Welcome to TISG’s curated list of outrageous, wise, hilarious, profound, heartbreaking and eyebrow-raising things that people said from the year that was.
“Who does she think I am … Bill Gates?”
This was said by the former King of Malaysia about Oksana Voevodina, after she asked for a £1.2 million Moscow apartment and a £24,000-a-month allowance to cover expenses for raising their infant son. They are in the process of getting a divorce.
The Sultan of Kelantan and the Russian beauty queen were barely married a year when they separated.
2. “Ok, Boomer.”
For many millennials and Gen Z’ers, this is the catchphrase of the year, to signify that they are done with older people disparaging their life choices.
The phrase has been around for some time now but really took off when it was used by 25-year-old New Zealand MP Chloe Swarbrick, after she was heckled by an older MP from another party last month.
3. “I never understood wind.”
This list would not be complete without a contribution from the United States’ famously quotable President, Mr Donald Trump.
He told a gathering of young conservatives in Florida last weekend (Dec 21-22): “I never understood wind, you know I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody. They’re noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday. You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.”
Of course, this is also the President who said at a rally last year: “Can you believe I’m a politician? I can’t even.”
4. “How dare you?”
In September, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who made headlines this year for galvanising the largest number of people to join demonstrations across the world for tougher legislation for protecting the environment, gave an impassioned speech before world leaders at the United Nations.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
5. “I felt like I had been hit by a train.”
Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, on losing the first set 6-1 to Serena Williams, in a match in Australia early this year.
Ms Halep, who was ranked Number 1 in women’s tennis in 2017 and this year, proved no match against the woman who is arguably the best athlete in contemporary times, the multihyphenate Ms Williams, who is not only a tennis champion but a mother, clothing designer, and GOAT — Greatest Of All Time.
6. “Now, the greatest artist that God has ever created is working for him.”
These words were uttered by Kanye West. The rap superstar’s trajectory took a turn this year that surprised many, as he expressed openly Christian views and released an album called “Jesus is King” in October.
The following month, he addressed a congregation of 16,000 in Joel Osteen’s megachurch, saying that the “devil stole all the good producers, all the good musicians, all the good artists, all the good designers”, but a change is coming because “now, the greatest artist that God has ever created is working for him”.
7. “Like Tantalus in Hades, we can see the opportunities in front of us – the luscious grapes, the refreshing stream – and yet every time we reach out to grasp them we find they are whisked away.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote this concerning Brexit in the Telegraph last month. Now that the elections in the UK are over, the world knows what to expect.
8. “Hello, brother.”
These words were uttered by Haji Daoud Nabi, age 71, before he was shot by a terrorist in the mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
A gunman with white supremacist leanings mercilessly shot at two mosques there, killing 50 people. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately condemned the shootings as an act of terrorism, calling March 15, 2019, “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. -/TISG