If I throw everything from 2008 into a pot, it seems like various TV shows keep bubbling to the top.

“The Wire” wrapped up its final season, and while I never watched the show while it was in its run, I plowed through the entire series in a one month run and yeah, it’s probably the best show ever made… even if its final season was perhaps its weakest. (Give me season 2 for drama and plotting and 4 for the devastating inevitability of failure for all of the kids trying to make it on the street.)

“Mad Men” is the most unique show on TV, and continues to dazzle.

For comedy, you have “30 Rock” and “The Office” being the two funniest shows on TV.

But the very best thing of 2008, regardless of media? That was easy. It was 90 minutes of pure awesome.
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It's so Fabley

There were plenty of terrific games in 2008, and since I no longer get them for free, I was only able to sample a tiny sliver of them. Bah.

But first, some notes: I didn’t play that many shooters this year. For some inexplicable reason, I picked up “Quantum of Solace” (yikes), but never bothered with “Call of Duty: World at War.”

For the most part, I’ve stopped playing MMOs. “Age of Conan” was a dud for the month I bashed my way through it. I bought “Warhammer,” plus a three-month pass, but haven’t even opened the box (if anyone wants to buy it, let me know), and I totally skipped “Wrath of the Lich King.”

Finally, there were some other games that fell into the “close, but no cigar” category: Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (360); Age of Booty (360); Tomb Raider: Underworld (PC); and Lego Indiana Jones (360)

So, without further ado:
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Yeah, this one is obvious

There were a normal number of good movies released in 2008, but very few great ones. In fact, I’d only argue for my number one pick being a movie I’ll keep revisiting in future years.

OK, more ground rules: I didn’t see (yet, if ever): Milk; Synecdoche, New York; Rachel Getting Married, and god knows what others I might have liked.

So, here’s the list:
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I'm the Prince of Emo

I’m easily annoyed, so don’t read too much into what’s included on this list. I “finished” only one of these games, so feel free to dismiss my views by that criteria too.

Also to keep in mind: These aren’t the worst of the year by any measure as I don’t play nearly as many bad games as I used to. (Oddly enough, I miss the terrible, terrible games.)

I was tempted to put “Spore” on this list, but it wasn’t that annoying. Or interesting, for that matter. And I loved the Creature Creator too much to dismiss it outright.

So, here goes:
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http://blog.manic-pop-thrills.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/muzak.jpg

I think I spent more time in 2008 catching up to music I missed in 2007. I ended up with 11 recordings, but as with last year, cheesed-out and combined 2 of them into number 10.

I was actually surprised by how ambivalent I was toward a lot of the stuff I bought, and I think it has something to do with downloading everything from amazon.com’s MP3 store. I think you take purchases much more seriously when it’s a physical item; you just don’t connect as much to non-physical items. When you have to remove the CD from the case and place it in the CD player, it represents more of a commitment than just adding it to your iTunes library and having it randomly pop up during “shuffle” mode.

Anyway, on to the list. Here are the ground rules: I like three-minute pop songs, so this isn’t exactly comprehensive and varied. I like what I like, that is all. I’ve attached occasional videos and live performances, except for ones from Warner, which pulled all of its videos from YouTube. Fuckers.
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So, Bill Abner sent me an e-mail: “Update your blog ya old bastard.”

What’s he talking about? I last updated in, er, March. I would update my blog more frequently, but I’m very, very lazy.

Still, it’s that time of the year, where we express ourselves through the amazing power of the “end of year” list. So next week, I’ll be tossing up my “Best of 2008″ lists. For both of the fans of this blog, it’ll be glorious.

Moving into 2009, I may have to find time to talk about life, the universe, and everything. Or my involvement in this, which may involve me typing a bunch of stuff into documents which are then voice-acted by professionals, copied to a folder, listened to by disinterested people, and mocked by journalists.

It should be an appropriately weird year.