Okay, stuff from 2006, get ready to have the shit thanked out of you.
Senator-Elect Jon Tester
Every so often, a politician comes along who is not only inspiring, but who makes you proud to call yourself a member of the same party. Tester, in appearance and policy, signifies a return to middle class values for the Democratic Party and his timing is just right. Thanks, Senator-Elect Jon Tester. And don't let them give you any shit about your haircut or the fact that you want to repeal the Patriot Act.
Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano might not be as popular as Ryan Seacrest or Jeff Probst, but they should be. MXC, in which an insanely dangerous 1980s Japanese game show is re-dubbed into a comedy, is in its fifth season on the Spike network and yet after all these episodes, I still laugh and cringe during the Log Drop. I still laugh and cringe watching Sinkers & Floaters. Thanks, MXC, for making me laugh the laugh of all laughs.
Senator Ted Stevens
In a world that grows exponentially more complex by the second, it's nice to know that we can still bullshit our way around actual information. This goes especially for the kids. Take the advice of Senator Ted Stevens, kids. If your teacher asks you a question you're unprepared for, just go batshit loony and reply, "It's a series of TUBES!" For example, how does the Pythagorean Theorem work? Answer: it's a series of TUBES! If Senator Stevens can get away with it -- and he's the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee in charge of regulating the internet -- then so can you. Thanks, Senator Stevens, for making gibberish awesome again. And a bonus thanks for giving America another reason to support term limits on U.S. senators.
The Flaming Lips
Their latest album At War With The Mystics contains the masterpiece Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung and their stage show for their 2006 tour was an unforgettable experience. Thanks, Flaming Lips, for continuing to be the greatest band from another planet.
Thom Hartmann & Keith Olbermann
It's one thing to present air tight arguments in favor of a certain political point of view, it's another to do so with precision and with the historical grounding required to hold it all together. Hartmann and Olbermann nail it on both accounts. Thanks, Thom Hartmann & Keith Olbermann, for reinventing how issues are framed and debated in this country.
Roy Sekoff And Some New Blogger Buddies
Roy is the founding editor of the Huffington Post and an unsung hero on this site. So let's hear it, yo. Round of figurative applause from everyone. Let's go! Respeck for Roy! Meanwhile, I've had the privilege of meeting some new friends from around the blogs -- people whose blogs are both inspired and inspiring: John Amato from Crooks & Liars, TRex from Firedog Lake, John Aravosis from AmericaBlog, and Huff Post's Eric Boehlert, Steve Young, RJ Eskow & Rachel Sklar.
I've never laughed this much at a movie -- ever. When vapid, moronic films like You, Me & Dupree are still being churned out of Hollywood and truly creative minds are abandoned in lieu of movies like Little Man, it's more than refreshing to see a smart and unique filmmaker break through with a massive box office success. A hearty thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen.
Year in and year out, I love eggs! Thanks, eggs.
My Friend, David Walley
I'm thankful for having known one of the most underrated yet brilliant authors of our time. With little fanfare, David Walley died suddenly of a heart attack in his Maine home last August, just one chapter away from completing his life's work: a biography of the Cold War economist and diplomatic historian Herbert Feis. I first met Walley when I approached him about adapting his brilliant and surreal Ernie Kovacs biography Nothing In Moderation (aka. The Ernie Kovacs Phile) into a feature film and we discovered that even though we were from different generations, we had much in common -- beginning with our admiration of Kovacs. Walley used to say he couldn't write about anyone until he "spent time" with the subject; he literally lived in Herbert Feis' home in York, Maine, and referred to the long dead economist as "Herbie." I'm honored and tremendously thankful to have had the opportunity to spend time with Walley and I hope that someday, like Ernie Kovacs, the rest of the world will catch up with his genius.