Hoptellectual: My Year in Schlitz

I used to live and die by lists. Top five records for a Monday morning? You can’t have one of those without Katrina and the Waves! Top five books that make grown men cry? It’d be incredibly shortsighted to neglect A Farewell to Arms or Tender is the Night. As time has passed, I’ve grown less attached to them. Nostalgically, they serve a purpose (Rob Gordon’s Top 5 Worst Breakups!), but critically they are just somewhat-arbitrary collections of things within a constructed timeline.

In a roundabout way, making lists is what makes us human. We wear what we love on our sleeves, hoping they affect others in much the same way, and we can all relate to one another. However, the connections to us matters much more than the time in which they are released, and different things mean more to people at different times in their lives. We cannot predict how a record or a book will affect us—perhaps we’re not quite ready for something to enter our lives? Perhaps we were busy with something else?

So we here at MwBC present to you our anachronistic list of things we’ve enjoyed this year (2011). Brian’s is neat and orderly, mine is a strategic mess. This speaks to how we consume things, but more importantly, it speaks to who we are.

Brian’s List:

Top 3 News Stories that affected me most:
1. Osama Bin Laden Killed
2. Arab Spring
3. Penn State Scandal
Top 3 Records:
1. Bon Iver Bon Iver
2. Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
3. James Blake James Blake & Enough Thunder
Top 3 Movies:
1. Drive
2. 50/50
3. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (both American and Swedish version which I watched this year)
Top 3 Books I Read in 2011:
1. Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr
2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
3. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Top 3 Articles/Lectures
Top 3 Awesome Things from 2011
1. Louie and Louis C.K. in general
2. Bon Iver’s concert in Madison, WI
3. Watching Prime Minister’s Questions on CSPAN

Anthony’s List (in no particular order and open for additions):


-The Misfits, Night of the Living Dead
-Kraftwerk, Radioactivity
-Los Campesinos!, Hold on Now Youngster
-Sleeping in the Aviary, You and Me, Ghost
-Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
-The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers (the best record every made)
-Destoryer, Kaputt and Destroyer’s Rubies
-M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
-Bill Callahan, Apocalypse and Smog’s A River Ain’t Too Much to Love
-The Walkmen, You & Me and Bows & Arrows
-Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and It’s Never Been Like That
-Peaking Lights, 936
-Toro y Moi, Underneath the Pine (and to a lesser extent, Causers of This)
-Cymbals Eat Guitars, Why There Are Mountains
-The Tallest Man on Earth, everything he’s ever done


-David Foster Wallace, Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise
-T.F.H. Allen, Supply Side Sustainability
-Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
-Robb Fritz, History’s a Bitch: A Dog Walk Through Time
-Ann Beattie, Starlight: Mrs. Nixon Joins the Final Official Photograph
-John Updike, Rabbit Redux and Rabbit is Rich (Redux is empirically better, and shorter)
-Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
-Pierre Franey, New York Times 60-Minute Gourmet
The New York Times story on Derek Boogard
-Geez, I know I’m forgetting a bunch here…


A Serious Man
-HBO’s NHL 24/7
-I don’t see very many films anymore…

We really loved 2011. Talk to us about all that’s happened! Tweet (@midwestbeer), Facebook or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.


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