Tim Mitchell Thought the Best and Worst About Everything This Year [Bye-Bye 2011]

Tim Mitchell tried his best to work within the format that we gave him for our year-end list but it didn’t work out so well. But being fierce nerds, we know that sometimes you have to go’on ahead an let a square peg be a square peg. So here’s Tim Mitchell’s picks for best and worst of everything in all of its contrarian glory. 

Best/Worst Book of the Year: KILLING LINCOLN, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

Why It’s The Worst: Because O’Reilly, a self-proclaimed devotee of Lincoln, finally gets around to co-authoring a book about the Civil War president and then proceeds to get facts wrong–many, many, many facts wrong.

Why It’s The Best: Who else can screw up the facts in a historical book, make the bestseller list regardless of how bad it is, and then reflexively blame the “liberal” media for his own intellectual ineptitude? (That is, who else other than Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin, Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart, etc.) Keep it classy, O’Reilly.

Honorable Mention: THE SNOW ANGEL, by Glenn Beck and Nicole Baart. Yep, the guy who promotes one paranoid, unfounded conspiracy theory after another has also co-authored a heart-warming family Christmas drama. It’s like finding out that Senator Joseph McCarthy liked to paint adorable pictures of kittens, puppies and teddy bears in his spare time.


Best/Worst Movie of the Year: JACK AND JILL

Why It’s The Worst: There is not enough room anywhere for me to explain why I think JACK AND JILL is the worst movie of 2011 — actually, the fact that Al Pacino is in this movie and he never gets a single opportunity to go full Scarface on Sandler is proof enough.

Why It’s The Best: It’s the best example from 2011 of a comedic actor who thinks that his shrill, irritating schtick is even funnier because he’s dressed like a woman. In this category, it tops by leaps and bounds Tyler Perry’s MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY–a feat that I thought was impossible. Yet between this movie and 2007’s I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY, I believe we are much, much closer now to seeing Sandler assume the role of Dr. Frankenfurter, the “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania,” in a long overdue sequel to the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you, Sandler!

Honorable Mention: THE LIFE ZONE, an anti-abortion horror movie made by former New Jersey judge/State Senate candidate Ken Del Vecchio. It’s a film about women who are put into captivity and forced to give birth to their unintended offspring so they can achieve eternal salvation. It’s religiously-themed misogynist torture porn for compassionate conservatives!


Best/Worst Album of the Year: SEEKING MAJOR TOM, by William Shatner

Why It’s The Worst: Three words: William Shatner singing. This is yet another Shatner project that has no purpose other than to keep him busy. He turned 80 last May, and I’m convinced that he privately harbors a deep, obsessive fear of dropping dead the moment he stops working. Case in point: In his recent documentary THE CAPTAINS, where Shatner interviews the other actors who played starship captains in the Star Trek franchise, he closes each interview with the question, “What happens when we die?” (Yep, that’s Star Trek in a nutshell: It’s Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic space saga about the permanent dirt nap that all of us are doomed to take, some sooner than others.) I think it’s safe to say that we’ll never hear Shatner performing a rendition of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”.

Why It’s The Best: Other than Shatner, who else with such legendary tone deafness has several albums to his/her name? Nobody, that’s who.

Honorable Mention: The ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED soundtrack. Truly, Alvin and the Chipmunks rank among the kings of kitsch. They started out on a novelty album back in 1958, and they’ve since become harder to kill than an 80s slasher villain. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying, especially now that they’ve invaded the realm of live-action films through the cursed technology of CGI. Damn you, Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. Damn you all the way to singing fluffy rodent hell.


Best/Worst TV Show of the Year: The GOP Presidential Debates.

Why It’s The Worst: The characters are completely unconvincing, and the actors who play them even forget their lines–in front of a live studio audience of all things! If that isn’t bad enough, the dialogue is atrocious. Saying that janitor jobs should go to kids and that people who don’t have insurance should die–who writes this kind of depraved crap?

Why It’s The Best: As worthless as these talking head fests appear to be, they’re still making money for somebody. Thus, this show is guaranteed to finish its run on every channel that carries it no matter how bad it gets, and I predict that it will bust open the bottom of the figurative barrel before it ends. Top that, I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER!

Honorable Mention: TLC’s THE VIRGIN DIARIES. It’s undeniable proof that reality television will remain wanton and dirty in its shameless voyeurism, even when the topics in question are chastity and sexual innocence.


Best/Worst Moments of the Year: The ongoing coverage of U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks in the middle east, as well as the domestic deployment of UAVs for surveillance purposes (for now).

Why It’s The Worst: Are you kidding me? Not only is international law still vague on what is considered legal with UAVs (which is how we can get away with killing Pakistani citizens without formally declaring war against Pakistan), but UAVs are now showing up in our own airspace. With reports detailing the popularity of UAVs among U.S. law enforcement agencies and the budding interest of private corporations in acquiring a few of their own, this issue isn’t going away anytime soon.

Why It’s The Best: Who needs another TERMINATOR movie when we’ve finally got the real thing flying in our own skies? Also, if you think that the issue of gun control is a colossal mess now, just wait until NRA’s lawyers argue that private ownership of armed UAVs is protected by the Second Amendment.

Honorable Mention: The coverage of “extreme” weather patterns in 2011. With all signs pointing to the continuance of these patterns for years to come, it means that we won’t just have any future; we will have a future that’s EXTREME!!! (This is especially true if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, droughts and/or hurricanes.)


Your 2011 Resolution: My only resolution from 2011 was to get help for my self-diagnosed case of chronic passive-aggressive duplicity disorder. I’m sure you can tell from this list how well that resolution went.

Your 2012 Resolution: To watch more trashy Italian horror movies from the 70s and 80s, because they too represent the very best and the very worst of everything they are.