[ this post has updates below ]
With the sad and infuriating national election over and the holidays upon us, I’ve taken some time to travel, regroup and recharge. CrankyYank will remain on hiatus until after the New Year.
The year 2016 has been one of loss and transition. We lost a great many important creative voices—some of them honored in this space, like Garry Shandling—and we also may have lost our country’s sacred political progress (more on that below). I’ll kick off Vol. 47 in 2017 with a tribute to George Michael, whom we lost yesterday, on Christmas evening. He was 53.
Michael was an inspiration to me and many of my fellow groupies of a certain age, where “maturing” meant soaking up whatever song, trend and wry smile Michael threw at us. I’ll rank his top 10 songs/performances and talk a little about what folks have said about him.
We’ve been besieged with bad news after worse news, but we will persevere. We always do. Here’s what we’ll be working on next year.
- Pizza for Good is going to Sundance. I’m beyond excited and honored to have been invited to participate through the AliveExpo! Green Pavilion and Project Green exhibition at the famed film festival. PFG in print will be gifted to all attendees in the welcome swag bags. I’ll be ramping up a marketing program after the first of the year so watch out for that. (20-22 January 2017)
- Family Guy captures humanity. Over the years of watching Seth MacFarlane and his now-infamous character Peter Griffin I’ve been struck by how exactly and precisely MacFarlane, his writers and voice actors so perfectly capture parts of everyday life. “Evite: Invite your friends and then kill yourself.” To commemorate CrankyYank’s 50th edition, I’ll list the Top 10 ways Family Guy nailed the human element. (February 2017)
- Homeland & Animal Kingdom return. I’ll be reviewing the season premieres of the wildly popular series on Showtime and TNT—two of the best scripted TV dramas currently airing; both series mark their return in January. Will Quinn survive? How will the sophomore season of Kingdom fare? Stay tuned to CY find out and read “Homeland Hologram,” my write-up on the adventures of Quinn and Carrie from CY Vol. 2. After writing that piece I got a ton of play on Twitter and Reddit when I suggested that Quinn should get his own spinoff show after Homeland ends. Rupert Friend is that good.
- Tribute to George Michael. As an artist who heavily influenced my formative years—and who went through peaks and valleys in his own personal life—I’ll carve out a chunk of space to honor one of the greatest songwriters, singers, performers, arrangers and producers in history. Spoiler: his live rendition of “Freedom” for MTV Unplugged is still the most incredible live performance of a song ever.
- [UPDATE] Will & Grace limited reboot. News has been swirling around a potential revival after the Trump-themed mini episode “Vote Honey” went viral. Leave it to Beverley Leslie to spill the beans. (CBS News)
- Progressive Voter Project. “Resistance is Crucial.” That’s all I’ll say about it now, but watch this space for more. This election doesn’t have to be a soul-crushing experience forever; we must act.
Much more to come in 2017. As always, I’ll be searching for stories, profiles, investigative pieces, guest bloggers and more. Have a story tip? Drop me a line and let me know. Giving exclusives to indie journalists means your story will be told in an unbiased and deeply reported way.
Supporting charity shouldn’t be a deed you do in December—it should be a year-round practice. That’s my mantra at least. Still, many people give in this month before the end of the year to capture those last-minute tax deductions and to express support before the close of the year. With uncertainty high after Trump’s “election,” I want to call out the organizations I’ve supported with donations and the reasons why. Please consider supporting them, too.
• Committee to Protect Journalists. Reporters should be able to tell their stories without fear, reprisals, incarceration nor death. CPJ works tirelessly to protect the interests of the world’s journalists. DONATE
• FreeSpeechTV. As profit news (“Corporate Media” in common parlance) continues to fail the American people, we should be supporting indie news outlets that only care about one thing: informing the public. Stephanie Miller (left), Mike Signorile, et. al., are skilled radio hosts and TV pundits whom I respect, and we should support them relentlessly. DONATE
• Lost-n-Found Youth. This is an incredible agency in Atlanta working to help homeless LGBTQ+ youth in finding permanent housing. They’re in the midst of a $1 million capital campaign to open a new youth center in 2017, so donations are of critical importance. DONATE
• Positive Impact Health Centers. PI was ARTvision‘s beneficiary for 6 great years, and we raised more than $50,000 for them in that time. They feel the squeeze from state budget cuts, so consider making a donation to them. DONATE
Speaking of ARTvision Atlanta, the event is officially on hold/hiatus as I retool its focus and bring it back stronger and better than ever.
One final note: make sure to support independent artists, craftsman, authors and storytellers. They need our bolstering now more than ever. ❏
That’s it from me for 2016 guys. We’ll see you right back here the first week in January.
Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.
Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Our success as a nation depends on your engagement and involvement.