Best of 2013 – Caffeine Powered’s Picks
2013 was a bit of a benchmark year for me in the realm of my personal life. Over the course of the last twelve months I have: successfully not shit my pants (time left), moved into my first official apartment with my girlfriend (I was squatting in hers), spent hundreds of dollars on caffeinated products, proposed to said girlfriend and begun planning a wedding, played far too many hours of Borderlands 2, stared at far too many asses on Tumblr, taught my first classes (I love it), and hung with the Gang Omega far too little.
The drawback of a boomin’ personal life is that pop culture has flowed through my brain with far too little interaction this year. What I perceive, I half perceive. What I enjoy is fleeting. Worse still, I’ve ventured very little out of my comfort zone. Indie games, comics, movies, and fetish sites have been largely ignored due to want of time.
As a result, my list is a pedestrian collection of my favorites from a very sad little slice of what arrived onto the scene this past calendar year.
Movie of the year: Spring Breakers
The love story in Spring Breakers is a bit unrealistic. There’s a scene here Jimmy Franco is sucking his gun’s dick and I’m like — no way he actually loves that gun. He likes it. They have fun other. He uses it to shoot at things. Unbelievable far for what is supposed to be a heart touching rom-com (I’m kidding calm down). None the less, it was my favorite movie of the year. A lurid condemnation of our excessive culture, and so many titties. Can I say that? Is this microphone on? Titties. Bums. A neon, nauseating descent into the rot that will assuredly doom us all.
Honorable Mentions: Spectacular Now, Pain and Gain, American Hustle, Iron Man 3, Catching Fire, The Place Beyond The Pines, Gravity.
Biggest Pile of Shit Seen: Gangster Squad.
Book of the year: Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey.
I don’t read much contemporary fiction. Usually I’m toiling through a stack of used books I buy with no respect for how many other books are waiting to be read. However I *did* fucking read a book released this year! Abaddon’s Gate is the third book in the “Expanse” series, which is all science-fiction up in your ass. Political maneuvering, ancient superior technologies from unseen alien foes threatening to destroy us, wonderful space battles.
For fans of: awesome things, science fiction, space battles, biological weapons used within a fictional settings, aliens.
Album of the year: Run the Jewels, “Run the Jewels.”
A super-group forged out of the previously separate entities known as El-P and Killer Mike, Run the Jewels is a testament to the glory of synergy. Together their rhymes laid over El-P produced beats captured my ear-dong and tugged more than any other release of the year. The only album that has gotten consistent play throughout the previous twelve, it works by snagging you with its infectious dark beats. Once writhing up against the subwoofer, the two artists lay down some lines that are memorable within a world populated by misogyny (Lil Wayne), self-obsessed bullshit (Jay Z, Kanye) and tired douche bags (Eminem).
Video Game of the year: I hate answering this one because there are a litany of great indie titles that I didn’t play this year. I didn’t play The Stanley Parable, Gone Home, Gunpoint, Proteus, and others. I played only the hits — and the hits were…largely forgettable. Further insult to injury: I never completed Grand Theft Auto V, or The Last of Us. So I’m abstaining from this question while noting I’ve put hundreds of hours at into Borderlands 2.
Comic book of the year: Saga. Easily. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ wonderful intergalactic journey has the distinct pleasure of being an event in my life every time it hits the shelves. Every issue serves up at least one memorable moment, and the extended breaks the title takes only serves to further build my anticipation and enjoyment. In a world where Avengers drops every ten days to fluff-up some giant event, Saga arriving after a three month hiatus smacks of commitment. A promise of excellence. I fucking love it.
Honorable mentions: Prophet, East of West, Manhattan Projects, Lazarus, Infinity, Batman, Hawkeye, Battling Boy, others than are assuredly dropping out of memory.
TV Show of the year: Breaking Bad. The conclusion to perhaps my second favorite show of all-time did not disappointment. If anything perhaps it was so well plotted and executed that it was underwhelming. How fucking insane is that? It was so efficacious in establishing a sensible, coherent ending that I sat there feeling tingly but muttering “Yes, yes this all makes perhaps sense.” We’ve been ruined by twists. I miss this show on the reg, and I’ll certainly miss it next Fall.
Honorable mention: Justified. Probably my favorite drama now-running. House of Cards. Holy shit Netflix is doing original content and not only is it awesome its actually fucking amazing.
Highlight(s) of the year: Getting engaged. Carrie Fisher holding up one of our Yubstep t-shirts at Toronto FanExpo. Teaching. Episode VII being really real still. Breaking Bad concluding without some asinine twist. Finally kicking off our podcast. Microsoft rolling back their horrible XB1 policies. Not shitting my pants. Voyager 1 leaving our solar system. OL cracking 2,000,000 hits.
Disappointment of the year: On the real, Man of Steel. I expected the new Superman flick to be excellent right after the first trailer hit. Egg on my face! I forgot that Zack Snyder is all flash, no substance. Which is why he’s great at making Hans Zimmer music videos, and horrible at adapting leviathans of comic book history. The best way I can summarize my feelings towards Man of Steel is this: I bought the Blu-Ray so that my fiance could watch it. I enjoyed it enough (marginally) to spend money on it. Since then — I’ve literally been unable to bring myself to watch the movie. This is after expecting it to reinvent the character and usher in a great new franchise.
Not the worst piece of pop art I experienced this year, but certainly the most disappointing.
Looking forward to in 2014: Actual games for my next-gen systems. More Marvel movies and television shows. Specifically Winter Soldier. Stanley Cup playoffs. Spring time. Getting fat. Losing the weight. Getting fat again. Episode VII casting news. House of Cards’ and Justified new seasons. The Avengers 2 trailer. More Saga. More Prophet. New works by my favorite creators. Maybe a new Opeth album? On and on.
Desperately hoping for in 2014: Zack Snyder’s sudden and final retirement from show business. Brian Wood to write a title that strikes me once again. Calorie-free pizza. Penis enlargement pills that work. Wipe-away underwear. My fiance to not leave me.