2012 Year In Review: My Worst Ever

12:00am
1 January 2012
Manchester, UK.

No, this is not the beginning of a JAG episode; it’s the beginning of my 2012. I was dancing with my friends Max, Destiny, Mary and Andy to the Smiths and the world could not have been better. It was all downhill from there, not least because I woke up in Manchester, but because I would go on to waste 365 days not coming up with a single decent gag for this drivel…

2: Sailors in a 49er.
0: Female hurdlers faster than Sally Pearson.
1: Gold medal in the pool.
2: Wheels on Anna Meares’ bike.

Sport is important.

Hello and welcome to the 2012 Year in Review: My Worst Ever. Sports are products similar to any other, and their popularity is subject to a market economy. There is less money in women’s sport because it is an inferior product. If people wanted to watch it, TV stations would broadcast it. If people wanted to learn more about it, journalists would write about it. If sportswomen carried cachet, more companies would sponsor them. There is no conspiracy.

The Year in Review is not a product similar to others. It is far superior. And if anyone dares to question its brilliance, I will punch the wall on each side of their head to showcase my masculinity. Can someone please secretly record this in the hope that my old man does in fact die of shame?

Keeping up this run of topical if Australian-centric political allusions, here are my views on a variety of issues/permanent Q&A topics:

Boat people: The reason boat people want to come to Australia is because we are a very attractive country with a lot of open spaces and relatively few boat people. In order to make Australia less appealing, we need to change this. By opening up our border to boat people and paying for immigration ourselves, Australia will become a less attractive option and the people smugglers’ business model will be destroyed. The way to stop the boat people is to let the boats in.

Carbon Tax: I fully support the Carbon Tax as my views are the opposite of whatever the people who protest against it think.

Gay Marriage: We all have a right to be as miserable as everybody else.

Sharia Law: It’s the one of things I’m most afraid of, along with becoming homeless, crying at work and the bouncers at Ivy.

Here are the Top 12 News Events of 2012:

12 A lot of bad stuff happened in Third World countries
I read in the New York Times that opponents of Mali’s theocratic rule are having their arms amputated.
11 Peter Slipper
I would like to see an opera about this. Suggested title: Peter and the Clam.
10 Curiosity lands on Mars
One of the more amusing Twitter profiles.
9 European debt crisis
Greek food is amazing. I especially love the restaurant on Oxford Street.
8 Ju-Liar Gillard makes speech about Sir Lord Saint Father Tony Abbott, SJ
It just does not get any better than this.
7 Innocence of Muslims/US Consulate attack
TLDR: Bad movies can really upset some people.
6 Alan Jones opens mouth, devours foot
His presser about this was one of the best pieces of comedy of 2012.
5 2Day DJ prank call crisis
Can’t really see what those DJs did wrong.
4 The Dark Knight Rises massacre in Aurora, Colorado
I will not make a joke about this.
3 Hurricane Sandy
I went to school with a boy named Alexander that went by Sandy. And we was like a hurricane.
2 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre
“More guns equal fewer massacres” – morons.
1 President Obama re-elected
He gives the best speeches of anyone I have shared this planet with.

Joe Paterno believes in heaven and hell. I don’t. If he is right and I am wrong, he is in hell right now, and not the outer levels that filled with philanderers and worshippers of false idols; he’s in the absolute inner circle, with Brutus, Cassius and Judas Iscariot.

Sport! It’s really good and you should get into it. Here is the World Football XI for 2012:

(4-3-3) Asmir Begovic, Philip Lahm, Vincent Kompany, Carlos Puyol, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie, Lionel Messi.

Sergio Busquets is the worst player in the world.

Here is the World Cricket XI for 2012:

Alastair Cook, Kumar Sangakkara, Hashim Amla, Michael Clarke, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Graeme Swann, Dale Steyn, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird.

And here are the Top 12 Sporting Moments of 2012:

12 Zambia wins the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations
I am including this just so I can write that this tournament is a disgrace and is only being used to justify false and corrupt governments and we need to end it right now.
11 Rory McIlroy recovers from his US Masters choke to win the PGA Championship
I love chokes and I love comebacks.
10 San Fransisco Giants sweep Detroit Tigers 4-0 in the World Series
I watched the World Series in bars in San Diego and LA and it was brilliant.
9 Melbourne Storm in the 2012 NRL Grand Final
Great team, terrible game.
8 Denver Broncos come from 0-24 down at San Diego to win 35-24
Truly amazing experience. NFL live is right up there with the best sport offers.
7 Spain thrashes Italy in the Euro 2012 final
You know, for someone having a bad year, Fernando Torres is had a pretty good year.
6 Sydney Swans win the 2012 AFL Grand Final
Included above the NRL just to show that I am fair.
5 Notre Dame complete perfect season to achieve unanimous #1 ranking
College football is amazing. Texas A&M is my most hated team.
4 Rugby Union reaches its absolute nadir
Surely it can’t get any lower in 2013 – I hope so!
3 Michael Clarke completes a Bradmanesque year with his first century at the MCG
2012 Test Average: 106.33. From 18 innings.The most innings Bradman played in one year was 13, in 1948, at 113. Bradman was pretty good.
2 Michael Clarke scores 329* against India in the SCG test
Hotels were changed so I could watch this live.
1 Black Caviar wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot
A win is a win is a win.

Eagle-eyed readers will note there are no Olympic moments included. That’s because the 2012 London Olympics was so amazing and incredible and successful and entertaining that they deserve their own Top 12 Moments from the 2012 London Olympics:

12 Andy Murray wins Gold in the Tennis singles
Look, nobody really cares about Olympic tennis but this was pretty special. You know he survived the Dunblane massacre?
11 Everything to do with McKayla Maroney
I love her.
10 Australia wins Gold in the Men’s K4 1,000m
An unexpected treat and well-commentated by Jameses Brayshaw and Tomkins.
9 Australia’s sailing team wins three Gold medals
Sailing only counts in the Olympics. The Sydney To Hobart definitely does not count.
8 The Opening and Closing Ceremonies
Not at all reminiscent of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
7 Michael Phelps wins 4 Gold medals to seal his place as the greatest Olympian ever
I love his chin.
6 Jamaica sets new World Record in the 4x100m relay
Breathtaking.
5 Mo Farah completes the 5,000m and 10,000m double
And the best thing is he’s a massive Arsenal fan.
4 Anna Meares wins Gold in the Sprint cycling
Makes up for her total lack of personality.
3 Usain Bolt wins the 100m and 200m sprint double
The greatest two moments in the history of humanity…
2 Sally Pearson wins Gold in the 100m Hurdles
…but Sally is Australian.
1 Foxtel’s coverage and iPad app
Rich people deserve better coverage.

The 2012 Sportsman of the Year is Steve Waugh.

Meta Year in Review

The 2012 Year in Review: My Worst Ever is now being written on a train between New York City and Boston. Heretofore it was being written in Manhattan hotel lobby. I can’t help but feel that this isn’t a particularly funny report, at least not by your reminiscing raconteur’s highish standards. Like Tennessee Williams, I have peaked very early in my Year in Review career and now I’m pathetically carrying on well beyond my best in a misguided attempt to recapture my glory days. You could say I’m like Harry Kewell.

Here are the Top 12 Most Disappointing Things About 2012:

12 The standards for blagging are now so incredibly low my skills in this discipline go mostly unnoticed.
11 That film The Descendants has a swipe edit yet somehow won an Academy Award.
10 Too many people are buying things online instead of supporting local retail.
9 I was wished ‘Happy Australia Day’ by a well-meaning idiot. That’s not a thing.
8 Qantas does not serve chips on long-haul flights. Eating is a great way to relieve boredom.
7 I could only vote for eight songs in the Hottest 100 because I only recognised six songs on the list and I had two write-ins.
6 The barriers to entry for video gaming are far too high.
5 Too many people are bored of things instead of being bored with them.
4 Robin van Persie joined Manchester United.
3 How I Met Your Mother is the slowest moving TV series ever.
2 This and this.
1 A Current Affair and Today Tonight.

Humans

Man is the greatest animal of them all. Whether you are admiring his smooth lustrous physique, hunting him for sport or eating him for sustenance in a post-apocalyptic landscape, man is nearly perfect. The only thing missing, in some, is a full head of hair (not me, mind, I have a beautiful, full head of hair and it’s my proudest achievement. Man can do so much, like jump from (almost) outer space down to earth, cure polio in India and fit all the features you love in an iPad into a form factor able to fit in your coat pocket. Man is not just made in God’s image; Man is God.

As a special treat, I have invited the outgoing Man of the Year to pen a few words about his 2012:

“Wow, what a year! This was a year where my twins took their first steps and uttered their first words, where I was preselected unopposed as a Labor candidate for local government and was elected without a swing against and a year when KFC’s double down gloriously returned.

“None of these top the list of memorable moments, as this was also the year that I was finally crowned Man of the Year (MoY)

“I’ve known patrick for almost 9 years (our friendship anniversary is on Valentine’s Day), and ever since I’ve met him, I’ve coveted the AMoY prize. Winning this prize quickly became something I had to do before I died.

“To those who have been AMoY, you know the pleasure this title brings and the Patrickesque confidence it gives you. Like past winners, I finish the year a far better person than at the start.

“To those who haven’t won, winning is everything, so just get better at life.

“It brought upon me much joy to be crowned as AMoY and it is with both excitement and reluctance that I will pass on the baton to another great human being.

“Good luck and Godspeed.”

Truly inspirational. The temptation to award this prize again to J is strong in this one, however, my plan is to give all my friends Man of the Year at some stage and I have a lot of friends and I plan on dying young.

Who did great things in 2012? There were engagements, marriages, births and victories in competitive drinking pursuits; all things that factor into my thinking when deciding this honour. I am also sorely tempted to award this prize to Channing Tatum because he is a fine specimen of Man and Manliness.

The 2012 Man of the Year is P. I don’t need to give reasons, but I will: Paul’s tireless campaigning against Australia picking off-spinners in particular and Ian Chappell specifically was much needed. As P once texted me, Australia should pick John Howard instead of Nathan Lyon. While he can’t bat or field as well as Lyon, he definitely won’t get a bowl, and that’s what’s important.

Woman

Moody, emotional and prone to hysteria, women stand-up comedians are not funny. Seriously, this is the same joke every year: please don’t be the one writing in complaining. The outgoing 2012 Woman of the Year was also invited to pen a few words about her year wearing the crown – she did not reply to my email.

The 2012 Woman of the Year is Julia Gillard. A lot of people criticise Julia for corruption, incompetence and womanliness, but I don’t think she gets enough credit for her amazing work keeping Tony Abbott out of the Lodge.

Witticisms

The Witticism of 2012 goes to the person who spoke last in this conversation:

S: Whenever I lose money at the casino Fiona gets to go out and spend the same amount on clothes.
Patrick: Does that mean when you win Fiona has to go out on the street and make that kind of cash?

Food

I ate some good meals during 2012. There was dinner at Quay, southern cuisine in Harlem, schnitzel in Zurich, fish and chips in London and steak on Magnetic Island. Corporate jollies took me to Aria, Rockpool, Wildfire, Ocean Room, Guillaume, Sergeant’s Mess and Kingsley’s, among many, many others. There was also an amazing Indian meal in Dublin at 4am on the coldest day/night of my life.

The 2012 Food of the Year is the Marinated Lamb Pizza at The Oaks in Neutral Bay.

Countries

In 2012 I added Ireland (21), Norfolk Island*, Italy (22) and Switzerland (23) to my list.

The 2012 Country of the Year is Australia. The whole nanny state thing is frustrating but I like how we don’t tip and there are no guns.

Special Mention

I’d like to take a moment to mention M. He texted me demanding to be included on the mailing list for this drivel.

This sentence was written while the train caboosed past the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Vale

The In Memoriam poem made a comeback in the 2011 Year in Review after a few years of inactivity. It’s probably the most effort I go to in compiling the Year in Review and even then I go to very little effort. Enjoy this one as it may be the last for a few years…

Etta James is with the Lord at last
Mike Wallace gave his last broadcast
We laughed last with Phyllis Diller
Whitney Houston liked the odd painkiller
Larry Hagman wore his last Stetson
Ernest Borgnine was Sergeant Fatso Jetson
Robin Gibb will no more talk jive
How was Elisabeth Murdoch still alive?
Tony Scott jumped off a bridge
I hope it’s 451° in Ray Bradbury’s fridge
Donna Summer, what a bummer
Dick Clark ran out of spark
There goes Murray Rose
No more funkin’ for Michael Clarke Duncan
Sun Myung Moon went up in a burst
But Neil Armstrong got there first
Maurice Sendak is with his wild thing
Davy Jones will no longer sing
Nora Ephron is out of zing
And Maeve Binchy has lost her ming
Say a little prayer for Hal David
Kuwait? Stormin’ Norman saved it
Gore Vidal would write without fear
Tony Greig was the saddest loss of the year
And while Fairfax Limited is still alive to this date
When it goes bust I’ll have a party to celebrate.

Television

An outstanding year! Well done TV producers. I don’t think I watched a single advertisement in any television broadcast that was not live sport. I know our Man of the Year has big things planned for when the three Australian network television stations go bust and I know I can’t wait!

The really good shows that you should watch and the producers should feel proud of that didn’t make the Top 12 were: The Office, Family Guy, Survivor: One World, Survivor: The Philippines, How I Met Your Mother, Gruen Planet/Sweat, The Hamster Wheel, Archer, Colbert Report, Desperate Housewives, Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23.

And here are the Top 12 Television Shows of 2012:

12 South Park
11 Homeland
10 Fresh Meat
9 Modern Family
8 30 Rock
7 Media Watch
6 Dexter
5 The League
4 Parks And Recreation
3 Game Of Thrones
2 The Walking Dead
1 Mad Men

Have you ever played the Mad Men drinking game? The only rule is you drink.

Films

Cinema is a very important artform and cultural touchpoint. It is certainly more important than classical music or dance.

Due to release date variables and international travel, my international readers may think some of these films are from 2011 and my Australian readers may think they are from 2013. They all count. Do not call films ‘movies’: it shows that you are poorly bred.

The worst films of 2012 were Cosmopolis; Prometheus; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1; The Descendants and The Hunger Games.

Films that were goodish and worth seeing: Just Go With It, American Reunion, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Safety Not Guaranteed, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Dictator, The Amazing Spider-Man, Rock Of Ages, The Rum Diary, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Looper, The Artist and Ted.

Presenting the Top 12 Films of 2012:

12 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
11 My Week With Marilyn
10 The Master
9 Skyfall
8 Moonrise Kingdom
7 Argo
6 Hugo
5 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
4 Shame
3 Drive
2 Django Unchained
1 Magic Mike

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) for playing a man with a proper, dedicated, mature improvised alcohol addiction.
Best Actress: Black Caviar. Just kidding! Carey Mulligan (Shame and Drive) and for just being Carey Mulligan. I love you!
Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike) for finally putting that accent to good use.
Best Supporting Actress: Kerry Washington (Django Unchained) because she steals the show with barely a word of dialogue.

Music

Once the centrepiece of my self-appointed authority, now a disappointing and shameful example of how I have turned into everything that I hate. I really can’t listen to modern music anymore: there is too much Aussie hip hop and not enough guys with a guitar whining about being alone.

A very smart Owen housemate at school once said that the quality of a song is how it makes you feel, how it moves you. Now this fellow went on to form a jazz quartet that he named for himself so he clearly has no taste in music as jazz is the worst. But I do think he was onto something: the only thing I feel when I hear modern music is disgust.

That said, I did see quite a few live musical performances in 2012 – 10 as it were. So I’m two short of making this a proper Top 12, so please note that numbers 11 and 12 on this list were not really live performances in the traditional sense…

The Top 12 Live Musical Acts of 2012:

12 Sam Sparro & Rikki-Lee Samsung Note II launch
11 Christina Anu Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks
10 Lana Del Rey Enmore Theatre
9 Death Cab For Cutie Enmore Theatre
8 Jennifer Lopez Allphones Arena
7 Smashing Pumpkins Entertainment Centre
6 My Chemical Romance Hordern Pavillion
5 Cranberries Enmore Theatre
4 Foster The People Enmore Theatre
3 Arctic Monkeys Enmore Theatre
2 Radiohead Entertainment Centre
1 Shins Hordern Pavillion

I can’t remember if I saw Kings of Leon and Maroon 5 this year or last and I can’t be bothered looking it up. They were both excellent.

The Year in Review: My Worst Ever is now being written from Rhode Island. I have attached a photo for your visual pleasure…

Music Video

As is the tradition, the winner is the music video that most sexually objectifies women. It is a biting and pertinent satire on the modern music industry that I hate so much. Avid readers will know that women artists are ineligible from winning this award as the sexual objectification is only pure when a male artists performs it. Please don’t write in complaining – I’m not even sure this year’s winner is human.

The 2012 Music Video of the Year is Starships by Nicki Minaj.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPGaXJlaK9Y

Just in case anyone reading this far is wondering, yes, all the face-value anti-women comments are indeed satire and parody of the people who actually think these thing. Except for the bit about women’s sport being inferior to men’s – that is empirically true.

Albums

Apologies that some of these might be from 2011 or even earlier..

Top 12 Albums of 2012

12 El Camino Black Keys
11 Blunderbuss Jack White
10 Helplessness Blues Fleet Foxes
9 Birdy Birdy
8 Happy To You Miike Snow
7 Drive Soundtrack Various
6 The Lion’s Roar First Aid Kit
5 + Ed Sheeran
4 Some Nights fun.
3 Port of Morrow Shins
2 Born To Die Lana Del Rey
1 My Head Is An Animal Of Monsters And Men

Intermission

The 2012 Year in Review: My Worst Ever was researched and written in Sydney, New York City, a train between Manhattan and Boston, and Boston. As a special treat, this edition is being guest sent by 2007 Man of the Year M.

Songs

There was a time when songs had to be cut to make the Top 100 Songs of the Year. How appropriate that this train moves through Massachusetts to Boston that Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen plays through my iPod Classic 160GB.

With a real sense of shame, here are the Top 12 Songs of 2012:

12 No One Survives Nekrogoblikon
11 We Are Never Getting Back Together Taylor Swift
10 Ho Hey Lumineers
9 One Thing One Direction
8 What Makes You Beautiful One Direction
7 National Anthem Lana Del Rey
6 We Are Young fun.
5 Drunk Ed Sheeran
4 Little Talks Of Monsters And Men
3 Born To Die Lana Del Rey
2 Simple Song Shins
1 Some Nights (Intro)/Some Nights fun.

Some nights I hold on to every note I ever wrote,

P

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