Well, folks, if you weren't crazy about how the year has treated you up until now, we end it on a high note with this bonus issue of Isthmus. How's that - 53 issues of your favorite weekly in a 52-week year?
And in this final issue of 2010 we recap what has been generally accepted as a difficult year. The economy is still in the dumps, the political context completely changed polarity in two years, and the Packers hit an unexpected rough patch that put their much-anticipated season in jeopardy. Yet we may still look ahead to 2011, thinking that things can only get better.
But for now we are in review mode. As usual, we end our publishing year with our Cheap Shots dishonor roll, in which we unleash the Watchdog, news editor Bill Lueders, to ravage the unsuspecting blowhards, bunglers and self-proclaimed big shots. Careful, he bites.
Our cohort of local critics weighs in on the year that was in the arts. Jennifer A. Smith, Katie Reiser, Amelia Cook, John W. Barker, Josh Wimmer and Laurie Stark give their reactions to the year's offerings in theater, classical music, dance and a couple of other performing arts. I will say, we certainly put on a lot of plays in this town, and Isthmus is there to report on practically every one. There is some sentiment that given the economy-induced debacle of 2009, the arts rebounded impressively in 2010. In film, contributor Scott Renshaw gives us his top 10 movies of the year. I must admit seeing only one; I guess I've got some DVD catching up to do. And though it was a recession year (or maybe because it was), we did not stop eating. Linda Falkenstein gives us the restaurant wrap-up - who came and went on the dining scene in the last 12 months.
Finally, Jason Joyce looks ahead to the Badgers' Rose Bowl confrontation with Texas Christian University. Perhaps this will be a harbinger of what 2011 has in store.