Nathan's Laserium: New Year's Eve

Happy New Year from all of us at vampirenomad.com! Hopefully this coming year will be a good one, and that 2015 was one of your best so far. I certainly had fun.

I know it's traditional to do Best-Of lists at this time of year, but I feel like I'm not very qualified to do that. I'm hardly a critic. I'm not even sure I saw ten movies that were released this year. But for what it's worth my top movie was Star Wars, of course. And The Martian. No wait, Mad Max Fury Road. And Miss Colombia! See how I did a topical joke there almost like I am on top of the zeitgeist. Maybe I am qualified to be a cultural critic!

In that case, best music of 2015 goes to Marilyn Manson, definitely, for 'The Pale Emperor'. And an album I like equally as much, though it will be a little more obscure, is Melechesh's 'Enki'. Melechesh is a Middle-Eastern black/thrash/death metal band. That might sound really nichey or even gimmicky and not for you or anyone you know, but honestly if you like awesome things, this really is for you. I live in a household where Doc McStuffins' theme song is pretty much always playing, and I seek refuge in 'Enki'. The chords are almost physically pleasurable. No, not like that, but my brain definitely enjoys the melodies and feels better when I get to hear them. I have a diagnosis! You have Listen-to-Melechesh-osis. I'm sure Ashmedi appreciates me using a Doc McStuffins joke to recommend his band. But this is what cultural critics do.

Books! I read a few books this year. These are easier to pick because books I don't like I don't read. Do you ever force yourself to read a book you aren't enjoying? Lots of people do, for strange reasons. Even I've done it, more than once. But I am here to tell you you don't have to! Put it down and pick up another one, because you will never ever get to read all the great books out there, so why handicap yourself even further by wasting time on a book you don't like? Here are some books I think you will like, though don't force yourself to read them on my account.

Neal Stephenson's SevenEves. Huge book, full of amazing ideas. Maybe the ending left me a little cold but the trip to get there was definitely worth it.

Wab Kinew, The Reason You Walk. Wab is kind of a big deal for CBC nerds like myself, and his book is a great read. Wab has an Anishinaabe background and his book is about his dad and the effects of the residential school. . . well, scandal is hardly the right word. Read the book and you will know more.

There were a ton of great comics this year, as always. Just get them all! But if you are constrained by not having a million dollars of disposable cash, maybe just get Virgil and Monstress. Virgil is about a gay Jamaican cop who is outed and has to do some fighting and ass-kicking and punching to stay alive. Monstress is maybe a little harder to describe but is gorgeous and compelling. Marvel has been doing a lot of interesting things too, though I am way behind. But Hellcat has her own series! Finally.

Oh and did you watch Jessica Jones? Of course you did. Watch it again! And Daredevil, of course.

Happy New Year!

- Nathan Waddell