So, goodbye 2018, we hardly knew ye. 2018 first came to us so long ago, stayed for what felt like an age, and now it so quickly whizzes past. The madness and chaos and confusion that existed at the start of the year looks set to walk with us arm-in-arm triumphantly into 2019. Brexit is still with us, and it gets more and more confusing each day. And, surprisingly to some, Trump is still with us, having now completed 2 full years of his first (and only?) term.
But this year had so much more to it than just Brexit and Trump. It was crammed so full of news that Trevor Noah, whilst hosting the last episode of The Daily Show for the year, said that “2018 was so insane, every day felt ten years long.”
But for a lot of people, the major news stories in 2018 — climate change, the midterm elections, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle, the rescue of school boys from underground caves — just went by in an endless scroll of push notifications. It was so easy to get lost in that electronic sea, to see these stories as a series of discrete events without a broader throughline or impact. Only time and historical analysis will reveal if that was indeed the case.
Yet through it all we never lost our sense of humour. For example, the prize-winning clown David Konyot took umbrage at the Guardian using the word ‘clown’ in one of it’s Brexit-related headlines. Konyot ended up writing the following letter to the newspaper, saying how it was wrong to use the word in connection with current political behaviour:
With regard to your recent article and headline (Our Elders Are Supposed To Be Older And Wiser. But Not These Brexit Clowns, theguardian.com, 21 December), I am a prize-winning international musical clown, part of an honourable profession, and am deeply offended by the misuse and misrepresentation of “clown” in connection with parliamentary or other forms of chaotic behaviour. The constant use of the word “circus” in the press to denote a mess or bad behaviour is also distasteful. Unlike the comparison the press constantly draws, a clown or indeed a circus must be orderly and efficient to work properly. And in the case of a circus, it takes teamwork – which is the opposite of the impression the press gives. Please could the fourth estate find other words to describe political behaviour. David Konyot, Tilney St Lawrence, Norfolk – Letters, 26 Dec 2018, theguardian.com
One can feel the clown tongue firmly planted in rose painted cheek. Continuing on in a similar vein, please find below a selection of hopefully comedic quotes I have collated at the tail end of this long and eventful year that seems to have now gone by in a flash. Enjoy!
Remember. Kevin McCallister could have phoned the police at any time. He was a child who had accidentally been left alone. One call and he would have been safe. But it was never about safety. He was hunting those men. He wanted them to die. It was fun for him. He enjoyed it. – Trevor Moore, Dec 2018
During 2018 in the UK Brexit continued to create total chaos. Actually, I went back home last week to Malawi because I just wanted to see what it was like to be under a stable government. – Daliso Chaponda, Dec 2018
I love travelling internationally but I don’t like the long lines and bureaucracy of immigration and customs. Apparently Australia is the worst at this because Australia is so far from the rest of the planet that they are really strict about you not bringing in plants or fruit into their country, because they are worried that if foreign bodies enter Australia they’ll kill people and destroy the environment. Which is a very fair point, because if you ask the Aboriginals they will tell you that if you let foreign bodies enter Australia they’ll kill people and destroy the environment. – Hari Kondabolu
The Republicans’ current attitude to Trump is of turning a blind eye to your racist builder because you just need to get the conservatory finished…Trump has not refashioned the GOP in his own image. He has achieved something more significant: he has managed to maintain a semantic distance from the Republican party despite cheerfully delivering its agenda…Trump might, I suppose, be a Russian spy: it would certainly explain why he can’t speak English. It’s not that he’s normalising his own behaviour; it’s that, by comparison, he’s normalising that of dreadful people everywhere. – Frankie Boyle
This is not normal. In the age of President Donald Trump, it is necessary to repeat this mantra constantly. The ways in which Trump breaks norms and shocks the conscience overwhelm America’s capacity to process each event with the appropriate level of outrage and accountability. America’s attention too often moves from one story to the next like sports highlights. Slowly, surely, America’s norms are stripped away. – Michael H Fuchs
Saudi Arabia murdered the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Britain was really annoyed about that. We sent them a very sternly worded arms invoice. To be fair to Saudi Arabia they are modernising. Next year they are going to start doing all their beheadings by chainsaw…Trump’s commitment to Saudi Arabia as a key ally has not wavered this year, despite the CIA concluding that Saudi crowned prince Mohammad Bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi…I think we should probably delay judgement until we know just how much money Saudi Arabia is prepared to give us…Also, can we really take the moral high ground about royal families sanctioning murder? – Frankie Boyle, Dec 2018, from his BBC TV show Frankie Boyle’s New World Order
If you had told me in the 1990’s that between Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, one would go on to become president and one would be going to jail for rape, I would have got that one wrong. – Ted Alexandro
The French are lazy. That’s why they eat snails. It’s the only thing they can catch. – Micky Flanagan
Trump knows so little about black people that he probably thinks Martin Luther King’s last name is ‘Boulevard’. – Dulce Sloan
Like most men, in the bathroom my wife has allowed me to have two inches of space in the top right hand side of the bathroom cabinet. It doesn’t matter how big the bathroom gets or how big the cabinet gets, you’re allowed two inches of space, top right hand side, slightly back a bit. I call it ‘my little Palestine’ up there, I do. It’s under constant attack. I’ve only got to turn away a couple of days and suddenly it’s invaded. Glass cleaner, the mold remover. The Veet gets put there. – Mick Flanagan