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Lacklustre

It's been tough to pick the best bits in 2006, but nonetheless here's my list....

Films:

- United 93: Watching this film makes your pulse increase, not because you're excited, but because you know the outcome.
- Children of Men: Great British dystopian film with nativity-esque parallels and a rare good performance by Michael Caine.
- Pan's Labyrinth: There are not many films that combine the Spanish Civil War with fairy-tales, but if there were this would be the best one.

As far as cinema is concerned, this year goes to show that big American names don't make good films. The second Pirates of the Caribbean film was absolutely dire, X-Men 3 was an exercise in special effects (and bugger all else) and The Da Vinci Code was just plain boring. The British market (A Cock and Bull Story, V For Vendetta and Severance being honourable mentions) has come a long way.

Music:

- Jose Gonzalez / Veneer: A half-hour masterpiece from a bloke and a guitar.

Unfortunately, the music scene this year has been awful, devoid of much to shout about. A good few artists who had great albums in 2005 have gone on to produce somewhat lacklustre follow-ups, such as Snow Patrol, Keane, The Killers, The Strokes and Kasabian. I only hope that 2007 improves matters somewhat.

In fact, lacklustre would really be my word for the year. Internationally, things are pretty much where they were a year ago. Creatively, we've not blown ourselves away and as far as technology goes this would be the year that promised lots and delivered little - or delayed it until 2007.

Personally, 2006 has been pretty good for me. I've managed to get a promotion, pass two gradings and have also managed to make progress on my house. I feel like I'm getting somewhere, something I hope continues into 2007. Christmas has been great, allowing me the opportunity to unwind and spend time with those that matter. It's a strange thought, however, that this year I'm going to be 35. I remember being a kid and thinking that anyone in their 20s must be really old. How things change.

Talking of change, what would I like to see this year? Well, I'd like to see the UK become closer to Europe and leave the US behind. I'd like to see the British actually be a nation that does something when it's pissed off (remember the poll-tax marches, anyone?) and not sit around complaining about it incessantly. I'd also like to see governments tackle green issues in a way that is not purely based upon taxation - a blunt tool.

Enough of what I want. Whatever you want out of 2007, I hope you get it - Have a happy new year.
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