Best Movie: District 9. I think I only went to see 2 movies in 2009 and District 9 was one of them. The other was Inglorious Basterds. I’ve gotten bad about going to the movies. I used to catch all of the Oscar contenders in the theater, and all the arty farty films that win Spirit awards and whatnots. I think the best movie I missed this year was Moon. Maybe Antichrist. Something else. Dammit. The best movie I saw in 2009 via Netflix would have to be The Lives of Others. Blew me away. But anyway. Moving on.
Best Album: The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga. I’ve recently acquired both The Fame and The Fame Monster, the latter of which came out in 2009. What can I say? She broke me. I could smell it coming and then it happened. Peel away all the bullshit and the woman has true talent. More than Madonna ever did. Gaga is like the perfect blend of Gwen Stefani, Fiona Apple, and the best of my ex-girlfriends. Italian chick from New York. What could be better?
(Runner Up: David Bazan’s Curse Your Branches)
Best Growth (Indie Press): Folded Word Press. Maybe I’m biased, seeing as I’m so close to it, but I’ve watched (and been a part of) its evolution from Twitter (PicFic/UnFold) to Broadside print (Heron) to the Signature Chapbook series. They’re smart, aggressive, and understand the need to adapt with the times. How many chapbooks do you know of that are available through the Kindle store? How many chapbooks are handcrafted and sewn with Irish linen? And with even bigger projects on the way for 2010, they’re showing no signs of slowing.
Best Growth (personal): I made my peace with the gray hair that’s infecting my head and beard. Even my chest. Goddamn. I can no longer run as fast as I could. I will probably never be able to dunk a basketball. I came close a few times, but those days are long gone. Over the course of 2009 I have attempted to embrace the idea of yielding. I still falter. That’s okay too.
Best Cat: Henry. He’s been Cat of the Year since 2003. I expect him to wear the 2010 crown as well.
Best Purchase: My new computer I bought last summer. After a fast and furious battle with Best Buy, I won the monitor for free as well as a sick printer. And extra ink. It’s all about the ink. And sticking it to the man. I also won a personal apology from the regional GM. If Best Buy ever tries to screw you, email me. I’ll gladly share my war tactics.
Best Gum: Dentyne’s Arctic Chill. It lasts forever.
Best Book: I didn’t read a ton of books that came out in 2009, but Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas was a good way to pass the time. It was god awful, but in the best way possible.
Best Submission Hold: The Rear Naked Choke. Say it with me. Now smile.
Best Way to Say Goodbye: Don’t. You can take it with you (Thanks, Evan Dando).
Mel Bosworth lives, breathes, works, and writes in western Massachusetts. Visit him at HERE.
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.