State of the Season 6: Bond through Space Sadness- Lots of Movies, Music, and Memory

Hello there! How are you? I’m well, thanks for asking! Now that we’ve dispensed with the pleasantries, let’s get on to business.

As is tradition on five previous occasions, I am looking back at the last three months worth of my blog posts to advertise and add in what was missed on the first go round. Without further ado, here’s James Bond.

Bond at his Best (and Worst, and Everything In-Between)” – This was my ranking of the James Bond films from worst to best as chosen by me.

29 Souls of Gitchee Gumee” – A remembrance of the 29 men who lost their lives aboard the final fateful voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

We Don’t Give a Damn for the Whole State of Michigan” – My annual Hate Michigan week post to proclaim the glory that is Ohio State football and their successes of their hated rivals up north. This post took a look at the 2005 comeback the Buckeyes pulled off in the Big House in Ann Arbor.

Happy Birthday to the World Apparently” – A celebration of the two of my educational heroes: Mark Twain and Bill Nye, presented around the time of their birthdays.

Hitting a Nun with a Baseball Bat is Not Necessarily a One-Way Ticket to Hell” – A regaling of the event that got my great uncle Bud kicked out of school and prompted him to join the U.S. Navy where he was stationed in the Pacific theater just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the onset of America’s combative involvement in World War II. First published on Pearl Harbor Day.

And I Jizz-Wailered in My Pants” – In anticipation of the latest Star Wars film I recounted my excitement for it from trailers, speculation, and interest derived from the original films themselves. I wanted to say so much more than I did, but I kept myself from rambling too much and over-elaborating. I even pruned off about a dozen words once I finished so that I would have 1977 words in the final piece in honor of the year the original Star Wars was released. It also seemed like a good point to stop at. This prevented me from explaining how I determined Episode III: Revenge of the Sith to be the previous best Star Wars film in my lifetime when technically the original Special Edition (I hate that that’s a necessary differentiating term) that came out in 1997, and its ensuing special editions with additions and subtractions provided or removed by George Lucas himself were all released in my lifetime. In that case, the best Star Wars film to be released in theaters during my existence upon Earth is The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition version. However, seeing as it is an edited version of a previously released film, and not a remake nor completely original material, I do not count it as a stand-apart film from the 1980 Orig Trig The Empire Strikes Back. Therefore, Revenge of the Sith was the best Star Wars to be released in my lifetime – prior to The Force Awakens, of course, which has thankfully rendered the issue moot.

Spoiler Alert!” – In an exercise of self-control, I spoiled older films that most casual filmgoers have seen at least once in their lives in order to avoid spilling secrets from The Force Awakens. I have certainly mentioned the most recent Star Wars film a lot in my posts – I think I may have called it by name or referred to it in over 75% of my post from last year – but I have not dished out any plot details which is saying something for not saying something about a movie I’ve seen five times in theaters.

Movies to the Max! The Toast of 2015” – My list of the Top 10 films that wowed me like I wanted them to or more than I expected, sometimes both. Not at all a list of my absolute 10 favorites of last year, in fact I enjoyed my letdown picks of the latest Avengers and Bond movies more than some of my Top 10, but I spell out how my criteria for the list works in the post. My top of the Top definitely blew me away, especially (and obviously) Star Wars, and my favorite of the year was Mad Max: Fury Road. I would love to see it win Best Picture and for George Miller to get Best Director, which I think both are deserving of. Oh, and I since seen The Revenant and really liked it, and it is deserving of its many Oscar nominations, especially Best Picture and Best Director, but Mad Max is still the tops in both beyond a doubt for me.

More Songs to Enjoy and Improve Yourself With” – It’s just that. A continuation of my annual segment at the end of one year and opening of the next to supply you with some tunes that may help to get you in the right state of mind for living your life to the fullest and be a good person. At the least, it’s a collection of 13 great songs where there once were only 12! The next one will have 14! These aren’t just songs I say, “yeah that’ll work” to; rather they are from a long list I’ve compiled (and continue to add to) and pick the most congruent bunch from for each year. It’s like putting together an album that I didn’t contribute to any of the songs for.

There’s a Starman Waiting in the Sky” – This eulogy of David Bowie is one of my proudest posts. Coming right after the must-hear song collection that he’s featured in both of and looks to continue to for the future, it seemed fitting to do what everybody was doing and remember the incredible man. Unfortunately, his death was not the first, nor the last of a notable entertainer in the last few weeks. Lemmy from Motorhead passed away on December 28th, actor Alan Rickman on Jan 14th, and Glenn Frey on Jan 18th. All had serious medical issues that only those closest to them knew of (as it should be if that is their desire). All hit me pretty hard for being men I’ve never met or seen in person, but aside from Bowie, Glenn Frey’s death struck a chord with me by reminding me of my father. My dad was a big Eagles and Glenn Frey fan, and got me into that style of music as well. The Eagles were the first band I really delved deep into and appreciated and still remain one of my favorites. My dad happened to going through his self-proclaimed “Glenn Frey phase” when he met my mom, and thy danced to “The Heat is On” at their wedding. Frey further entertained my dad and later myself as a drug smuggler on an episode of Miami Vice titled “Smuggler’s Blues” for which he sang his song of the same name.

Firing Up Fun in the Motor City” – My guide to traversing the North American International Auto Show to optimal enjoyment.

Ad astra per aspera” – A tribute to men and women who died as astronauts searching for the answers to the universe’s biggest questions.

Thanks as always for reading. Continue to check in every Monday for more material, including a more sound and vision approach next week than the traditional read it and weep setup (well, “read it” anyway; I hope if I make you cry it’s tears of joy, not pain). Direct any comments or questions below or to monotrememadness@gmail.com.

Take it easy,

Alex

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