Right, so 2016 has been a total shitebag of a year all round. Looking ahead, what can 2017 possibly do to top 2016 for sheer awfulness? Let me check my crystal ball ...
January Queen Elizabeth II has been monarch of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and various other places since 1952. She's the longest reigning British monarch ever ... and she turned 90 in 2016. Everyone expected her to beat her own mother's longevity (her mother made it to 101) but, in an ominous turn, on December 25th 2016 she failed to attend the Christmas service at Sandringham for the first time since 1988, due to illness. Shockingly, her "heavy cold" proceeded to viral pneumonia, and despite the best efforts of the royal doctors, she died on January 3rd, 2017.
The death of the Queen plunged the UK into an orgiastic fit of state mourning—all comedy shows were cancelled, for example—and the economy ground to a standstill for 12 days; stock markets closed, additional national holidays were declared for the state funeral and the subsequent coronation of the new King George VII, and the economy took a £6Bn hit. On top of the commodity price inflation caused by sterling sinking in the wake of the Brexit vote, this suffices to tip the British economy over the edge and into recession.
February The death of the Queen is pushed off the front pages around the world by the inauguration of President Trump. Despite the tacky performances at the inaugural ball—which descended into chaos following Steve Bannon's last-minute intervention to subsistute Skrewdriver for the Rockettes—the first two weeks of the new Presidency were notably low-key, marked by the new President taking a ten day gambling vacation in Vegas to recover from the exigencies of the election. (Rumours that he won $4.2M at roulette because the houses didn't dare let him play at normal odds cannot be confirmed because the sources all ended up as car park pillars.)
However, on February 2nd, the President returned from his vacation and ordered twenty-three nuclear powered carrier battle groups to deploy to the Formosa Straits in a display of eternal friendship with Taiwan, phoned President Xi Jinping to demand hotel branding concessions on Macao on pain of a 500% tarrif on imported Chinese goods, ordered out for half a kilo of cocaine and sixteen hookers, then took Air Force One on an unplanned joy-ride to Sheremetyevo Airport, inviting "my good friend Vlad" to "come down and PAAAARTAY" while in flight ("it's gonna be YUUUGE!"). Nobody noticed Paul Ryan moving forward legislation to abolish Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid, and VP Pence sliding his personal choice for the vacant Supreme Court slot—a circuit court judge from Mississippi who had previously declared his enthusiasm for overturning the 19th amendment along with Roe v. Wade—under the President's pen.
Everything went downhill from there.
March Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, demanding extraordinary trade concessions from the EU (equivalent to all the benefits of membership but without any committment to free movement and residency of EU citizens). The EU told her that (a) Article 50 was triggered nearly a year earlier on June 29th 2016 (this was confirmed subsequently in a case brought before the European Court), (b) no, (c) the UK only possessed WTO membership through its membership of the EU and doesn't get to keep the house, the car, or the CD collection, and (d) fuck off. This was presented to the British Public as a victory and Taking Back Control, and the Daily Mail, Daily Express, and Daily Telegraph began publishing the names and addresses of prominent Brexit skeptics. The monthly adjusted cost of living inflation rate hit 6%. Sterling dropped below 1:1 parity with the Euro and $1.10 against the US dollar (which itself was struggling with the inaugural hangover).
April The first round of the French presidential election took place on 23 April, with the two leading candidates going forward to a run-off election on May 7th. As predicted, candidates to the left of François Fillon cannibalized each others' votes, leading to a run-off between this extreme right-wing (homophobic, anti-abortion) candidate and Marine le Pen, an actual xenophobic nationalist.
Confronted with the same choice as in the 2002 presidential election, the only way to keep the neo-Nazi out of the Elysee palace was to vote for the hardline rightist. But Da'esh's local affiliates, in a rare display of cluefullness, stayed home ... and so did the socialist vote.
France thus officially elected its first female president—a fascist who proposed to unilaterally take France out of NATO and the EU and expel all muslim immigrants. Vladimir Putin and his good buddy Don sent their regards from the palace outside Praskoveevka. Rumours that Trump invited her to join them in a champaign hot-tub threesome cannot be confirmed.
TO BE CONTINUED (once the anti-depressants kick in) ...