After the cathartic diatribe that was Part 1, here is my actual look back at 2015. Because this time of year is filled with exhaustive lists of events and things, I will only be talking about the things that came out or happened this year that resonated with me.
First I wish to mention the great people that we lost this year. Again, this
isn’t a full list but only those that have meaning for me (Sorry Lemmy, you bad-ass metal-monger). This was a bad year for Classic Star Trek fans, as we lost the great Leonard Nimoy, Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Janice Rand) and Yvonne “Batgirl” Craig who played Marta in “Whom Gods Destroy“. On top of that, the world is a much less awesome place since we lost the great Christopher Lee, The Most Interesting Man in the World. We also lost Zen philosopher and former baseball enthusiast Yogi Berra, The man who showed us the truth about the world and who just wanted to kick ass and chew bubblegum, Rowdy Roddy Pipper, horror legend Wes Craven and Wayne “Trapper John” Rogers. Fred Thompson’s business got out of control and he was not lucky enough to live through it. On a more personal note, I said goodbye to my Great-Grandma who lived to the ripe old age of 90.
Lastly, I normally don’t care about CEOs or other corporate scumbags but Satoru Iwata was different. Here was the leader of Nintendo who was not some bean-counter but came from the trenches of the game industry as a programmer and engineer. As a fan of Nintendo, he made some decisions that were infuriating and frustrating to me, but you could see that he always cared about games being fun and didn’t see them as some cynical cash-grab like many other game companies (EA, #FucKonami). He helped cultivate the silly, playful, fun-loving image that has made Nintendo as a company and as a brand what it is today and he will be missed.
This year, I dropped out from more than just the political scene. I just no longer had the interest or time to keep up with current Pop-culture as a whole. I have a DVR to record everything I want to watch, a blu-ray player to play everything that isn’t on my DVR, a 55″ 4K TV and a very comfortable chair which beats the Movie theater on price and experience any day of the week. My game backlog is so long that even games that I buy this year probably won’t be finished for quite a while and games are so much cheaper after they’ve been out for a year or two so I rarely buy new. Since most commentary shows and podcasts are nothing but describing everything that is coming out in nauseating detail, by the time I get around to the stuff I do look forward to, I feel less hyped and more like I have already experienced it vicariously though my choice of talking heads.
On late night we said goodbye to Jon Stewart, and David Letterman. We said goodbye and hello to Stephen Colbert moving from the Colbert Report to tackle the Late Show. With Jon Stewart gone, John Oliver solidified his place as the face of progressive political comedy. I only wish he would resume episodes of his wonderful podcast, The Bugle.
I can’t say that outside of topical political shows I really watched much TV this year. I mostly just nibbled at my considerable DVD / DVR backlog. Same with movies. I did see Ex Machina which was pretty good. Whereas Star Wars, The Martian, Mad Max, and the Hateful Eight will just have to wait until next year.
For games, I had fun with Citizens Of Earth and Undertale which are probably the best we will get to fulfill that craving for a good, quirky, funny RPG since Earthbound for the SNES. The Beginners Guide was…an experience. Battlefront was a disappointing letdown, and Halo 5 was OK. The stars of the year were Rare Replay, Mario Maker, and Splatoon.
Despite my grievances from Part 1, This wasn’t a bad year. It just wasn’t great. But these last few months just seem like the calm before the inevitable shit-storm that is to come next year. Hopefully sanity will rear it’s ugly head and push the crazies out of the way and let the responsible adults have an honest conversation about where we as a country need to go. See you next year.