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Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Best of 2008

Posted by Tariq al Haydar

by Tariq al Haydar

2008 has been an eventful year for me: I started a new job, I got engaged, I'm close to getting a book published, I drank plenty of root beer. Really a banner year all around. So now I'll list a few things that captured my attention during the past twelve months:

1- The Wu-Tang Clan's "8 Diagrams" and GZA's "Pro Tools":

Technically, "8 Diagrams" was a 2007 release, but I spent much of the past year listening to it. Interestingly, both Method Man and I are "trying to bring the sexy back like Timbaland and Timberlake." As for "Pro Tools," it was released the day before I spent 14 hours on a plane from DC to Riyadh, so we spent a lot of quality time together right off the bat. We have since become very good friends.

Other musical highlights include The Roots' "Rising Down", plus the discoveries of Kidz in the Hall, Elzhii and Jay Electronica. I'd like to get my hands on the new Kanye, Guns n Roses and Q-Tip.

2- Heath Ledger's The Joker:

I'm sure the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor will end up in the clutches of Sir Ben Kingsley for his role in "The House of Sand and Fog 2: Reflections on the Human Condition Through the Prism of the Eighteenth-Century Clergy" or some other such crowd-pleaser. No matter. We all know The Joker was the greatest character of 2008, and that Heath Ledger was a bad, bad man. My only criticism of The Dark Knight: You can't have popcorn in an IMAX theater.

3- Lionel Messi:

I know a lot of people think soccer is boring. Well, soccer is a lot like rap: %95 of it is crap. You just need to find that elusive %5. In world soccer, 3.7% of the %5 = FC Barcelona. Watch one game. Watch them beautifully destroy the opposition. And most of all, watch Lionel Messi, the diminutive Argentine they call "The Flea." It's amazing how it seems nobody can ever take the ball from him. Ever.

4- The Final Season of The Wire:

If you haven't seen every single episode of The Wire, you're a stupid person. Sorry, but it's true.

5- The Los Angeles Lakers:

In the summer of 2007, when Kevin Garnett was traded to Boston, I felt joy. Finally, I thought, KG may be able to get a ring. And so, for the entirety of the 07/08 season, I was praying that the Boston Celtics could somehow win a championship for Garnett. Prior to Game 1 of the Finals, I felt the same way. I was very happy when the Celtics went up 3-1.

And then I went through one of the strangest experiences of my life. I can't share all the details, because it's something you can't quite communicate. If I tried to describe what I went through, you would think that your boy Tariq had gone bonkers. That's how it would seem from the outside looking in. I CAN tell you that I had a very strange experience which had SOMETHING to do with the Los Angeles Lakers, which is in itself very odd. Also, this experience I went through in June directly led to my meeting my wife-to-be on July 9th. In a way, the Lakers played a role in my getting married. Crazy, right?

So I guess that makes me a Laker fan.

Happy 2009, everyone!


Moose said...

Yeh, that should make you a Lakers fan, Tariq. And if anyone hasn't read my holidays piece on Hibachi, go over there. Anyways, nice list of stuff that happened in 2008. You know another thing that happened in 2008? Moose became a frequent SLAM commentor! *starts doing end zone victory dance around romm*. Nobody cares. I know Anyways, except for that, I have to add that the Celtics happened, Stephen Curry happened (and is happening) and Rajon Rondo happened (and, again, is happening). You didn't expect me to get through a comment without Rajon, did you? Anyways, predicted things that will happen for 2009 . . . LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo (MORE), and a buncha other stuff. And congrats on your book and future marriage, Tariq. Thanks again for the '08 rundown.

Moose said...

Amendment: Not wife-to-be, your marriage. Sorry about that. And you say that 3.7% of the 5% of good soccer is Barca . . . I have to say that the other 2.3% left belongs to Ronaldo de Assis Moreara, better known as Ronaldinho. Dude is amazing. Put in Robinho there too, anothe rising Brazilian star. Thierry Henry is great as well. The Arsenal Gunners in the British Premier League is great as well. Come to think of it, Wayne Rooney is fun to watch, hothead or not. Soccer is fun stuff. And I hate to say it, but Christiano Ronaldo is amazing as well.

AR said...

"The Arsenal Gunners"


Justin Walsh said...

The flea is thought to be have potential to be the next Ronaldhino.

Hursty said...

LOL. Moose can't add haha. Arsenal suck btw. Go Man U- 2001 and on baby.

TADOne said...

Me and Tariq share the Wu bond quite well. The Lakers bond, not so much. Soccer? Meh. Heath Ledger? Dude better win that Academy Award. Nuff said.