Yep, Princess Nokia states that ‘Everything is Beautiful’ and only makes it to number 70, but when she simply throws up her arms and declares that ‘Everything Sucks’ she opens our top 40. What does this prove? That’s right- absolutely fuck all, as this list is an absolutely meaningless vanity project by some egotistical, fat, ginger, middle aged man frivlously listing albums he’s listened to this year in no real order despite knowing next to nothing about music.
I joke, of course, this list is an entirely scientific exercise. The real reason that the other album that The Princess Regent of Nokia and its Territories released in 2020 ranks so much higher is because, yeah, maybe everything does suck.
“By removing art from capitalism while allowing capitalism to thrive elsewhere unfettered we are in danger of removing any benefit of speaking in the first place so the artists may as well remain speechless. From afar, I guess. Yeah, that works”
This Blog, This Post, just now
(it was suggested that these pieces should link to the album at the start rather than the end. So here it is, now please stop sending me those abusive text messages)
I’m old enough (late, late, late late* twenties) to remember a career in arts being at least a quasi viable life choice. Nobody would kid themselves that they would make it to be ‘Goo Goo Dolls Big’, where you would earn enough money to finance a daily trip to Mars to wave stacks of Molybdenums in the seediest strip clubs of Tharsis’s Northern Edge and get yourself some of that sweet, sweet Martian poontang (John Rzeznik really lived the dream in that sense), but you’d be able to comfortably exist composing your Romo paeans to Garry Flitcroft without too many people getting on your case. You’d likely do a handful of Peel Sessions before you even released that song about his fringe. I mean, sure, people would still get on your back about getting a ‘real job’, but that’s just because back then a ‘real job’ meant a job that you absolutely hated and that made you seriously consider taking a sledgehammer to your knees each morning just as an excuse not to subject yourself to one more day to the joyless and soul destroying churn of capitalism. Y’know, the same as today. You created something, there were more options for getting people to experience that thing you created, and if people liked that thing enough they would pay you a bit of money to experience it whenever they want. Maybe they’d never been able to hear it, but it had received such good reviews from the reams of art review magazines (that they’d already paid £2 for) that people decide you’re worth the risk and buy your Flitcroft Fantasies CD single backed with a Groove Armada remix and acoustic cover of Lisa Loeb. Hopefully they’d buy the next thing you created as well, maybe the next thing after that. Maybe not the next thing after that, because let’s face it that was absolute pants, but the next thing after that would be hailed as a return to form so they’d jump back on board.
Yeah, I know, continuing my proud tradition of naming the year’s best movie alongside the albums of the year countdown. ‘Under the Skin‘ was named 2014’s movie of the year, but the award went unclaimed in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and indeed every year before 2014. However, the (latest) masterpiece by Ken Loach, ‘Sorry We Missed You,’ was such a powerful piece that inspired such painful bolts of recognition and sheer fucking anger that I had to make space in 2019 to talk about it.
Oh, and by the way, this isn’t going to be one of those “Ooooooh, look at the camera angles! isn’t the mise en scène lovely?! Hints of Akira Kurosawa’s vagina dentata, perhaps??” reviews, as I have no interest in actually talking about the movie. Instead, these is mainly going to be a thousand words or so of me ranting about the twisted nature of capitalism in 2019. Like I said, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.
I don’t mean to say ‘don’t answer that’ as a joke, like the answer would somehow be difficult to hear, it was an entirely serious suggestion. An order, really. It would really slow this entry down to a standstill were I to pause now to open it up for reader’s suggestions. It’s pretty much the definition of a rhetorical question, see? I’m not actually expecting you to answer, merely just asking it for dramatic effect. Do you see? Good.
The internet’s given us tons of cool shit. Now, for the first time since I spent musch of my young life scrawling obscene graffiti onto the wings of backpoll warblers before they migrated across the Atlantic I can quite casually call a 12 year old in Arkansas a ‘faggot’ to wonderfully exorcise my dangerously incompetent belief in what freedom of speech is. Jamie in Arkansas can even call me a ‘faggot’ back, if he could catch a backpoll warbler to save his life and I was doing something as irredemably faggy as attempting to capture the flag in Call of Duty 6 armed with only a M1903. What the fuck are you doing, Jamie?! Quit being such a faggot!
It’s also given every person on Earth ability to hear from a previously unimaginable variety of voices and perspectives. If you ever hear somebody say that ‘people are offended too much these days’, what they actually mean is that their killer joke about a black lesbian picking the seeds out of her watermelon used to do gangbusters when the only people who ever heard them tell it were horrible white men. Now, women, gay people and other ethnicities are hearing it. They don’t like it. Because it’s offensive. And they’re the people being offended. Don’t blame the internet because suddenly people can hear how gross you are.
“My pussy teaching 9th grade English/My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism/In conversation with a marginal system/In love with Jesus”
When Noname released her second album back in some time in the past (there really is no way of knowing), Amazon offered the opening (and possibly best) track, Self, to listen to as a sample. Early in the song she states “Y’all really thought a bitch couldn’t rap huh?/Maybe this your answer for that, a crack era/The Reagan administration that niggas are still scared of?”, and being the sucker I am for commentaries on the (still) worst US President of the modern era. Soon afterwards, she utters the aforementioned bang up the elephant line that you really should be well aware of by now, and I was sold. I immediately chucked £7.99 at Noname and her scholarly vagina. I later found out that she was also on Bandcamp, so purchased it again in the assumption that she was likely to see a lot more of the money, judging by the amount of cash Amazon siphoned off when I published a couple of books a couple of years ago. For that reason, ‘Room 25’ is the only 2018 album that could be considered so good that I bought it twice.
The thing is though, what does that line actually mean?
The human race is kind of resigned to losing all of it’s jobs to robots. In their March 2017 paper, ‘Robots and Jobs: Evidence from the UK Labour Market‘, Acemoglu and Restrepo found that the addition of one more robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio by about 0.18 – 0.34 percentage points and wages by 0.25 – 0.5 percent.
Of course, I wouldn’t be the widely lauded and routinely celebrated investigative journalist that I am if I didn’t investigate their findings and see if such statistics could be replicated in the UK job market. Unfortunately, Manchester Refugee Support Network only employs 5 people, so in order to get a proper reading on effect on one robot per one thousand employees I had to measure the effect of
one two hundredth of a robot on our work. I think. There’s really no way of knowing exactly what the maths are, but that’s what I did so it has to be correct.
It’s hard to truly say what would represent 0.5% of a robot, but my contacts in the robots industry* tell me that equates to roughly a robot eyeball. With this in mind, I introduced a fully automated eyeball to the office at MRSN. Well, I initially assumed it was a fully automatic robotic eyeball, but later examinations have suggested it may in fact be closer to a chocolate ball wrapped in tinfoil. Again, there really is no way of actually knowing, but talks conducted with my contacts in the scientific research industry* have confirmed that this trivial matter should have had no effects on the findings.