Tuesday, 10 January 2012

If 2011 had been voted off The X Factor… Part 1

Welcome back to DraMattics returning after the Christmas break.  As you’ve probably noticed by now its 2012, and as is customary I’ve written an exciting review of 2011 for us to reminisce over. Now traditionally reviews of the year are written before the end of the year, but by saving my review until 2012 I won’t have missed out on any last minute events that occurred of those final days of 2011 – I mean if the world had ended on the 30th of December 2011 what a fool I’d have looked with this incomplete review of the year. Secondly and most importantly publishing in 2012 gives me an opportunity to look at everyone else’s reviews of the year to save me having to rely on my increasingly erratic memory or doing any proper research.

2011 was a bumper year full of more events than you can think of, the months literally whizzed by with your calendar pages turning faster than Aleisha Dixon at the sight of Simon Cowell’s cheque book. I’ve broken the year down into 12 nice convenient chunks which I’ve called months, sadly the real world has s**t all over this by spreading more complex news stories across many months so please bare with any chronological errors. And I challenge you to get through this list without at least once saying “oh I’d forgotten that”.

2011 Review of the Year


2011 began bright eyed and bushy-tailed with the UK buried under tonnes of white stuff, no not the explosion of Kerry Katona but a thick blanket of snow. And 2011’s Award for “If only we’d had hindsight” was claimed early in the year when on the 1st of January Estonia became the 17th country to join the Euro. And in what would become known as the Arab Spring, the Tunisian government fell to a wave of upraising all started when a vegetable seller set fire to themselves in late 2010. Southern Sudan became the world’s newest country annoying atlas makers by declaring peaceful independence from Sudan. England won the Ashes representing a token effort by me to include sport when I know nothing about it (apparently that was good?!). And in stupid news Andy Gray and Richard Keys got fired from Sky News after tapes of them accusing women of not being able to understand the outstandingly complex game of football were released. The primary mistake the duo made was in thinking that women don’t follow football because they’re too stupid, whereas in reality they don’t follow it because their too busy getting incensed over EastEnders. The soap spent January in trouble for portraying a depressing story, even by it’s standards, as Ronnie Mitchell swapped her dead baby for that of Kat Moon’s, to an increasing chorus of angry viewers who’d completely forgotten that EastEnders wasn’t a documentary.


Back in February the traditional Valentine’s month saw the glittering Oscars ceremony where the King’s Speech triumphed winning 4 Oscars and showing that people with speech impediments used to have proper jobs and didn’t need to become chat show hosts. The Arab Spring continued (even though February is technically still winter), as the Egyptian government was overthrown. Up until then Egypt had been considered one of the most stable countries in the region, primarily as it’s government was built on a pyramid scheme – oh come on give us a laugh, there isn’t much funny about global uprising, except of course Colonel Gaddafi who continued to deny the existence of the Libyan rebellion, his fashion sense and sanity in a series of bizarre speeches that caused confused even Charlie Sheen. Back in the UK surprise TV hit of the year Big Fat Gypsy Weddings launched on Channel 4 regularly achieving a massive eight million viewers, just shy of the figures this blog gets.


March’s news was of course dominated by the tragic earthquake and subsequent tsunami which devastated the North East of Japan, which then became further overshadowed by the meltdown of the Fukushima reactor. Providing the disturbing revelation that I along with most people in the developed world seem more shocked by natural disasters that occur in other developed countries. At home large scale protests against the government’s austerity measures were overshadowed when a small angry group attacked banks and shops in an anti-capitalist protest which it later turned out was just the qualifying heats to the August finals. Charlie Sheen was fired from his job as the world’s most highly paid actor, after an increasing series of bizarre public statements and the revelation he was on the drug “Charlie Sheen”. 13 year old Rebecca Black became the subject of an internet hate campaign after she recorded a pop video as part of one of those day-out experience events that was universally condemned as the worst music video ever after being shown on YouTube, causing bitter disappointment amongst The Cheeky Girls who had been assured of the award. And Midsommer Murders got in trouble after revealing to those fearsome interviewers at The Radio Times that they portray the universally white middle England with a cast whiter than a Persil advert.


My research into April showed that according to the news not much happened, this was primarily due to some unseasonably hot weather – due to the disastrous project of outsourcing climate to Boris Johnson, which resulted in the hottest weather of the year falling in April and October. Additionally Easter and a bumper crop of Bank Holidays (three with a further one close behind in May) due to the Royal Wedding increased the incentive for a non-news worthy month. Although an estimated TV audience of 2 billion tuned into watch Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot, with 1 billion women ogling the dress and 1 billion men ogling Pippa Middleton’s bottom, all of them distracted from the disturbing sight of the spontaneous growth of a forest in Westminster Cathedral. April Fool’s Day erupted into a bumper edition when Nick Clegg launched a referendum on the Alternative Voting system (you’d forgotten about that hadn’t you?!) the result was announced in May, but not much happened in April so I needed something to write about here.


May saw a flurry of US news stories makes the headlines when Cheryl Cole was shot by US Navy Seals and Osama Bin Laden was sacked from The X Factor USA – I think that’s the right way round. While Osama’s Geordie accent was blamed for his lack of likeability critics praised his judging of American talent, whereas Cheryl Cole was found holed up in Pakistan and buried at sea. In sports’ news Manchester United and Manchester City won some things and the superinjunction story finally came to a head when the world’s worst kept secret that footballers do stupid things emerged. As it became clear Ryan Giggs had slept with someone he shouldn’t have. Obviously the most disturbing thing about the whole superinjunction saga was not the limiting of the freedom of the press, but the shock news that two people had slept with Andrew Marr – amazing, I thought one was pushing the limits of plausability. Portugal was rescued by the EU Monetary fund in what turned out to be a mini-cliff hanger on the road to 2011’s season finale of Europe-wide financial collapse. And it was proved the public really shouldn’t be allowed a say when The Only Way is Essex won a BAFTA Audience Award – thank god we don’t let the public have a say on any important issues like who is running the country.


According to all the news websites nothing happened in June, nothing not a single thing. Every review of the year skims over June like a proud mother skims over her rapist son when introducing her family at Christmas. Broadly speaking there was a continuation of every event already running, the Arab Spring rumbled on (even though it’s now summer), the Fukushima reactor continued to degrade, economic collapse continued in the Eurozone and protests at austerity measures hit many countries. Oh err… Glastonbury happened.

And on that pathetically lacklustre note, I will leave our review of 2011 there. No it’s not because the second half isn’t written but just because I am an irresistible tease, make sure you check out Part 2 later in the week!