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
Another example: As the year began, the hottest recording artist was the brilliant singer-songwriter
It was that kind of year. Remember back in 2011, when the big sex scandal involved
Did anything good come out of 2012? Maybe. Consider: For years, Washington has been paralyzed by bitterly partisan gridlock, unable and unwilling to act in the face of a potentially disastrous economic crisis. But this year, we, the people, finally did something about it. We went to the polls, and made our decision. Which is why now, as the year ends, we can look forward to a future in which Washington is ...
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 at the train wreck we're staggering away from, starting with ...
Meanwhile, the race for the Republican presidential nomination, which began in 2003, continues to be a spicy political gumbo of excitement. The emerging front runner is
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 ...
American motorists struggle to afford ever-higher gasoline prices, prompting a pledge from President Obama to do "whatever it takes" to bring relief at the pump, "including killing Osama bin Laden again." Mitt Romney responds that he, more than any other candidate, understands the consumers' pain over this issue, since he owns "at least 45 cars."
Tensions between the U.S. and
In sports news, Indianapolis, shedding its "hick town" image, shows that it is truly a world-class city as it hosts
Speaking of dramatic in ...
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
In the Middle East, tensions rise between the U.S. and Pakistan after an unmanned Predator drone destroys the only working toilet in Waziristan.
The scandals continue in ...
The U.S. Secret Service acknowledges that agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Obama at the Summit of the Americas allegedly engaged in some unauthorized summiting, if you catch our drift. The agents are immediately recalled to the U.S. and reassigned to former President Bill Clinton.
In domestic business news, Facebook, a company with a business model that nobody really understands, spends $1 billion to buy Instagram, another company with a business model that nobody really understands. Since everybody involved is about 19 years old, Wall Street concludes this must be a good idea.
On a sad note, beloved entertainer
Speaking of sad , in...
Newt Gingrich finally suspends his presidential campaign, despite an emotional plea to keep fighting from his base of supporters, namely Mrs. and Mrs. Elrod Pomfurter of Oklahoma City, who, after months of deliberation, had just invested in a bumper sticker.
Another major health-related story breaks in...
Tensions in Waziristan mount still higher amid reports that an unmanned Predator drone missile has been roaming the province engaging in unprotected sex.
Speaking of disturbing , in...
In Moscow, three members of the Russian all-woman punk-rock group Pussy Riot go on trial for engaging in an anti-government protest. Their cause is adopted by a variety of concerned organizations, including
In science news, a group of physicists announce that, after decades of research costing billions of dollars, they believe they have confirmed the existence of the
The partying continues in ...
Hurricane Isaac fails to dampen the mood in Tampa, Fla., at the wild and crazy spontaneous wacky funfest that is the
In space news,
In sports, Usain Bolt dominates the London Olympics, picking up gold medals in three sprint events and winning a world record eight seats in the House of Lords.
Speaking of celebrating , in...
Abroad, the big story is a deadly
In European economic news, Greece abandons the euro in favor of a new currency, the gyro, which is backed by some kind of grayish meat.
In other sports labor action, the
In space news, NASA scientists remotely analyze a soil sample collected by the Curiosity Waco Rover and report that it contains "an alarmingly high level of spit."
Apple releases the much-anticipated iPhone 5, which receives some criticism for its glitchy map software and the fact that it uses a different connector from all the other iPhones and iPhone accessories. Also, it can neither make nor receive telephone calls. Nevertheless it is a big hit with Apple fans, who line up to buy it even as they eagerly anticipate the forthcoming iPhone 5s, which, rumor has it, will require 3D glasses.
Speaking of criticism , in...
President Obama is widely faulted for his performance in the first presidential debate, during which he appears moody and detached, several times stopping in mid-answer to go outside to smoke a cigarette. The debate moderator, veteran
Stung by the defeat, Obama closets himself with his advisers, who coach him on debating techniques such as smiling, pretending to listen, and forming complete sentences without a Teleprompter. Obama is much more aggressive in the next two debates, at one point pulling out his BlackBerry on-camera and ordering a missile strike against Syria.
But the month's big story is "superstorm" Sandy, which devastates a large swath of the Northeast despite the courageous efforts of hundreds of TV news reporters standing on the beaches telling people to stay off the beaches. New York City is hit hard, but Mayor Bloomberg responds swiftly, ordering police to arrest anybody suspected of taking advantage of the disaster by consuming soft drinks from containers larger than 16 ounces, which could potentially cause them to become obese.
Speaking of surprises , in...
After an election cycle in which an estimated $6 billion was spent on races for the presidency and
Speaking of nutrition: A bankruptcy court grants
In other disturbing national-security news,
In the World Series, a team with a payroll $65 million lower than that of the
Speaking of troubled ... in.
There is much fiscal-cliff
Speaking of consumer danger: In the largest product recall ever, the
On a more troubling note, NASA scientists announce that their analysis of data transmitted back to Houston by the Curiosity Waco Rover shows conclusively that the Earth is uninhabitable. In a related development, on Dec. 21, exactly as predicted by the Mayan calendar, the entire planet is devastated by an apocalyptic event, but everyone is too busy texting to notice.
As the year finally draws to close, a festive crowd gathers in