2012: The Year in Review

From a deranged Dirty Harry to the rise of Honey Boo Boo, it was a long, strange, sad, and silly trip

2012: The Year in Review

We won! Barack Obama was reinstated as president mainly because the other guy was so bad. So bad, in fact, that he couldn't even figureout how to steal the election!

Conservatives found Mitt Romney too moderate. (Sure, he was a hater, but not nearly enough so for them. Certainly not as much as his running mate, Paul Ryan.) And a lot of others thought he didn't stand for anything, because he seemed to keep flip-flopping and pandering like a chameleon dressed like a used-car salesman. So Mitt's evasiveness came to haunt him, with various moments in the campaign exuding a "Don't vote for me" chill that proved ruinous.

There was the creepy convention performance of on-screen gunman Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair representing Obama, a stunt that made the entire nation hide their furniture. (At least it eclipsed Romney's speech later that night.)

Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair representing Obama made the entire nation hide their furniture.
Santiago Felipe
Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair representing Obama made the entire nation hide their furniture.
Move over, Big Bird. This year, it was Chick-fil-A that was the most highly politicized poultry.
Julia Minamata
Move over, Big Bird. This year, it was Chick-fil-A that was the most highly politicized poultry.

Big Bird also became an unlikely issue when Romney boasted at the first debate that he'd pull funding from PBS—yes, that's how to save the country from ruin—while his second-debate contention that years ago he had to go through "whole binders full of women" to look for qualified females led to more than a few undecided voters taking Romney out of their own binders.

On election night, not only did the way more populist Obama get green-lit again, but gay marriage was approved in Maine, Maryland, and Washington; a proposed ban on same-sex marriages was rejected in Minnesota; openly lesbian Tammy Baldwin won as Wisconsin senator; and there were many other LGBT victories, not the least of which being the "evolution" of our returning president on gay marriage (he still sounds halfhearted, though, saying the issue should be left to the states for now; too bad evolution is so slow).

But move over, Big Bird. This year, it was Chick-fil-A that was the most highly politicized poultry. LGBTs avidly battled that chain's gay-bashing and funding policies, and in turn the world got a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, with the Bible-toting damnation-mongers wolfing down chemically saturated sandwiches while declaring themselves American heroes standing up for freedom. At least they never claimed to have good taste in food.

Bizarre, entitled behavior seemed to be the order of the day all over the place, lots of local yokels obviously having sprinkled bath salts into their possum stew. In Florida, neighborhood-watch coordinator George Zimmerman was accused of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin, a black teen whom the prosecution said Zimmerman confronted after racially profiling him. (Zimmerman pleaded not guilty, citing self-defense.) It was one of those explosive incidents that fueled countrywide speculation and anger all year, mirroring the outrage over the New York City police's racially charged stop-and-frisk tactics, which have made life hell for some perfectly innocent people.

Equal opportunity offender ex-football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years after being convicted of serial child molesting, a true American Horror Story finally getting some payback.

And far less seriously (but still ickily), Patricia Krentcil became known as Tan Mom when she was thought to have brought her five-year-old daughter into a tanning booth for an ultraviolet browning. Krentcil vehemently denied that charge, but the woman seemed really burned out—or, if you prefer, toasted—when she was the guest of honor at a drag revue held at the New York gay club xl in August. Krentcil spent the night falling down, speaking in semi-coherent sentence fragments, and even turning belligerent and yelling "Fuck you!" at the bewildered crowd. With her cocoa-brown face, she's probably lucky we don't have neighborhood-watch coordinators in Manhattan.

In the real celebrity arena, males crawled out of the woodwork to claim John Travolta had sexually harassed them, with massage the most-cited form of expression. (Grease is the word.) But Travolta wouldn't wait for oral arguments on the charges—his lawyers shot them down—and the actor continued with his fairy-tale marriage to the lovely Kelly, Scientology beaming down its approval all the while.

That was not the case with Tom Cruise, whose wife, Katie Holmes, stunned the world by filing for divorce. Why so shocking? Well, a lot of cynics had assumed this was a deal with the devil that was eternally binding, Katie having sold her soul for a career break. Maybe her agent had gotten her an out clause?

Also out of a relationship was Demi Moore, who was reportedly devastated that Two and a Half Men replacement Ashton Kutcher was flouncing around with far younger babes. Demi was promptly hospitalized for "exhaustion and health reasons," which, of course, is code for inhaling whip-its, a form of nitrous oxide known mainly to mature folk from their school days long ago.

I'm not sure what Lindsay Lohan was inhaling this year, but every attempt at a comeback seemed to be greeted with a setback (or a stinky Liz Taylor TV pic). She's back on the court docket for 2013. And though he was hot again, singer/rapper Chris Brown got involved in a brawl with Drake in a New York nightclub called W.i.P. (no relation to what Demi was taking), with Rihanna the invisible impetus. The incident led to a proposed city crackdown on bottle service—as if the poor bottles were to blame!

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