At least once a year all “content creators” are vulnerable to standing on what has become the chronic Achilles Heel of the TV news channels: Creating content out of old news and our witty opinions. We’re not so fancy here at the Mirror that we can’t indulge ourselves a little over the holidays. Personally 2010 was a pretty good year but as they say about gas-saving cars, your mileage may vary. While these are in no particular order and probably lean too much on pop culture, let’s see if we agree on some of my picks for best and best worst as my way of wishing all a very Happy New Year.
Best Terrible PR Guy: Tony Hayward of BP
Maybe Tony Hayward was born with a silver foot in his mouth, but he never quite got the hang of “spin” and “damage control.” Hayward was his own worst “spill,” further polluting the Gulf disaster with his now infamous desire to “get on with my life” and sailing his yacht in far cleaner waters than those his company desecrated with crude oil. If this dude never shows up as a heavy in a James Bond movie, England will have wasted yet another bad actor.
Best New Thing in Santa Monica:
The new Santa Monica Place
Even if high-end retail shopping was at the bottom of the “To Do” lists of unemployed Californians, the remodeled Santa Monica Place still gifted our city with a people-friendly public space that showed restraint and felt open and inviting. It looks pretty good, and it’s not ten stories high and to my knowledge it doesn’t spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Best Shameless Effort to Steal Money:
Screen Door on a Submarine Productions presents “Eating the Hide Off the Cash Cow.” The last name “Focker” was a mildly funny joke in the first film. To make more of these predicated on that one gag was like saying that the orangutan in “Every Which Way But Loose” was so hilarious Clint Eastwood should have made another movie with him. Oh, wait, he did.
Best Reason to Phone Pastor Terry Jones:
George Bush’s “Decision Points”
I did appreciate the way Bush donated all of the money to soldiers who lost limbs in Iraq. Oh, wait, he didn’t.
Best Recent Tradition in Santa Monica: The Fourth of July Parade
Ocean Park Association (a neighborhood group) and the City should be applauded for having organized and supported yet another great parade this year. Families got involved, Main Street got involved, and the community felt like community.
Best New Old Idea: Nuclear Disarmament
At the end of the year, there is still talk of START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) and measures keep the planet from blowing itself to pieces over nothing.
Best Worst Embodiment of the word “Class:” LeBron James
It would have been so easy for a major sports figure to act on something kids could admire. Now they have to pick a favorite between LeBron James, Sarah Palin, and Bernie Madoff in the category “21st Century Ethics.”
Best California Election Outcome:
Jerry Brown for Governor
To go from Arnold to Meg Whitman would have made us all residents of Joke-istan. Did it matter that Whitman couldn’t literally buy public office? Can I wait with that until we see who the Republicans put up against Obama in 2012?
Best Proof That Clowns are Scary:
I guess the whole family is “ill.”
Best Obsession in Times of Economic Hardship: Tiger Woods
First you have golf, which is just so important. Then you have country clubs, with their proud history of including everyone and representing the best of democracy. Then you have our convoluted way of attaching disappointment to celebrities who prove to be human and ignoring the real forces that keep us down. Then you have Tiger selling expensive wrist watches…
Best Deployment of Water:
John Boehner’s Tears
There’s a scene in the movie “Broadcast News” where… oh, you know.
Best Answer to Eternal Question
“Are We Having Fun Yet?”:
Conan O’ Brien’s TBS show
Coco doesn’t need my help, he’s rich. But getting back to that “class” thing I was citing earlier (class, Jay, class)… Here’s a dude that was groin-kicked by a large corporation and he responds by putting on a new TV show where it’s obvious everybody cares about the product.
Best Reason to See What 2011 Brings: Peace
It’s the single most impressive thing about the human race, this ability to create pain and suffering where previously there was none. Now that we know it doesn’t work to drill for oil, can we stop killing for oil? Or religious dogma? Or because our easy access to handguns and our violence-driven entertainments make those with anger think that they’re gods who can take away life? To those who would, I’m asking please… don’t kill me. I’ve got stuff to do next year. Peace… out.
Contact Steve Stajich