2016 RE­VIS­ITED

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

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - THE LOVES OF MY LIFE -

“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”.

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