What a great year this has been, what a good mood I’m in, why, it’s almost like being in love. The year 2016 will be seen as the worst ever by many patients of Dr Klinghoffer, the famous German psychiatrist who treats those suffering from the extreme distress of post-electoral disappointment syndrome, and a man about to make a fortune treating the poor dears. There are many Brits under the Herr Doktor’s care, and his clinic, situated near Ossining, New York, resembled a British retreat for broken-down thespians following 23 June of this annus mirabilis. Now more American voices have been added, and when I last spoke to Dr Klinghoffer his heavy German accent sounded almost Hollywoodian: ‘Zese people are worse than ze English, zey cry at ze sight of an appleshdrudel.’
Well, all I can say is that Brexit has turned many a Brit into a quivering wreck. Trump foes, meanwhile, are going bananas and there are still three weeks to go before he takes over. My friend Zac Goldsmith lost his seat in a revenge attack for his Brexit stance despite being among the very, very few totally honest members of Parliament. Perhaps the year is not as good as I first thought, but as an eternal optimist I still believe it’s the best since 1571, when the Holy League’s naval forces led by Don John and blessed by Pope Pius V trounced the Ottomans in the Gulf of Patras, or Lepanto as the Venetians called it. (It was a close-run thing, with massive casualties on both sides — even Cervantes lost a hand — but the Christians finally won and after they had stuck the head of Ali Pasha on the cross of Don John’s bow, the towels threw in the towel.)
Mind you, there have been so many promises broken by our so-called elites that the word has lost its meaning. Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham, two of the ugliest women to walk this earth of ours, promised, vowed, swore (along with — who else? — Barbra Streisand, another great beauty) that they would move to Canada if Adolf Trump was elected. No such luck. A US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said she’d head for New Zealand. (What have the poor Kiwis done to deserve that?) Canada, in the meantime, has closed its borders. ‘We’re not ready to go Hollywood yet,’ was the way their head of border patrol put it to me.
Why the defeat at the polls of a woman who had trouble with the truth and a propensity for Gulf money had such an effect on most college-educated bien-pensants in America is a mystery to me. And why did being defeated in a referendum that asked people whether they liked being told how to live by unelected assholes in Brussels cause such postpartum depression in certain luvvies and London types? I suppose that life is a mystery and remains a mystery for simple types like myself.
Otherwise, it’s been a great year. Rolling Stone, a reckless media organisation that didn’t care, or wasn’t capable of separating fact from fiction, as long as the story fit its left-wing agenda, got its just deserts. My old alma mater, the University of Virginia, was accused of covering up a gang rape, but the story turned out to be largely fiction, written by a woman who fell for a narrative invented by a female Munchhausen. Rolling Stone will be paying megabucks. The writer in question, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, will have a bright future in journalism, most likely with the New York Times; after all, following that paper’s mojo of abandoning basic journalistic standards to engage in character assassination is right up her alley. More good news came with the collapse of Gawker, a website that specialised in outing gays who wished their private lives to remain private and was as nasty as they come. The court threw the book at British-born Nick Denton, also gay, but one who imagined he could ruin people’s lives while enriching himself. Bye, bye, Denton.
This was also the year when Hollywood finally came up with a real winner, La La Land, a modern musical that blends the ordinary world with the singing and dancing musical one of Fred and Ginger. Hooray, here’s a film that treats everyday life as if the most natural thing in the world is for a couple to sing and tap dance on a park bench. The sexy and intelligent Emma Stone and her partner Ryan Gosling are as wonderful as Fred and Ginger, and just as believable. Don’t miss this movie, there’s not a single car chase or explosion in it.
Finally, leftist publications, starting with the Guardian, the New Yorker and the New York Times, have proved to be such fools that many of their staff have had nervous breakdowns. Others are suffering from crying jags and uncontrollable urination. Their editors have gone to Ossining and are under the care of the good Dr Klinghoffer. They are subjected to endless colonoscopies in order to cleanse their brains. Sixty-two million Americans are laughing at them, just as 52 per cent of British people are wondering if their representatives in London belong in London Zoo rather than the mother of parliaments.
So, what a great year this has been, what a good mood I’m in, it’s almost like being in love. With a smile on my face (though not for the whole human race) I wish all Spectator readers a very, very happy new year.