We're All Damaged

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, Decade.

Last year when I applied for my blogging license from the American Blog Writing Federation in Washington, DC, I was told that there are two rules to blogging. 1. You must possess an unhealthy, overblown sense of your own self-importance. (Umm . . . check.) And, 2. at the end of any significant period of time, you are required to formulate an arbitrary, wholly subjective list of that period’s best things.

I didn’t see every movie of the decade. Nor did I read every book or buy every album. However, I did consume a lot of those things, and so I have as much authority as any random moron you might see roaming the street yelling at traffic. So, here are my favorites of the last ten years, in no particular order. You’ll note that I’ve listed eleven books instead of ten. I couldn’t help myself, so deal with it.

The Royal Tenenbaums
No Country for Old Men
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Little Miss Sunshine
25th Hour
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Hangover
Lost in Translation

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot--Wilco
Kid A--Radiohead
All That You Can't Leave Behind--U2
Aha Shake Heartbreak--Kings of Leon
Funeral--Arcade Fire
Hot Fuss--Killers
Gimme Fiction--Spoon
Rush of Blood to the Head--Coldplay
Fleet Foxes--Fleet Foxes
Vampire Weekend--Vampire Weekend

Feast of Love--Charles Baxter
The Road--Cormac McCarthy
The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay--Michael Chabon
Empire Falls--Richard Russo
The Human Stain--Philip Roth
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close--Jonathan Safron Foer
The Corrections--Jonathan Franzen
Me Talk Pretty One Day--David Sedaris
Disgrace--JM Coetzee
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time--Mark Haddon.
On Beauty--Zadie Smith

What do you think? Am I a sexy idiot with great hair? Am I a misunderstood, sexy genius with cheekbones like those of a cartoon super hero? Do you have a better list? Are you not wearing pants? Feel free to comment below using the official The Norman Nation Comment Box.

Happy New Year.



  1. I'm so with you on almost everything here, but On Beauty? Really? I know she's foxy and all, but I couldn't stand it. I meant to call you out on this over email, but the public forum is even better.

  2. Get rid of the Killers, Fleet Foxes, and Vampire Weekend for the first Strokes: This is It, the Sigur Ros: Agaetus Byrjun, and Broken Social Scene: You Forgot in People. You also chose the wrong Spoon album; tough choice between the two, but Girls Can Tell or Kill the Moonlight are way better than Gimme Fiction. And, I know you want a U2 pick in there, but I would put some Interpol or Bright Eyes in there instead. I will allow the books and movies to remain unchanged.

  3. http://2010.bloggies.com/

  4. Norman,
    First of all, I’m a straight guy, so you can keep your underwear on while you read.
    I’m not going to comment on the music list, I think most of the songs are obvious but, honestly, I have no taste myself; I can easily be listening to a Bach Piano concerto and then the black eyed peas’ Boom Boom (?? – I know…)

    On the literature - I can’t believe you didn't read any classic this year, especially having lived in London for the first half of it. One of my favorite writers once said “the greatest tragedy of my life is to have read The Pickwick Papers because I can't go back and read it again for the first time”. Unless you read one of the russian classics and those, excluding "the brothers Karamasov", never make top 10. On the contemporary novelist field you mind I suggest you read “a heart so white” by Javier Marias.

    Good choice for the movies, I would add “flashback of a fool” and “Requiem for a dream” (which I watched for the first time) and both would make part of my top 10 2010 list.

    Norman, how about writing something more substantial? Are you still finding out where you stand in life with the blog introspection (you got a daughter for f*** sake, you should know by now if you have kids)? Or you just don’t want to become miserable and choose to live your bourgeois personality 95% of the time? If it’s a question of money don’t worry, I would buy your book!

    Hope you drink more red wine.

    Happy new year!

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