My best of 2016:
Music: A Seat at the Table by Solange, fresh and loose and urgent
Book: Superintelligence: almost unreadably dry, but the single most perspective-altering thing I’ve ever read.
Comics: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew: astonishingly ambitious and virtuosic, like an artifact imported by Borges from a parallel universe
Art: Alexander Calder room at the National Gallery in DC, a perfect meeting of art and architecture and curation
Tech: Cannabidiol (CBD oil), as close to a cure for my pain as I’m going to get. Who needs the FDA?
TV: Happy Valley: an unforgettable lead performance, in a nuanced world
Film: The Lobster, weird and unforgettable
Theater: The Wolves, accessible and current and deeply real.
Reporting: David Fahrenthold, 21st century reporting-in-public meets old school pavement pounding. Thanks, Jeff Bezos
Commentary: Ta-Nehisi Coates. Between the World and Me was unforgettable, and his exit profile of Obama was incredible and much more insightful than David Remnick’s.
Cartooning: Randall Munroe, XKCD. As he gets older and loses that initial creative urgency, he’s moving into more reflective and less cute material4.
Criticism: Emily Nussbaum, still the best
Email newsletter: Stratechery, brilliant and thought-provoking week after week
Meme: #CarefreeBlackKids2k16 by the glorious Heben Nigatu
Podcast: The Ezra Klein show: smart and curious host, smart and curious guests
Podcast episode: Adrien Chen on Longform, providing the earliest warning of Russia getting behind Donald Trump