The year in kung-fu

While trying desperately to reconcile the cultural landscape of 2004, intrepid reporter Choncy Jones stumbled across an ancient Vietnamese/Chinese/Thai-fusion adage that urges one to achieve a balance between inner and outer beauty before attempting to battle the earth’s demons. Knowing that there is no chance to find the inner equivalent to his outer exquisiteness, Choncy recruited kung-fu commando and desert wise man Bill Tsitsos – man of centerfold-like beauty inside and out – to wage the war with him.

Film critic top tens – To those cowardly mice who would celebrate the pedestrian crisis of "Sideways" and milquetoast angst of "Garden State" while ignoring the raw poetics of "Brown Bunny": you will fall to Cassavetes cai.

Hip-hop – What happened?! How is it that this country’s most viable art form suddenly sucks so bad? All we have to choose from are monosyllabic party anthems and the righteous ego of overeducated, straight-edge, vegan, backpack assholes rhyming "antidisestablishmentarianism" with "Kierkegaard’s aquarium." You fools get the soulful san xing.

Political mopers – Gee whiz. Despite all the passionate efforts of Portland’s activists, Higher One and the Republican Party rendered them as flaccid as the U.S. political system they seemed so invested in. For about fifteen minutes. Tenacious taijiquan for you, chump.

Painting – Portland’s canvas-bound options: cute robots dry humping baby sparrows on marshmallow clouds surrounded by sad bookish girls with bangs, or color field. C’mon, give me something challenging! Meditative ma bu to your weak brushes.