The Second Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, Christmas is over and we have been hurled headlong into a new year. It’s a time of expectation and renewal, a time to look back at 2010 and ask ourselves, “what was that all about?”

Regardless of the Bieber-dominated zeitgeist of 2010, however, 2011 – the last year we have before the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl comes to destroy the world – is going to be a good year (at least for the Potters). Here are some reasons:

1) A new season of “Project Runway.” Well, actually I think this is last year’s season in the USA, but we haven’t seen it in Canada yet. I am looking forward to Tim Gunn’s trenchant critiques and the distinct possibility that Heidi Klum will call something a “snoozefest.”

2) More Beatles paraphernalia. The last few years have seen not only the Beatles catalogue become available on iTunes, but lots of remastering, reappropriating (“Love”) and even the creepy digitalization (Rock Band) of the Fab Four. It’s been a Beatle bandwagon unprecedented since, well, the Beatles Anthology was released in 1995 (right about when I started wearing circular sunglasses). I think this trend is destined to continue into the new year. Let’s hope there’s another “Free As a Bird” buried somewhere in George Martin’s cellar.

3) MarioKart… it’s an old game, but we got Andrea’s brother’s Wii for Christmas since he bought a Kinect. I’ve never really owned a video game system, except for a Sega Saturn I bought for $10 at a church garage sale. So my essay-writing productivity may decrease sharply thanks to the world of Mario, Luigi and their antitypes Wario and Waluigi as they race around increasingly improbable landscapes.

4) This video which is making the rounds on YouTube is a snowy homage to Dziga Vertov’s original “city symphony,” “Man With A Movie Camera.” Roger Ebert is perhaps laying it on a little thick by suggesting it deserves an Oscar for its “unbelievable technical proficiency,” but I do think it’s a sign of hope for thoughtful nontraditional filmmaking in the age of viral video.

5) Thanks to Andrea, I now have a subscription to Image magazine, which really is just about the best publication out there when it comes to faith and the arts. Along with the new print version of The Other Journal which is debuting this year, plus a few back issues of Cinema Scope, Cineaste and Cineaction, I have lots of magazine reading to keep me away from the textbooks.

Happy New Year!

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