Dave Barry’s 2012 Year in Review
The hits just kept on coming.
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IT WAS A CRUEL, CRUEL YEAR — a year that kept raising our hopes only to squash them flatter than a dead possum on the interstate.
Example: This year the “reality” show Jersey Shore, which for six hideous seasons has been a compelling argument in favor of a major earth-asteroid collision, finally got canceled, and we dared to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, we, as a society, were becoming slightly less stupid.
But then, WHAP, we were slapped in our national face by the cold, hard, frozen mackerel of reality in the form of the hugely popular new “reality” show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Another example: As the year began, the hottest recording artist was the brilliant singer-songwriter Adele, whose popularity made us think that maybe, just maybe, after years of rewarding overhyped auto-tuned dreck, we were finally developing more sophisticated musical tastes, and then . . .
WHAP, we were assaulted on all sides by the monster megahit video Gangnam Style, in which a Korean man prances around a variety of bizarre Korean settings riding an imaginary Korean horse and shouting a song that, except for the words “Eh, sexy lady,” is entirely in Korean.
It was that kind of year. Remember back in 2011, when the big sex scandal involved Anthony Weiner, the ferret-like congressman who committed political suicide by Tweet? We all thought, “Oh well, at least there are SOME institutions, such as the Secret Service, the CIA, and the Army, where males in positions of responsibility can control their . . . ”
So, OK, basically we need to forget about 2012 as soon as possible. But just so we can remember exactly what it is we need to forget, let’s pour ourselves a stiff drink and take a look back, starting with . . .
. . . in which President Obama, in the State of the Union address, boldly rebuts criticism that his economic policies have been a failure by displaying the scalp of Osama bin Laden, which a White House aide carries in a special briefcase.
Meanwhile, the race for the Republican presidential nomination, which began in approximately 2003, continues to be a spicy political gumbo of excitement. The emerging front-runner is Mitt Romney, who combines a strong resume of executive experience with the easygoing natural human warmth of a parking meter.
In the new year’s first major disaster, the Mediterranean cruise ship Costa Concordia goes way off course, hits a rock, and sinks. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is immediately relieved of command and placed in charge of the Italian economy.
The economic news remains bad in . . .
. . . as American motorists struggle to afford ever-higher gasoline prices, prompting a pledge from Obama to do “whatever it takes” to bring relief at the pump, “including killing bin Laden again.” Romney responds that he, more than any other candidate, understands the consumers’ pain over this issue because he owns “at least 45 cars.”
Tensions between the United States and Pakistan mount after eyewitnesses in Waziristan claim that an unmanned US Predator drone robbed a convenience store. Meanwhile, in what international observers see as a red flag, Iran places an ad on Craigslist stating “WE PAY CASH FOR NUCLEAR BOMB MATERIALS.”
In sports, a little known athlete named Jeremy Lin scores numerous points in a professional basketball game despite having graduated from Harvard. Instantly, his image appears everywhere — on TV, magazine covers, T-shirts, etc. — and for a brief period he is the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination.
In other sports news, Indianapolis, shedding its “hick town” image, shows that it is truly a world-class city as it hosts Super Bowl XLVI, in which the Giants seal a dramatic victory over the New England Patriots when Ahmad Bradshaw reaches the end zone by vaulting over a cow that wandered onto the field.
Speaking of dramatic, in . . .
. . . the endless slog for the Republican presidential nomination reaches Super Tuesday. It is now clear that Romney has won the nomination, but Newt Gingrich lurches gamely onward despite the tranquilizer darts fired into his neck by his own advisers.
In Europe, the economic crisis continues to worsen as the government of Greece, desperate for revenue, is forced to lease the Parthenon to Hooters. Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service officially downgrades the credit rating of Spain to “putrid” after an audit reveals that the national treasury consists entirely of Groupons.
In sports, the National Football League imposes stiff penalties on the New Orleans Saints following the shocking revelation that some players might have deliberately committed acts of violence against opposing players for monetary gain, which is of course totally contrary to the spirit of professional football. Continued...