Today would have been the 81st birthday of Phil Ochs, the 1960s protest/folk singer who in many ways still stands as one of the most urgent, intelligent, and political spokesman of his generation, and who probably would have gotten a lot more adoration and respect if he hadn’t lived under the shadow of his musical cohort Bob Dylan. 2021 also marks the 45th anniversary of the tragic death of Ochs, who died by hanging himself at his sister’s house in Far Rockaway, New York in April 1976. But it is Ochs’s life that is going to get the spotlight treatment here, and with overdue good measure.
Today would have been the 75th birthday of the late Doug Kenney, who was possibly the funniest American satirist of all time, most remembered as the original editor and co-founder of National Lampoon magazine and co-writer on Animal House and for doing the same zany duty plus producing the film Caddyshack, two films which remain for many people, some of the funniest comedy films of all time.
Sorry for the last minute post here, folks. I know I am not giving you a lot of time prior to the holidays to grab any of these treasures, but I only have the excuse of…well, nothing. I have been forgetful of late. Therefore, please accept my apologies and I hope you find something in this list for the D&D player(s) in your life.
Here’s the 2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Dungeons & Dragons Edition.
So this is the “new normal?” Or is it a return to the “old normal?” Either way, regardless of how you spent this past year, regardless of your thoughts on the world, politics, and economics of the world, furrowing your eyebrows at this or that or embracing all the necessary and arguably unnecessary changes in the world, one needs a constant personal and universal soundtrack to keep going, to keep sane, to keep grounded and inspired. As the newest round of the holiday season gets ready to dawn upon us, music not only acts as the perfect and always obvious choices for even the most discriminating of tastes, but also something that brings much-needed relief and communion to end another challenging year and brace everyone for what lies ahead in 2022. So as always, here’s my picks for some of the sonic highlights released this year, spanning all genres and tastes.
We had hoped it wouldn’t come to be, but 2021 turned out to be more of the same from the previous year thanks to the pandemic. Lots of hunkering-down isolating or enjoying the great outdoors more often than usual. And once again, books played a big part in helping us all cope and maintain some kind of normalcy. Now more than ever, books in all their various formats will make a great gift this holiday season. This year saw a resurgence of Dune; illustrated versions of J.R.R. Tolkien works; memoirs from the world of rock and heavy metal; graphic novel collections; fun, pop-culture-themed cookbooks; stories from the imaginations of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Grady Hendrix; continuing adventures from the Star Trek, Star Wars, and Marvel universes, and much more.
Check out our Holiday Gift Guide 2021 for Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks for our favorite holiday gift picks for the readers in your life.