What a good year! Renewed hope. Optimism. The end of a lengthy, deadly, racist nightmare. 1946 ruled.
2020, though? Garbage 12 months. The dry-retching of years. We basically spent all of it inside absorbing horrible things on TV. Good things too, admittedly, like Steve Bannon being arrested on a billionaire’s yacht for defrauding Trump voters’ “wall money”, but for every good story 10 childhood idols died or co-wrote anti-lockdown songs with Eric Clapton.
We’re here to sort 2020 out for you in easily digestible listicle form. Australia has a long, proud history of just making up awards and pretending they mean something. The TV Week Logies. The NewsCorp News Awards for NewsCorp. Greg suggested we call these “The New Walkleys”, but he was ultimately overruled, despite being correct.
Welcome to The Shot’s first (and my god I hope only) 2020 Awards: The Clusterfuckys. What an absolute shitshow. Let’s go.
The painfully ironic award
Winner: Herman Cain
The dead speak! Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain caught coronavirus, almost certainly at a Trump rally, tragically died from it, and then, just two weeks later, reanimated his corpse, hopped on his Twitter account, and tweeted: “it looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be”. What. The. Actual. Fuck???
Even Alanis Morrissette understands the irony in this. Herman’s account has since been renamed “The Cain Gang”, and it continues to tweet support for Donald Trump and coronavirus conspiracy theories: arguably the two things most responsible for his death.
Runner-up: Boris Johnson boasting about shaking hands with ICU patients and then catching coronavirus and nearly dying
The thing that’s usually quite normal but was super weird this year award
A bit of panic buying is to be expected in times of crisis, but who knew Australians were so obsessed with wiping their arse? Evidently, most of the country has never been on the dole or lived in a sharehouse: there are Yellow Pages or Herald Sun-shaped alternatives readily available for this – because no one buys those things anymore!
But it wasn’t just the bog roll. All kinds of weird items sold out and were later scalped at extortionate prices on Facebook Marketplace: slotted spoons, chopsticks, dumbbells, and, thanks to the mouth-breather-in-chief, we even had a jigsaw puzzle shortage. A lot of hoarders are well placed to open crappy $2 shops after this is all over.
Runner-up: The mail, talking to people, going places
Best superspreader event
Winner: Novak Djokovic’s rogue tennis tournament
While global sport was in lockdown limbo, Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-seeded anti-vaxxer, broke away from The ATP to stage his own rogue tennis tournament. The thought process behind this, apparently, was to help spread joy, and coronavirus, around the Balkan nations during Europe’s first wave.
The Adria Tournament, the Ruby Princess of tennis, was so poorly thought through numerous tennis stars contracted coronavirus and then passed it onto the fans they rubbed up against sweaty and shirtless in nightclubs following play each evening. Even Nick Kyrigos thought this was a dumb thing to do.
Prayers up to all the players that have contracted Covid – 19. Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ – this takes the cake. https://t.co/lVligELgID
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 23, 2020
Gregor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Viktor Troicki, and Novak Djokovic all caught coronavirus at the tournament. Jelena Djokovic, Novak’s wife, eventually succumbed too, and this was just months after she shared 5G conspiracies to her half-million Instagram followers. We can confirm, through a lengthy investigation, that Jelena caught it from her dumbass husband and not a mobile phone tower.
Runner-up: The White House
The hottest take award
Winner: “We should let coronavirus kill more people”
Sane, still-alive, ordinary people heard from far too many important sociopaths this year. Which wasn’t all that helpful in the midst of a deadly pandemic. There was just a smidgen too much baying for mass grandma death in the name of quarterly sales for my personal tastes. To make all this significantly worse, these astonishingly bloodthirsty hot takes came from people we are meant to take seriously. People in suits with better haircuts than us: politicians, economists, journalists.
These ideas were then parroted into an ouroboros of homicidal stupidity by the dumbest people on the planet capable of setting up their own social media accounts. The result: an online wasteland of “bUt SwEdEn DiDn’T lOcKdOwN” and “my mum would want to die if it means I can go back to the job I hate”. Fuck all of these people, they are not good for us.
Runner-up: “The last time I was this oppressed I was in Tehran” – Rita Panahi
Most surprising Neo-Nazi
Winner: Pete Evans
Who could have guessed the dead-eyed hunk whose entire career was tasting squid-ink tortellini cooked by cashed-up bogans on a Channel 7 TV show would turn out to be a bit of a Neo-Nazi?! We all knew Pete Evans was a moron who thought lights can cure cancer and vaccines are the devil’s elixir, but this is still quite the leap.
Our activated almond’s moment of reckoning came when he shared a meme in support of Donald Trump featuring a well-known Neo-Nazi symbol called the Black Sun. He then made it explicitly clear that he knew exactly what this symbol stood for.
He has now lost everything he has worked for, and I couldn’t be happier. The day I found out he lost his deals with Ten, Coles, and Woolies, I celebrated by popping some prosecco and watching a 10-hour compilation of Nazis being punched in the face.
Runner Up: 74 million Americans
Worst Press Conference
Winner: Trump’s “Let’s inject Bleach” moment
Being a Trump supporter must be hard. A constant struggle to try and explain away the absolute shite that pours from his mouth like a rusty tap on the side of an open sewer. “It’s just a joke,” they’ll plead; “he’s only trolling to own the libs,” they’ll sputter. But each time they are wrong. The cold hard fact that we have been trying to hammer home for years now is that Trump is just a dumb man who has no clue what he is talking about.
But the “put some bleach in your organs” address before a stunned nation shocked even the most cynical of his detractors. He really did say it. He looked out into the crowd of open-mouthed reporters as he told them, in all seriousness, that putting bleach inside your body might be the best remedy to covid-19 to date. And in case you were wondering if this had an effect, yep! There have been many reports of people drinking bleach, selling bleach as a cure, and the Georgia Health Department had to issue an official warning. Jesus Fucking Christ.
Runner-up: Daniel Andrews needing to explain how sex works to Rachel Baxendale
In Victoria with control freak wowsers like Dictator Dan running the show, you can’t even sit down for a coffee, let alone a beer. Our Premier is such a friendless loser, of course Victoria has no plans to reopen licensed venues,who would invite Lurch for a drink?#danhasnomates pic.twitter.com/rFGqJbGx9i
— Tim Smith MP (@TimSmithMP) May 13, 2020
FREE AMERICA NOW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020
Least helpful demographic
Winner: Rich People
This was the year even apolitical doorknobs realised just how useless rich people are. They added nothing of value to our collective struggle. They whinged like children every step of the way. We had wealthy boomers acting like being in hotel quarantine or stuck on a cruise ship was worse than Stalin’s gulags. We had Sam Newman dressed up like a twat and protesting golf courses being closed. And we had the constant, incessant gurgling of those quivering leeches known as landlords.
Landlords pissed and moaned their way through 2020. Angry they couldn’t evict, encouraging their tenants to withdraw super to pay rent, and chucking hissy fits because they think they deserve handouts for losing money on an investment. That is literally how investments work!!?!? Admittedly, this rant could be coloured by the fact my landlord kicked me out in the middle of the pandemic, but consider that evidence rather than bias please.
But even landlords don’t come close to the human trash that comprise the billionaire class. Jeff Bezos is now tipped to become the world’s first trillionaire. This year more than 20,000 of his workers, many who survive on food stamps, became infected with coronavirus while in the process of earning their feudal lord squillions more.
Whilst small businesses went belly-up, and nurses, doctors, and front-line workers got sick and died from covid-19, the billionaires made out like bandits from the safety of their hidden bunkers buried across New Zealand’s South Island. We did the work, we made the sacrifice, and they reap the profits. We should seriously consider having that class war sometime pretty soon.
Runner-up: Conspiracy theorists
The people’s choice award for least helpful person, as voted by you on twitter
Winner: Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison has an alarming proclivity for photo shoots during what is clearly a serious historical moment. We need to worry about men with these sorts of priorities.
Why on earth does Scott Morrison want us to think he’s at Bunnings so often right now?! There’s stuff to do! If I was as inept a Prime Minister, if I was as overtly a dodgy slacker dude, I’d try to create the impression I was working hard as shit. Get the hounds off my scent so I could keep the sports rorts rolling out, you know?!
But he’s just not wired that way. He is an optics guy, and that is what he does. His “Scotty from Marketing” moniker of mockery is more accurate than these things typically are.
Scotty surfed Hawaii during the bushfires. He absolved himself of responsibility as the pandemic hit, had a gap year, and rode tanks. His responsibilities were handed off to the state Premiers, presumably because deep down he knew he’d mess it up. Parliament was closed. A national board of gas executives was set up to independently recommend gas as our nation’s path forward. Scott Morrison is, very deliberately and by design, unimportant and unhelpful.
Runner-up: Tim “Donut Dick” Smith, Dominic Cummings, Rupert Murdoch
Best failed coup
Winner: The Four Seasons Landscaping Putsch
You couldn’t write something this good. In fact if I wrote a sketch like this I would probably second guess myself and say, “nah, this is just too unbelievable, even for Trump”.
If for some reason you missed it in the clusterfuck of the 2020 news cycle, the Trump campaign decided to announce that it would challenge the results of the US election, in a press conference at the Four Seasons. Not the hotel. A landscaping shop called “Four Seasons Landscaping”, situated next to a sex shop.
The team booked the wrong venue and ran with it. Rudy Giuliani stood there, in a carpark, surrounded by baffled reporters, next to a sex shop, and announced they’ll be having a decent crack at overthrowing a tattered democracy. And all of this really happened.
This is the kind of thing satirists and political comedians hate because there’s actually no joke you can make that is funnier. What can you say about this that adds anything? What joke can you make about this human sewer that hasn’t already been made? Nothing has ever been more appropriate or fitting.
Runner-up: The Herald Sun’s attempt to overthrow a Communist dictatorship that does not exist
Person of the year
Winner: Jacinda Ardern
I can’t believe Time magazine chose Joe Biden. I wouldn’t want to be President of the United States right now. That’s a rubbish job to have. I very sincerely hope he does it well, but I’d rather be in charge of the velociraptors at Jurassic Park.
Jacinda Ardern came out of 2020 with a much better 2021 looming. She kicked ass. New Zealand beat coronavirus. And, perhaps more importantly, after beating it the nation did not sit on its hands: they were ready for it when it inevitably remerged, and they kicked its ass again. Jacinda spoke to her people directly using new platforms like Twitch and Facebook, and her people felt comforted for it. Good shit, Kiwis. You’re better at the important stuff than the world gives you credit for.
Best Australian city
This category just exists so we can say this again. It is also true.
Unsung hero award
Winner: Alcohol, etc.
What a year to get loaded. What a year to perfect your favourite cocktail. What a year to buy a bunch of edibles off wickr and dance around the house for three hours to the Sopranos theme song, calling yourself “Greg Soprano”, all while your dog stares at you as you devour a family meal from KFC.
Sure my home-made watermelon wine was a failure, and yes there were a few panic-attacks in the shower whilst trying to get the dose right for my hash cookies, but on balance it was a very good time. 2020 was the year we reignited our love-affair with mind, and mood altering substances. Because if there’s one thing we know for sure: nothing matters anymore so lets get wasted. [Dave’s opinion on this matter is considerably less nihilistic but otherwise quite similar – Ed.]
Runner-up: Netflix, video games, going to the park
The moment that brought the country together award
Winner: Fireman Paul Parker tells the PM to go and get fucked
When firefighter Paul Parker told Scott Morrison to go and get fucked, specifically from Nelligen but in spirit from everywhere else too, the nation cheered in unison. Whilst I can reluctantly accept that some people do vote for the Liberal Party, and that they do think ScoMo is the best choice, what I don’t believe, even for a second, is that any human being on this earth actually likes that man. Sure they can vote for him, but I’d be shocked to find anyone, even Jenny, who actually wants to be in a room with him as he sits there giggling, licking his lips, and pulling wings off butterflies.
The way he behaved during the bushfires was a national, historic disgrace. We all loved seeing people refusing to shake his hand, but watching Paul tell him to go and get fucked brought us all together. Because whoever you are, however you were raised, whatever your politics, the one thing we can all 100 percent agree on is that Scott Morrison is a cunt.
— Stig Martyr (@StigMartyr) January 5, 2020
Runner-up: Bashing Victoria
Milkshake Duck Award
Winner: Fireman Paul Parker being a One Nation voter
He was the hero we needed at the time, but sure enough, the moment was too beautiful to last. It turns out Paul is a One Nation voter.
Tragically, the Milkshake Duck struck again. He stood up for the bush, he told the lowest dog on the scene to get fucked, but at the end of the day, he supports a political party few of us believe is a force for good… to put it lightly. He’s a hero who saved lives battling fire, but he’s also a voter for a card-carrying out-and-proud white supremacist. In a way this tiny little saga perfectly summarises 2020: it’s a shitshow and few of us know what to think about anything.
Runner-up: Leigh Sales