A mixed year, I'd say, 2007. Ups and downs in unequal measure. Here are some of my annual awards.
Political Coup Of The Year: a closely fought contest that should have been won by elegant French President Nicolas Sarkozy for capturing the heart of delightful Italian-born chanteuse Carla Bruni (whose solo album Quelqu'un M'A Dit is one of my favourites).A masterstroke (perhaps literally), but Sarkozy's swapping of one ex-model for a newer one backfired with the French public, and his popularity ratings have taken a hit. So, instead, the award goes to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand who, for some reason, decided to re-invent himself one morning in a fetchingly pink shirt and jacket.So impressed were his subjects that they too adopted the new style. Pink shirts became the season's must-have item, and crowds mobbed shops selling them.
The Have you tried switching it off and on? award goes to the documentation for my copy of Cakewalk's Sonar music production software. In the Troubleshooting section it offers the following helpful advice about the 6 available settings of the Mixing Latency control: "The default setting is 64 KB. Yours may work better with 128, 32, or 16. If those values don't help, try 256, 512, or move on to another remedy."
I was going to award the Reasons to be Cheerful prize to Barack Obama for his vision of an America embracing change and hope rather fear and belligerence. But the worrying possibility that voters might choose a man (Huckabee) who believes that the earth was created 6000 years ago, by an extraterrestrial creator... well, let's wait and see. The award goes instead to the BBC's Sky At Night program, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. I watched the first program of 2008 last night. It's particularly cheering that there's no mention of podcasts, blogs or forward-slash dot nonsense. There's a newsletter, but you have to send a stamped and self-addressed envelope to Patrick's back garden observatory...
Rant Of The Year: no contest, really. Another BBC production, if you haven't heard Marcus Brigstocke's thoughts on religion from Radio 4's The Now Show, have a listen (audio only) at YouTube.
That's it for now, except for the Stairlift To Heaven award which, of course, goes to Led Zeppelin. Age shall not weary them...
Happy New Year