Finally, on the the 31st day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty one, we can officially put 2020 to bed. I like doing this post every year, as it’s mostly pictures and I don’t have to do much talking. Just to make it clear, I can’t stress enough how much I hate talking to you people. No, not the person reading this, you’re cool, all the other people, yeah? You know what I’m talking about! Fuck them, right?
We start off, innocently enough, by ranking the countries of nationality in a proven failsafe way to find the best country in the world.
Seriously though, USA always wins this by such a margin that it’s actually embarrassing, and I don’t expect different this year…
My tip for inevitable greatness, Dua Saleh, was born in Sudan but was forced to flee the Second Sudanese Civil War in the 90s with her family, eventually being granted asylum in the USA. I have no idea what nationality she considers herself, or even if she bothers to consider it at all, but I’m calling her half Sudanese in a desperate attempt to make this list a little more diverse
‘Waterfowl’ is a pretty perfect rock album. I spent an inordinate and unnecessary amount of time just now trying to decide which subgenre to place it under, but it’s such a varied and ambitious record that it near enough encompasses all of them. It dabbles in punk, takes brash detours through folk rock and indie, skids its way through shoegaze and math rock, and even chooses to dabble in post-punk and grunge. I ‘reviewed’ it back in February, then because I don’t think I’d properly got across how good the album was, I wrote another post in March just to make sure I was clear how freaking good this record was. Come on, if there was any 2020 album you don’t need further convincing of its quality, it’s this one. It’s actually quite worrying how much I have to spoon feed some of you people. Sort your lives out.
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.
Have you ever considered that maybe Princess Nokia has a point? Maybe everything is beautiful? Maybe you don’t agree. Maybe you’re one of those overaged (and- my goodness- way over sized) wannabe teenage edgelords who have developed multiple subconjunctival hemorrhages due to the dangerous amount of times you’ve rolled your eyes at something. Maybe your detachment from positivity and any sort of approving conscientiousness has rendered you completely numb to appreciating any good thing in life. Maybe when the vicar asked you if you take this person to be your lawful wedded spouse you merely shrugged your shoulders and said “Whatever”. Maybe when the doctor handed you your new born baby, you rolled your eyes at how unbelievably mainstream the whole thing was, with the baby crying and wiggling its arms, like that hasn’t been done before. Nothing is beautiful for you, because you refuse to allow it to be.
Hey, remember a few weeks ago when I basically just took far too long just to tell you that Nick Cave’s transcendent ‘Ghosteen‘ was the best album of 2019? Well, with that still fresh in your mind, I thought we should take the opportunity to kick back and…
Shit’s really going down, ain’t it? You know shit’s going down because some big shops are shutting down. These shops didn’t shut down during a virus that’s currently been responsible for 376’000 deaths worldwide (watch this space!!), because, seriously, fuck these people, right? But now these multimillion dollar companies that have long built their success on the suffering and oppression of others are actually losing products on a scale absolutely insignificant to their wider wealth. So this shit’s important, yeah? COVID-19 testing centres are also being shut down in some areas because, well, some people don’t deserve to be safe, do they? In 2020, you really have to earn the right to not die, and we have to make it clear that certain people don’t deserve that right, yes?
This blog has never been the place for timely, contemporary and up to the minute fresh takes. In normal circumstances, if something notable happens during the year I simply put it aside in that special part of my brain that I hope to access around December, then at the end of the year I rant about it in a blog post about my 25th best album of the year, or whatever, when every other person in the world has long stopped caring about it. Or, most likely, I’ll simply forget all about it and instead go off on a tangent about rape fantasies or utter fucking nonsense. It was all we wanted. All we needed. We were happy.
Well, COVID-19 got me doing all sorts of crazy shit that I’ve never done before- last Tuesday I ate an unsalted pistachio*- so I guess I may as well add to the insanity by commenting on something that only just happened this last week. Partly this is because a particularly obnoxious crow outside my window has woken me up at two thirty in the morning, like I’m a 15th century wheelwright working in the tower of his master’s monastery or some shit, but partly because Lana Del Rey’s 21st May Instagram postreally got under my skin. Yeah, mostly the former. Sniff, sniff, what’s that smell? Oh yeah! Precious motherfucking content!!
Yeah, I’m in a good mood, what of it? Wanna fight about it? Bring it on, I bet I’ll have you kissing me before the first punch lands, because how can you stay angry at this face?? My good mood mainly arises from three reasons. Firstly, longtime reader Beryl got in touch to tell me how she enjoyed the last post, and only made the polite suggestion that this series could be improved if it…
…incorporated more hardcore scat pornography?? Jesus fucking Christ, Beryl. Honestly, whenever I’m that close to relaxing that restraining order, you come out with something that sends us back to square one. Maybe I’m at fault here for expecting more from someone I met on the online scatological fetish dating app ‘ScatrBraind‘, but I just always assumed she was interested in the person around the fecal matter, y’know?
Anyway, the second reason is that this will definitely be the final part in this series, allowing me to abandon my blog again to return to my three real loves (masturbating, crying, and masturbating while crying. Mainly the third, if I’m being completely honest). Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we are now actually into the years where I made a point of listing the best albums, so this part should be an absolute piece of piss! Look at the header of this blog- I’ve already got my best albums of 07-19 listed! I just need to copy those albums down again for this entry! It’s 8:53 now, and I’ll have all this done and dusted in time for my traditional 9am cry! Let’s do this shit!!
After about two weeks of pitching myself in the trenches Gig Economy Dating, I find myself a silhouette against the bright lights of bombs going off across the horizon, face unseen under a thick layer of blood, mud and- yes- semen, only my bright eyes are visible. Those eyes may as well be circular holes cut into my forehead to let the lighthouse pulse under the mess to shine through. There’s no life there. There’s barely any acknowledgement of life there. These eyes are no longer windows to any soul, they’re merely roughly carved pits reaching down into the back of my skull.
It’s been rough, and I’m 90% sure that I’m likely to live out the rest my life voluntarily celibate. Is there a Volcel subreddit? I might have to start one, full of frustrated and exasperated men and women who haven’t the slightest idea what is expected of them in zero hour sexual politics, and who are desperately questioning whether the options out there are worth this senseless debasing of their self. And, yeah, we’ll probably be responsible for a few mass shootings, but that’s just because a lot of the members of our community are likely to be American, and it’s part of their culture. Don’t judge.
Part six! This site’s previous longest series* was the (intermittently ongoing) ‘Greatest Songs Ever‘ collection, which has so far taken eighteen months to dribble to five entries, yet this trawl through my misery caused a dating app that I have since realised I really don’t want to be on is already on its sixth entry in less than ten days! Maybe I don’t actually like writing about music, and actually prefer instead cataloging my sad and emotionally draining attempts to date as a sober person. Sorry, as a non drinker of alcoholic drinks, I realise that ‘sober’ suggests a higher bar of not relying on recreational supplements that I unfortunately cannot meet.
(*Unless, of course, you count my albums of the year lists as an ongoing series, in which case there have been around 450 posts since 2007. 2007!! My girlfriend wasn’t even born when I started this shit! She’s probably not even heard of Les Savy Fav!!)
Dating if you drink is easy. You just go to a place where people drink, you’re entertaining enough drunk and she’s drunk enough to not know any better, you have sex that neither of you 100% remembers in the morning, then you stay together for ages because the buses back to Chorley are really unreliable and it seems like the option of least resistance just to stay together. There was no widely used social media back then, so basically as far as both of you were aware this really was as good as it could get- in the late 90s and early 00s your average young adult knew of the existence of maybe twenty four people, and one of those was Toby Anstis. And, come on, Toby Anstis? Never happening.
Hmmmm… Maybe I’m not thinking of ‘people who drink’, but rather ‘people with debilitating problems with drinking’…? And maybe all you were ever likely to be matched up with were people with similarly ruinous issues…?
But it was easy, is all I’m saying!!
Anyway, let’s take a look at the latest bout of options. Most of them will be British, so some sort of ruinous drinking problem is pretty much a given.