In the words of Yakko Warner before he pulled out his Wheel O' Morality, "It's that time again". Yes, like so many X-Factor finalists 2012 is all but finished for good, and so all that's left is to look back at how things have developed over the year. Everything can change in a New York minute, so said Don Henley. So now, in order of appearance, let's have a look at how the world changed in a Whole World's 527,040 minutes.
The world wakes up to a brand new year and the announcement we'd all been waiting for, the winners of the 2012 Loo Of The Year Awards. Walking away with two UK-wide awards on the night for Changing Places Toilet Entries and Toilets in Education Centres, Highland Council absolutely clean up. Which, I suppose, is why they won them in the first place. In Italy, a former backing dancer for Donna Summer pretends to be a ship captain. It doesn't go very well. In the States, Uber-Conservator Rick Santorum wins the Iowa caucuses, setting in motion a series of systematic failures among candidates comically unable to withstand a campaign. A bit like the Three Little Pigs, but instead of straw, this. Meanwhile in cyberspace, some bad acronyms shut down the internet for a day.
The Irish Independent publishes a story about a Polish woman living the life of a P Diddy video while on the dole. Except they had it translated by this guy, and wildly exaggerated her standard of living. Staying in Ireland, the winner of a George Clooney lookalike contest makes worldwide headlines for being so unlike him it's unclear which of the men in the photo actually won. Argentine President Christina Kirchner drives her DeLorean at 88mph in the middle of a storm and travels back 30 years to revisit all that Falklands gubbins. The guy from that movie Milk agrees. Greece gets its 347th bailout, which at this point will barely pay for barricades at the austerity protests. And in Syria, Bashar Al Assad surges off to an early lead in the year's Bastard Grand Prix, Despot Division.
The world is alerted to the dastardly Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, which would have been brilliant if this was 1995. George Clooney is arrested at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, but it has nothing to do with the previous months' lookalike disaster. David Cameron admits he rode a horse in the possession of Rebekah Brooks which in turn was given to her by the Metropolitan Police, which makes his attempts to claim he's not unduly close to News International as difficult a leap as a puissance wall. In other news, Ken Barlow is a straight up G.
Belfast's Titanic fever reaches hallucinogenic levels, hitting its sweating convulsive peak with commemorative crisps, and slogans from caffeinated beverage companies claiming they "Put the T in Titanic". As opposed to the iceberg, which put the C in Titanic. In the US, Hillary Clinton's texts and Barack Obama's Al Green impression take the world by storm, and closer-to-home giggles were provided by Michelle Mulherin, an Irish parliamentary backbencher who diagnosed fornication as the main cause of unwanted babies. She actually said that. This year. 2012.
The summer sport madness kicked in early, as Man City win the League title in dramatic fashion and Chelsea win the Champions League in dismal, eye-rolling fashion, but at least we got a good meme out of it. In the US, vice president and Frank Drebbin's long-lost brother Joe Biden says he's down with gay marriage, and his line manager soon follows suit. France gets a new president in Francois Hollande, and to celebrate he sticks his head out of a Citroen and gets himself soaked. In Northern Ireland Willie Frazer, the type of man who'd write in to Countdown to complain about double entendres on the Teatime Teaser, got himself in a tizzy over an Irish flag flying outside a primary school. This naturally led him to believe it was a training ground for IRA cadets. Except, it wasn't the Irish flag, but the Italian flag, which was there as part of a school project, along with a Turkish and Polish flag he somehow missed. His is perhaps the only case in history where someone has seen red because he thought he saw orange, but was actually red. In China, the loveliest dog in the whole wide world goes all Proclaimers and follows a convoy of cyclist for over a thousand miles.
Euro 2012 kicks off, and Ireland trips over the ball. Meanwhile, England's penalty shootout bete noire continues and Spain plain just take the piss. David Cameron calls Jimmy Carr's tax dodge immoral, around the same time his comms guy gets done for perjury and a supporter of his gets caught doing a similar thing. And so did his Da. He also Home Alones his daughter in a pub. A member of the Greek far-right Rising Dawn takes his knuckle off the ground for a bit to strike a woman in a TV studio. The Queen celebrates her 60th year on the throne by looking at some boats and a Jamaican woman hula hooping.