2010 Year In Review

(Written 30 December 2010)

The 2010 Year in Review is brought to you by Google, in association with The Cloud. All the lists, including the Top 10 Lists of 2010, were compiled using Google Docs, and the Year in Review itself was written in Google Docs. All the links to videos found herein will direct you to YouTube, which though neither you nor a tube, is owned by Google. The Review was sent from my Gmail account and most of the funnier stuff was plagiarised from obscure websites located by Google Search. This was all saved on The Cloud, of which I am a noted expert, and sent to you for reading on your Android mobile phones. If you do not own an Android and, worse still, are reading this on an iPhone or iSimilar device, please stop what you are doing and commit iSuicide. That way, the workers at Foxconn didn’t at least die for nothing.

Hello and welcome to the 2010 Year in Review. Let’s get some red tape out of the way early:

‘Why was no Christmas Message sent this year?’ I hear absolutely nobody asking. The answer to this takes me back to a bus ride on the evening of 9 June 2010. In your mind’s eye, picture an airport lobby, crowded with the hubbub of expectant and excited football fans. There are the Argentines, who prefer Visa; the Americans, who prefer Budweiser; and the South Africans, who prefer HIV; all together for this one big party. In your mind’s ear, hear the sweet and sultry sounds of Colombian (?) pop princess Shakira (whose breasts, may I remind everyone, are small and humble) singing Waka Waka. Now, again in your mind’s ear, drown out the sound of Waka Waka with the dulcet tones of a 4-piece engineering band: there’s Mlumbu on jackhammer, Kaataakaa on powersaw, Tiki on electric screwdriver and KalahariKlik on anklegrinder. Can you still hear Shakira? No, but you can hear a sound that is close to, but nowhere near as loud as, the chori of vuvuzelas that would be our leitmotif for the next four weeks.

From the airport in hunger from not eating any of the delicious appetisers on our flight from Zimbabwe, we sought out the local KFC. Now, I had inside knowledge of where the Colonel hides his stash in Joburg, so I knew where to direct my hungry fried chicken comrades. As a result of this greasy detour (and I will get to my other greasy detour in South East Asia later), the five of us (there were five of us), were late for the bus to Durban, and had to sit at the front, right in front of the television. Being new to South Africa, our tour organisers thought it best that we learn a bit about the history of the nation and continent we were visiting. Therefore, they had prepared a documentary film for us called ‘Blood Diamond’, which would teach us about the culture, customs and firearms of this foreboding landmass. I took absolutely no moral message out of this film, though I did learn an interesting tidbit of information about the international diamond trade. Most diamonds that are sold to wealthy European merchants to fund just and wholly appropriate civil uprisings are not immediately sold back into circulation. These diamonds are kept in a vault in the Netherlands (naturally), as their value will increase as demand overtakes supply. Much like the plot of the underrated James Bond film ‘Live and Let Die’, demand is increased (in Bond’s case, the McGuffin was Mr Brownstone) when supply is strictly controlled. So, I am increasing demand for my Year in Review by limiting the supply of my Christmas Message. I was also really hungover that day.

The next piece of red tape: ‘Why have I received this a day early, don’t you send it on New Year’s Eve?’ I hear absolutely nobody asking. Well, while you are reading this, I am feeling insecure and a touch unwelcome sunning it up and lounging around the lower-mid-north coast. It is beautiful up here, and there would have been no way for me to send this on NYE, even though I am expert on the Cloud, and accessing my Google Docs account via my PatrickBerry and pressing ‘Send’ would have taken five seconds. No way in the world. Of course, me not being able to send emails does not mean I can’t receive them. Please make sure you reply with your thanks and gratitude. Please refrain from any realistic responses.

You might be interested to know that I wanted to limit this year’s review to 3,000 words. I have already hit 800 and I haven’t even mentioned any of the Internet memes that distracted us from living this year.

Lists! Everyone loves lists: they make easy copy for internet journalists, plus you can convey information without proper analysis in an easy-to-digest format to perpetuate this nascent generation sans critical thought. I’m talking about you.

Before we start the lists, let me talk a bit about my favourite subject. I had a very good year in 2010. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I can sell the film rights, but I got to travel to more rural Chinese towns, write more riveting stories about pyrolitic ovens and I even made some new friends. New friends are the best as they don’t really know how weird you are and you can add some new, realistic characters to your masturbation fantasies.

The highlight of my year was the weekend I spent in Osaka with Dave. Avid readers will know that David is the older brother of the reigning Man of the Year, Tom. Well, stung by being passed over for this highest of accolades, Dave was determined to reverse my nadirian opinion of Japan. Dave and I set out on a 40-Hour Bender (which is like the 40-Hour Famine but, you know, for interesting people) up and down the Dotonbori, which is both a river and a red light district. Dave will probably remember more, as he hasn’t destroyed his brain listening to the Backstreet Boys, but there was a cab with a cock on it, a girl vomiting on a pool table, an idiot in a ninepin costume pouring himself beers, an Australian bar showing rugby league, a balcony bar with a barbeque that let me DJ off my iPod, day karaoke, pachinko and some other things that I either can’t remember or can’t repeat. Shane was there too, though he disappeared midway through the evening on a greasy detour. For a more vivid journey through the streets of Osaka, there is a photo album on Facebook (each image is individually and lovingly captioned): feel free to check it out in your own time. Please do not stop reading this to look at it. Anyways, big thanks to Dave and Shane for that weekend.

Now lets cross to Bet-tywhite to seamlessly incorporate advertising into the Year In Review.

Bet-tywhite: Thanks Patrick. Well, betting on the Year in Review is centred on two main wallets: Man of the Year and Food of the Year. People do not want to touch any of the music categories this year, as it is well known that Patrick has been heard singing along to a lot of Glee this year, and punters are understandably worried that he will either not include the Glee songs or will include the original artist only or both. Anyways, very little action there, though we have chalked up Vanilla Twilight by Owl City as the short price favourite. Owl City came in at #2 last year, and we know how much Patrick’s music taste do not change from year to year. Also, it would irritate one his friends for that song to win.

As for Man of the Year, this contest is now a straight three horse race. Person A (names hidden to increase anticipation) was a very close thing last year and has been in stellar form all through 2010. He has been as short as odds-on through the year, before drifting slightly in the second half of the year. He is still the one to beat. Just after A is Person B, who was nowhere in the mix last year, and punters did not want a piece of him until June, when he pulled off a couple of coups to really move into the market. Person B, a noted punter, actually has money on himself this year, at very good odds: this bet was placed in one of our international casinos. Perhaps he had inside information about how big a move he was about to make. Person C — well — wasn’t even heard of before June: you could have written your own odds as we didn’t even know how to spell his name. Now he is clearly on the third line of betting and some very smart money is coming in for C. The sort of smart that would come bespectacled. Outside of those three, there is some value floating around. There has been a big market mover this year, with Person D coming in from astronomical odds at the start of 2010 into equal fourth in the betting. Still in double figures, though, perhaps one to watch for next year.

As for Food of the Year, the punters think this is a straight toss up between two old favourites. KFC v prawns once again for the win. Both had a big year, and we’ve got them both at $1.95. There has been one bet placed outside this duology, however, so we’ll have to see whether we have a lot of winners or just one. Back to you Patrick.

Thanks Bet-tywhite. Now, wasn’t that seamless? It’s the sort of thing you could insert into the cricket between overs without anyone noticing.

Lists!

We kick of our list fetish with the Top 10 News Stories of the Year, as ranked by Google News algorithms. I have declined from including when I was crowned Australia’s IT Journo of the Week. Yes, that is a real award. I have included some commentary that only I could possibly think is funny.

10. Eyjafjallajökull explodes (And everyone was an Iceland expert for a day. Flights disrupted.)
9. Mary MacKillip becomes a saint (Everyone gets three wishes, please form an orderly queue. Flights disrupted.)
8. Civil unrest in Thailand (It’s convenient that the different sides wear different coloured shirts. It makes watching the fights like watching football. Flights disrupted.)
7. Christmas Island boat people capsizing (Easter Island would have been more appropriate. Because Easter is about death. Too soon? Flights disrupted.)
6. Pike River Mining Disaster (It’s rare that New Zealand counts. Flights disrupted.)
5. Deepwater Horizon oil spill (I’m sorry. Flights disrupted.)
4. Julia Gillard overthrows Kevin Rudd (She doesn’t even have kids. Flights disrupted.)
3. North Korea sinks the Cheonan (I fancy myself a bit of an expert on the peninsula. Flights disrupted.)
2. Chilean mining disaster and miracle (The miracle was that I cared. Flights disrupted.)
1. Cablegate (He’s still weird. Flights disrupted.)

I for one am very interested in what is happening in the Koreas. Whilst Kim Jung-il is undoubtedly an unstable man, he is a lot more predictable than his father, Menta Lee-il. Classic comedy.

Now that we have news out of the way, we can focus on the new opiate of the masses: sport. Shortly before writing this, I had to endure @Jack_Wilshere gloating in 140 characters or less how happy he is that the #ashes is returning to England. I advocate a new and experimental policy for the Australian cricket team: execution. We should exhume the corpse of failed Tudor rulers to act as selectors (because the English are doing a better job) and, should the team lose, culpable players can be terminated in a variety of entertaining ways during the Tea Break on Day Four.

Here are the Top 10 Sports Moments of the Year. Once again, I have added some colourful commentary to ruin the experience.

10. World’s longest tennis match (So how do you make the world’s most boring sport interesting? Play it forever.)
9. Mark Webber goes the distance in the Formula 1 World Championship (The Cadel Evans of motorsport?)
8. Jonathan Webb wins his debut V8 race in Sydney in a Monster Ford, part of Dick Johnson/Jack Daniels racing (The quality of human being at the V8s was very low.)
7. That cheat Contador robs Andy Schleck of his rightful Tour de France victory (Probably the only Luxembourger person I like.)
6. Spain wins the World Cup (Player of the Tournament: Cesc Fabregas.)
5. Arsenal beats Chelsea 3-1 (It doesn’t happen very often anymore.)
4. Buster Posey leads San Francisco Giants to World Series glory (Inside joke this.)
3. Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal. (I was in Singapore when this happened.)
2. Australia beats Serbia in the World Cup (This comment has been redacted).
1. St George Illawarra 32 Sydney Roosters 8 (I do not follow rugby league.)

For a record 10th year in a row, Steve Waugh has won the Sportsman of the Year Award. Tremendous effort that. Mmm, Scotch!

Here are some individual sporting awards. Winning this award is based on how good a player you are and how good looking a player you are:

Cycling: Andy Schleck
Rugby League: Darius Boyd
Cricket: Alastair Cook
Association Football: Robin van Persie and Tim Cahill (tie)
Australian Rules Football: Nick Riewoldt
Athletics: Caster Semenya

Now let us transition into some more interesting categories. Here are the best TV shows of 2010. As always, every show that hit a minimum standard of just-above-mediocre is included.

15. The Chaser Decides
14. The Office (US)
13. Gruen Transfer
12. South Park
11. Family Guy
10. Jeopardy!
9. Desperate Housewives
8. The Inbetweeners
7. Survivor: Nicaragua
6. How I Met Your Mother
5. 30 Rock
4. Modern Family
3. Survivor: Heroes v Villains
2. Glee
1. Dexter

Some individual highlights from the year include watching my first Inbetweeners and Modern Family episodes on planes, that bit in 30 Rock where Tracy tells the battered wives to be quiet because a man is speaking, a certain Glee scene where Artie shows off a hidden talent, and Jonny Lee Miller turning in a bravura performance as a truly demented psychopath in Dexter. He was Sick Boy, you know.

Let’s move this along a bit: Movies! Every movie seen is ranked. The cut-off between liked and endured is #18.

29. Sex and the City 2
28. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parassus
27. My Sister’s Keeper
26. Sunshine Cleaning
25. Adventureland
24. The Joneses
23. Couples Retreat
22. She’s Out of My League
21. Funny People
20. Shutter Island
19. Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
18. Easy A
17. Invictus
16. Jackass 3D
15. Due Date
14. Red
13. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
11. The Town
10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
9. The Ghost Writer
8. Hot Tub Time Machine
7. Inception
6. District 9
5. Robin Hood
4. Sherlock Holmes
3. The Hurt Locker
2. Up In The Air
1. The Social Network

For those keeping score, Harry Potter 7:1 has dropped 11 spots from HP6’s #1 ranking last year; TS:E is up 11 spots from TS:NM’s #21 ranking; SATC2 has dropped 22 spots from SATC’s very credible #7 in 2008; and I haven’t seen Districts 1 through 8 but I did manage to pick up the plot of 9 fairly quickly.

Witty Remarks

The runner up award (which doesn’t exist, because I don’t award losers) goes to the person who spoke last in this conversation:

Patrick: Mark, did you bring your towel with you?
Mark: Yes, I didn’t want to have to endure more criticism from Patrick.

And the winner is the person who spoke last thus, upon arriving at OR Tambo Airport alive and well from a 150km/hour cab ride through Joburg’s slums:

Patrick: What’s the damage you crazy motherfucker?
Cab Driver: 60 Rand.
Patrick: That’s seems reasonable.

(There are four people that will read that and laugh. Trust me.)

I’ve crossed the 2,700 word mark. Really need to hurry this up.

Food

My Mum makes the best baked chicken dish. She buys the bird from purveyor of fine pheasants, Mr Gordon, and she serves it hot, hot like coffee in Twin Peaks, with potato and broccoli. It’s delicious. But, for sponsorship reasons, the Food of the Year is again KFC. Though this time I’m regionally specifying South African KFC, which has a sensationally broad array of condiments.

Countries

I added a few more to the list this year: Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia (sort of), South Korea, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Indonesia is sort of because I was on a launch in Singapore (a launch is a big boat. Too big for someone like you) and we strayed into Indonesian waters and were told to turn back. We were inverse boat people.

The country of the year is Australia. I like how we have cleanish public transport and everyone speaks English. Well, not everyone at the V8s did, but most Australians do.

Lists

Here are the Top 10 Lists of 2010:

10. Schindler’s List
9. Listen To Your Heart by Roxette
8. List of countries by HIV/Aids adult prevalence rate page on Wikipedia
7. South Park’s 11th season finale ‘The List’
6. Noted Hungarian composer Franz Liszt
5. Fatigue and listlessness
4. List A Domestic One Day Cricket
3. Lisztomania by Phoenix
2. Hanover rugby union club SC Germania List
1. Top 10 Lists of 2010

(That was Jerome’s idea)

Women

Petty and insecure, woman is the animal that cannot be understood. We all think we can enter their world with our laptop computers, malaria tablets and hand sanitisers and try to change the ending, but we always end up feeling confused and incredulous as this creature changes their minds without reason and abandons all logic in the search for needless reassurance. It really is the same joke every year, but someone always takes it personally. I put as little thought into Woman of the Year as I do into whether to wear deodorant (ie very little), so the winner must always grapple with both the thrill of winning and the knowledge that this is a throwaway prize just to build up the anticipation for Man of the Year, which is a real award. I really can’t be bothered anymore: I’m giving this to Trent, because he’s not winning any other awards this year and I know how much he wants one. Congratulations?

Men

Powerful and muscular, Man is the greatest beast on this planet. Brave and pragmatic, Man rules the land with his strong physique and awesome intellectual ability. He is truly the greatest animal (after the platypus), and we should all bow down in honour of Man. By the way, I am not using the word ‘Man’ in the sense of humankind, but in the specific. Man. Truly brilliant.

Look, there were some standout performances this year, and one person in particular is very unlucky to miss out for a second year in a row. But there was only ever going to be one winner: I assume he’s known for a while as well. Charge that glass of Scotch, Brendan: your time has come!

After the disaster of the 2005 Man of the Year, we’ve had some fantastic performances from Men of the Year. Brendan takes over from Tom, who had brilliant hair all through 2010. It’s a lot to live up to champ, but I’m as sure of your ability as I am of my skill playing Pato Banko.

Books

The Fountainhead. Read it.

We have crashed through the 3,000 word mark: time to discuss music.

The Year in Review has its roots firmly in the ranking of music, primarily songs. Back when the first Year in review was sent, in 2000, it was virtually just a bunch of random swear words and then the Top 100 of 2000. Regular readers will know that Robbie Williams took out the spot that year. There was a Top 100 of 1999, but that was never sent in Year in Review form, so it’s a bit like The Hobbit (which is a terrible book), in that is sort of part of the Lord of the Rings, but more accurately is not. Powderfinger was #1 in 1999. Since then, Robbie and Powerfinger have been joined by Train, The Panics, Coldplay, Pete Murray, The Killers (twice), Matchbox 20, Jason Mraz and Death Cab For Cutie. There are only minutes to go until you find out which artist/band/group/commercial collective will join this illustrious group. Or you can just scroll down now and find out straight away. Or can you?

Music Video

I wasted three hours of my life watching Rage count down the Top 50 music videos of 2010 a few days back. The top spot was a song by John Butler Trio that had the most prosaic video I have ever seen. I don’t get it.

But I digest (I like eating) and digress. A thought has been swirling in my head about this award: should I limit the winner to that video that most sexually objectifies women? Or should I expand it to include other notable causes? For example, should I give this award to the video that most racially objectifies Asians? Or to the clip that most handicappedly objectifies cripples? Or the clip that most domestic abusedly objectifies battered wives? This seemed a lot funny when it was just an idea in my head.

But no! We have standards here at the Year in Review, and the Music Video of the Year must go to the clip that most sexually objectifies women. It’s both a valid way of determining a winner and a stinging piece of social commentary. Truth be told, this has been a pretty tame year for the DJs and rappers that generally dominate this category. Still, there is one quite bizarre clip that has shone through the haze to stamp its authority on this field. If you choose to watch this video (and I can understand if you just skipped it), listen carefully at the start, because the objectification is short and sharp. Feel free to stop it almost immediately after (though if you watch it through until the end, you do catch a glimpse of the Australian flag).

The 2010 Music Video of the Year is iYiYi by Cody Simpson and Flo Rida.

Cody Simpson feat. Flo Rida “iYiYi” from Mark Staubach on Vimeo.
For those genuinely interested, my favourite music video of the year was this one:

Albums

I don’t really listen to albums (new ones anyway) very much anymore. I find modern music contains too much Aussie hip hop. Anyway, the Album of the Year is an Australian record this year. It’s probably the only album from 2010 that I listened to from start to finish. Other albums that I heard parts of and liked included Plastic Beach (Gorillaz), Suburbs (Arcade Fire), For Your Entertainment (Adam Lambert) and Recovery (Eminem).

The 2010 Album of the Year is Birds of Tokyo (Birds of Tokyo).

Hooray! Patrick says, we have made it. Here be it, the Top 100 of 2010.

100. Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart – Julee Cruise
99. Beach Comber – Real Estate
98. Drip Drop – Safura
97. Eenie Meenie – Sean Kingston & Justin Bieber
96. Fly Trapped in a Jar – Modest Mouse
95. Time Warp – Glee Cast
94. Barricade – Interpol
93. Raise Your Glass – Pink
92. Cousins – Vampire Weekend
91. Tik Tok – Kesha
90. Ghost In The Machine – B.o.B
89. Northcote (So Hungover) – Bedroom Philosopher
88. Stay The Night – James Blunt
87. Crucify Me – Bring Me The Horizon
86. Just The Way You Are – Glee Cast
85. Runaway – Kanye West
84. Undisclosed Desires – Muse
83. Echoes – The Klaxons
82. Marry You – Bruno Mars
81. Trip On Love – Abra Moore
80. Closer To The Edge – 30 Seconds to Mars
79. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
78. The Saddest Thing I Know – Birds of Tokyo
77. iYiYi – Cody Simpson & Flo Rida
76. Love The Way You Lie – Eminem
75. Hey, Soul Sister – Glee Cast
74. Stylo – Gorillaz
73. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
72. Alejandro – Lady Gaga
71. Home – Magnetic Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
70. The Opposite of Adults – Chiddy Bang
69. You’ve Got The Love – Florence & The Machine
68. Forget You – Glee Cast
67. Sticks and Stones – Jamie T
66. I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman – K-Os
65. Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever) – Muse
64. Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz
63. Fuck You – Cee-Lo Green
62. The Gap – Birds of Tokyo
61. Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone
60. Summer Skin – Death Cab For Cutie
59. An End Has A Start – Editors
58. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) – Florence & The Machine
57. Start Me Up/Livin’ On  A Prayer – Glee Cast
56. Wavin’ Flag – K’Naan
55. Radioactive – Kings of Leon
54. Ready To Start – Arcade Fire
53. Stop! In The Name Of Love/Free Your Mind – Glee Cast
52. Teenage Dream – Glee Cast
51. Baby – Justin Bieber & Ludacris
50. Rock It – Little Red
49. California Gurls – Katy Perry
48. Little Motel – Modest Mouse
47. Hotel Room Service – Pitbull
46. Billionaire – Travis McCoy & Bruno Mars
45. Soul Meets Body – Death Cab For Cutie
44. I Dreamed A Dream – Glee Cast
43. Up On Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz
42. Telephone – Lady Gaga & Beyonce
41. Singing In The Rain/Umbrella – Glee Cast
40. I’m In Miami Bitch – LMFAO & Pitbull
39. Nothin’ On You – B.o.B & Bruno Mars
38. No Love – Eminem & Lil Wayne
37. The Cave – Mumford & Sons
36. Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) – The Wombats
35. Like It’s Her Birthday – Good Charlotte
34. Finally See Our Way – Art Vs Science
33. The Only Exception – Paramore
32. Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) – Shakira
31. Kaptein (Span Die Seile) – Kurt Darren
30. Like a G6 – Far East Movement
29. Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner
28. Ramona Was A Waitress – Paul Dempsey
27. Just The Way You Are (Amazing) – Bruno Mars
26. Dynamite – Taio Cruz
25. Young Blood – The Naked and Famous
24. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
23. OMG – Usher
22. Airplanes – B.o.B & Hayley Williams
21. Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida & David Guetta

And that’s where we live it for now. The Top 20 will be revealed live in the car up to Avoca later this afternoon. There are a number of ways to follow the countdown:

-Be in the car.
-Live on Facebook and/or Twitter (Optus coverage permitting).
-In an email to be sent later today from my PatrickBerry (Optus coverage permitting).

That’s it for now, thanks for being part of the 2010 Year in Review.

(And then, roughly two hours later…)

20. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
19. Blood – The Middle East
18. Wild At Heart – Birds of Tokyo
17. Baby I’m Getting Better – Gyrascope
16. And Then We Dance – Justice Crew
15. Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola World Cup Remix) – K’Naan
14. Fire With Fire – Scissor Sisters
13. Crossfire – Brandon Flowers
12. If I Had You – Adam Lambert
11. You’ve Got The Dirtee Love – Florence & Dizzee Rascal
10. Whataya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
9. Punching In A Dream – The Naked and Famous
8. People As Places As People – Modest Mouse
7. Hey, Soul Sister – Train
6. Missed The Boat – Modest Mouse
5. Safety Dance – Glee Cast
4. Not Afraid – Eminem
3. Loslappie (Ek Wil Huistoe Gaan) – Kurt Darren
2. Dance The Way I Feel – Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
1. Plans – Birds of Tokyo

We made plans to kiss the sun at night…

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