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Best of 2008

16 Dec

Lists, lists, lists. Everyone doing ’em, so why not me? The 2007 list is here.

Best Record
Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
Well I can’t say I’ve been blown away by any one record this year, but Kings of Leon are making very good music. I actually think – shock, horror! – that there are some good pop records in the charts at the moment, too.

Best Film
The Dark Knight
Well it was the year of the comic book movie. We had Iron Man, Hulk, Hell Boy II and Wanted (and those are just the ones off the top of my head). I’d say that Dark Knight wins out with Iron Man a close second. I also enjoyed Burn After Reading.

Best TV Show
The Wire – Series 5
The Wire is simply the best television programme ever made. Period.

Best Book
I’ve read no new fiction this year. I spent most of my time reading old John le Carré books and Graham Greene. I’ll have to remedy this in ’09.

Best Podcast
This American Life
This is probably the choice that has caused me to ponder most, as I listen to oodles of podcasts. But This American Life has provided the most memorable and beautiful moments. Subscribe, if you haven’t already. Worthy mentions to The Collings and Herrin Podcast [sic], Sarcastic Gamer and Football Weekly.

Best Radio Show
Adam & Joe
Funny and creative. Brilliant, basically.

Best Video Game
Gears of War 2
It’s been another cracking year for gaming. GTA4 was outstanding, Far Cry 2 was a surprisingly deep game, and Left 4 Dead (which I get for XMAS) looks great. Nothing quite topped GOW2 though. It’s awesome. The art style is incredible. The level design spectacular. And the weapons rock. Epic.

Best Gadget
I haven’t got one. I can’t quite give up my BlackBerry (or switch to O2). However the app-store has made the iPhone a serious proposition. The utility of the device – theoretical and realised – is astonishing. I will get one, eventually.

Best App
I have adored this app all year. I have run GMail and Google Reader constantly using Fluid and it has made life much easier. I’ve also been mega-impressed with Skitch.

Best Political Blog
Chicken Yoghurt
Justin has simply rocked this year. One of the best writers in the medium. Sadie’s Tavern would be a worthy mention too.

Best Non-political Blog
This blog has made me – figuratively – piss myself all year.

Best Politician
Barack Obama

Best Newspaper
The Guardian
It better watch its back. The Guardian has lost its way a little this year. It’s still the best paper, though.

Best sportsperson
MS Dhoni
Finally, someone’s made a team out of the Indians. They’ve always had the talent (although the current team is pretty darn hot).

No bad transfer

15 Aug

As a Sunderland supporter I’m loathe to commend anything Newcastle United do. However, the signing of Argentine defender, Fabricio Coloccini, is a great move for the Geordies. If there is one thing Newcastle need, it’s better defenders, and Coloccini is one of the best around.

I don’t think Keegan will get anywhere at St. James Park, but Coloccini is young enough to play for Newcastle’s inevitable flurry of managers over the next season or two… It’s no bad transfer.

that’s a lot of cash for a woman footballer

28 Jul

From the BBC’s gossip column ::

annoying frenchman

29 Jun

Uefa President Michel Platini never misses an opportunity to have a go at the English, and the Premier League.

Apparently, the three-time European Player of the Year, has endorsed Christiano Ronaldo’s proposed move from Manchester United to Real Madrid. Now let’s get something straight: United don’t want to sell Ronaldo. Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and Manchester United, let’s not forget, are European Champions – i.e. the best club in Europe.

Now what fucking business does Platini have in getting involved in club affairs? RONALDO IS A UNITED PLAYER AND IS NOT FOR SALE! If Platini wants to be the European game’s president he should start twatting acting like it. Not queering club business by sticking his oar in, where it has no place. Everyone knows the continentals hate it that British football is back on top, but they really shouldn’t be using their position to fuck us over quite so openly. (And no I’m not a Man Utd fan.)

I know plenty of Englishmen – my father for one – who have an irrational loathing of the French, so I’m sure it’s reciprocated. Our media are the worst offenders etc. But surely now, we can put this pointless mutual distrust behind us and start acting like neighbours and fellow Europeans? Platini, in his position, really should be leading from the front on this. But I guess he’s just another cliché, you know… an annoying Frenchman. *sighs*

more on the chinese olympic hoo-har

8 Apr

Further to my post yesterday, Mr Eugenides has posted an “all bases covered” rant on the pro-Tibet protests.

Here’s the money-quote: –

Generally speaking, and with some exceptions, I am not in favour of sporting boycotts, at least not in isolation. It seems particularly harsh, for one thing, to pick on sportsmen and expect them to salve the conscience of a nation when businessmen line their pockets unmolested by such high-minded considerations. No-one, I notice, is proposing that we stop buying Chinese widgets, or boycott the Jade Inn on the high street, so why should it fall to kayakers and three-day-eventers to wrap themselves in the flag of Amnesty International?

So, whatever else all this may be, it’s not easy. Easy to know who’s in the right, where our sympathies should lie (at least for most of us – of which more in a moment), but harder to know exactly what to do that has any prospect of actually changing anything. Talk is cheap, and there’s a lot of it about.


Having made that wretched decision, we are now being made to look like impotent fools by the Communist leadership. Is it to much to hope that someone elected to speak on our behalf calls a spade a spade, and goes beyond tepid diplomatic boilerplate to tell the regime in Beijing what we truly think of them, not just in relation to Tibet but the civil liberties of their own people? What are they going to do, stop manufacturing Star Wars toys for Christmas? I hardly fucking think so.

football news

3 Apr

Looking at his signings to date, Roy Keane – the manager of my beloved Sunderland, has some cheek asking for £50m for new players in the summer.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust him with first-pick in a school yard kick-about.

rio ferdinand named england captain

25 Mar

Ha! A rare venture into Association Football for tygerland.

Rio Ferdiand has been named England Captain for tomorrow’s friendly against France. Congratulations. Now that means he can spend the summer skulking around grousing about a new salary again. Hey, the egotistical prick has to do something with his time. Of course he could just read a book…

Gareth Barry would have been an inspired choice.