Written by: Catastrophe Waitress, Special to CC2K
With all of the year-end love that permeates this season, it's easy to forget how many truly awful things occurred in 2007 as well. Luckily, CC2K can help. Our own "dear" Catastrophe Waitress has compiled a copious list of the things that made her cringe the most last year, and delivered in her own deliciously funny and catty style. Take that, last year!
WORST PUBLICITY STUNT
J.K. Rowling: “Dumbledore is gay”; Tim Hardaway stops reading, hates wizards
2007 was a good year for magic. The fifth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released to mostly favorable praise, and the final installment of the literary series sold a record-breaking 11 million copies its first day on the shelves. Those of us not entirely consumed with Potter-weary cynicism could call it the “end of an era.” However, not long after the debut of the seventh book, Rowling threw her cynics a bone by announcing a few curious details about her characters that were neither alluded to in the text, nor relevant to the overall story. It was a bizarre move; why would the Prom Queen of fiction pull out her bag of trick so soon? Shouldn’t she at least wait until the books start decorating the “Gift Ideas Under $10” shelf at Barnes & Noble before reminding the world of her cultural magnitude? And really, Jo, why give the playground bullies yet another reason to pick on the magic kids?
MOST HESITANT APPLICATION OF DNA TESTING
Larry Birkhead: “I’m the father!”; Kevin Federline sends congratulatory fruit basket, science apologizes
With the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith prompting the goofiest asshats to roll over, scratch themselves, and claim parental responsibility, America released a collective groan. Sadly, the real victim was the bastard child, who, as is customary with the offspring of dysfunctional celebrity couples, will suffer the greatest tragedy of all: being the daughter of Anna Nicole.
THE WHITNEY HOUSTON “CRACK IS WHACK” AWARD FOR MOST UNCOMFORTABLE PUBLIC BREAKDOWN
(5-way tie) Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Pete Doherty
While 2007 was clearly the year of fuck-ups and getting fucked, sitting down to actually compile a list of the biggest “losers at life” is hugely depressing. Much like our fascination with iconic basket case Courtney Love, we, the general public, cannot help but watch with perverted interest as these washed-up washouts descend further into social humiliation. From suspect parenting to precarious relationships to bruises and blow, short-shorts and eerily prophetic ruminations about being forced to go to rehab, trying to understand the delusions is as futile as trying to understand the delusional. Let’s just hope that 2008 proves to be a…healthier year for Amy/Britney/Lindsey/Paris/Pete; or at the very least, one filled with more personal reflection and less snatch.
MOST POINTLESS COMEBACK
The Smashing Pumpkins
Unless you are a die-hard fan, or Elijah Wood, you probably only half-care that The Smashing Pumpkins sort of got back together in 2007 and made a record (does it really count as a ‘reunion’ if most of the original members refused to participate?). Maybe you bought a copy of Zeitgeist out of habit, because that’s what you would have done in 1995 (you know, the “good days”). For whatever reason, TSP’s seventh album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts but has steadily declined in popularity over the past few months, to the point where we’re all just scratching our heads, wondering what’s next from Billy and his “backing band”: more poetry? Another cryptic side project? Some abstract art? His left kidney, suspended in a jar of organic honey?
MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM
Our Love to Admire – Interpol
It’s too easy to pick a Worst Album because artists like Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park continue to make music (both had 2007 releases). So instead I present to you Interpol, a band that generally produces solid records, except in years ending in 7. Our Love to Admire is not a bad album, per se, but it lacks the unwavering attention that previous efforts, like 2004’s Antics, demanded. When I say that Interpol creates accessible moody rock, with just enough masculine sass to appease the critics, it should be taken as a compliment. It should also be taken as a gentle suggestion to consider pushing themselves to the next sonic level (like how some teachers give A students Bs so that there is always room for improvement). Unfortunately, Our Love fails that test, improving on nothing, and only giving more credence to the naysayers that claim the band is no more than mediocre Joy Division fans in smart suits.
WORST MUSICAL HOOK: THE ONE THAT GAVE YOU 24-HOURS IN THE DRUNK TANK FOR ATTEMPTING TO “HALF NELSON” A 200-LB JUKEBOX
“Young Folks” – Peter, Bjorn & John
I used to like this song. It was fun, stylishly sparse, lyrically non-threatening, dancey, fancy, what have you. This was mid-2006. By the time Writer’s Block was released in early 2007, the shiny new toy sheen had worn off and the retail vultures were poised, ready to swoop in to pick at the remains. Within months the once novel ditty about soulmates or something had transformed into a silly caricature of indie pop. Then the truly horrific happened: people started emulating the whistle. This still haunts me. Occasionally I pass some bright young folks on the street, bopping their heads to a silent rhythm, lips poised, and my heart stops in a bad way. There’s also that guy at parties who thinks it’s charming to put on the record and whistle along with it, encouraging those around him to follow suit (they don’t), puff, puff, puffing away until he passes out and is stashed in the coat closet. I hate whistling.
MOST OVERRATED FILM
Margot at the Wedding (Noah Baumbach)
Most overrated film theme: dysfunctional families that realize “hey, we’re batshit crazy but we love each other.” Margot at the Wedding isn’t quite of that persuasion. There is no happy ending, nor is there a lot of love being professed. In fact, the character of Margot is so completely volatile that it’s difficult to even sympathize with those that tolerate her wrath. There have been better films made about unlikable people doing cringe-worthy things (Closer, Baumbach’s debut effort The Squid and the Whale) that don’t feel as cold and contrived as Margot, which I’m attributing to moderation: 99% of what comes out of Margot’s mouth is a dig at somebody or something. She’s entirely predictable because of this (like a really mean robot with a bad American accent), and after awhile it’s simply wearisome to keep caring.