The Top and Bottom of 2016

Doing a most popular/least popular for the year is a statistical trick, since some articles have been around for the better part of a decade while others went up just last week. But I feel reasonable doing it anyway, since the new stuff tends to outrank the old stuff anyway. Plus, it’s not like the fate of the world hinges on accurately interpreting the metrics of Teleport City. And so it is with great fanfare played by a monkey with a squeeze box that I present to you the top and bottom ten most/least popular articles on the site during 2016.

Cultural Gutter: Into the Woods

At its core there is something very British about folk horror, so tied is it to the landscape of rural and semi-rural England, the ancient Pagan rites and cultures that, because they did not write anything down, lend themselves so readily to mystery, interpretation, and myth-making. Eventually, however, as an American lad, I started thinking about American folk horror and, as is my way, the places where American folk horror and science fiction intersect.

Alcohol Professor: Christmas with Nick and Nora

On December 5, 1933, the United States ended Prohibition. A scant six months later, in May of 1934, MGM released The Thin Man, the first in a series of comedic mystery films based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett and starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as a couple of high-living socialites who solve the occasional murder.

Holiday Entertainment Extravaganza

I enjoy Christmas. And I’m not just talking about dark Pagan Yule. I’m talking the full-on materialistic “go see the windows at Saks” and listen to “The Little Drummer Boy” version of Christmas. This love of the holiday season manifests itself the same way most of my loves manifest themselves: with the obsessive assembly of a playlist.

Deep End

Deep End is a film about the awkwardness of transition and the disillusionment that inevitably follows a time of idealism. It was released in 1970, when the dying days of the Summer of Love were giving way to the cynicism of the 1970s; when people swept up in the promise of revolution finally had to face the reality of promises not kept.

Cultural Gutter: These Lonely, Haunted Places

Ancient sacred sites and secret government installations benefit from remote settings for a number of reasons. Suddenly the ancient English countryside is a patchwork of chain link fences, barbed wire, “No Trespassing” signs, mysterious aerials and satellite dishes and armed guards at checkpoints.