Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.
So New Year’s Eve came and went without notable incident, and now we all have to sit through another pathetic twelve months of a grey sludge of news belching out of our telly boxes and Quaver-stained smartphones. The more repulsive and loathsome amongst you may have opted to partake in a New Year’s Resolution, but for the more sensible Bastards out there, Part IV of The Bastard Lounge’s review of 2013 is available below for you to mourn over.
Planet Earth stumbled drunkenly into October with the news that the US government had packed up and shut down after a dispute over a spending bill. Thousands were forced to miss work with no promise of back pay and on the world stage the US lost valuable not-being-a-dick points, as the rest of the world sat around wondering why American politicians couldn’t manage to be incompetent and still go to work every day just like Mayor of Toronto and outstanding model of crack-addict professionalism Rob Ford. The whole debacle made headlines worldwide and was written about by numerous hilarious, intellectual and unbelievably sexy writers.
Back in the UK the debate over press regulation in the wake of the Leveson enquiry continued as the Privy council rejected the plans put forward by the newspapers. However, their whole argument was a little pointless as since the advent of the internet newspapers have become used solely for nostalgic fish and chip wrappers and pictures of tits for the pornographically nervous.
2013 became the year the eleventh month was officially renamed ‘Movember’ for good, as faces across the globe joined together in hairy hipster union to help combat male cancers. However if you thought growing a moustache was simply a fun and innovative way to raise money and awareness for important issues, The New Statesman was there to point out why you were not only wrong, but sexist and racist to boot. The utter tripe spouted in this article and others in a similarly offensively stupid manner served as an important reminder that the economics of 2013 journalism revolve almost solely around “clickbait” articles, where a writer puts out a deliberately provocative piece in order to drive up traffic and therefore earn more advertising revenue. Whilst we’ve come to accept this sort of thing from the likes of The Daily Mail, previously respectable publications resorting to these sort of tactics felt like a betrayal on par with David Attenborough drop-kicking a koala bear.
Also in November the world pretended to care about cricket as Sachin Tendulkar took to the field (pitch? court? arena? I don’t know how cricket works) for his 200th and final test match. Arguably the best and most famous player of his generation, Tendulkar’s retirement ignited a fire in the press who became convinced for some reason that cricket was newsworthy. However the rest of us instead spent our time trying to work out why someone who was supposed to be so good would spend all his time doing ‘tests’ and not actually getting round to a proper match.
December saw the continuation of the trial of the Grillo Sisters, former personal assistants to TV cook Nigella Lawson and her then-husband Charles Saatchi. The sisters were accused of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on personal purchases using the couples’ credit cards, but the main focus of the ordeal within the press was Lawson’s alleged drug use. Lawson later admitted occasional use of cocaine and cannabis, thus finally explaining all those late-night trips to the fridge on her cooking programs.
One of the more interesting aspects of the press coverage was the media’s decision to cast Lawson, who had admitted smoking cannabis in front of her children, as the tragic victim whilst publicly condemning former N-Dubz “singer” and X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos in her drug trial. It proved to be an especially educational experience, as the public was taught a valuable lesson that DRUGS ARE BAD. Unless, of course you’re posh and sexy and can whip up a damn good chicken noodle soup. Even the Prime Minister said so.
In sadder news, December also saw the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. After suffering from ill-health for some time, South Africa’s first black president passed away to universal mourning and sadness. Well, almost. Unlike with most celebrity deaths, Twitter was surprisingly bereft of sick jokes. Even professional arsehole and shock-meister comedian Frankie Boyle could only manage this half-hearted pun. Boyle’s inability to say anything truly nasty served either as proof of just how beloved Mandela was worldwide, or of the impending apocalypse. Even the press couldn’t manage any genuine outrage.
So, that wraps up our analysis of the past twelve months. We crawled desperately from one disaster to the next taking occasional breaks to laugh at idiots and make knob jokes. It was at best, mildly amusing, though predominantly awful. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for your awful taste. Happy New Year.