In a promotion for the movie version of John Osborne’s play ‘Look Back In Anger’,
audiences were said to have been ‘jolted as if they were sitting for 2 hours in an electric
chair’. Take a similar amount of time to reflect on the year that’s just passed, and you
might have a similar reaction. Given everything that went on in the world, 2023 could well
be described as a ‘shocker’. Whilst the ongoing tragedies in Gaza and Ukraine speak for
themselves, perhaps it’s better to reflect on some of the deaths, events and happenings
less likely to evoke immediate anguish.

Movie poster for Look Back in Anger (1959). Image: Supplied

THEY DIED WITH A PROPHYLACTIC IN THEIR HAND: George Pell, Pee Wee Herman, Rolf Harris and Silvio Berlusconi all shuffled off this mortal coil with either a conviction for or accusations of serious sexual offences. A guest list for one big bunga bunga party in hell!

APOCALYPSE NOW AT BURNING MAN: The annual Burning Man festival in Nevada was once a homage to community, love, peace and sustainability. In recent years it’s been
thoroughly commercialised with punters, vehicles and CO2 emissions swelling to record
numbers. Flooded out in 2023 and turning into a total debacle, the eco-gods must have
been watching. Nothing worse than a $100,000 motorhome bogged hopelessly in the

INFLUENCERS – THE NEW COVID: Instagram alone listed some 64 million ‘influencer’
accounts worldwide, a frightening statistic in the age of TikTok and instant internet stardom. Whether they are flogging cosmetics or some new pathway to spiritual happiness, they are the snake oil sales people of today – more influenza than influencer.

REALITY SUCKS (VENOM?): ‘Kings Of Pain’ is an Australian series which premiered on the History channel and is set for Channel 7’s ‘Mate’ in 2024. It features tough guys travelling
the world to be bitten by all manner of spiders, snakes and other critters. The pain might be excruciating, but these macho dudes just suck it up. Rumour has it the new series features a box jellyfish straight down the front of a pair of bulging speedos, setting the genitalia on fire. Ouch!

THEIR A WEIRD MOB: Perhaps it was a reaction to the segregation and confinement of the pandemic, but 2023 was the year thousands seized the opportunity to gather en masse
whether it was a stadium rock show or a rowdy Christmas party at Bronte Beach. Fuelled by booze and drugs and the unbridled fervour of a Donald Trump rally they turned out in
their thousands with all the single-mindedness of the Nuremberg Rally – no doubt
numerous influencers amongst them.

BUDGIE OWNERS PROTEST: Kylie Minogue’s success with the excruciatingly banal ‘Padam Padam’ brought a mixed reaction, with some critics even reviving the old ‘singing budgie’ reference. This in turn brought a huge protest from budgerigar owners and breeders
Australia-wide, who claimed any well-trained bird could tweet out a better tune than ‘Padam Padam’.

LIKE A PIECE OF SLOWLY ROTTING MEAT: Despite the increasingly non anglo makeup of the Australian population, we persist with our allegiance to the hideously anachronistic British monarchy. There’s hardly an evening TV news service that goes by without some Palace generated PR titbit as to what one of the parasitic royals has been up to. Even the shameless sex trafficker Prince Andrew is gathering media favour again. A referendum for an Australian republic is probably decades away and likely to meet a similar fate as ‘The Voice’ with the Coalition and other conservative forces all hanging out for the return of Imperial honours. Arise Sir Peter Dutton!

Finally – a few reminders of 2023 that we could well avoid and hope never to be repeated
in in 2024:

Dish Of The Year: Beef Wellington

Image: Supplied

Most Unlikely Comeback Tour: Gary Glitter, released from prison and recalled after
breaching licensing conditions, i.e. seen in public wearing six-inch high platform boots.

Dial A Prayer services to consider chatbots (only rumoured).

China opens borders to international tourists – 20 new Pangolin Petting Zoos established.

Tony Abbott describes George Pell at his funeral as “the greatest man I’ve ever known”,
comparing his treatment to a “modern-day crucifixion”.

Happy New Year!


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