Webtacular World Issue # 351, December 27, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators. I am glad this year is coming to an end. However, there were some things that helped me, which are noted below. Maybe they can help you a bit, too. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: B.O.N (Bombs Over Nashville)
Why: Because on Christmas day, a massive bomb was purposefully detonated in downtown Nashville, causing zero deaths, but massive damage to the surrounding area and Tennessee’s telecommunications infrastructure. The lack of national comment on this event is insane. Regardless of the bombers’ motives, which at this point are unknown, there has been no presidential statement, no explanation for why a damage to a single building can take down the communications capabilities of an entire state, or any real care by anyone that a major city was bombed on one of the biggest holidays of the year. I do not understand this country.

ALSO – in order to just have on the record what a truly awful human Trump is, here is the growing list of people Trump has pardoned as he continues to fail at his job. This list includes child killers, traitors, embezzlers, and thieves. Fuck him forever.

STORY OF THE YEAR (long looks)
What: COVID / Biden Wins Presidency
Why: Because COVID has shown just how fragile our country is – hopefully Biden can be sworn in before Trump tears the whole thing down.

HELPFUL STORY OF THE YEAR (5 min. read)
What: Marches In Support Of Black Lives
Why: Because millions of Americans throughout cities around the country and the world announced to the world that Black Lives Matter. While it remains to be seen what the outcome of this will be, it is good to know that there is at least some good out there.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Stimulus And Funding
Why: Because after rattling the loudest, flimsiest sabre, Trump finally signed a $900 billion stimulus bill, and the Senate funding bill for the trillions of dollars necessary to keep our country running. Trump gained nothing by delaying, proving yet again he is one of the worst actual dealmakers in history.

In another awful deal, A Brexit Deal was reached by Britain and the EU, but no one seems to have a good understanding of how any of this will play out. Terrific.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE YEAR (long read)
What: Crash
Why: Because we went through the largest financial crash in American history. The outcome destroyed jobs, and made the rich way wealthier. It will be a while before the fallout from COVID can be fully known, but my best guess is that the gap between the haves and the have-nots will continue to widen even further unless drastic changes occur.

HELPFUL ECONOMIC THING OF THE YEAR (0 min. read)
What: I… Uhhh… Got Nothing For You.
Why: Because I spent a decent amount of time trying to find something that would fit here, but came up empty. Sorry. I guess congrats to everyone who has Tesla stock? And enjoy your $600, if you qualify.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Bitch Better Have My Money!
Why: Because Trump sycophants in Texas said they would pay a bounty to anyone who found evidence of voter fraud. John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor and person who looks like he crushes rocks with his forehead for fun, found someone who used his dead mom to vote for Trump. Naturally, he is asking for the bounty.

LAW THING OF THE YEAR (3 min. read)
What: The Remaking Of The Supreme Court
Why: Because Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death allowed a Republican lead Congress fill a seat by a religious zealot during the middle of an election cycle, even though that same Congress had previously said they could not do something like that. Again, unless something drastically changes under Biden, this ensures a very conservative court that mostly follows an extremist interpretation of legal theory that will no doubt impact America for decades if not centuries.

HELPFUL LAW THING OF THE YEAR (3 min. read)
What: Protection Against Sex Discrimination
Why: Because there are still some laws standing to protect those who require it.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Fusion For The Future
Why: Because scientists basically created a sun on Earth for 20 seconds. Neat.

SCIENCE THING OF THE YEAR (3 min. read)
What: The Vaccine
Why: Because multiple multinational companies, with help from governments around the world, managed to create relatively stable and effective vaccines against COVID in a truly herculean effort. Hopefully there will be continued success in their delivery throughout the world.

HELPFUL SCIENCE THING OF THE YEAR (5 min. read)
What: Pivot To Masks
Why: Because this was the single thing that felt like America actually acted like it how it pretends to be – businesses using their innovation and resources to solve a problem that needs solving, and pitch in to help the greater good.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Continued Nonsense Of This Year
Why: Because meaningless records continue to happen, in a year when sports should not be played. The absolute nadir of “lists of accomplishments” I saw was during the Saints / Vikings game, where not only Alvin Kamara scored 6(!) touchdowns, but also the announcers noted that this was the first year in NFL history where a game was played on every day of the week, without mentioning that only happened because one team continuously had to reschedule their Thanksgiving day game to the following Wednesday because half the team had COVID. Great job.

SPORTS THING OF THE YEAR (6 min. read)
What: Sports Cancelled
Why: Because this was the only rational thing sports did, but it didn’t last long.

HELPFUL SPORTS THING OF THE YEAR (4 min. read)
What: Bucks Walk Off
Why: Because the Bucks decision to not play following the shooting of Jacob Blake helped set the tone for just how much needs to change.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 hour watch)
What: I Watched 2(!) New Movies Today
Why: Because this was probably the fewest amount of new movies I have watched in a year. Soul made my best of the year list, and Sound of Metal, while good, did not.

MOVIE THING OF THE YEAR (7 min. read)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: Because I didn’t get a chance to watch all the movies (somehow), but some of those are probably worth watching.

HELPFUL MOVIE THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order (OK, fine, it’s reverse chronological)
Soul – Up there with Pixar’s bests. The “purpose of life” scene gets me.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Somehow Rudy upstaged sticking his hands down his pants in front of a what he thought was a reporter a few weeks later. The fact that even Borat can’t upstage the insanity of Trump and his circle shows just how insane the last four years have been.
Palm Springs – Finding how to live the same day over and over again felt somehow relatable.
Da 5 Bloods – Because making an American Vietnam movie now is something only Spike Lee could do.
Onwards – Because I basically forgot this was released this year, and represents the false belief that I probably shared with most people that everything would get back to normal at some point. How wrong I was.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (1 min. watch)
What: 2020 Must Die
Why: Because 2020 was the worst.

TELEVISION THING OF THE YEAR (6 min. read)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: Because I didn’t get a chance to watch all the shows (somehow), but some of those are probably worth watching.

HELPFUL TELEVISION THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order. Also – unlike movies, this is by far the most amount of television I have ever watched in my life. I was not allowed to watch TV during the week growing up, so I never really developed a strong habit of watching shows in the background of doing other things, or get in the habit of following series, in general. Thanks to COVID and streaming, that is no longer the case. Give me more, please.
The Mandalorian – What the prequels and sequels should have been.
The Good Place – Late to the show, glad I caught up.
Ted Lasso – I still don’t get how Jason Sudeikis created a believable nice soccer née American football coach, but he did.
Bojack Horseman – See above re: being late.
How To With John Wilson – The documentary for our times.
Pen15 – Middle school never felt so real.
Better Call Saul – See above re: being late.
The Umbrella Academy – Because family is important, even if they are all adopted mutants trying to stop the world from ending.
The Chef Show – Because Jon Favreau can do no wrong, especially when it involves learning how to cook.
Schitt’s Creek – See above re: being late.
Letterkenny – because 9 seasons of inside jokes with nice Canadian hicks feels like home.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: New Macca
Why: Because Paul McCartney just won’t stop.

MUSIC THING OF THE YEAR (long read)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: Because I didn’t get a chance to listen, yadda yadda yadda.

HELPFUL MUSIC THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: Playing Music. Because I kept playing guitar, learned how to play the drums and am re-teaching myself piano, and it is a soul saving outlet to combine rhythm, tones, and pitch to create something that sounds beautiful, even if it’s only for me.
My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order. Also, I am a 20-year-old girl, and that’s OK with me.
Taylor Swift – folklore – This is probably the most played album of the year. Since I am an Apple Music subscriber and do not use Spotify, I didn’t get a “most listened to” thing. If I did, this would undoubtedly be at the top. “Exile” is exactly how sad I need to feel. More National + T-Swift, please.
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher – I wish I could write as well as she does. “I Know The End” is a journey to a necessary and deserved primal scream.
The Avelanches – We Will Always Love You – This gets back to more of how I first remember them, well aside from their song Frontier Psychiatrist. “The Devine Chord
Fleet Foxes – Shore – because Robin Pecknold’s voice can fill a room, even if its all by itself. “Can I Believe You
HAIM – Women In Music Pt. III –  The sisters’ albums keep getting stronger, and I could not get the b-side “Summer Girl” out of my head, mostly because I am of an age where I associate a certain bass line with A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It” rather than Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” I swear that last sentence makes sense.
Run The Jewels – RTJ4 – So I’m not entirely a 20 year old girl. “JU$T
The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form – Yes I am. “Me & You Together Song
Soccer Mommy – color theory – “Circle The Drain” is the most 2020 song of 2020 even though COVID wasn’t a thing yet.

ADDITIONALLY, since concerts weren’t a real thing, I spent actual dollars to watch artists perform “live” from my TV. The best of these were Fleet Foxes’ A Very Lonely Solstice; Foo Fighters’ Sweet Relief; Taylor Swift’s folklore Session; and Pheobe Bridgers’ Red Rocks and Tiny Desk.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK / YEAR (long look)
What: 2020, A Review
Why: Because 2020 showed just how many problems the world still has.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: New Year, New Books
Why: Because the books must be read

LITERATURE THING OF THE YEAR (4 min. read)
What: The Books Of Disaster
Why: Because there have been way too many books surrounding the Trump presidency that are too important, but also that I have no interest in, since I don’t know how much additional evidence is necessary to describe just how awful he has been.

HOPEFUL LITURATURE THING OF THE YEAR (4 min. read)
What: A Promise
Why: Because Obama’s memoir should provide a blueprint for the quality of person we should demand for all future presidents.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Still Broken, Still Good
Why: Because Cyberpunk 2077 is a great representation for all the the things great and awful about video games as a medium.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE YEAR (7 min. watch)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: YADA

HELPFUL VIDEO GAME THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order. Holy shit did I play way too many hours of video games this year. Unlike Apple, Nintendo was kind enough to send me a detailed breakdown of the total number of hours I played. In the interest of not totally embarrassing myself, I will not share this number with you, since it represents just a fraction of the total amount of games I played across multiple systems. HOWEVER! I was not responsible for most of them – that would go to my wife’s just-shy-of 150 hours spent on Animal Crossing, which coincided with her time off due pregnancy. Video games provided a much needed escape from everything else going on, and let me stay connected to friends and the zeitgeist while we all at home.
Black Mesa – revisiting a rebuilt Half-Life showed just how great the original game was.
Half Life: Alyx – One of the best VR games out there.
Desperados III – Being a group of assassin cowboys is fun.
Ghosts of Tsushima – Being a ninja assassin is fun.
FUSER – Aspiring mashup DJ, at your service.
Wasteland 3 – A worthy successor to isometric RPGs like Fallout.
Microsoft Flight Simulator – Flying around the world is fun.
Cyberpunk 2077 – broken fun.
Hades – A roguelike with a purpose.
The Remakes – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, Resident Evil 3, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Demon’s Souls, Super Mario 3-D All Stars – each of these, whether getting a new coat of paint or entirely reimagined, were excellent.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: There has been enough Internet for a lifetime this year.
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET EVERYONE OF THE WEEK
What: A Happy New Year
Why: Because everyone deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

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