The year 2017 will be memorable for some good reasons and other, not-so-good reasons. In the spirit of getting our minds off of the soul-crushing state of our country right now, let’s take a look at what types of crap I got right and what I missed during this, um, lively year.
I’d like to make this an annual thing, but this special post is a confluence of events: the 75th edition of CrankyYank AND my last post of the year. I’ll also be posting in the next few days about going dark on Facebook until 1 February. More on that in a few days.
In the meantime, let’s have a look at this insane year.
HBO’s Big Little Lies was one of the most impressive, poignant works of art put to the small screen I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t use the “works of art” phrase lightly, either—you had a confluence of excellent directing, writing, production and everything else. This was an easy call, but still: 8 Emmy wins on 16 nominations. Casting directors are the unsung heroes of TV and film, and David Rubin deserved a dozen awards for the work he did. Glad to hear there’s chatter about a second season.
What a naive little minx I was. CrankyYank Vol. 47 (20 January) had me lamenting about how Cletus (Donald Trump) was aiming at cutting the NEA budget. As we’ve seen this year, everything is up for slashing and burning—national monuments most recently. To be fair, it’s mostly whatever President Obama accomplished Trump is determined to dismantle. In that same CrankyYank edition I was proud to promote Concert for America, the beautiful homage to American resilience anyone could’ve asked for.
Call it an “early tell.” As we’ve seen in recent weeks, Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation on Russian interference has already returned two guilty pleas and two indictments. So consider this one a belated Hit: I had been crowing about the RNC platform change since it happened in 2016. I wrote three posts about Manafort this year—two about his still-unanswered role in the RNC platform change, and another about how the media partly owns his indictment. Since ex Trump Campaign CEO Paul Manafort has now been charged, I go back to this bizarre moment when Paulie Walnuts swore up and down that the campaign had nothing to do with the change. As The Daily Beast reported, that was a lie—and our first taste of Stupid Watergate. This is an as-yet-unfinished “hit” that will be fleshed out in the weeks and months to follow.
“Where did Jeff Sessions find his affinity for Russia?” I wondered in CrankyYank Vol. 53. “Was it to kiss Trump’s ass, or is there something else?” As the year unfolded, Jeff Sessions’ repeated lies and misstatements and “I can’t recalls” while under oath were not simply an affinity for Russia. As of this writing, we can only surmise that his demonstrable falsehoods were one of a few things: Sessions is either incompetent, a lying scumbag, a desperate ideologue—or all three. So it’s less about an affinity for Russia than it is his play to protect Trump and his role in dismantling civil rights as we know them.
This next “hit” has me cranky as of this writing. Bernie Sanders’ “Our Revolution” was and continues to be the biggest misnomer on the planet. It’s not “our” revolution if you openly exclude people who don’t meet your purity tests. When I wrote “Back of the bus with you! Our Revolution isn’t your revolution” it’s a dynamic that is still unfolding today. I’m pretty well done with the wingnut left antagonizing people who don’t share their insistence on purity, and so are many of my tweeps. I don’t know how this “purity experiment” ends, but I do know that the post stands on its own even today.
As Time magazine has shown us just this week, the “Silence Breakers”—the magazine’s Persons of the Year for 2017—have changed the way we see and process sexual abuse. In “Louis Cs the Future” (CrankyYank Vol. 57) I spoke about how prescient he was in predicting Trump’s horror ahead of time. Trouble is, Louis C.K. was a serial abuser and gross creep—fondling himself in front of a number of women and just generally being an entitled douche. Has this changed my view of him? Yes. Does it also change how he’s been right on a great many things? No, it doesn’t. Ditto that for Sen. Al Franken (D.-Minn), who resigned the senate today.
We’ll close this year-in-review with a post I’m probably proudest of: my review of Star Trek: Discovery. If you aren’t watching it on CBS All Access you’re a big fat dummy. I mean hey, even Emmett Plant—a past producer of Star Trek—agrees with me. Like the Concert for America series, I firmly believe in these times of wretched people running our government, art will save us until the adults are back in charge. Enter Discovery, which is, by all accounts, an able and technically beautiful, socially woke successor to The Original Series. I spent a great deal of time and words on it because it means so much to me; I was at Star Trek: The Motion Picture when it opened at the Paramount Theatre in Manhattan. In this year of awakening awareness and social consciousness, Discovery fits us like a well-oiled baseball mitt.
Jezebel is right: sometimes a relaxed interview can be just as newsworthy. Take a recent appearance by Patti LaBelle—herself a national treasure—on Watch What Happens with Andy Cohen. He asked her about Luther Vandross being in the closet, and his fear of coming out, and she replied that he didn’t want to disappoint his mother nor his largely female fans. I wonder how Luther would have navigated today’s culture and if he would’ve done anything differently; what I DO know is that he was the voice of a generation. I knew he was a legend while he was living, possessing one of the most memorable, amazing tenor voices in the history of singing. Watch:
That’s a wrap for 2017 guys. Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting. We’ll see you right back here on 18 January 2018 for CrankyYank Vol. 76, with a few posts mixed in between now and then for big news and special reports. Cheers to an excellent and fun holiday season. 🔵
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