2014 in negatives: Dave Barry, Rod Liddle and Charlie Brooker do the year in review
How was 2014 for you? A few men in media recall the 12 months:
A huge airliner simply vanished, and to this day nobody has any idea what happened to it, despite literally thousands of hours of intensive speculation on CNN.
Millions of Americans suddenly decided to make videos of themselves having ice water poured on their heads. Remember? There were rumors that this had something to do with charity, but for most of us, the connection was never clear. All we knew was that, for a while there, every time we turned on the TV, there was a local newscaster or Gwyneth Paltrow or Kermit the Frog or some random individual soaking wet and shivering. This mysterious phenomenon ended as suddenly as it started, but not before uncounted trillions of American brain cells died of frostbite.
An intruder jumped the White House fence and, inexplicably, managed to run into the White House through the unlocked front door. Most of us had assumed that anybody attempting this would instantly be converted to a bullet-ridden pile of smoking carbon by snipers, lasers, drones, ninjas, etc., but it turned out that, for some mysterious reason, the White House had effectively the same level of anti-penetration security as a Dunkin’ Donuts.
LeBron James deliberately moved to Cleveland.
Of course not everything that happened in 2014 was mysterious. Some developments — ISIS, Ebola, the song “Happy” — were simply bad.
There was even some good news in 2014, mostly in the form of things that did not happen. A number of GM cars — the final total could be as high as four — were not recalled. There were several whole days during which no statements had to be issued by the U.S. Department of Explaining What the Vice President Meant to Say. And for the fifth consecutive year, the Yankees failed to even play in the World Series.
So much for the US. Rod Liddle looks at 2014 in the UK:
A glittering cast list, delicious food and spectacular entertainment — I just wish you could have been there. But tickets were at a premium for The Spectator’s prestigious Utter Arse of the Year awards ceremony held, as ever, in the council chamber at Tower Hamlets. The meal, prepared by the exciting left-wing lesbian cook Jack Monroe, consisted of her famous kale pesto pasta on a bed of shredded back copies of the Guardian. As we munched away, a troop of locally sourced Bangladeshi mime artists enacted the setting up of an east London caliphate and — to the delight of the audience — silently decapitated several infidels sitting near the stage. As the black flag of the Islamic State was raised above our heads, the compère for the evening, Jon Snow, from Channel 4 News, took to the rostrum and the real business began. It has been a fabulous year for arses, he told us, perhaps the best year on record. Arses everywhere you look, he chuckled — and at that moment, through fiendishly clever technology, a giant hologram of the revolutionary comedian Russell Brand appeared beside him, transmitted live from his £76,000 per year flat in nearby Hoxton. The Russell hologram entertained the audience with a stream of indecipherable, pretentious, sub-adolescent balls before (again, praise to the technical team) disappearing in a puff of smoke up his own backside. How we all cheered!
And Charlie Brooker had a bash a 2014 song, with apologies to Ian Dury: