Top Ten, uh, Seven, Notably Manly Things to Happen in 2011
A list of things that happened this year that are in no way manly, or things, for that matter.
By: Matt Jared
As the year ends and everyone in the office is vying for the top score on “Where’s my Water” a lot of lists start popping up reminding everyone of the year that was. For Team Tallsome, it has been an epic bro journey (see what I did there) of formidable highs and truly life altering lows. Despite our personal triumphs, the mustaches we garnered, the friendships we forged or the loved ones lost, 2011 will always be remembered as an icy cold bitch of a year. I’ve taken a few days to really think about important things that happened this year that might still be talked about in the years to come. Let’s saddle up and get ready to ride and rope some broncos!! The best of 2011 is comin’ atcha!!!
1.) Team Tallsome discovers Know What’s F***ing Crazy.
Earlier this year, it was reported the social blogging site Tumblr receives over 250 million views a day. Max and I gchat each other approximately that many times in a day so I know there are A LOT of people going to Tumblr. Basically this means that another awesome social networking and blogging site has popped up where people are not only devouring content published, but also interacting and getting involved in the fray themselves. I’ve been hip to Tumblr for just under two years because I am a devout follower of The Daily What and their original platform (from when I first got on board) was a Tumblr site. Now that you’ve wiped the tears from your eyes after my compelling little back story about Tumblr, I wanted to share with everyone one THE most profound tumblr site running right now…
Have you ever wondered what is up with straws or what an elephant is truly doing with that long thing growing out of its face? Or how about the interstate highway system or how wildly paradoxical (gasp) religion is? Well I have too, you’re not alone and so has someone else, his name is Jake Dubs. Jake is the brains and scribe behind our favorite Tumblr site of 2011: Know What’s F#%*ing Crazy. Jake takes a few minutes per f#%*ing crazy topic and couples raw imagery with how truly crazy a common action / thing truly is that we probably consider normal. I highly suggest you give it a look and add it to your RSS (as well as The Daily What and other awesome Tumblrs out there). The amazing part of KWFC is that we encounter the subjects of the blog nearly every day and Jake’s straightforward and dry sense of humor drives the blog to hilarious glory every time.
I know what you’re saying right now, “Great rip off from Time Magazine, ya doucher!” It’s a major cliché to write a year end piece about the uprising of the Occupy movement, the Egyptian rebellion, the Libyan overthrow or the freedom Max and I garnered when we both finally cut off “The Evil One” on twitter. But beyond all that oppression or bigotry that is being fought, I wanted to give those brave souls in the streets a kind tip of the hat (even if you’re just really into urban camping and everyone else took the best spot at Garfield Park).
Throughout time, leaders who have oppressed and stifled their people have felt the harshest wrath in revolution. (I read that on a tumblr somewhere; don’t get too excited) The point I’m trying to make is that it is important to speak your mind and be willing to let your opinions fly regardless of your sexual orientation, race, gender or whatever. I personally believe that when we look back on 2011 we will see a very motivating trend of activism and positive action towards fulfilling everyone’s goal of living their life to the fullest and thriving throughout the human experience as much as possible. Regardless of your opinions, it is very inspiring to see the citizens of great nations take ownership of their lives and require a higher standard from their leaders.
3.) Watch the Throne / Collaboration
Now that I’ve gotten off my political soapbox, I wanted to share a little piece of my opinion about a very hot and cold personality in pop culture… Kanye West. He may be a big ass hat in your opinion, but I back whatever he does 100% and his latest album, a collaboration with his good buddy Jay Z, makes me proud to say I am a Kanye supporter. Ever since early 2004 when The College Dropout was making waves in Top 40 radio I hopped on the Kanye bandwagon and I have only hopped off a handful of times since. AMAZING SIDE NOTE: The first song I ever listened to while legally driving myself was Slow Jamz in my 1996 Toyota Tercel. Yes that is a true story, yes I was crammed in the car and yes it was amazing.
Anyhoo, I wanted to bring to light the sheer epicness of this album and how two of rap’s biggest names got together to make an entire album. My boss is a producer and we have made a few songs (If you want to hear them email me and I’ll hook you up. They’re atrocious.) and it took us about two hours just to make a one minute song with the beat made before we even recorded vocals. How on earth did these guys have enough time to create, produce, record, rap and promote this thing with a full head of steam? This amazing collaboration got me thinking and I felt a little teary-eyed thinking how Max and I did just that. We originally started this blog to help Max get a job and to promote our Movember page but it has become so much more in the past few months. It has become a bond for Max and I and an outlet for our creative energy. (Cue the emotional acoustic ballad) After working with Max over the past several months I really had a great appreciation for what Kanye and Jay-Z did with Watch the Throne and I appreciate a good collaboration far more now than before the Bro Journey started. Team Tallsome, for the win … HEYOO!!!
4.) Professional Athletes went on strike
I’m pretty pissed off at the NBA. I really only watch the league heavily after the college basketball season has subsided and the playoffs are getting underway so I didn’t miss much during the lockout. I saved a few dollars by not gambling on terrible match-ups like the Bobcats and Grizzlies on a Tuesday night. No, I’m pissed off at the NBA because NOBODY drafted Butler Bulldogs Forward and two time national runner-up Matt Howard. What an incredible talent that they all passed on!! If anybody has any clue to his whereabouts please direct him to the bro journey so we can relive the fateful moment when I told talked trash to him during a high school basketball game. I’m so emotionally charged by Matt Howard not getting drafted because I lost a bet to my best friend Eric about Howard’s draft status and I’m yet to fork over what is owed. I haven’t forgotten Bubby, I’ll pay up…some day.
Oh yeah, the NFL and NBA players both went on strike because they wanted more compensation and better healthcare packages. In related news, Ron Artest changed his name to Meta World Peace. Yeah, the same guy who cost Reggie Miller his final shot at a title has changed his name to Meta World Peace.
5.) Spotify / Turntable.fm / Pandora 2.0 / Grooveshark / Rebecca Black Tube / Rdio / Last.Fm
In case you didn’t know, Bon Iver is a band’s name. They are lead by Justin what’s-his-name and they hail from Eau Claire, Wisconsin (wherever the fudge that is). If you’re a hipster (or want to be one) you’ll have dissected his new album and compared it to his last and really felt the raw emotion coming from his voice and wondered quietly to yourself if you too could spend a winter in the Wisconsiwilderness recording an album that caught the attention of major record labels, Kanye West and the Jonas Brothers.
Anyway, Bon Iver released an album this year and it’s going to win every “Best Of” album list you’ve probably already read about 1,000 times. Rightfully so, their self-titled second album is truly an album you must digest in multiple sittings and a great piece of folk / pop rock. We WILL hear more from Bon Iver in the future (probably because Max won’t shut up about them).
Ok, what did that have to do with Spotify and the other music services listed in this title? I had no idea who Bon Iver was before this summer when I was introduced to said music services that facilitated my exploration into many different artists, songs and genres. The music industry was turned upside down in 2011 and it will never be the same. Average people like me will be able to drop names of obscure bands and quarrel with hipsters for extremely cheap or free in the coming years and nothing will ever be the same, ever. I’m glad I could get that off my chest.
Blah Blah. Kim Kardashian and The Royal Wedding happened. A ton of my friend’s got married or engaged or are destined to be wed one day so that’s kind of cool. This is fun.
7.) Steve Jobs Passed Away
A truly iconic man in the modern world passed away this year and I wanted to end this list and reflect on how truly baffling Steve Jobs life was in terms of the sheer mass of his success (and failures).
Everyone knows the story of Steve Jobs and how he left college early, (he went to Reid College in Portland which is also home to one of my favorite authors, Don Miller) started Apple, left Apple, returned to Apple, made a bazillion dollars and changed the face of technology and the world forever. Steve didn’t just overcome incredible odds and live through the wormhole of one success, he built an empire, cultivated a generation, facilitated a revolution and gave hipsters everywhere something to argue about. Steve changed the modern man and we thank him dearly for his contribution.
What I’d like to end on concerning Steve was his unyielding passion and his refusal to live on other people’s terms. Most successful thinkers and mega-moguls throughout the world have that same characteristic. I shared that sentiment with you not to inspire you to start work on a Google killer or try and buy Necker Island from Richard Branson, but to inspire you to live life on your own terms and fight for what you believe in, just like Steve did.
On that note, Max’s Twitter for Mac is broken so he won’t notice if everyone tweets at me all day increasing my demanding lead in the Team Tallsome Klout War of 2011. Thanks for tuning in friends and we cannot wait for the New Year and the new journeys we have in store!!
As a parting gift from 2011, here’s Googles year end video that will surely make you cry. We aren’t afraid to admit, we were sobbing by the end. Enjoy and have a safe New Year.