Best of 2022
A long list of the best everything I came across this year.
A happy new year to you reading this!
2022 is finally over, and here are the best things I came across in it.
(This is going to be a looooooooong post.)
To clarify, most of the art below are things that I consumed in 2022, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they were released this year.
Some lists below are ranked, but most aren’t. In any unranked list, the first entry is my favourite one.
See previous years’ favourites: 2021.
Here are the best songs I listened to in 2022, ranked.
Spotify playlist here. YouTube links given for each.
[Rank]. [Artist Name] - [Song Name]
25. Young Thug feat. Birdman - Constantly Hating
24. Kendrick Lamar - Mirror
23. Declan McKenna - Why Do You Feel So Down
22. Lorde - The Love Club
21. John Denver - Leaving, On a Jet Plane (“Greatest Hits” version)
📃Stuff I Wrote*
Apart from the monthly recommendation posts, I published 9 entries on this blog in 2022. Here they are, sorted by popularity.
I listened to 18 albums this year. Here are the ones that stood out and were constantly on repeat.
[Rank]. [Artist] - [Album] (Release Year)
05. Clairo - Immunity (2019)
- Subtly produced pop that manages to be touching and melancholic.
04. Mac Miller - Circles (2020)
- At once somber yet hopeful, Mac Miller’s last and posthumous release was endlessly listenable.
03. Guns N’ Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1987)
- An onslaught of primal sonic ingenuity that made me realize I should really listen to more rock.
02. Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (2022)
- Kendrick’s first album after more than five years not only didn’t disappoint, but was sprinkled with bangers and tackled themes I’ve never before seen in rap.
01. Tame Impala - Currents (2015)
- Smooth, inventive, groovy, dreamy, masterful.
I read 8 books this year. Surprisingly and regrettably not a single one truly blew me away. Still, here are the notable ones.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Touching, moving, and engrossing, but at the same time I never want to read another book by Sally Rooney ever again.
Must read for hip hop fans. Worth the purchase for the illustrations and colouring alone, which outshine the writing in a lot of places.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Good story, better book cover.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
A meandering story with interesting and beautiful parts throughout, but that doesn’t quite come together as a whole.
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnuld
A short read with useful information. Will make book notes soon.
What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Kramer
A (too) long read about an American presidential election from 1988. This book is the reason I couldn’t get to more books. Will write a review soon.
📄Blog posts / Articles / Essays
I read a lot of great stuff online this year, even more than books honestly. Here are my favourite pieces.
Absolute Favourites, Must Read
More Great Stuff, Categorized…
Entertainment, Pop Culture
I watched 38 movies this year. 22 of those were films I saw for the first time (of which 9 I caught in theatres), and the rest (16) I rewatched.
The only newly released movie from 2022 that I thought was truly incredible was Belle.
Otherwise, almost all my favourite films of the year were rewatches, including The Big Short (2015), Superbad (2007), Zindagi Ni Milegi Dobara (2011), The Departed (2006), Spirited Away (2001), Memento (2000), Dhamaal (2007), Sicario (2016), Hot Fuzz (2007), The World’s End (2013), and Arrival (2016).
🧠Cool Internet Stuff
Some cool stuff on the internet you should know about.
The latest tool from OpenAI that’s recently driven the world crazy.
I mean, pretty much what it says on the tin. Crazy cool.
Watch random TV footage from any decade for hours and bask in the glow of nostalgia. I constantly keep going back to the 2000’s version.
A website that combines car driving footage and radio from around the world for you to watch. It’s just… strangely relaxing.
⚽Events and Experiences
As far as live shows and events go, four things stood out for me in 2022:
I went to a Kendrick Lamar concert,
I went to a Kid Cudi concert,
I watched (“heard”?) a live orchestra, and most importantly
I watched Argentina win the World Cup (OMG!!!!!).
I did a lot of things for the first time in my life as well, including mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, playing tennis, and playing squash.
The All-In podcast is the only podcast I actually “follow” and listen to every new episode of.
Other than that I’m constantly listening to whatever stuff I get my hands on with no sequence or logic.
Here are some outstanding podcast episodes that stood out this year.
[Podcast / Host Name] - [Episode / Guest Name]
Some YouTube videos that are already classics.
Oh hello, you’re alive (4 min.) (existential)
The Hustle (2 min.) (tech / satire)
The Art of Cinema (3 min.) (film / montage / beautiful)
Give up on Your Dreams of Becoming a Baker (1 min.) (song)
The Portal Story (3 min.) (montage / monologue / stories)
Papyrus - SNL (3 min.) (skit / hilarious)
Welcome to Anime (A Bo Burnham Parody) (4 min.) (song / satire / anime)
Paro: The Feeling That Everything You Do Is Somehow Wrong (2 min.) (relatable AF)
10 Programmer Stereotypes (5 min.) (funny / accurate AF)
That’s too damn bad (1 min.) (funny)
Matt Damon Talks About Winning an Oscar (4 min.) (interview / story)
The Japanese House - Lilo (4 min.) (song / incredible music video)
Funniest Joke I Ever Heard (2 min.) (funny)
It’s My Birthday (17 min.) (my all time favourite stand up set)
history of the entire world, i guess (20 min.) (a massive info dump that lives up to the title)
Charlie Kauffman | BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series (42 min.) (a touching Kauffman-esque talk about creativity and life)
YouTube ate into a lot of TV time for better and for worse. Still, here are my TV favourites.
i. Stand Up Specials
Specials that killed it in every way.
Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian (2022, Netflix)
Sam Morrill: I Got This (2020, YouTube)
Some shows that stood out.
Better Call Saul - full series
The greatest prequel ever made in any medium. A stellar companion to Breaking Bad. Seasons 4 and 6.1 especially stand out.
Looking for Alaska - miniseries
The TV adaptation of John Green’s bestselling YA novel took plenty of creative liberties from the source, for mostly great results. Very affecting.
Unbelievable - miniseries
This is an eight-episode miniseries based on true events that extensively portrays the detective work that goes into cracking a sexual assault case that happened in 2008 in Colorado, US. The show is meticulously crafted, hard hitting, engaging, tragic, and hopeful.
Barry - seasons 1-3
Barry is one of the best TV shows to come out in the last five years. You can watch the season 1 trailer here, but it’s better if you go in completely blank. It’s the true spiritual successor to Breaking Bad, in that it explores one man’s descent into evil and the self-denial that it entails. Did I mention that it’s actually a comedy?
Eternally Confused and Eager for Love - season 1
Hilarious and binge-worthy. Sort of an Indian version of Scrubs, complete with a protagonist constantly talking to himself and thinking out loud.
Comicstaan - season 3
Season 3 of my favourite reality show didn’t disappoint.
Silicon Valley - seasons 1-3
Pitch perfect satire and unstoppably hilarious. Can’t wait to watch the rest.
The most memorable individual TV episodes I watched in 2022, ranked.
08. The West Wing, “7A WF 83429” [S05E01]
07. Avatar: The Last Airbender, “Zuko Alone” [S02E07]
06. Kota Factory, “Packaging” [S02E05]
05. The West Wing, “Memorial Day” [S05E22]
04. Silicon Valley, “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency” [S01E08]
03. Unbelievable, “Episode 8” [S01E08]
02. Barry, “Loud, Fast, and Keep Going” [S01E07]
01. Better Call Saul, “Plan and Execution” [S06E07]
Things I read or heard this year that struck a chord one way or another.
“Out of all the unimportant things, football is the most important.”
- St. John Paul II
“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody.”
- Anthony Bourdain
“The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.”
- Charles Bowen
“The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
- J.B.S. Haldane
“The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”
- Amos Tversky
“As you become an adult, you realize that things around you weren't just always there; people made them happen. But only recently have I started to internalize how much tenacity everything requires. That hotel, that park, that railway. The world is a museum of passion projects.”
- John Collison
“There may be more beautiful times, but this one is ours.”
- Jean-Paul Sartre
“No one wants to make The Chronic. Everybody wants to make Beats by Dre headphones.”
- Aziz Ansari, Nightclub Comedian
“I have led a toothless life, he thought. A toothless life. I have never bitten into anything. I was waiting. I was reserving myself for later on—and I have just noticed that my teeth have gone.”
- Jean-Paul Sartre
“It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little about it.”
- Carl Sagan
“Most people underestimate the greatness of anyone greater than themselves.”
- Richard Muller
“All the kids have always known / That the emperor wears no clothes / But they bow down to him anyway / Because it's better than being alone”
- Arcade Fire, Ready to Start
“Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.”
- Harold Abelson
“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
- Oscar Wilde
“If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”
- Cardinal Richelieu
“Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it's marginal, right?”
- Donald Trump, answering a phone call from a 7-year-old on Christmas
“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”
- Yousuf Karsh
“It takes five hundred shows to get a trick right, and more than a thousand to make it feel good.”
- David Copperfield
“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
- Thomas Mann
“A work of fine art is "fine" not because it is "refined" or "finished," but because it is an end (finis, Latin, means end) in itself. It does not move toward some result beyond itself. It is, as Emerson said of beauty, its own excuse for being.”
- Mortimer J. Adler
“Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills.”
- Arthur Schopenhauer
“Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn’t know if she would ever find out where it was and become part of it.”
- Salley Rooney, Normal People
“His producer and friend Toshio Suzuki told me that in the early days of their studio, Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki would work from 9 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., and that in recent years he has mellowed somewhat and goes home at midnight.”
- excerpt from an interview
“There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist.”
- Oscar Wilde
“Death had to take [Teddy] Roosevelt sleeping, for had he been awake, there most certainly would have been a fight.”
- Thomas Marshall
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
- Mary Oliver
“You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars on your side, you may discover that you are at the center of a vast circle of invisible friends whom you will never get to know, but who love you. And that is an immense reward.”
- Jorge Luis Borges
“The truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do.”
- Ursula K. Le Guin
“Only a few films are transcendent, and work upon our minds and imaginations like music or prayer or a vast belittling landscape. Most movies are about characters with a goal in mind, who obtain it after difficulties either comic or dramatic. “2001: A Space Odyssey” is not about a goal but about a quest, a need. It does not hook its effects on specific plot points, nor does it ask us to identify with Dave Bowman or any other character. It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence.”
- Roger Ebert, 2001: A Space Odyssey movie review
“Art is in what you leave out.”
- Kevin Kelley