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Dave Barry’s Year in Review

Trump mixed media image - by Ryan McAmis
By: Dave Barry – – December 30, 2018

We can summarize 2018 in two words:

It boofed.

We’re not 100 percent sure what “boofing” is, despite the fact that this very issue was discussed in a hearing of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. All we know for certain about boofing is that it is distasteful and stupid.

As was 2018.

In spades.

What made this year so awful? We could list many factors, including natural disasters, man-made atrocities, the utter depravity of our national political discourse and the loss of Aretha Franklin. Instead we’ll cite one event that, while minor, epitomizes 2018: the debut of “Dr. Pimple Popper.” This is a cable TV reality show featuring high-definition slo-mo close-up videos of a California dermatologist performing seriously disgusting procedures on individuals with zits the size of mature cantaloupes. You might ask, “Who on Earth would voluntarily watch that?” The answer, in 2018, was: MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. That is the state of our culture. We can only imagine what new reality shows lie ahead. We would not rule out “Dr. Butt Wiper” or “People Blow Their Noses Directly Onto the Camera Lens.”

Is there anything good we can say about 2018? Only this: It got us out of 2017. But even that didn’t work out as we hoped.

As you recall, we, as a nation, spent all of 2017 obsessing over 2016: the election, the Russians, the emails, the Mueller probe, the Russians, the Russians, the Russians. … That was all we heard about, day after soul-crushing day, for the entire year.

So when 2018 finally dawned, we were desperately hoping for change. It was a new year, a chance for the nation to break out of the endless, pointless barrage of charges and countercharges, to move past the vicious, hate-filled hyperpartisan spew of name-calling and petty point-scoring, to end the 24/7 cycle of media hysteria, to look forward and begin to tackle the many critical issues facing the nation, the most important of which turned out to be …

… the 2016 election.

Yes. We could not escape it. We were like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day,” except that when our clock-radio went off, instead of Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe,” we awoke to still MORE talk of Russians and emails; MORE childish semiliterate presidential tweets about FAKE NEWS and Crooked Hillary; MORE freakouts by cable TV panelists predicting that — forget about the previous 300 times they made the same prediction — THIS time impeachment was IMMINENT, PEOPLE. IMMINENT!!

Meet the new year: same as the old year.

So at some point during 2018, normal, non-Beltway-dwelling Americans simply stopped paying attention to current events. Every now and then we’d tune in to a cable TV news show to see what kinds of issues our nation’s elite political/media class was grappling with, and we’d see a headline like “PORN STAR STORMY DANIELS: TRUMP DIDN’T USE A CONDOM.”

That was when “Dr. Pimple Popper” started to look pretty good.

So we’re very glad that 2018 is finally over. Once again we’re on the cusp of a new year, another chance for change. And once again, we find ourselves feeling stirrings of hope — hope that the coming year really will be better. Why do we feel this way? Why, despite all our past disappointments, do we believe things really can improve? Because we are morons, apparently.

So let’s not get too excited about 2019. Our emotional state, going forward, should be hopelessness leavened with despair, as we can see when we look back at the grotesque boof-a-palooza that was 2018, starting with …


… which sees world tensions rise when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un states that he has a nuclear missile launch button on his desk. This leaves U.S. Commander in Chief Donald Trump with no viable military option but to fire up his Random Capitalizer App and tweet “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his,” thereby leaving no doubt as to which leader is more secure regarding the size of his button. In an apparent effort to reassure everyone on his mental state, the president also issues a tweet in which he describes himself as “genius….and a very stable genius at that!” Which is EXACTLY HOW VERY STABLE GENIUSES TALK, OKAY??

The intellectual level of the national discourse soars even higher when it is reported that, during an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform, the president referred to some poorer nations as “s—holes.” This upsets many people, especially the frowny panelpersons of CNN, who find the word “s—hole” so deeply offensive that they repeat it roughly 15 times per hour for a solid week. Washington is consumed by a heated debate over what, exactly, the president said; the tone and substance of this debate are reflected in this actual sentence from a Washington Post story: “Three White House officials said [Sen. David] Perdue and [Sen. Tom] Cotton told the White House that they heard ‘s—house’ rather than ‘s—hole,’ allowing them to deny the president’s comments on television over the weekend.” (This is known in legal circles as the “s—house defense.”)

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels so she would keep quiet about an alleged act of executive outreach with Trump in 2006. Cohen responds that “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence, as has Ms. Daniels.” So that settles THAT.

A congressional squabble shuts down the federal government for three days, but what with the intense media focus on the s—hole and porn star issues, hardly anybody notices.

In non-s—hole news, the residents of Hawaii experience an exciting Saturday morning when they receive the following message on their phones from the state’s Emergency Management Agency: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, is quickly informed that it’s a false alarm, but 17 extremely tense minutes go by before he gets the word out on social media. Asked later about the delay, he says — we are not making this quote up — “I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account logons and the passwords.” This statement arouses powerful feelings of longing among high-level Trump advisers.

The fiasco leads to the resignation of the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, who immediately accepts a position as director of pet transportation for United Airlines.

In youth fads, the American Association of Poison Control Centers continues to receive reports of young people suffering ill effects from eating Tide detergent pods. Asked to explain why young people would persist in eating something that tastes terrible and makes them sick, an AAPCC spokesperson says, “As far as we can determine, it’s because they’re stupid.”

Speaking of stupid, in …


… with yet another government shutdown looming, Congress, whose irresponsible spending practices have put the nation on the road to fiscal disaster, faces a choice. It can either:

1. Continue to spend huge amounts of money that we don’t have, or

2. Not.

After much late-night drama, Congress agrees on a compromise deal under which it will continue to spend huge amounts of money that we don’t have. This display of leadership solves the budget problem permanently until March, when Congress will once again tackle the complex problem of government spending.

But the big story in Washington is the hotly debated release by congressional Republicans of the so-called “Nunes memo,” which, depending on which cable news network you listen to, either does or does not prove that the FBI, in its investigation of possible Russian influence on the 2016 election, abused the FISA process when it used the so-called “Steele dossier” — which was prepared by Fusion GPS, a research firm originally hired by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, to investigate Trump, but dropped by that organization when Trump was nominated, then hired by an attorney for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, after which Fusion hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele as an investigator — to obtain a warrant to wiretap Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser in the Trump campaign who allegedly … Hey, wake up! This is important! Also there’s a Democratic counter-memo!

On the Stormy Daniels front, Michael Cohen acknowledges that he did, in fact, pay $130,000 to the porn actress, but he used his own money and the Trump campaign had nothing to do with it and it was all totally legit. So that settles THAT.

In sports, the 2018 Winter Olympics get underway in PyeongChang, South Korea, with the historic Opening Ceremonies highlighted by the release of 25 doves, which are immediately shot down and consumed by the North Korean men’s biathlon team.

In domestic sports, the Eagles defeat the Patriots to win their first Super Bowl, and huge crowds of joyous Philadelphia fans celebrate by destroying downtown Boston.

No, that would actually make sense. In fact the Philadelphia fans spend the night destroying their own city, then head home for a hearty breakfast of Tide Pods.

Speaking of classy behavior, in …


[ . . . ]

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Source: Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2018 – The Washington Post

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