2016 took Prince from us.
2016 took Prince from us. PAUL BUCK

2016: The year of the 'train wreck'

WHILE reviewing the year's happenings for my customary round-up at this time of the silly season, I was again stricken by how many brilliant entertainers we lost in 2016. And the number of greedy politicians who were caught with their fingers in the public purse, citing poor memory or ignorance of the rules as their excuse. Other things of interest did occur... but not many.

Generally speaking, 2016 was a train wreck. Here we go.

January: Generations of rock fans mourned as the news that the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, had succumbed to liver cancer. Bowie, who transformed himself throughout his career into various personas, changed his name from David Jones at the start of his career to avoid being confused with Davey Jones of The Monkees. As if. The wonderful Alan Rickman, he of the deliciously fruity voice, also died on the same day.

February: The first freely elected parliament in 50 years in Myanmar, formerly Burma, sat in Nay Pyi Taw.

March: It was revealed by Forbes in their annual rich list that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is now worth $75 billion. If you happen to find any spare cash down the back of the sofa while you're doing the dusting, Bill, I can send you my address. Really.

April: PayPal cancelled a $3.6 million investment in North Carolina after the state announced it would pass anti-gay legislation. Good thing, too.

Musical genius Prince, formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, died after an accidental overdose of Fentanyl the day before he was to undergo treatment for addiction to the powerful synthetic opioid. Once again, the world mourned, mostly by temporarily turning lots of things purple.

May: Archaeologists find proof China has been brewing beer since 3400BC. There was no word on whether it was still drinkable; if the archaeologists had been Australian, I'm betting that's the first thing they would have checked.

Three boats sink in three days in the Mediterranean, drowning around 700 asylum seekers.

Despite the fact that his party was proposing to abolish negative gearing as one of their election campaign promises, Labor front bencher David Feeney forgot he owned a $2.3 million negatively geared investment property. As you do.

June: The world's longest tunnel, Switzerland's Gotthard Base Tunnel, a lengthy 57km that bored through the base of the Alps, was completed. Rumours have it, it took less time to complete than the Pacific Highway between Ballina and Byron, and has a cheaper toll than Sydney's Cross-City Tunnel.

In yet another tragedy for the entertainment world, the entire Kardashian family was found unresponsive in their various apartments. Sadly, they all survived and continue to be famous for, well, I don't really know. I made this up, of course.

More next week. Merry Christmas to all our loyal readers.



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