2014: The Year That Was

By | 2014/12/27

And there you have it, 2014 is almost a wrap. It was a big year socially, economically, politically and environmentally, and it’s time to take a brief moment to look back on the year that was.

January saw the devastating news that after many years of happy wedded bliss, Joanie and Chachi had separated, mostly thanks to Chachi’s crystal meth addiction. The final straw was when Chachi put his fist through a plate glass window and pulled out a flock of fire breathing male ducks. When the drakes set Mrs Cunningham’s hair on fire while she was trying to chase them out of the kitchen, Joanie had no choice but to …

Excuse me. I should probably put down the bottle of absinthe before I write this.

Ahem. Where was I?

Ah yes, January. Early on in January, the Italian navy rescued over 230 asylum seekers from an overcrowded, sinking boat. The Australian government snorted in derision and turned a bunch of asylum seeker ships around, uncaring as to their fates, both immediate and longer term. We know this because it was declared an “operational matter”, which became a code word in Australian politics for “f*ck you and the horse your information request rode in on”. Ergo, dodgy stuff must have been going on. Google announced an extension to the Google Plus service, allowing people who aren’t friends with each other to message one another. This was shortly followed by another extension to allow people to communicate with the dead. It turned out to be less popular than originally envisaged by Google engineers, mainly on account of the dead having very little to talk about. It was, however, considerably more popular than allowing people to be contacted by other people they didn’t know.

Nigeria adopted a law making gay sex punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. That was fairly mean, and we all wish Nigeria grow up and stop being home to nasty homphobes. (Still, it could be worse – they could be Russia.)

Australian authorities apologised to Indonesia for breaching Indonesian territorial waters as part of the inhumane process of dragging asylum seekers away from the country. “We’re sorry”, Scott Morrison said looking down at his shoes and noticing the shit was rising past his ankles, “We’re sorry you didn’t like what we did.” However, Indonesian authorities spotted Australia’s fingers crossed behind its back, and refused to accept the fauxpology. On January 21, Las Vegas casinos started accepting Bitcoin. On January 22, Las Vegas casinos stopped accepting Bitcoin when they realised people would actually try to gamble using nothing. “If they’re going to gambling using none of their own money, they should do so using the time honoured tradition: a cash withdrawal from their credit cards”, a Casino boss said.

In many countries around the world, mean spirited people did mean things to other people, all in the name of religion.

Finally, a blue diamond was discovered in South Africa. Despite weekly counselling sessions, it remains sad.

February 2014 got off to a roaring start with the Australian government being horrid towards asylum seekers, and not wishing to appear undetermined, the government continued to be mean towards asylum seekers for the entire month. Such was the level of callous disregard towards asylum seekers that the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea (previously setup by Labor Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd in an attempt to out-bastard the bastards) was attacked by locals with detainees beaten savagely by the mob and one poor soul being killed. This rightly reduced Australia to pariah status amongst civilised countries.

A large menagerie of endangered animals from Madagascar were found in the South African airport. South African authorities refused to believe they had arrived for a Contiki Holiday and put them immediately back on a return flight. While the flight attendants were not particularly amused by the screaming Lemurs, they did acknowledge it was less rowdy than the Sydney<>Bali run.

A new form of giant jellyfish was discovered off the Australian coast. This excited marine scientists, and led the Australian government to commission construction of a new navy patrol boat specially equipped for towing freeloading jellyfish into international waters. Meanwhile, convicted Australian drug trafficker, Schapelle Corby was granted parole in Indonesia. This made basically everyone in Australia mad: the people who thought she was framed were angry it took her so long to be released, the people who thought she was guilty was annoyed she got early release, and everyone else who had moved on with their lives were annoyed her name was yet again splashed all over the media for other people to get annoyed about.

In many countries around the world, mean spirited people did mean things to other people, all in the name of religion.

The Winter Olympics were opened in Sochi in February. By the time the games ended, Russian officials were exuberant at the number of hastily and poorly constructed buildings that didn’t collapse during the games, and expressed surprise at how little the rest of the world appreciated new events developed by their homophobic sports ministry, including Cross Country Lesbian Beating and Faggot Skating.

March started with a bang, literally, as Vladimir Putin, archduck of the Russian Federation received formal approval to put troops on the ground in Ukraine. (Tony Abbott is rumoured to have started practicing the term “shirtfront” at this point.) Within days, police apprehended hundreds of anti-war protestors on the streets of Moscow. After several days they were released, some even still with most of the limbs intact.

Knife wielding maniacs attacked a crowded train station in China, killing almost 30 people and injuring another 130. The NRA issued a brief statement condemning the violence but noting that far less carnage might have happened had the maniacs had access to automatic and semi-automatic weapons instead of knives.

In many countries around the world, mean spirited people did mean things to other people, all in the name of religion.

The worlds most watched trial since Mother Theresa walked bare foot across hot coals while juggling ceramic mandolins and whistling the Star Spangled Banner backwards opened in South Africa as prosecutors started outlining their case against Oscar Pistorious.

Flight MH370 was tragically lost, with the world being no closer to finding out what happened or indeed where it might have actually been lost by the end of 2014. Ebola also broke out in Guinea, and the outbreak was to grow throughout all over 2014, overwhelming the medical response capabilities of local authorities and prompting a humanitarian aid crisis.

The Australian government continued to do dastardly things towards asylum seekers, but attempted to reclaim a little the lost humanitarian image of the country by leading the search for MH370. Briefly.

Early in April, a court stenographer was discovered to have been typing gibberish rather than real court notes for up to 30 cases. The stenographer’s whereabouts are now unknown, but rumour has it the person now produces press releases for the Abbott government.

The Australian high court broke new ground by recognising a third gender, that which is neither male nor female, a rare win for equality in a country so hell bent on ensuring a fair go mainly just for the white heterosexual male portion of the population.

Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP. XP users were requested henceforth to attach a large bell to their computer whenever they went on the internet … though whether this was to warn “leper, outcast!” or to simply attract a feeding frenzy of sharks, no-one is the wiser.

Astronomers announced the discovery of the first moon orbiting an exoplanet. This was a surprise to the many exoplanets previously discovered that happened to have unnoticed moons, and has led to numerous protests being filed. This even led to Band-Aid producing a song in support for the other exoplanets, “Is my moon not pretty enough?”

The premier of NSW resigned after misleading ICAC, having said he had no recollection of being given a bottle of $3,000 wine before being presented with a lovely thank-you note he had written to someone for the $3,000 bottle of wine.

Australia took a brief respite from being horrid to asylum seekers in April, choosing to instead be really horrid to asylum seekers instead. Meanwhile, in quite a few countries in the world, mean spirited people did mean things to other people, all in the name of religion.

In May, the Ukraine tensions continued to ratchet, with pro-Russian thugs doing typically thuggish things under the protective wing of Vlad Putin the Impaler. Continuing his thuggish behaviour, Putin also signed into law a bill that prohibited the use of profanity in the arts. In honour of that ban, we present the following terms and phrases for artistic purpose and dedicated to Vladimir Putin: “fuck knuckle”, “shit face”, “dickhead” and “vainglory corrupt turdmuncher”.

Monica Lewinsky released a book detailing her experiences relating to her affair with former US President, Bill Clinton. This was met with a resounding splat and a quick trip to the dry-cleaners by most of the press.

Barclays Bank in Britain announced they’d cut 19,000 jobs over three years, presumably transferring the salaries of all those jobs to senior upper management, who may have been running out of £100 notes to burn for cigar lighting.

The Australian government proved its implacable determination to be implacably mean towards asylum seekers by continuing to do nasty things to them. Meanwhile, several senior ministers in the Abbott government were observed wandering around Parliament House with their hands over their ears screaming “THERE IS NO CLIMATE CHANGE, LA-LA-LAAAAAA”. The government then went on to announce the new budget, code-named “Dooh Nibor”, which seemed to have a primary focus on making poor people understand that it really was their fault for being poor.

The Judge in the trial of Oscar Pistorious trial ordered that the man be mentally evaluated. Sadly, no such order was given for the 9.7 billion reporters reporting on the trial, reporting on reports of the trial, reporting on reports about reports of the trial, and reporting on the fashion of the reporters who were reporting on the reports of the reports of the trial.

Meanwhile, a number of mean spirited people did nasty things to other people on behalf of their loving, caring and yet oddly narcissistically spiteful god-creature.

Finally, oceanic investigators claimed in May to have found the wreck of Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria, somewhere near the Haitian coast. The Australian government immediately offered advice and assistance to the Haitian government on how to drag the wreck back into international waters.

June saw the conviction of Rolf Harris in England on indecent assault charges against children, demonstrating to the the world just what Jake the Peg had been doing with his extra leg for all those years.

Led by a former pugilist scholar, the Australian government continued to use asylum seekers as metaphorical punching bags, partly as a means of getting out all the angst and frustration of sliding opinion polls and a rather poor reception to their May budget.

Apple released the Swift programming language at its yearly WWDC event. Samsung immediately held their own event and announced a new programming language, Swifter. Blackberry tried to hold a press conference, but no-one went.

Mexico passed laws increasing both the minimum and maximum sentencing terms for perpetrators of kidnappings. In response, drug cartels kidnapped all the lawmakers involved in the new laws.

Ebola continued to spread in West Africa, and leaders of the developed world continued their determined disregard of it. Meanwhile, quite a number of people all around the world who claimed to be deeply religious focused their efforts on killing other people rather than helping those with ebola.

In an attempt to take the media’s attention off their epically mean-spirited budget, the Australian government redoubled their efforts to be mean to asylum seekers. (This was likened to when Alcibiades cut the tail off his dog so people would talk about his dog rather than him.)

Tesla opened its intellectual doors, announcing competitors could use its patents without charge. Without charge. Get it? Hilarious.

North Korea released video evidence of having developed a new cruise missile. In a seven hour documentary about the new missile, the government claimed that Glorious Leader III, Kim Jong-un had invented the missile himself using only rabbit fur and tar. The stop gap animation and periodic appearance of fingers holding what appeared to be a plasticine model of the missile were attributed to “corrupt Western influence”.

July 2014 saw Australia and Japan sign the silly pose agreement. This deal was sealed by the Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers demonstrating such a pose.

Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers demonstrate the benefits of the Free Silly Pose Agreement

Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers demonstrate the benefits of the Free Silly Pose Agreement

South Korea announced that North Korea had fired several shells into disputed territorial waters. North Korea responded by saying they’d merely been returning several Samsung Galaxy tablets with terrible battery lives.

The Australian government descended from moral depravity to idiotic moral depravity by combining their attitude towards asylum seekers with the abolition of the Carbon Tax (which, by December 2014, was found to have reduced Australia’s emissions to levels not seen for a decade). For their next trick, they announced they’d build a really large laser to melt the Antarctic.

July 2014 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the commencement of the War To End All Wars, a curiously named war given it most certainly did not end all wars, and in fact directly resulted in the socioeconomic and geopolitical changes that led to World War II. (By that stage, historians and politicians alike adroitly determined they couldn’t name WWII ‘The War That Really Ended All Wars’.)

Malaysian flight MH-17 was shot down over the Ukraine, killing all on-board. The world almost unanimously declared that Vladimir Putin is a dick.

A Chinese city was quarantined over an outbreak of Bubonic Plague. This received considerably more media attention than the continuing spread of ebola.

August saw the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality act ruled illegal on a technicality. This was quickly ‘rectified’ by the homophobic government. To understand just how evil this laws are, skip forward to December.

The ebola outbreak in West Africa continued at an alarming pace. World leaders still mostly ignored the problem, though a few were half-inclined to look at Africa on a map and wonder out loud how things were going “over there”.

Rupert Murdoch’s Megaplex of Mendacity withdrew its bid to take over Time Warner, focusing instead on its overall takeover of Australia. The Australian government gleefully continued its path of unbridled evil towards asylum seekers.

Russia banned all US agricultural imports, peeved that the United States had imposed rigorous sanctions for their support of Ukrainian Separatists. This made next to nil effect to the bottom line of the American budget, but inside Russia was akin to cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Meanwhile, Michael Brown, a teenager in the United States was shot and killed, seemingly for the crime of being black, vividly reminding the US population that race relations still has a long way to go. This was well known to most minority groups in the United States, but came as somewhat of a surprise to many caucasians.

Richard Attenborough died age 90, resulting in many people who had only just partially been paying attention to the news expressing grief that the age of excellent documentaries about animals and nature in general had passed with Richard.

September saw Australia raise its terror threat to “High” in response to plummeting opinion polls of both the Federal government and the personal approval rating of the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Australia also decided to send some air force personnel and planes to the middle east to fight against ISIS (because nothing lowers the terror threat like making crazy people notice you). Ever the multi-taskers, they continued to be right shits to asylum seekers during this month as well. Indeed, it was a busy month on the terrorism front in Australia, with Australian Federal Police mounting raids in Brisbane and Sydney to arrest a bunch of people who supposedly were involved in terrorist plots. (Somehow managing to miss the whack-job who would go on to kill two people in Sydney in December during a siege situation.)

Scotland’s independence referendum was held, sparking emotions and cries of foul play on both sides of the debate. The only thing the voters could agree on were that the crumbed, deep fried ballot papers were delicious.

Nauru, a relatively tiny nation in the pacific which had apparently existed on the largesse of Australia for several years in return for hosting asylum seekers in hellish conditions, ran out of money.

In technology, Apple released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ handsets, entering the big-screen market to the relief of a large number of iPhone users around the world. Not to be outdone, Blackberry announced they’d sold a record 50 smart phones in the previous quarter.

October saw Western leaders finally start sitting up and taking notice of Ebola when a Spanish nurse contracted the disease. Suddenly this resulted in a significantly higher profile on the disease amongst leaders of the free world as they realised unlike poverty and famine, wealth wasn’t technically an immunity vector for the disease. Large slabs of money was promised and some of it even materialised, albeit from some of the poorest countries on the planet.

Various mean spirited people throughout the world continued to conduct themselves in an appalling manner in the name of their religions.

The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to a bunch of guys who invented blue LEDs. This resulted in the convention centre where the awards were handed out being stormed and burnt to the ground by a large number of sleep deprived people kept awake night after night by their phone and tablet chargers with inexplicably bright blue lights.

Kim Jong-un didn’t show up at an important ceremonial event that normally focuses on the North Korean Leader. While this led many to speculate that he had been supplanted or was suffering serious health problems, Kim later admitted he was simply busy blowing up generals with mortar shells and completely lost track of time.

Half of Texas started stocking up, boarding up their doors and windows and preparing for the oncoming Zombie Hoard when a nurse was diagnosed with Ebola … and sent home for a few days without isolation. The other half of Texas started stocking up, boarding up their doors and windows and preparing for the oncoming Zombie Hoard when a second health worker was diagnosed with Ebola a couple of days later.

New Zealand won a seat on the UN security council to commence in 2015, largely on the promise of “we’re not horrible towards asylum seekers like Australia is”. Australia continued its tendency towards shunning humanitarian issues by continuing to be mean towards asylum seekers and issuing a blanket ban on people travelling back to the country from regions affected by the Ebola outbreak. Sadly, no senior ministers of the Australian Federal Government or Tony Abbott had not been in one of those regions before the ban came into play.

Meanwhile, many unpleasant people did many unpleasant things to many innocent people in the name of religion.

November saw the meeting of the G20 in Brisbane, Australia. After several months of bluster about whether or not Vladimir Putin would be allowed to come, and then after several weeks of even more inane bluster about “shirtfronting” Vladimir Putin, Tony Abbott exchanged a few words with Putin during the conference. The world’s media were stunned to discover that the hitherto-unknown Australian phrase “shirtfront” meant the verbal equivalent of lifting one’s opponent’s shirt and licking his or her nipples.

Voters in the United States went to the polls, sick and tired of narcissistic corrupt self-entitled socially-reprehensible politicians. In order to teach them a lesson, they voted more republicans in office. After all, fighting fire with fire always works, right?

In Australia, the Melbourne Cup was won by a horse, while another horse died as a result of the race. Racegoers, punters and enthusiasts alike all insisted this was OK, that the chances of a horse dying during or shortly after a race were quite small … but strangely none seemed interested in running those odds themselves. The horse, of course, had not been consulted.

The title for the Seventh Star Wars movie was announced to be The Force Awakens. Given the three prequel movies previously released had resulted in the Force slipping into a comatose state out of sheer boredom, this resulted in many fans being somewhat hopeful that the starting text for Episode VII would reference neither taxation nor trade disputes.

The APEC summit was held in China, where it was universally agreed that Vladimir Putin won the Star Trek: The Next Generation lookalike competition for his Jean Luc Picard impersonation.

Vladimir Putin wins Star Trek: The Next Generation lookalike competition as Jean Luc Picard

Vladimir Putin wins Star Trek: The Next Generation lookalike competition as Jean Luc Picard

Protests for democracy continued in Hong Kong, while the Chinese Government seethed in frustration that it wasn’t just going away like Tiananmen Square had. (Of course, Tiananmen Square managed to go away with the help of a few tanks.)

Philae landed on a comet. All things considered that was pretty freaking cool.

Sweden released sonar images of the submersible which had entered its territorial waters earlier in the year. Australian authorities denied that it bore any resemblance to an Australian navy vessel towing a sinking asylum seeker ship back out of Australian territorial waters.

A giant snowstorm hit the United States, covering almost half of the country in snow. An NRA spokesman expressed sympathy for those killed by the cold weather but insisting that had they had semi-automatic weapons they might have been able to shoot the cold weather and survive.

Still in the United States, a grand jury found that the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown had not acted improperly on account of expert state witness testimony that emphatically said Michael Brown had actually turned into Godzilla and was about to destroy the country.

Meanwhile, the Australian government proved they weren’t quitters and continued to do really horrible things to asylum seekers.

The queer world shouted for joy in December when American Arch-Bigot Scott Lively lost his final appeal to have charges of crimes against humanity dropped against him. This meant he would indeed have to stand trial for all his horrid, evil work in countries like Uganda in helping to organise laws oh-so-affectionately labelled as kill-the-gays. (Kudos for arch arse-trumpet Scott in proving that religion is indeed no guarantee against being a horrible person.)

An Iraqi investigation into its army found there were over 50,000 ghost soldiers. The Iraqi PM, having not watched The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King immediately sacked the ghost soldiers rather than deploying them with devastating effect against the goat-fuckers known as ISIL/ISIS infesting the country. (The goats, meanwhile, issued a brief statement condemning ISIL/ISIS.)

In Australia, the Prime Minister announced a cabinet reshuffle. Scott Morrison, who had done an apparently stellar job at doing horrible things to asylum seekers was moved from his portfolio into the job of Minister for Welfare. Morrison got to work quickly, disbanding funding for a multitude of welfare organisations and announcing new programmes such as “Work for the Pension”, “Old Start”, and “Fight for the Dole”.

Tony Abbott, self-appointed Minister for Women, announced his greatest achievement for women thus far had been the abolition of the carbon tax. The women of Australia responded appropriately:

Now I can get back to the ironing

Now I can get back to the ironing

A deranged whack-job who happened to be Islamic took hostages in a chocolate shop in Sydney, resulting in the death of two entirely innocent people. This was seized upon by many in the Australian government and the right-wing extremist media hoard as a sign of religious terrorism in Australia, conveniently forgetting every time someone in Australia who called themselves a Christian killed, maimed or otherwise attacked someone.

Taking a leaf out of the book of the NRA, one Australian senator insisted that the siege might have turned out for the better had the customers been allowed to carry concealed weapons. This of course completely ignored the argument that in such a situation the whack-job who conducted the siege would have likely had more weapons and been able to inflict more harm. This just went to prove that gun advocates are idiots regardless of what country they’re from.

Speaking of whack-jobs, nasty minded people who permit themselves to do horrible things to innocent people all in the name of their religion reached new levels of atrocity in December when Taliban gunmen stormed through a school in Pakistan and killed over 130 children. (This left us all hoping that the God of Facebook might happen to be real and hit that smite key a few extra times, since all the supposed real gods were far more interested in watching people masturbate and judging them than stopping the slaughter of children.)

NASA emailed a wrench to the International Space Station, sending the plans to the station’s 3D printer. This, again, was pretty damn cool.

And finally, Christmas was cancelled in Australia for the second year running when the Federal Government’s border patrol intercepted Santa’s sleigh and turned it around.

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