Queen Elizabeth meets and, wait for it, actually touches Martin McGuinness at Belfast's Lyric Theatre. Around the same time in the London Studios on the Graham Norton Show, Miriam Margolyes meets punctuation-prone popster will.i.am, making the former meeting feel much more normal. The meeting marks a new era in civilised civic expression of cultural identity. Ahem. US Supreme Court chief justice does the legal equivalent of dropping a piano from the sky on the rabid anti-Obamacare horde by upholding its constitutionality in court. At CERN them science bucks discover the Higgs Boson particle, but in Ireland Ulster Bank struggles to do the one thing people expect a bank to do. Banks might not not have been very adept at fixing their technical gremlins, but it emerged what they were very good at, however, was fixing interest rates. America's wildly dysfunctional relationships with guns rears its ugly head yet again in Aurora, Colorado.
July being the silly season, the volume of WTF news was quite high: an Australian government minister made an early audition for a panto version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rupert Murdoch took a pie to the face, John Terry took very good direction and a woman applies for a job by attaching a cover letter, CV and a picture of Nicolas Cage.
David Cameron makes his first reshuffle, and makes a hames of it. Homeopathy lover Jeremy Hunt becomes health secretary, and if his past experience with Murdoch is anything to go by, he's already established a close relationship with Dr Robotnik. Andrew Mitchell gets appointed chief whip, then loses it after, eh, losing it. Speaking of which, all perspective is lost after a woman gets pictured without her top on. In more sobering, worthwhile news, the victims of Hillsborough are finally vindicated.
In the US, the difference between the two political parties is laid bare: Democrats get a bearhug, Republicans talk to a chair. Mitt Romney's hole gets deeper and deeper when he gets caught in a rare moment of candour over his views on "the 47%". Rory McIlroy gets an express taxi ride to take his part in the Miracle Of Medinah. An American footballer uses the most wonderfully profane case for gay rights ever written. George Entwistle takes over the BBC. What could possibly go wrong?
Jimmy Savile gains an unassailable overall lead in the Bastard Grand Prix. George Entwistle's 44 day reign of torpor ends as he literally talks himself out of a job. On the other hand, Ed Miliband surprises everyone by speaking real good. So, in quite spectacular fashion, does Julia Gillard.
US debate season starts and Mitt Romney inexplicably gains ground. Not with Snoop Lion though, among the compelling reasons he had for not voting for him was "Bitch got a dancing horse". Chris De Burgh gives the interview of the year to the Independent. And speaking of space cadets, I mean spacemen coming travelling, Felix Baumgartner jumps a few miles north of, eh, earth.
Barack Obama's accommodation situation stabilises for another four years, while General Patraeus is consigned to the doghouse. Newsnight gets a double battering: first it embarrassingly begs off the Jimmy Savile scandal, then it embarrassingly dives headlong into another scandal where the facts where more plasticine than concrete.
The month isn't without tragedy. In Ireland Savita Hallapanavar dies in hospital after being refused an abortion because "this is a Catholic country", and Gaza receives its regular Israeli blitzing. Elsewhere, Irish young people look to the future and drum up a litany of terrific ideas at the behest of the president, the Church of England sees the future and legs it in the other direction, and Rod Stewart cries his eyes out.
The horrendous shooting of children in Connecticut may finally shame legislators into doing something about gun violence. A woman gets pregnant. The Mayans got their maths all wrong. A man pretending to ride a horse while making fun of Seoul's beautiful people gets viewed over one billion times. Belfast, after a mostly successful year of mature commemorations, meetings and civic events, goes back to square one over a flag. And then vandalises the square. One very, eh, passionate woman becomes an internet sensation. It turns out Andrew Mitchell might not have lost it at all. I started writing What Kind of 2012 Has It Been, Part 1, but a saving error wiped the whole thing. Started to think about packing the whole thing in. Sort of glad I didn't now though.
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