Worst of 2018

Sorry to Bother You

I left the theater (Alamo, during wide release but late in the cycle) having successfully avoided my companion’s friends, who had just happened to be in the same screening, talking about needing to pick their jaws off the floor and brains out of the carpet and willing to give the kind of dunderheaded sci-fi farce a pass if only for getting that Chappelle’s Show b-reel fake rap scene to the silver screen and because of the Armie Hammer Renaissance. 

Then I noticed the firebrand director evincing an inability to deal seriously with works of fiction in an attempt to knock his elder down a peg and slag one of the top five best movies of the year. Half-star on Letterboxd removed

White people criticizing Kanye West

But you’ve always wanted to

First Reformed

I left the theater (Metrograph, months after the wide release ended) in thrall of Dynan’s pretty pictures. My companion turned immediately to me and said, “I feel like this is the opposite of Suspiria [2018] and I’m going to think less of this movie the more I think about it.” Reader, she was right. 

The lady from Mama Mia! plays a pregnant lady named … wait for it … Mary. Also, story conventions insist that the protagonist be some kind of Protestant, but he’s so dang Catholic!

What’s (much) worse is how many people seem still to have fallen for it? I agree, that opening tracking shot is intense. Unfortunately the movie kept going. 

This made me realize that, of his classic period, I kind of hate every Scorsese that Schrader wrote. 

Instant pots and sous vide

I was once involved with a woman who would save every chicken bone, every scrap of onion skin in little Ziploc bags in the freezer to, very eventually, make stock. I’m all for being able to cook your own dinner, but you have to have that level of monomania to make any of these gadgets worth it. Get a Crock-Pot and god bless. 


Evergreen entry. 

Principled stands against calling four-door cars “coupes”

Look, we’re less than 30 years out from internal combustion and driver control being outlawed by The Motor Law. If Mercedes wants to call the CLS a “coupe” because it has half the rear headroom of a regular sedan, guten tag to them. Same goes, of course, for the death of the manual transmission, the rise of CVT, the slow decline of the V8 and the inline six, and even RWD’s loss of ground to AWD in luxury and performance models (though the last one is the only one that truly stings, to me). I’m just tired. And the CLA would still suck and the 6 Series is still illegitimate with four doors, no matter what you call them. 

Because I’m nothing if not a hypocrite, Kanye and Nicki thirstily appearing on Tekashi 6ix9ine songs

I get it. Getting old sucks. But this kid makes Eminem sound like Big Daddy Kane and he’s a pedophile? Hello?? He sounds like Andy Samberg doing a digital short making fun of Lil B in 2011??? This is honestly far more embarrassing than going MAGA could ever be. 

Being into Vanderpump Rules

It’s not even the best Housewives or Housewives-adjacent program (New York) nor the best Bravo show in general (Shahs of Sunset). This is a placeholder for extremely online politics personalities crowing about anything cultural and could easily have been replaced by that nascent Prequel defense movement I saw bubbling up a few months back. Thank the maker, that never really caught landspeeder hover traction. [Ed. — Wookieepedia check pls?] This is also a placeholder for every Splinter post about how a professional sports mascot (from the city that bombed MOVE and will still arrest you for ordering coffee while black) is actually a queer socialist super soldier. 

By the same token: Everyone being into Steely Dan all of a sudden

Much like this inexplicable Dead Renaissance, if you weren’t headed to Wolftrap with a copy of Humboldt’s Gift to read (and about which to be ribbed by drunken Boomers who really liked the movie FM) between sets, which is to say, if you never bothered to catch them while Walt was still alive, I don’t want to read your deconstruction of “Gaslighting Abbie.” This isn’t even a tough barrier to cross; he was still alive in the year 2017. 

Principled stands against ride sharing

Good luck with the drunk driving, I guess? To say nothing of its both untold and obvious effect on lesser cities with even worse infrastructure, every story about an Uber driver killing himself in New York is really just an indictment of the Banana Republican medallion system. So, like Donald Trump himself, really just an indictment of New York City. 

Complaining about the subway

Of course this entry does not pertain to those in more precarious situations, but if you’re a white person with a job in media, why are you leaving the house in the first place?? Call an Uber. 

Parquet Courts

Like Mellow Gold (or worse, Odelay) Beck fronting Gorillaz but with the Hold Steady or something equally Gen X retirement home shitty as the backing band. 

The Leitch pre-roll ad appended to Leitch’s filler Jamboroo

Evergreen entry, but made worse this year due to Drew’s untimely passing (RIP).

Bernie Sanders

If you lose a presidential primary, you should not be allowed to run for president again. Ironically, Bernie could very well be president right now if this rule had been adopted when it should have, which was sometime in the mid-1980s. ::DNC announces Gary Hart 2020 slogan: “Tanned, Rested, and Ready” but with like randy emphasis on these words::

The 1975

I was thrown for a loop when I discovered what Tekashi 6ix9ine and XXXTentacion actually sounded like. My faith in my ability to clock whatever music Twitter is braying on about this time from nothing more than what’s being bleated was shaken. Then I heard this group’s update of that REM song that sounded like that Billy Joel song, and felt secure in every person with an ilx account’s inability to get over Fallout at the Disco. 


You know what?

You can have American democracy, comrade.

People saying they’re going to go back to blogging

I’ll bet you’re still gutted every time you think of Gawker, like a real, live being you loved dearly and desperately ate it after a particularly brutal Hulkamania Leg Drop and there’s a physical ache in the heart of you every time a third-tier Trump hanger-on gets a book deal, too.