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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

best of 2013 by chris o'kane

2013 was a busy year for me with many highs and one prolonged and tedious low. I spent a third of it in England, a third of it in Berlin, and a month or so in Olympia; which was excellent. I spent much of the rest of it applying for jobs in Seattle; which has obviously been shit. What follows is an unranked list of my favourite bits in 2013.


I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that the time I spent watching TV in 2013 outranks all my other cultural pursuits. Since that is the case I thought I would put it first.

Justified. The best written, best paced, and most constantly entertaining show on TV.

Enlightened. A warm-hearted satire of the self-help industrial complex and the vacuous sort of progressive politics it promulgates.

Top of the Lake. A film noir about the patriarchy!

Rectify.A meditative small-scale drama about how a man, his family and a small southern town react when he is released from prison after spending two decades or so of his adult life on death row.

Eastbound and Down.Another satire that manages to be equally stupid, incisive and hilarious. In my opinion, it’s also far better at representing the decline of American hegemony and the obscene norms of American masculinity than Mad Men or Breaking Bad etc.

In the Thick of it. I finally got around to watching this, and it lives up to the hype.

Veep. Not as good as In the Thick, and not as much swearing, but its still good.

Archer. It makes me laugh. I also like that the USSR still exists in it.

Breaking Bad. The hype was tedious and the last episode was a let down, but it was still gripping.



Big Business – Battlefields Forever.

Paysage D’hiver – Das Tor

Chelsea Light Moving – S/T.

Vexx - S/T.

Hornet Leg - Wrecking Ball.

Body/Head – Coming Apart.

Stillsuit – S/T.

Unwound – The Kid is Gone.

The Fat White Family – Champagne Holocaust.

The Rebel – S/T.


Arthur Alexander – You Better Move On, Detroit City, Call Me Lonesome

The Fall -- up to and including I am Kurios Oranj

The Go-Betweens – Live in Vienna

Black Flag – The 1982 Demos

Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction

The Saints – Eternally Yours

The Country Teasers – Satan is Real, Destroy all Human Life

Thin Lizzy – The Peel Sessions

ZZ Top’s first three albums.

After ending up on the same plane as Mudhoney, and having Mark Arm flip shit at me, I decided to listen to them on a lark and got into Superfuzz Bigmuff, Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and My Brother the Cow.


Endnotes 3

Viewpoint 3

Werner Bonefeld – Critical Theory and the Critique of Political Economy.

Roberto Bolano – Woes of the True Policeman.

Rachel Kushner – The Flamethrowers.

Ellen M. Wood – The Ellen Meiksins Wood Reader.

Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos et al. – A Political Economy of Contemporary Capitalism and its Crisis.

Ingo Stutzle et al. – Polylux Marx – A Capital workbook in Slides.

Ingo Elbe – Between Marx, Marxism and Marxisms—ways of reading Marx’s Theory.

Karl Marx – The 1861-1863 Manuscripts.

Louis Althusser – Essays in Self-criticism, The Humanist Controversy, Philosophy of the Encounter, The Future Lasts Forever.

Georgakas and Surkin – Detroit do I Mind Dying?


Mike Kelley - Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland.

Mike Kelley - Going East on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland.

Stewart Bird et al. -- Finally Got the News.

Chantal Ackerman – From the East.

John Carpenter – They Live.

Noah Baumbach – Frances Ha.

Hal Ashby – The Last Detail.

Bob Rafelson – The King of Marvin Gardens

Werner Herzog – Happy People: a year in the Taiga.

David C. Thomas -- Mc5: A True Testimonial.


David Hasslehoff at the Berlin Wall.

The Melvins playing Lysol, Egnogg and Stoner Witch.

M’lady’s Birthday Party with The Hysterics, Vexx, Ruby Pins and Nukular Aminals.

Melvins Lite/Big Business.

StillSuit/Death Drive etc.

The Witch/Hornet Leg/Western Hymn.

Joey Shithead/Movieland

Mudhoney at the Seattle Center.

Wet Drag

All the other times I saw Vexx, Big Business and The Hysterics.

New Year’s resolution: Communism.

Failing that; get a job, spend more time writing and less time applying to jobs, and watch more films and less TV.

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