BOOK: Caitlin Moran - How To Be A Woman
Feminism is a big part of my life, and it was hugely affirming to see it articulated so well by such a hilarious, intelligent writer as Moran, whose balance of memoir and Feminism 101 handbook gave each issue she tackled weight and meaning, rooting it in the everyday realities of modern gender politics without ever feeling dry or didactic.
TELEVISION EPISODE: Doctor Who - “The Doctor’s Wife”
Neil Gaiman tackling Doctor Who was always going to make for a wonderful episode, but I think few were prepared for just how great “The Doctor’s Wife” turned out to be, with Gaiman taking on what, underneath it all, is the core relationship of the Doctor Who mythos in a particularly imaginative and wholly romantic way that only he could have come up with.
EVENT: Project 52
The comics weren’t always great, but DC’s relaunch of their entire line led to Alex, Bret and I (with help from Michael) teaming up like a reviewing JLA in what was a very expensive but always fun month which forced me to try a whole world of titles I wouldn’t normally touch, pushed me to write a lot more, and saw some very amusing discussions about the finer details of the DC universe.
DRINK: Spiced rum, Ginger beer & lime
One of my goals for the year was to find “my drink”, the alcoholic beverage that I could plant my proverbial flag in and claim as my own, that I could order on any occasion and make myself to a good standard; spiced rum, ginger beer and lime was the early leader and eventual winner of that challenge, and the warm, tingly blend of flavours always goes down smooth at the end of the day.
MUSIC VIDEO: Kanye West - “All Of The Lights”
Sure, it steals from Gaspar Noe’s Enter The Void pretty shamelessly, but the best song of Kanye’s tremendous My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy deserves an iconic video, and the combination of the strobe-like words and Kanye West astride a police car works pretty damn well when it comes to fixing imagery in your mind.
GAME: Strip Guess The Animal
There have only been a couple occasions when this has been played, and a lot of alcohol was almost always responsible, but they remain unshakably memorable; it is perhaps the ultimate party game, requiring no equipment, capable of being played when absolutely off your face and resulting in almost everyone getting their clothes off.
ALBUM: Nicola Roberts - Cinderella’s Eyes
Nicola Roberts has been the victim of some pretty horrible hounding by the British tabloids and gossip blogs, and what better way to show them all by emerging with the best pop album of the year, an infectious serving of endlessly danceable, whip smart hits that dabbled in everything from dubstep to sparse electronica, and maintain a clean through-line detailing the amazing star she’s developed into.
The concept of a funny film about cancer is still hard to swallow, even having seen it, and I’d be much more inclined to called 50/50 bittersweet, or a dramedy, but there’s no denying that as many moments had me laughing out loud as they did reaching for the tissues in the cinema, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt continuing to prove himself one of the most versatile, consistently excellent actors of his generation.
SONG: The Weeknd - “House Of Balloons/Glass Table Girls”
Slow building, smoky, oppressive, and conjuring up images of low-lit rooms furnished in dark glass and black leather, “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” is the stand-out track from a mixtape filled with stand-outs where The Weeknd turns the decadence of hip-hop culture inside out, exploring the recesses for all the anger and sadness that can be mined from them.
Some people would consider building a blanket fort in your living room that prevents you from leaving through the front door something that is confined to childhood; that is because those people haven’t been inside a blanket fort lately and seen how awesome it is – so awesome that ours remained up for four days until we’d watched all the Marvel blu-rays from the comfort of our cushiony fortress.