2016 Year in Review — The 16 of Trumps (+ Patrick’s Best Tweets & #P100 continues) — #5 in Films, TV, Albums, Books: Part 12



#16s of 2016 + Tweets, Footballers & Exotic Bet Types (Part 1)
#15s of 2016 + Journalism (Part 2)
#14s of 2016 + Gigs (Part 3)
#13s of 2016 + Food (Part 4)
#12s of 2016 + Words (Part 5)
#11s of 2016 + Memes & Emoji (Part 6)
#10s of 2016 + People (Part 7)
#9s of 2016 + Football Moments & Trivia (Part 8)
#8s of 2016 + Extreme Crosswording (Part 9)

#7s of 2016 + Patrick’s Christmas Message (Part 10)
#6s of 2016 + Sport in 2016 & Top 100 Songs of 2016 (Part 11)

Güle güle 2016 (almost)…

In December 1994 I took the 144 from Military Road to Manly to loiter around the corso, eat McDonald’s and then see Time Cop at Warringah Mall with my school friend Michael G. Today I took the 144 from Military Road to Manly to walk along the boardwalk, bodysurf at Queenscliff, read from my book and listen to Triple J on my iPatrick 6s. Something very reassuring about how so much can change over 22 years — cricket is played between franchises in hot pink over the course of a few hours, there are now black Beatles and Donald Trump is the US president-elect — and yet the bus route from Chatswood to Manly via RNS Hospital is unchanged.

Today we enter the Top 5s in the four flagship Year in Review categories, plus we celebrate my Top 16 Tweets of 2016, take the next tranche of tracks in the Top 100 Songs of 2016 (#P100) and include a short riff about how these missives are supposed to be entertaining, and I have certainly entertained myself writing them, but the complete lack of interest in them shows that this year’s form and technique variation on the YiR has been a massive failure. My sincerest thanks to the superfans who are persisting through. Please tell ya friends that the final instalment on NYE will more closely resemble Reviews of Years past and thus may be funnier/amusinger/readabler/entertaininger &c &c.

#5 in Films…


In the early 1950s, young Marcus Messner escapes his overbearing family to attend a blithely Christian liberal arts college in the Midwest. He’s a Jewish-raised atheist and almost immediately starts rebelling against the superficial strictures at the university, such as the requirement to attend chapel x number of times per semester. He thinks his outstanding grades, mild-mannered (bordering on misanthropic) but ultimately not-harming-anyone-else persona should get him through. He even starts going steady with the beautiful and intelligent, fabulously wealthy though curiously difficult Olivia.

But trouble is lurking. Marcus is incapable of going with the flow, and his aversion to pragmatism sets him on a path that clashes with the fulgent Dean Caudwell and a trajectory to a devastating conclusion.

Adapted faithfully from Philip Roth’s novella, Indignation is a magnificent showcasing of nascent acting talents in Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon as the young lovers, and the bombastic chops of playwright Tracy Letts, who prickles and thwarts Lerman as the haughty Dean, eventually stirring his indignation to bellicosity.

Director James Schamus does a superb job recreating the stuffy, twee and tweed years directly after WWII, when the generation that just missed the fighting started finding their voice and rubbing against those who grimly stared down the privation of the Depression and the horrors of global conflict. The art direction inside the university’s halls, infirmary and dorms is meticulous in its veneration of the past, while the social mores that govern student life, and their inherent absurdity, are explored with nuanced aplomb.

#5 in TV…


By knowing exactly when to start watching (+2 minutes) and then applying skilful 30x fast forwarding through the commercial breaks and contestant patter, you can watch an episode of Jeopardy! in 15 minutes. It’s an essential art if you are trying to catch up on like six weeks of episodes in order to join your family in a Christmas Day binge.

Jeopardy! is the most cerebral of TV gameshows. Knowledge takes precedence, with clever wagering and being adept with the signalling button the only two other determining factors. I enjoy watching it either while eating toast with vegemite or peanut butter and drinking coffee in the morning, or while preparing my dinner. Sometimes I watch it while ironing. It is challenging and brain stretching but also relaxing and I take great pleasure in correctly speaking the questions to specifically American answers that all three contestants fail to capitalise on.

Save a Ken Jennings 70-plus episode run most seasons of Jeopardy! are about the same. There will be a champ who does particularly well, many who do quite well and innumerable who do somewhere between okay and good. There will be a Tournament of Champions, which I love, and a Kids Week, which I don’t love. There will be Celebrity Jeopardy!, which can be amusing, and there will be my fave two weeks of the year: the Jeopardy! College Championship. It’s fun, friendly and familiar.

If you ever come over to my place you will no doubt be treated to an episode. You are welcome to play along with me but I must insist that you phrase your responses in the form of a question.


Way back in Part 1 of the 2016 Year in Review I ranked the 16 Best Tweets of 2016 by people who are not me. I then Tweeted a link to that page to the chosen few in the craven, sycophantic hope they would retweet my praise to generate more eyeballs and ramp up interest in that edition and subsequent screeds in this rising damp of a misadventure. The first part of that plan worked out reasonably well and I received quite a few thank yous from the tweeters singled out for their excellence in microblogging. That good feeling has not carried on, however, and I can at least laugh at the ridiculousness of only 8 people reading Part 11! We plough on!

Those still here can now contrast Patrick sans word limits with Patrick constrained by 140 characters. You wouldn’t know it from this mistake literally writ large but I am very much a student of the brevity is the soul of wit school of thought. I’m hoping these 16 contributions to the internet securing me at least a pass mark…

Patrick’s Top 16 Tweets of 2016

16. First of three selfies…



13. Times like my degree in Art History comes in handy…







6. The second of two selfies and a very proud moment in my journey…


4. Very much a timing is everything moment this one…


2. The original Tweet by NS was included in my Top 16 Tweets by People Who Are Not Patrick and this one comes in with added poignancy…

1. On the virtually non-existent chance that those who made this third and final selfie possible are reading this, thank you very much for making an awkward, socially inept, borderline hopeless boy’s dream come true…

Now! My shortlist of the best 16 tweets by non-Patricks stretched up to 30 bon mots of clap-worthy brilliance. So, as a special treat, and this obvs gives me a second chance at some obsequious online inveigling, here are the remaining 14, and I think we can all agree the worst of them is better than the best of mine…




Today on my Twitter I counted down the second set of songs from the Top 100 Songs of 2016, namely 80-61. Here is a YouTube playlist, which is sans one of the tracks b/c it has no presence on that particular video vector…

Here is the full list up to now:

100. Untitled 08 09.06.2014. – Kendrick Lamar
99. Glad That You’re Gone – Hard Aches
98. Lost (Season One) – Camp Cope
97. Me, Myself & I – G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha
96. The Boys – Lisa Mitchell
95. Roses – Chainsmokers & Rozes
94. Simulation – Tkay Maidza
93. Gimme The Love – Jake Bugg
92. Thresher – Hellions
91. Good To Be Alone – Matt Corby
90. I Know A Girl – Preatures
89. Do It, Try It – M83
88. Faded – Milwaukee Banks
87. 1000x – Jarryd James & Broods
86. Stranger Things Theme – Luke Million
85. Cocoon – Milky Chance
84. No Chill – Vic Mensa & Skrillex
83. I Know What You Did Last Summer – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
82. Idiot Oracle – Paul Dempsey
81. Cake By The Ocean – DNCE
80. How To Taste – Violent Soho
79. Colours – Avalanches
78. Edge Of Town – Middle Kids
77. Cruel – Snakehips & Zayn
76. Satan – DD Dumbo
75. Over You – SAFIA
74. Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind – Modern Baseball
73. Ivy League – Alex Lahey
72. Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd & Gucci Mane
71. 1993 (No Chill) – Paces & Jess Kent
70. Stepkids – Avalanches
69. Oblivius – Strokes
68. Adore – Savages
67. Choose Me – James Blake
66. Weatherman – Panics
65. Rollling Dice – Just A Gent, Ella Vos & Joey Chavez
64. Scott Green – Dune Rats
63. Till It Kills Me – Montaigne
62. Light Tunnels – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis & Mike Slap
61. Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots

And you can listen in to constantly updated Spotify and Deezer playlists!

#5 in Albums…


(Australia #6, US #28, UK #1)

First things first: the alligator ouroboros adorning the sleeve of Catfish’s The Ride makes it the winner of the best cover of 2016 award. (Incidentally, I am thinking of getting a tattoo and a platypus ouroboros is a design contender.)

Second things second: The Welsh band’s second LP is chocful of classic post-Britpop jams brimming with catchy hooks, soaring verses and mutating choruses. The subject matter doesn’t waver much from hearts won and lost but with such memorably electric refrains it seems churlish to ask for more when so few bands are aspiring to stadium-style anthems.

Third things third: Well done including a song about Sauchiehall Street.

Fourth things fourth: There’s a real old-school joy to The Ride that makes you think Van McCann and his merry band are truly enjoying themselves while recording these 11 tracks all with single-word titles. It’s quite the change-up from the production line of whingers who make it seem that being in a rock n roll band and making music is like the biggest chore in the world.

Fifth things fifth: This is a bit broken-recordy for readers who have trudged through the hitherto 11 parts but it deserves reiteration that releasing an 11-tracker, 40-minute LP means you can actually listen to the whole damn thing in one session and be taken on a journey. The Ride’s ride takes the lads from home in Wales to lonely concert halls in America to Heathrow in London and up to Glasgow and then back again — viz the alligator eating its tale — and you can ride the highs and lows of McCann’s turbulent love life/lives in their entirety. Sonically, each track adds a different tempo to the heart palpitations, from the frenetic race to the soundcheck to plaintive street sleeping in Glasgow to the rising thunder and peremptory finish on Outside. The Ride is just that.

Sixth things sixth: I am very much looking forward to seeing Catfish playing out this record and classics from debut The Balcony in the New Year!

Seventh things Seventh: 7! What a song!

#5 in Books…

(surely you know the drill by now)

View this post on Instagram

Tea and a book – this is my life now…

A post shared by Patrick Avenell (@patrickavenell) on

For Christmas 2015 my Mum gifted me A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, a book I had not heard of at that time. Told through several narrators, both in first and third person, with parts journalistic in style and others epistolary, A Little Life charts anachronistically the life of corporate lawyer Jude, principally, and his three closest friends from university: actor Willem, artist JB and architect Malcolm. A thoroughly modern novel on the bleeding edge of identity politics, these four men embody multiple sexualities and ethnicities and religious traditions. In the case of Jude, too obviously named for the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, his racial composition is largely unknown. Over the course of 720-odd pages packed full of florid hipster prose detailing metaphysical theatre, eccentric culinary techniques and unusual holiday destinations (Jude and Willem go on a walking holiday to Bhutan — you srsly can’t make this shit up) we follow the boys’ journey from occupational immaturity through to tremendous success and fame, bringing with it vacillating amounts of happiness. Central to the drama is Jude’s evolving confrontation with the horrific reality of his childhood and adolescence, spent largely as the victim of predatory paedophiles and then co-opted into prostitution, the intricacies of which are laid out with eye-opening, tear-jerking specificity.

The first, say, 400 pages of A Little Life are gripping like a thoroughly good soap opera as the protagonists’ lives develop and grow, love blooms and fades with the seasons and interesting ancillary characters visit as catalysts for epitasis. The remaining pages get bogged down in the misery of Jude’s youth and there’s only so many times you can read about someone being beaten and raped or setting their own hand on fire or being dropkicked down a block of apartment steps (once again — srsly can’t make this shit up). Furthermore, A Little Life, while mostly set in the concrete world of New York City, exists in a weird dreamscape outside of firm time parameters. At no point are any real life cultural touchpoints — like a film title or major news event — mentioned in order to let the reader know when the action is happening. And because the action of the book spans like 40 years, maybe longer, there is an unusual feeling that the tale is happening in a parallel universe, one where modern societal norms transcend their actual date of creation or rise to prominence. As I read A Little Life and imagined the action in my mind’s eye, it was hard for it not to be framed with an opaque mistiness, as though I was experiencing the action through a cloud kaleidoscope. As my reading of the book progressed I found this more and more unsettling.

As for my reading experience of A Little Life, it was during my period of extended abstention, hence the Insta/epigram above. That was one of my best ever ideas.

Next! #4 in Films, TV, Albums + Books! Plus! In Memoriam, #P100 grinds on and several requests (yes, really!)!

5 thoughts on “2016 Year in Review — The 16 of Trumps (+ Patrick’s Best Tweets & #P100 continues) — #5 in Films, TV, Albums, Books: Part 12

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s