Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Best of Everything in 2015

Best Book: ‘Misbehaving’ – Richard Thaler. ‘Between The World And Me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which I’m reading currently, is getting the most plaudits, and it is good. Thaler’s ‘Misbehaving’, which recounts the history of behavioural economics, has stuck with me more though. Based on Coates’ book, that’s probably very white of me.

Best Album: ‘My Love Is Cool’ – Wolf Alice. It seems sort of wrong to give best album to this over Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’. ‘… Butterfly’ sounded like Album Of The Year the first time I heard it, but the problem is I haven’t really listened to it that much since. In contrast, for a while there I couldn’t stop listening to Wolf Alice’s album, and that’s why it gets the nod.

Best Song: ‘King Kunta’ – Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick gets best song though. ‘ … Kunta’, with its strong beat, is the first track that will pop into my head when I think about music in 2015.

Best TV Show: ‘Mad Men’. My favourite show of the past ten years came to a satisfying end, with all of the main characters ending up in places that made some sort of sense for them.

Best Film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is more my favourite film of 2015, rather than what I think is the ‘best film’. I doubt that this will be a serious contender for any Best Picture gongs. But it was the best Star Wars movie for 30 years, and had me all revved up afterwards for the next instalment.

Best Comic: ‘Sex Criminals’ – Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. I almost gave this to ‘Saga’ for the fourth year in a row, but I enjoy ‘Sex Criminals’ just as much, so I’ll give it to that instead. It’s a very funny (and very dirty) series.

Best Sporting Event: National Rugby League Grand Final. I did almost pick the Cricket World Cup final, which fulfilled one of my life dreams to see Australia win a cricket World Cup in person. The final though wasn’t particularly memorable in its own right, whereas the NRL Grand Final between the Broncos and the Cowboys definitely was, to the point where people were wondering if it may have been the best grand final ever. The last ten minutes – which saw the North Queensland team score the tying try just as the siren sounded, miss the conversion that could have won it, and then win the match in extra time in any case – was definitely the most intense ten minutes of league I’ve seen. 

Best Sportsperson: Stephen Curry. Bill Simmons called Curry’s first 20 games this NBA season – which his Golden State Warriors won all of – the best 20 game streak by anyone in the history of basketball. His numbers, particularly his three-point shooting, were all insane. Already the best shooter ever, and there has never been another player quite like him.

Best Website: Grantland. Sadly missed.

Best Post: AFL Club Songs Ranked By Ambition and Boastfulness. Read this and you’ll never listen to some AFL club theme songs in the same way again.

Best Twitter Feed: Titus O’Reily. I do like his clever one-liners about AFL and cricket.

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