The good guys kept checking out and the bad guys kept winning. Declan Lynch takes us back through a year in of truly crazy things such as Brexit, Trump, Leicester winning the Premier League and blizzards of ‘locker-room talk’ JANUARY
“Anybody But Trump” — at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, a carnival celebrating the start of 2016, they wrote these words across the sky. A businessman called Steve Pate paid for the plane which trailed this and other slogans such as “Trump Is Disgusting”, to the loud approval of a crowd of hundreds of thousands — though their enthusiasm was perhaps partly due to their underlying belief that Anybody would ultimately beat Trump.
Back in that long-distant era, if you were looking for a bit of inappropriate locker-room banter, the best out there was probably in Australia, when Jamaica’s star cricketer Chris Gayle asked the TV presenter Mel McLoughlin out on a date while she was interviewing him. “Don’t blush, baby,” he schmoozed, an offence for which he was officially reprimanded.
Ah yes, it didn’t take much to get us excited back then, with quite a fuss being made of a Ciaran Mullooly RTE News report on the flooding in Athlone being interrupted by two protestors carrying signs of a leftist nature. And in Britain when Richard Suchet of Sky News described the Bafta-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan as “one of our own”, many Irish people felt obliged to denounce him and to demand an apology on the grounds that they really had nothing better to be doing.
Some of us even felt a frisson when Nicky Byrne declared that he was hoping to end Ireland’s dismal Eurovision run. And with Rupert Murdoch getting engaged to Jerry Hall, there was a little surge of hope for all of us who happen to be very old billionaire media moguls.
Then David Bowie died, and even those who were still waiting for that apology from Richard Suchet were starting to realise that some things are perhaps more important than others. The passing of one of the great artists of the 20th Century might even merit the distinction of being a prominent item on the main evening news, though obviously not ahead of speculation as to when Enda would name the date for the election.
Terry Wogan left us too, a man of deep civility and discernment who never got himself too worked up about the daily trivia of politics or about this kind of headline that we are increasingly saw from America: “Trump pulls ahead in Iowa”.