Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Wish I Still Lived In America

Coming soon to a former America near you....

I'm almost 65.  When I was born, Ike was President and it was "Happy Days" America.  I was seven when we elected JFK, and in the 4th grade when he was assassinated.  I was too young for the protests of the 1960's, but I got my licks in at University in the early 1970's.  Like I once said, I came of age in the magical time between the birth control pill and AIDS.  We protested Nixon and what we thought was an unjust war in Vietnam.  We protested Apartheid in South Africa and got our University to divest itself of investments there until Apartheid ended.  We lived in the richest nation on Earth and felt both proud and a little guilty about that.  I saw the creation of the Peace Corps, the creation of Doctors Without Borders, and other innumerable organizations based on kindness to others and on sharing what we had with those less fortunate than ourselves.  I wasn't always proud of my country, but I was always proud to be American.  I would travel to other parts of the world, and be glad at the end that I was coming home to the USA.

This isn't true any more.  And it truly breaks my heart.

I have mostly absented myself from social media this year.  I can't stand the hate and divisiveness; it's making me physically ill, a thing which I cannot afford to have happen, since I am already chronically ill.  I am sickened by the resurgence of bullying, of white supremacy by my neighbors, by politicians who are supposed to represent and protect my interests but look the other way at profligate criminal behavior.  We have the first President ever who did not make public his tax returns.  Who, more importantly, did not divest himself of his financial interests and holdings prior to taking office.  Who regularly profits off of those holdings and interests as a direct result of his presidency.  (When foreign diplomats and representatives stay at his hotels to curry favor, this is a direct violation of our constitution.  But the representatives in our government do nothing, and show no political will to demonstrate any kind of oversight with regard to these undeniably dubious dealings.)

I've been living with this depressing state of affairs along with the rest of us for months now.  I have seen America's standing on the world stage diminish as we become a mockery of what we used to be.  I've been to Italy and France since the election and total strangers ask me what in heaven's name is going on with America?  And I have given up on thinking that things can't possibly get any worse, because they always do.

First it was "very fine people on both sides" of the white supremacy issue.  Then "shithole" countries. And now the Commander-in-Cheeto wants a parade.

A Soviet-style, North Korea-crazy, we-are-the-champions military parade, down the streets of Washington, DC, complete with missiles and tanks and everything else except (possibly) goose-stepping elite soldiers.

This is not America.  This is not how America does things.  We should only use our military prowess as a final resort, after all else has failed.  We should never flaunt it just because the other guys do.  These kinds of parades are what you see in Moscow on May Day, to remind the former Czechoslovakia what could happen if they don't toe the line.

  How much do you wanna bet that he insists on this too?

America should never have to remind the world to toe the line.  We should lead by example, not follow the questionable examples of others.

To the rest of the world, I say that I, for one, am sorry that through a fluke of our electoral process, probably helped by interference from a hostile nation, we elected an insecure racist sociopath who has such doubts about his own masculinity and leadership that he has to stroke his ego with ... a parade. Why are we wasting all this money on massaging his ego (not to mention what it's going to cost to fix the streets, because he wants TANKS) when that money could be going to caring for our veterans, or better equipment for the troops?  It's being spun as a "thank-you" to our military, but our military doesn't want our thanks.  They want our support, which is an entirely different matter. What freaking country is this, anyway?

It isn't America, that's for sure.  Not the one I grew up in.  I wish I still lived there.  I hope maybe someday I will get to go back there again, but the prospect gets dimmer with each passing day.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Time To Say Good-bye

New year, new ideas.  You will have noticed that things have slowed down considerably here at the Citizen of Oa.  Since Charlottesville, I have been less and less able to cope emotionally with the downturn our nation has taken.  So I am taking my leave of most social media.  I will continue to post here if I have something important that I need to say.  I will have a minimal presence on Facebook.  I will for all intents and purposes be abandoning my personal account there.  Unfortunately, my duties as secretary for our local choral group, the River City Singers, include some maintenance of our Facebook page.  This of course necessitates in turn that I be a member of Facebook.  I will no longer be posting to Instagram for the same reasons.  (Really, does anybody give a damn about my vacation snaps or how my pie turned out?  I barely care myself.)  And I rarely Twittered.  I follow a few people of like mind, and have a blistering total of fewer than 20 followers myself.  Not a big footprint there, and no great loss to the world when I leave.  Again, I must preserve my accounts there until such time as our non-profit community chorus has actual money, and a real board of directors, and a proper secretary/director of public relations who can do a proper job in all of those places in support of our fledgling organization.

Parts of my Facebook experience have been immensely enjoyable.  I daresay I will miss searching for new images of vintage horror movie posters during the month of October.  This may be something I will continue to do here.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the ability to reconnect with so many long-lost friends from University, and from X-Philes Anonymous.  You folks in the XPA especially have no idea how much your friendship means to me, and how many times that friendship has, quite literally, saved my life.  I love all of you more than you know, and more than I deserve.

I simply can't take the toxicity of social media any more.  I can't take the stupidity, and I have come to accept that nothing I say will ever sway anyone from the Other Side to a more reasonable point of view, any more than I could ever be swayed myself to support the Cheeto-in-Chief in anything, ever.  The intensity of emotion and the heretofore unexperienced levels of actual hate that have become part of my life have to go away.  [EDITED 1/3/18:  I am not kidding here.  I had no love for some of the previous Republican administrations, Geroge W. in particular, because I believe in my heart that his victory in the 2000 election was achieved fraudulently; that the Supreme Court made the wrong decision when it ruled in his favor; that Gore caved in too quickly for the so-called good of the country, a crime of which Democrats and Liberals are guilty all too often.  But my emotions for the current administration include a deep and visceral hatred, truly.  It's doing me personal harm, on several levels, and the only way I can see forward to fight intelligently is to remove myself from the triggers.  Which probably means I will miss altogether the Tweet that starts World War III, but there you go.]

Those of you who have a similar frame of mind, continue to resist.  I am giving up on the internet, but not the resistance.  I will not stop fighting and struggling and resisting and giving my time, talent and treasure to the removal of the current monsters who think they are running things.  The winds will shift, and I will see it and help it to come about if I can.  But not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.  From here on out, I'm doing my talking in the real world.

Love you all.  All done.  Bye-bye.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Sound familiar?
Yeah, it's a little long, and nobody who really needs to see it will "get" it.

I am a graduate of the University of Virginia, class of 1976.  My wife also attended and graduated from U.Va., albeit at a different time (class of 1983.)  We were married in Charlottesville and spent the first years of our marriage there, saving up for her medical school education, she working in a physician's office and me at the U.Va. undergraduate library.  (This is neither here nor there, but it honestly was the best job I've ever had, and I've always regretted the necessity of leaving it.)  

My point is that because of both our undergraduate experiences and our later residency, the University and the city of Charlottesville hold a very special place in our hearts.  The images of the white nationalists rallying there and carrying flaming torches onto the steps of a building designed by Thomas Jefferson truly broke our hearts.

I tried to come up with words to both express my feelings and ease my heart, but was never entirely successful.  Then I stumbled across an extended Twitter feed by someone who goes by the Twitter handle of "Large Adult Goat" and his words served the purposes of both easing my soul a bit and expressing my frustration at the turn of events and at the festering hatred that I, like so many of us, had no idea ran so deeply through the hearts of so many of my so-called fellow Americans.  Because of the 140 character limitation, it can be hard to follow extended Twitter essays, so I am taking the liberty of reproducing it in its entirety here.  I hope @JuliusGoat will forgive me taking the liberty of doing so.  His Twitter follows:

"Imagine if these people [the Charlottesville white supremacists] ever faced ACTUAL oppression. 
"Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry. Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for 'male health care.' 
"The law never enslaved their great-grandparents, robbed their grandparents, imprisoned their parents, or shot them when unarmed. 
"There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote.
"There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to 'proving' their intellectual inferiority. 
"There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weapons publicly.
"Their churches were never burned. Their lawns were never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors never hung from trees. 
"Their mothers aren't being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won't be forced to leave the only country they ever knew. 
"The President has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands. 
"They are chanting, 'We will not be replaced.' Replaced as...what? I'll tell you:
"Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena. Replaced as the only life that matters.
"THIS is 'white people oppression' -- We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone.
"THIS is 'white man oppression" -- We face criticism now. We were free from it, because others feared the consequences.
"THIS is 'oppression' of white Christians in this country -- Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged. Now it's not.
"I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see. 
"Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can't say 'Christmas.' A world where the name "Geoff" on a resume puts it in the trash. 
"Give them a world where they get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more. 
"Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they're kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. 
"Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really fucking is. 
"Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out.
"Put THAT in your Tiki torches and light it, you sorry Nazi bitches."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Who?

In a move that was, in my opinion, long overdue, the powers that be who run Doctor Who, the longest-running science fiction programme on television in the world, have decided to cast a woman in the title role.

A brief note for those unfamiliar with the show, but who may wish to know more -- Who fans, feel free to skip ahead:  In 1963 the BBC debuted a program for kids called Doctor Who which featured a crotchety old alien inventor called simply "The Doctor" who lived in a British police telephone box that was, thanks to his alien technology, bigger on the inside than it was on the outside.  The box, called the TARDIS, could not only travel through space, it could also travel through time.  The scriptwriters could literally send the Doctor and his companions anywhere, and anywhen.  The TARDIS had something called a "chameleon circuit" that allowed it to blend in wherever it landed, but the circuit broke while visiting Earth in the 1960's and it was stuck looking like a phone box.  The original Doctor, William Hartnell, suffered from what we know now to be a form of early-onset dementia.  Despite his increasing inability to perform, the show was doing very well and the BBC was reluctant to simply let it go.  So someone on the production staff had this absolutely brilliant idea:  Since The Doctor was an alien, instead of dying from severe injuries, his body would "regenerate."  The regeneration would change his appearance and aspects of his personality, and the end result of all of this was that a new actor could be brought in to be a new Doctor, whenever the current actor became unable to play the role, or no longer wished to be part of the show.

Pure genius, and a concept that has allowed the show to persist for over 50 years through 13 different Doctors.

A special note about regeneration:  Some years ago, in a comedy special for Comic Relief, the British comic actor Rowan Atkinson played the Doctor, who after a mishap, regenerated into actress Joanna Lumley.  While not exactly canon, it did open the door for the idea to be introduced into the show.  There have been female Time Lords (Time Ladies?) before, including such characters as The Rani and both Romanas.  This past season a longtime Doctor Who villain, the Master, had regenerated into the Mistress, or Missy.  In a previous episode, David Tennant's Doctor mentioned that another Time Lord, the Corsair, had been both male and female, and in one of the major Peter Capaldi episodes, the head of Time Lord security regenerates from an old white guy into a young black woman.  Clearly, the precedent is well established.



So after three seasons in the role, the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, is retiring.  There is some contention over the circumstances of his retirement.  He may have been asked to do so by the powers at the BBC, or he may have decided to leave since a new showrunner is coming on board for the first time in a decade.  There is often a strong impetus to give a new showrunner a completely clean slate and a new cast whenever possible, and no show makes it more possible to start everything anew than Doctor Who.  The TARDIS can even change its own interior appearance if it "wants" to, so the only thing a new showrunner is absolutely stuck with is the blue police box.  Everything else can be made up from scratch.

In recent years, there has been a tradition of having big things happen during the Doctor Who Christmas Special, and this year will be no exception.  At some point, the current Doctor is going to regenerate into a new Doctor, and that new Doctor will be portrayed by a woman, Jodie Whittaker.

And of course, the Internet has gone absolutely batshit.

Comments and tirades include:  "I'm done with this show," "RIP Doctor Who," "Thank you for crapping all over my childhood," etc. etc., ad nauseam.  It reminds me of all the nonsense that was spewed when Paul Feig had the audacity, the audacity, to re-cast the Ghostbusters as women, for God's sake.  The world is ending as we know it, and let's hound and harass the actresses, especially the black one, right off the Internet if we can.

What a bunch of babies.

Moronic, misogynistic, idiotic babies.

Get over yourselves.

My idol, George Carlin, used to say with regard to oppressive television censorship, that the TV has two knobs:  one turns it off and the other one changes the channel.  You don't like the new Doctor?  Take your ball and go the hell home.  You are neither needed nor welcomed here, nor are your opinions in the least important.

I'm happy to say that about 4 out of 5 comments on the BBC sites have been favorable.  The fifth one, as Monty Python used to say, can go run up an alley and holler "fish."  Screw you guys, and screw anybody who cries foul about casting before the show has even been seen.  Remember all the outcries about "Mr. Mom" being cast as Batman?  Now Michael Keaton ties with Adam West as "Best Batman Ever" in polls.

Give her a chance already.  I'm excited for the change, and I look forward to the next chapter in the great saga that is Doctor Who.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


This entry is long overdue, and I apologize for my absence.  It has been a very difficult couple of months, kicking off with the death of my wife's mother and then all the ensuing financial and familial fallout which was involved.

What brings me back?  Our President, that's what.

I try normally to keep the politics and religion to a minimum, but sometimes it simply cannot be avoided.  President Trumplethinskin decided to hold yet another Nuremberg Rally last night, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the state whose residents he once called "really stupid" and who proved it with their unqualified adoration last night.

The rally was ostensibly in support of the senate's latest attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, when it wasn't blatant ego massage.  What got me boiling was when Trump stated that the senate could have come up with "the best health care plan in the history of the world" but the Democrats wouldn't vote for it because they are, to an individual, all "obstructionists."

Like so much else that comes out of his mouth, it's horseshit.  Utter horseshit.

Here is what he was really doing, plain and simple:  There is every possibility that the Senate bill is a terrible bill.  As of this writing, nobody has seen it.  There have been no open hearings.  All we know is that it is being rushed to the floor for a vote with virtually no discussion except those held by a select few behind closed doors.  No minority senators, no Democrats, no women senators had a hand in its development.  It's a creation of rich, old white guys.

So it's probably going to fail.  But the Republicans have been hanging their hats on the promise that the first thing they were going to do when they won was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  And they can't.  Because until and unless America joins the rest of the developed world with a single payer health plan, THERE IS NOTHING BETTER.  And that in itself sucks, but that's a whole 'nother essay.

So what the President is doing is what he always does:  in anticipation of failure, he is already shifting the blame to the Democrats.  When the bill fails, it won't be because it's a lousy bill, it'll be because those damned obstructionists wouldn't know "the best health care plan in the history of the world" if it came up and bit them on the ass.

Please note, he did not say that this actually IS "the best health care plan in the history of the world."  He only said that, if it was, "they" still wouldn't vote for it.  Why, those bastards!  And of course, whatever happens, it won't be the President's fault.  I have yet to hear him take responsibility for a single failure, or admit to a single failing, or acknowledge a single mistake.  Again, a whole 'nother essay.

For the last six years of his Presidency, Obama got nothing from Congress.  I was at a congressional hearing on non-GMO foods at which my sister, a whole-foods TV chef, was to testify.  I myself heard two congresspeople discussing the bill off-microphone.  One asked the other something to the effect of, "Well, what about this?"  To which the other replied, "No, Obama likes it and this guy gets nothing."

"This guy gets nothing."

And Democrats are obstructionist?  Please.  If there is any element of truth to that, it's because it's all the Democrats got from Republicans for six years.  Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they don't like it?  Tough shit.

The greatest con ever pulled off by the Right was when they managed to convince the average American that they were on their side.  On the side of Main Street, of The Little Guy.  That they support coal miners and farmers and plumbers and electricians and all the "regular folks" who make up America.

They don't.  They never have.  They are on the side of the rich.  The mine owners, not the miners.  Agribusiness, not farmers.  CEO's and CFO's, not regular workers.  They take away safety regulations that protect these workers; they kill trade deals that benefit them -- ask any farmer how they feel about the loss of the TPP and they'll say how they hate it, and how it hurts them because export tariffs on their goods are 38% when under TPP those tariffs would have dropped to 9%.  But how did they vote?  Well, Hillary had those damned emails, so....

The Democrats may keep shooting themselves in the foot in elections, but they do not hurt themselves nearly as much as the average voters hurts themselves.  I'm talking about the voter who thinks that Republican values are the same as theirs.  As long as these voters keep throwing themselves under the bus, we'll keep having leadership that stifles the middle class, keeps the rich richer, the poor poorer (and stupider -- why else do you think they keep cutting education and promoting that charter school bullshit?)  And it will be ever harder to sift out the truth, because anything they don't like is "fake" and anybody who calls them on it is a liar.  Or an obstructionist.  And they will keep throwing bullshit at us, and the majority will keep believing it.  Case in point:  the "50,000 new jobs" in the coal industry that this administration supposedly created just in the first quarter of their existence.

It's bullshit.  It's a lie.  It's completely made up.

At most, 1,300 jobs were added to coal.  At most.  Everything else in that "information" release was complete fabrication.  But call them on it, and the media become the liars.  Enemies of the people.

He's a shyster, folks.  And the people who prop him up are in it for themselves.  And someday it will come crashing down around them, and we will all suffer for it.  He's a shyster.

Wake up.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Checking In; Cosplays and Stuff

I can't believe it's been over a month since I checked in here!  Lots going on; sadly, not much of it good.  As many of you know, one of the treatments I received for my Crohn's Disease had some very unpleasant side effects which have turned out to be permanent; namely, a form of ALS-like nerve damage to the myelin sheaths of my sensory nerves.  Mostly I just feel cold when I'm not, or the odd occasional false sensation, but recently the false sensations have been extreme, and extremely painful.  I've also noticed that the damage is finally bleeding over into my motor nerves, which is very disconcerting indeed.  My feet and hands have a permanent stiffness that was never there before.  I can still safely drive and walk and get around, but geez.

Recovery from last summer's foot surgery continues on very, very slowly.  I tried cutting the lawn for the first time since last August a couple of days ago and have been quite miserable ever since.  Honestly, the one time I can actually feel something in one of my extremities, and it's the feeling of being clocked by the Incredible Hulk....

So in my various stages of discomfort, I've been spending more time on Tumblr and Blogger and whatnot, and I've noticed some things in the cosplay community which I find upsetting.  Here they are in no particular order:

• Patreon.  Using Patreon is way, way up.  For those unfamiliar with it, Patreon is a website for artists wherein sponsors pledge a certain amount of money every month to an artist or costumer in exchange for access to exclusive content.  Now, originally I thought that Patreon was a great idea.  There is a lot of cost associated with cosplay; materials alone can run into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars.  So putting oneself on Patreon to get monthly sponsors to help foot the bill seemed like a great idea, and one I was wholeheartedly willing to support.  Unfortunately, most of the cosplayers I used to follow and admire have discovered that pornography is where the real money is.  So many costumers have started doing "boudoir" versions of characters that it's getting a little ridiculous, and if you subscribe to their "platinum tier" pledge levels, the NSFW porn-y stuff can be yours to see.  I think this started when the Playboy Bunny version of characters such as Thor and Hawkeye began to catch on.  From there it was a short trip to posing in a bra and panties and white wig and calling yourself the "bedroom version" of Storm from the X-Men.  I'm happy to help support elaborate costume builds like Halo armor, but I'm damned if I'll pay for your lingerie.  If I want panty shots, I'll read Maxim.  (I don't.)  I don't mean to be prudish, I really don't.  I realize that there are some guys who have always had the hots for Velma from Scooby Doo, and who love seeing sexy versions of that character.  It's the crass commercialism of it all that I find offensive, and costumers who I really used to admire, costumers who have a tremendous amount of skill and love for the characters, have fallen into this trap of purveying soft-core porn.  And you don't really need financial help to put together a Velma costume.  C'mon, it's an orange turtleneck, nerd glasses and knee socks.   We're not talking a suit of armor from World of Warcraft here....

It's just greed, pure and simple.  And please don't tell me that the money from the bedroom shots goes to pay for the more elaborate character costumes.  Most of the cosplayers haven't shown off anything more elaborate than their underpants since they discovered how lucrative Patreon can be.  There are several well-known names from the cosplay community earning over $1,500 a month -- more than my income, for sure! -- for sharing pictures of costumes consisting of cat ears and a lacy bra.  And while most of them don't show actual nudity, or only "tasteful nudity" there is usually a "platinum plus" level where one can almost, almost, see what Monty Python used to call the "naughty bits."

I do not, nor will I ever, subscribe to Patreon, but I became aware of it because it is relentlessly promoted in the social media feeds from these costumers, along with teaser images and promises that even more can be seen in the higher-level tiers of support.  Once I see this, I unfollow, because I know that there won't be much coming in the way of costumes any more.

• The "Virgin Killer" pictures.  Enough already with this.  As I understand it, some idiot in Japan came up with a design for a cable-knit sweater with a really low cut back and lots of side-boob that purportedly will so arouse even the most timid of virgin males that he will approach the woman wearing it and have sex with her.  This is so wrong, on so many levels, that I don't even know where to start.  And 80% of the cosplayers I used to follow (note the use of the past tense) are putting up teasing pictures on their websites and their Patreons of their version of the Virgin Killer.  It's another symptom of this recent descent of cosplay into pornography, and I really hate to see it.

I was going to insert an image of the sweater here, but I couldn't find one that wasn't offensive.  Maybe one of the cartoon ones, but even they give me a bad taste, just because of the whole concept of the thing.  You can search for "virgin killer sweater" or "virgin killer jumper" if you're really curious.  The number of DIY patterns for the thing will amaze you.

I'm really sad to see a hobby that I love go down this path.  A couple of years ago, comic conventions had to start banning costume weapons from the convention floor because the level of detail and accuracy -- organizers were afraid of actual weapons slipping into the convention.  Now they're going to have to start becoming decency police as well.  When I bring my kid to a con, the last thing I want to have to do is explain "Virgin Killer."

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Movies Of My Life (Age 64 Edition)

Recently one of my friends on Facebook shared a list of her favorite films, year by year starting the year she was born.  (Thanks, Jo!)  I thought this looked like a fun idea, but I didn't want to fill up an entire page on Facebook -- 64 is a long list, after all!  So instead I thought I would do it here.

It was hard!

My birth year alone (1953) included From Here To Eternity, Stalag 17, Shane, The Wild One, Invaders from Mars, The Robe, How To Marry A Millionaire, Mogambo, Peter Pan, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Salome, Barabbas, I Vitelloni, It Came From Outer Space, Roman Holiday, Kiss Me Kate, The Master of Ballantrae, Hondo, Dangerous Crossing, Donovan's Brain, Beat the Devil, and House of Wax.  All favorites of mine.

Not to mention Abbot and Costello Go To Mars.

Here is the list.  There were no critical criteria whatsoever in the selection; just a gut reaction.  This is not a list of the Best Films Made During My Lifetime.  Instead, the films that made the list are the ones that gave me the biggest "Oh, I love that movie!!" feeling in my gut as I paged through the film almanac year by year.  And of course, as you will see, there is a ton of equivocation regardless....

1953:  The War of the Worlds
1954:  Rear Window
1955:  The Ladykillers
1956:  Forbidden Planet (Another hard year, with The Wrong Man, The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Searchers, The Killing, Bus Stop, Giant, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers!)
1957:  The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958:  Vertigo
1959:  North By Northwest
1960:  The Magnificent Seven (but...but...Two Women, The Time Machine, Psycho, Never On Sunday, Inherit the Wind, La Dolce Vita, The Apartment....)
1961:  The Guns of Navarone
1962:  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (but...To Kill A Mockingbird....)
1963:  The Birds
1964:  Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1965:  Alphaville
1966:  The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
1967:  The Dirty Dozen
1968:  The Producers (Yup; picked it over 2001: A Space Odyssey; no contest.)
1969:  True Grit
1970:  Patton
1971:  A Clockwork Orange
1972:  The Godfather
1973:  Don't Look Now
1974:  Young Frankenstein  (incredibly tough choice; Blazing Saddles a close second!)
1975:  The Rocky Horror Picture Show
1976:  Carrie
1977:  Star Wars
1978:  Superman
1979:  All That Jazz
1980:  The Empire Strikes Back (narrowly beating The Shining)
1981:  My Dinner With Andre (yes, over Raiders of the Lost Ark)
1982:  Blade Runner (although I also love The Verdict, the last film I saw with my mom.)
1983:  A Christmas Story
1984:  Ghostbusters (but...The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension....)
1985:  Ran
1986:  Aliens (but...Stand By Me....)
1987:  Raising Arizona (yeah, I know; not The Princess Bride?  What am I, nuts?)
1988:  My Neighbor Totoro
1989:  Batman
1990:  Miller's Crossing (believe it or not, the first "meh" year on the list.  I picked it as the best of a mediocre bunch.  It's merely OK in my book.)
1991:  The Silence of the Lambs
1992:  Aladdin
1993:  Jurassic Park
1994:  Clerks
1995:  Apollo 13
1996:  Fargo
1997:  Princess Mononoke
1998:  Run Lola Run  (Hell, yes!  No contest!)
1999:  The Iron Giant
2000:  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (but...Memento....)
2001:  Spirited Away
2002:  Bowling for Columbine
2003:  Love, Actually
2004:  The Incredibles (but...Shaun of the Dead....)
2005:  March of the Penguins
2006:  An Inconvenient Truth
2007:  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2008:  Wall-E
2009:  Up
2010:  Toy Story 3
2011:  The Descendants
2012:  The Avengers (Marvel)
2013:  Philomena
2014:  The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015:  The Martian
2016:  Deadpool
2017:  The Lego Batman Movie (so far, anyway....)

I'd love to see your lists!  Please post a link in the comments and I'll make sure it's visible to everybody.