'The Yearly' host Charlie Pickering looks back on a truly bonkers 12 months
There is a theory that 2018 has been the craziest year ever. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. I mean, I’m sure there were some years when the dinosaurs were running about that were pretty chaotic, and the year Vesuvius erupted and took out Pompeii was definitely one for the history books. But it’s not outside the realms of possibility that this has been the most bonkers year of all time.
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Domestically, things were pretty loose. The Australian cricket team were busted using sandpaper to tamper with their balls. It sounds like a buck’s night gone wrong. Sadly it was just blatant cheating and ruined cricket’s good name (which was already pretty bad). Then the Bachelor was called the Honey Badger and went for the novel option of choosing nobody in the final episode, causing the TV-viewing nation to go into meltdown. The real nation didn’t fare much better. Despite all the evidence that rolling prime ministers is a terrible and unpopular idea, the government decided this time things would be different. They weren’t, and we ended up with a prime minister called Scott who is less popular than the Honey Badger.
Internationally, things were properly loco. The UK is falling apart via Brexit, a self-destruct device of its own design. France put on a real-time reality-TV production of Les Misérables, where instead of singing, the heroes all wear hi-vis vests. Like most modern remakes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Earlier in the year, North Korea’s problem child, Kim Jong-un, met with the world’s problem child, Donald Trump – the meeting that had all the fanfare of humans meeting aliens for the first time. And it may as well have been. They literally agreed to nothing, and the world hailed it as a great success. A triumph of lowered expectations.
Not all the news was terrible. In fact, the biggest story of the year was also the best. A youth soccer team got trapped in a cave in Thailand. What followed was one of the greatest rescue missions of all time. Every available camera in the world descended and the world held its breath while the boys held theirs and made the gruelling journey to freedom. In a world of grown-ups letting us down, a group of kids showed us the way.
None of this explains why this year was so crazy. Perhaps it’s because after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the world just thought, “Screw it, let’s see how whacky we can get.” Perhaps the rising global temperature has baked our decision-making faculties. I suspect it’s because we’re just spending too much time on our phones. Apple now has a doodad that tells you how many hours a day you are on your phone. It’s an exact measure of all the time we’re not looking around the real world and asking what the hell we have done to the place. •
This article was written on an iPhone.
Charlie Pickering will host The Yearly on Wed., Dec. 19 at 8pm; ABC.