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The Otter Lodge Year in Review – 2015

Retirement of the Year

David Letterman

Screen grabs taken from the the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday, October 1, 2009 on CBS. Letterman tells story of extortion case.

To be clear, this award is meant to recognize a marvelous and distinguished career, not to celebrate the fact that someone’s going away. If it was, it would go to Floyd Mayweather. But Dave! Dave, Dave, Dave. I haven’t watched Letterman in years, but I will still miss him. In my opinion, one admittedly governed by the fact that I never saw Johnny Carson or any of the old timers work, thus essentially pitting Dave against only Leno and Conan for the title of King of Late Night…David Letterman was the King of Late Night. The best ever. As a kid I would force myself to stay up until 10:30 to watch Dave, eager to see utterly pointless and completely hilarious bits like “Bear in the Pool” or “Will it Float?” or the critically underrated series where he sent Rupert, the guy who ran the deli around the corner, out in Manhattan to torment innocent people. Letterman did stuff he thought was funny, and he didn’t give a damn if you liked it or not, and this was what made him the funniest late night host in the world.


Otter of the Year

Pup 681

I want this job.


Song of the Year

Hotline Bling – Drake

This music video has 226 million views. Please do not watch it. It’s not that the song is bad—hey, it’s our song of the year, after all—it’s just that it’s quite confusing. I’ve been watching Drake from afar for a while now, and have struggled mightily to understand his allure. The man is one of the biggest stars in music today, and yet his work is laden with question marks and paradoxes. The whole thing is a boondoggle!

What do I mean? Let me give you an example: in our song of the year, Hotline Bling—and again, please don’t listen to it, because it’s fucking terrible—it’s hard to tell if he’s rapping or singing. He sort of sits in this purgatory in between the two, doing neither well. Also, this sack of shit worldwide music sensation employs near constant voice modulation, i.e. autotune, but even with the help of the computers, his voice never approaches a tone that is pleasing to the human ear. What artistic choice! While I admit I lack the sophistication to appreciate any of Mr. Drake’s work, I also understand my limits as a critic, namely the ability to understand why anyone would willingly listen to this song. Our song of the year: Hotline Bling.


Album of the Year

3 – HoneyHoney

In contrast with our song of the year recipient, HoneyHoney’s 3—the best work to date from my favorite folk/Americana duo—favors more traditional musical elements like melody, harmony, and tune. First time I can remember that I haven’t been disappointed by a beloved artist’s new release. Buy it.


Film of the Year

Roar (1981)

Released decades ago, yes, but RE-released in theaters no one has ever heard of select theaters in 2015. This movie has zero script or plot; it’s just 90 minutes of lions destroying a house and trying to kill a family. It’s simultaneously terrible and excellent. The theater run is over and it’s impossible to find on DVD, but message me if you’re interested. I have a digital copy.


Author of the Year

Gillian Flynn


Enormously famous for the smash hit Gone Girl, Flynn is so hot right now. I’ve actually read all of her books except Gone Girl—I am so damn counterculture—but can reasonably assume that book is excellent, too, because all of her work is. The woman brings it. If you like raw, turbulent stories with a big dose of weird, pick up Dark Places and be terrified.


Internet Phrase of the Year


In the land of run-on sentences and total chaos over the usage of “you’re,” we’ve—against all odds—managed to dumb ourselves down even further. Yes indeed, the ‘ol internet is at it again, and the online deconstruction of the English language must be nearing completion. This year, we at the Lodge are recognizing the phrase “all the feels.” Generally written in all caps, this term is presumably used to describe something—a video, a song, a piece of writing, perhaps—that made the person in question experience an emotion. Or, if we’re to take it literally, every emotion. Joy, anger, sadness, hope, empathy, et al, all at the same time. Looking past the fact that this is impossible, it’s curious how fixated we are nationally on using language that makes us sound like developing toddlers. Even if we were to say something made us feel “all the feelings,” that would still be obnoxious, but at least grammatically correct. “All the feels” is intentionally wrong, and we use it not despite but because of that fact, as if speaking like a drooling child who struggles with the basics of language is some form of comedy, I guess? God send a plague.


Man of the Year

Bob Ross

This is Bob’s second consecutive Man of the Year award. He is love, embodied in the human form. We need more Bob, less…hell, less everything else. As we bask in the joyous observation of Christmas and Chanukah, let his words flow through you, my friends. Be the person Bob would want you to be. Alleluia. Allelu.

One Comment

  1. Hector Of Troy

    What a time to be alive! I may argue with you about the album of the year though…The Sheepdogs made quite the record this year! Either way, great recap, Mr. Neumann!

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