Hasn't that been a quick year? A happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Yule, Eild-Ul-Adha, or non-denominational-commercial-fest to one and all. It may be a bit late (unless you are in Wisconsin) but, for future reference, you can get your Festivus pole here.
I'm off to the Highlands for a week today: wish me luck braving the rail network so close to Christmas. I wonder how many of my presents will be crushed during teh journey?
Ahead of legendary blogger Justin Green's much-anticipated return to the medium, the editorial team here at Swish thought that it would be a good idea to catch up with him and see what he had to say for himself. Read our exclusive interview only here at Swish. So, Justin, it's been a while! Where have you been? We've missed you! Thanks! I've been up to all sorts of amazing stuff!
Really? No, not really. My good buddy Niall came onshore for a whole month, and the excellent banter, food, and weight of Seinfeld episodes kept me away from my beloved blog.
So you've done nothing? Well, I have been busy at work, including trips to London and Brussels; I took a trip to see Martin and Karen in Fife to play poker (I must tell the story of Martin trying to steal a train sometime); and I got very drunk indeed at my work Christmas party the other week. Plus X Factor has been on recently. How was Brussels? It was lovely, thanks for asking. Seeing as you are so interested, I will point you towards my photographs that I took on the trip. Brussels seemed really nice, even though I was only there for 24 hours or so. I did have enough time to see the sights of the city centre, eat moules and frites, drink some Belgian beer, eat some waffles, and buy some chocolates for Christmas presents. And as I took the Eurostar across there, I got to see the absolutely magnificent re-development of St. Pancras station in London.
Wow, what an amazing resource! Talking of films, what are the best films that you saw this year? This was a strangely disappointing year for films, in my opinion. Many of the sequels of the summer were underwhelming: Pirates of the Caribbean and Spiderman did the job but underwhelmed; Shrek did't look good enough for me to bother seeing it; 28 Weeks Later and Die Hard were good without being brilliant; only the Bourne film and Harry Potter bucked this trend with true excellence. Other films that I really enjoyed include Rocky, Blades of Glory, Ratatouille, the Simpsons, Sunshine, and American Gangster. Most other stuff that I saw was very average, with Babel and 300 standing out as the worst of the year for me. What about Transformers? Surely that was the best film ever! Hmmm. I know Michael Bay makes dumb movies, but this one was retarded. So many holes in the plot, so much weak dialogue, so many weak jokes: this didn't bear much of a resemblance to the Transformers that I know.
What about music? Was that all weak this year as well? Not at all. This year has had some truly excellent music. Albums by Air, Bjork, the Chemical Brothers, Dizzee Rascal, Kanye West, M.I.A, Maps, Mark Ronson, the Super Furry Animals, and Ulrich Schnauss all pleased to a greater or lesser extent. The crowning glory of the year was Radiohead's In Rainbows. What an album. If you're iffy about the download-only concept, wait until the first week of January and but it on CD. Do it. And on the individual song side of things, nothing can touch the unbelievable Sirens by Dizzee Rascal:
This is surely one of the 10 or 20 best songs that I have ever heard. A very recent highlight was brought to my attention by Simon. Malcolm Middleton (ex of Arab Strap) has released a subversive attempt at the Christmas number 1. That's not going to happen, but what a good song it is. From the title, We're All Going to Die doesn't sound very uplifting, but the song itself is strangely optimistic and comforting, and contains many often-unsaid truths:
Thanks for that! So, when are you getting back to blogging? Soon, I hope. I'll try and do a couple of posts before I head back home for Christmas week, and I could be a bit intermittent during January as there are a few embryonic long-haul travel plans, but I'm back, back, back, baby! And will you ever finish off that stupid music video thing? You were really close... Maybe.
Thanks for your time. We can't wait to have you back. It's been a joy! And might I say that, as far as I'm concerned, Swish is one of the few must-read sites left on the internet.