THE YEAR AHEAD – 2003 FORETOLD!
5th Another American drone is shot down over Iraq. It is Ted Rall, on his way to Baghdad to act as a human shield.
10th Matt Welch's hat takes pride of place at the Smithsonian's Salute to Blogdom. Opening the exhibition, British journalist Robert Fisk describes the hat as "a symbol of the hatred and fury of this filthy war."
13th More embarrassment for Barbra Streisand, who attributes authorship of The Eagles' New Kid in Town to 19th century political philosopher Fredrick Engels.
2nd Coca-Cola stocks fall despite the introduction of three new flavours: Progesterone Coke, Pepsi Coke, and Meat Coke-on-a-Stick.
17th Ryan Newman takes pole position at the Daytona 500 in a Blogger-sponsored Ford Taurus. In the race, however, the Blog-Ford is slow, crashes repeatedly, and – in an incident previously unheard of in motor racing – deletes all of its archives.
22nd In a bulletin to fans, Michael Moore predicts the violent overthrow of the Bush regime in an uprising he dubs "Vengeance Wednesday". By the following Thursday, Moore's bulletin is removed.
25th The online world's own Truman Show is disrupted when Gnat Lileks becomes aware of her circumstances and flees Jasperwood.
10th UN inspectors report the sighting of many deadly weapons in and around Iraq, but are calmed when US government officials point out that the devices are US Army ordnance and that the war against Iraq has already been underway for several days.
24th With market recognition of the Axis of Evil brand running at 90%, President George W. Bush announces plans for a luxury subsidiary. Containing Belgium, Monaco, and Switzerland, the Lexus of Evil range will be launched in 2004.
17th Al Gore replaces Phil Donahue as MSNBC's prime chat show host. His program, I Will Talk To You, Then You Will Reply, and Then I Will Again Talk, is cancelled after 17 minutes.
29th Liberals flock to a Minneapolis-area juice bar where a likeness of Paul Wellstone has appeared in a wheatgrass spill.
1st Alex Beam dominates the Boston Globe's front page with an exclusive on US citizens becoming instant millionaires simply by providing generous Nigerians with credit card details. "I seen it on the Internet," the proud reporter tells fans.
6th Robert Mugabe launches raids on Australia, kidnapping farmers and begging them to "please make food grow".
9th NSW state premier Bob Carr denounces Margo Kingston's latest column as the work of a "maddened middle-aged Maoist mo-fo". Kingston passionately defends her piece, claiming that Carr "misinterpreted" a paragraph in which Kingston wrote: "I hate Australia and every vile subhuman who dwells within her shit-reeking shores. See you in hell, idiots!" Kingston then leaves for another holiday in Byron Bay.
26th The FBI is again in the spotlight when it is revealed that 9-11 attacker Mohammed Atta was on the agency's Christmas card list and won two lotteries run by FBI staffers to raise funds for an office fish tank.
11th Julia Butterfly Hill gives birth to a healthy 3lb 4oz branch.
16th Michael Moore moves to France but alienates citizens with his film Bouleing for Champagne, in which Moore investigates a "violent blade culture" he says can be traced to the French Revolution. The film's highlight: a tense interview with ageing actor Alain Delon.
25th Margo Kingston's curious creole is officially recognised as a distinct language.
3rd A spokeswoman for the O'Reillian cult claims that the group has successfully cloned a talk show host.
19th The music video for Christina Aguilera's latest release is banned after parents' groups complain about its "inappropriate language" and "vulgar images". Despite the ban, Cum Drunk Fuck Slut is the year's best-selling single.
27h The Australian Democrats elect a new leader – a silent, charismatic entity known only as Uluru.
30th Mark Steyn follows David Brock's lead and converts to the Left. Subsequent link-deleting activity by conservative sites – and equally frantic link adding by Lefties – causes the Internet to freeze solid for three days.
12th Scott Ritter's new job as a McDonald's drive-thru attendant is short-lived after the former weapons inspector alternately informs customers of an abundance of Big Macs and a complete absence of the popular burgers.
16th Child-Proof Aspirin, the much-awaited sequel to Philip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence, premieres in Sydney.
30th National Mime Week is cancelled amid rumours of a Ken Layne arms-buying spree.
9th Speaking from a Saudi prison where he has been held captive and tortured daily since April, US President George W. Bush hails the Saudis as "trusted allies" in the war against terror.
15th Jose Bove's moustache farm is bulldozed by an activist coalition led by Mayor McCheese.
21st "My bland salad dressing is a symbol of the hatred and fury of this filthy war." Robert Fisk's new career as The Independent's restaurant critic begins controversially.
28th Glenn Reynolds is fired after University of Tennessee records reveal that he hasn't delivered a single lecture in three years, while running up a $4.2 million internet connection tab.
15th Australian Prime Minister John Howard is accused of "grovelling" to the US when he tells an ABC interviewer that America is, on the whole, possibly a slightly better place to live than sub-Saharan Africa.
20th Attempting to distance herself from a government scandal, Cherie Blair denies any knowledge of her husband, British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "I have never met him," a tearful Cherie tells the press. "I am sorry if anyone has been hurt."
26th To avoid offending local members of the Islamic community, Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Alan Revell announces that his newspaper will be published only in Arabic. "We have expanded Fairfax's colour facilities at the Chullora plant," Revell tells a press conference, "so that we can now censor decadent images of even greater quality. Merciful Allah, praise be upon him!"
7th After a week-long Las Vegas bender in the company of Christopher Hitchens, Noam Chomsky calls a press conference to declare himself "a convert to the cause of Western values". A halting attempt to elaborate on his conversion is cut short by Hitchens, who menacingly reminds the outspoken former leftist about "the photographs. Don't make me show them the photographs, Noam." Chomsky refuses further questions.
19th In a display of solidarity with the North Korean people, Australian Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja eats a live dog.
31st Another sign of blogging's mainstream influence: the most popular Halloween character of 2003 is Jim Treacher.
3rd Michael Moore's predicted "Hissy Fit Friday" comes and goes with no change of administration. Moore's post on the subject is quietly withdrawn.
8th Yet another multinational company with multi-million dollar global influence is revealed to have repeatedly lied to the public. Greenpeace vows to overcome the setback.
22nd Parent-teacher night doesn't go well for Robert Fisk, whose daughter Osamy is failing art class. Presented with evidence of his child's poor drawing skills, Fisk counters that her doodles are "symbols of the hatred and fury of this filthy war."
14th Time's Person of the Year is Boy Scout Todd Meekin, who successfully aided three old women across suburban streets and broke up a schoolyard fight.
20th Following his second annual pledge week, Andrew Sullivan buys Spain.
26th Inspired by the success of Kwanzaa, US-based Australian activist organisation G'day B'rith inaugurates Bonza, an "Aussie cultural celebration".
And that's it for me this year. I'm away for a couple of days to participate in traditional Bonza rituals. Thanks to all who wrote, linked, damned, praised, quoted or donated in 2002, and my apologies to all who wrote but never received a reply. I'll try to be better in 2003.
Hopefully everything will be better in 2003. Have a great year.