The one thing we can all agree on is that everybody else is wrong. You only have to cast your mind back as far as yesterday's TimeOut and their erroneously titled "Best of 2014" feature for ample evidence of this.
I'm sure you have your very own Best of 2014 list. I'm equally sure your selection is very incredibly wrong. Don't take it personally. That's just the way it is. Consensus is overrated, and as such would not find a spot on my Best of 2014 list.
No, the only absolute we have is that we absolutely will never agree on the best of anything. So in that spirit I present the Best of 2014. I harbour no illusion that you'll concur with any part of it. And that's fine. Because, as we've established, everybody else is wrong and that absolutely includes you.
Best album of 2014: I sure as hell didn't listen to every album released this year. Instead I spent a lot of time on tangents, looking back and digging through the crates in search of ... I don't know what exactly.
But whatever it was I found it in my Best Album of 2014 - Roxy Music's 1982 classic Avalon. A pristine and lush record that's seductive, sophisticated, and surprisingly funky. Timeless, obviously.
Honourable mentions: Ween's creepily noxious The Pod (1991) became a claustrophobic fave while Jan Hammer's synthesiser tour de force Escape from Television (1987) soundtracked much of these writings.
Best album of 2014, released in 2014: I may have been covered in cobwebs dusting off oldies but I kept in touch with the musical happs. I must, however, disregard the happs and instead hand this award to Pink Floyd's triumphant swansong The Endless River, a mainly instrumental album that floats, pummels and grooves with long-missed familiarity and shimmering clarity.
Best album of 2014 released in 2014 for peeps who don't dig the sounds of old white men: The most fiercely competitive category of all. Here I was looking for artists who celebrated the album format, offering cohesiveness rather than a gussied-up collection of songs awaiting dissection on iTunes. This narrowed things down considerably, leaving the dreamily challenging, forward-thinking, art-beat, free-jazz collage You're Dead by Flying Lotus as our winner. A musically sprawling yet restrained record that introduced the "concept album" to a new generation.
Honourable mentions: Tyranny by Julian Casablancas and the Voidz is a purposefully scuzzy and unwelcoming slab of near-endless distorted horror that's fracking fantastic. D'Angelo's out-of-nowhere return with Black Messiah a couple of days ago is destined to be a neo-soul classic. It sounds like the past, present and future all at once, but more than that it sounds important in the way soul records haven't in decades. With more than three days to digest it could have taken the top spot.
Best film of 2014: I sure as hell didn't see every movie released this year. But of the 104 I did I declare Wes Anderson's sizzlingly stylised and captivating crime caper comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel as best.
Honourable mentions: The delightfully weird, indie music dramedy Frank deserves mention, Guardians of the Galaxy was best blockbuster, coolest film was Only Lovers Left Alive while Under the Skin was cerebral, strange, stubborn and very almost flick of the year.
Best TV of 2014: I sure as hell didn't watch every TV show that screened this year. But I watched a lot as 2014 was a brilliant year on the box. Taking top honours is Nathan for You, a quasi-reality show that follows comedian and deadpan oddball Nathan Fielder as he dispenses atrocious bidness plans to struggling bidness owners. Subversive and hilariously brilliant.
Honourable mentions: Fargo just edges out True Detective here. Both feature celebrated performances but Fargo's quirk trumps TD's seriousness. South Park's biting social commentary still kills while Bob's Burgers restores all faith in animated family comedy.
Best of the rest of 2014: I could go on for columns but space dictates I wrap up with a quickfire round. Let's hit it:
Best game: Mario Kart U (Nintendo WiiU)
Best comic: Hawkeye (Vol. 4)
Best book: Madmen: Inside the Weirdest Election Campaign Ever by Steve Braunias
Best tweeter: Seinfeld Current Day, @Seinfeld2000
Best meme: Minor Mistake Marvin
Best podcast: Serial
Best website (international): AllMusic.com
Best Website (NZ): The Pantograph Punch
We all shared this year, but we did so in our own heads, with our own experiences adding weight, emphasis and importance to our chosen entertainments.
I don't know about you, but this is where I was at in 2014. And this is the best 'best of' that I could compile. All of it completely accurate. All of it spectacularly wrong. How could it possibly be anything else?