Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: The Year in Review

Once again, in no specific order.

Most worth celebrating: Same Sex marriage became legal throughout the USA. I won't soon forget seeing this on my feed moments before I left for work, or sharing a virtual toast with several dozen friends from around the globe to mark the occasion, or the flood of unexpected emotions this Supreme Court decision caused in me. It still chokes me up a little to think about. Love wins.

Biggest Signs of Life in the World of Publishing: A new novel by Toni Morrison, a new-to-the-world release of an early work by Harper Lee. 

I haven't read Go Set a Watchman, and probably never will, but the stir it's caused does my heart good. It's forced people to discuss not just literature and the nature of intellectual property, but race and the American tradition of white-washing our racial struggles in such a way that Whitey always ends up not just a good guy, but a bona-fide hero. I love Atticus Finch as much as the next guy, but does that even make any sense? 

I have, on the other hand, read God Help The Child. Is it Morrison's greatest work? Not by a long shot. But it's still an excellent read, and we should all be on our knees thanking the forces of nature that this 84 year old genius is still putting pen to paper, and telling stories that no one else can or will tell. She is a treasure. 

Proof of How Doomed We Are as a Society: Idiots continued to fight for no regulations on firearms, even as gun violence became a daily occurrence, and people in law enforcement abused their power to an alarming degree. 

Further Proof We're Doomed: This racist, misogynist, xenophobic idiot became a serious presidential candidate. 

But, You Can't Do That on TV: The Wachowskis and Netflix flipped traditional TV the proverbial bird, and brought us Sense8 which, in turn, broke half a dozen tv taboos during one scene in just the first episode. It also brought us America's first true action hero who is an Asian woman. It's all about Sun. If you're not watching, you're truly missing out.  

The End of An Era: This one really stung. For so many of us who grew up with TOS, Nimoy and Spock WERE Trek. 

Our Short Memories: We, as a people, seemed to forget that we're all refugees, at some point. The human race should be ashamed of itself. 

Hollywood Ain't Dead, Yet: Star Wars was everything and everywhere. The Martian, Mockingjay, and Age of Ultron reminded us what celluloid heroes one could cheer for look like. Mr. Holmes showed us the man behind the hero. For my money, though, 2015 saved the best for last, with Todd Haynes' Carol. Heart-wrenching, beautiful, and true. It is what film-making and story-telling are all about. See it in a theater where, like me, you will find yourself holding your breath, and then find, when you all let out an audible sigh, that everyone else in the room has done the same. That sigh - it's of relief, happiness, sadness, name it. If this movie does not fill you up, check and make sure you still have a pulse. 

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