2018 came and it’s about to be gone. We’ve got some words to get in about the year that went by. Many words, in fact. Lots has happened in Singapore and waters beyond; some moments had us shook, and some others left us going ‘WTF?’.

As 2019 teases, let’s do the requisite recapping of key man moments this year, so we refrain from the same fuck-ups next year. No, seriously – we’ll want to leave some of these events behind.


PEOPLE


1. Donald Trump & Kim Jong Un

We have reasons to believe that when they were not trying to out-manoeuvre each other in the denuclearisation deal, the world’s best frenemies were comparing notes on hairstyling during the Capella Singapore courtyard stroll.

2. Mahathir

Malaysia’s Prime Minister was no stranger to controversy in 2018. His election win in May came across as a shock to many, and there’s no stopping him despite his age – not even Singapore’s naval territories, clearly.

3. Stan Lee

He was the brains behind some of the most iconic comic book superheroes your inner 7-year-old continue to look up to today. RIP, legend.

4. Anthony Bourdain

Prolific men may have been lost this year, but their legacy survives them. One such man is Anthony Bourdain. As Obama himself put it, “He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown.”

5. Henry Golding

Golding proved naysayers wrong as he put his acting chops to the test in Crazy Rich Asians – as a leading man in his first Hollywood film. Previously a host, the breakout star of 2018 truly rose to the top and showed he’s anything but a himbo.

6. Stephen Hawking

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? But not many are acquainted with its debilitating effects. Stephen Hawking, who had been paralysed by the disease, had to call it a day this year. Without his great scientific contributions, we may never have realised black holes can shrink.

7. The Wild Boars, Tham Luang Thai cave rescue

Imagine being sealed off 2-kilometers deep into a flooded cave without food, potable water and sustainable oxygen levels. You’d probably die from the lack of Wifi in the first two hours. But the boys, barely 16, displayed incredible steel to survive 17 days.


POP CULTURE


1. Crazy Rich Asians is money

Despite it being an abject failure in China, the all-Asian romcom broke the internet, sky-high expectations, and Hollywood whitewashing by grossing US$238 million (S$326 million) worldwide (production budget was only $30 million). It seems that CRA is still riding on a high: it just got two Golden Globes nominations.

2. K-Pop fever hits a new high, BTS is a religion

You know true success have found you (not the other way round) when you get to speak at a United Nations General Assembly, dominate top spots in the U.S music charts as an Asian and have an army of zealots ready to eviscerate anyone who has a bad word to tweet about you.

3. Black Panther

While MCU diehards are busy speculating if time travel is going to be the schtick to bring back the Avengers heroes, Black Panther is the real superhero making 2018 the defining year for stronger racial representation in film. Oprah herself is waiting by the wings to yell ‘Wakanda Forever’ if it picks up an Oscar.

4. LGBT pride

As online media are starting to advocate for 20gayteen(as 2018 – geddit?), and as India did an about-face on gay sex laws, Singapore saw the reignition of the Penal Code tug-of-war.

While Pink Dot continued to grow, repeal efforts by the LGBT community in Singapore remain bleak and uncertain.

5. Singapore crowns first MasterChef

The inaugural season’s finale didn’t come without choice words from netizens: Zander Ng’s panna cotta screw-up didn’t stop him from winning over judges thanks to his half-blood looks.

6. Most embarrassing year for influencers, yet

Let 2018 be a lesson that if you’re somewhat famous, it’s probably not a good idea to FOMO-shop stock images and get exposed, or expose yourself and get filmed for the matter.

7. Avicii passes on

The EDM world mourns the tragic loss of one of its OGs – real name Tim Bergling – who reportedly took his own life with a broken glass.


STYLE & GROOMING


1. “Can I get a fade?”

The high fade trend that’s keeping gentlemen’s barbers laughing their way to the bank is almost a mandatory request at a haircut sesh these days. We’d wager it won’t be fading out anytime soon.

2. The ankle angle

Like selling ad space on armpits, ankles make a rather strange bodily feature to flaunt. Yet, men are embracing cropped trousers and rolled-up jeans more than ever.

3. Bowling shirt

Bowling shirts were the new “in” in the summer of 2018 to shake up guys’ wardrobes.

4. Holes over Bros

Because there’s little to no chance to throw on a leather biker here, distressed (AKA ripped) jeans are young men’s best bet at channeling the punk-ness and badassery of their subscribed subculture. The look has stayed in trend through the 80s, 90s, 2000s and now, into 2020.

5. Joseph Schooling is ambassador of BOSS

The Olympic gold medallist is now the Gold standard in men’s fashion. An ambassador of BOSS, Schooling really is ballin’ as the face of the iconic brand alongside God of Lightning Chris Hemsworth.

6. Ugly sneakers  

Dad fashion is one of the top searches on fashion portal Lyst this year, with the likes of Balenciaga’s Triple S bucking the trend.

7. Trump scotch-tapes his tie together

It’s a symptom of his larger problems.


SPORTS


1. World Cup 2018

Surely there were no blues for Les Bleus as they ended a 20-year wait for the gold – except for one golden Pussy Riot moment.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo moves to Juventus

‘Forza Juve’ went into overdrive as CR7 completes a ‘move of the century’ to Juventus, from Real Madrid. His 4-year contract is worth $112 million Euros ($131 million).

3. LeBron James’ transfer to Los Angeles Lakers

Since we’re on sports superstars who rake in millions like it’s pocket change, King James made it clear where he wants to settle down in when he signed a 4-year contract with Los Angeles Lakers worth $154 million.

4. Serena Williams throws a serious fit at U.S Open

Not cool, Serena.

5. Singapore Grand Prix 2018: Lewis Hamilton owns Marina Bay circuit

The Mercedes champ started at pole position and finished the way he started. He stands tall at the podium for the first time since 2014.    

6. Super-sub shows The Special One he’s anything but special

Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returns to Manchester United as caretaker manager and is, apparently, off to a flying start. 

7. Top superstar Roman Reigns bows out of WWE

The Big Dog broke character on an episode of Monday Night Raw and revealed his leukaemia relapse to tearing fans. Reigns was poised to replace John Cena as the new poster boy of WWE.


DATING & SEX


1. Royal weddings

Why did it feel like the princes and princesses of the world were racing to get hitched – if not to produce offsprings?

2. #MeToo, one year on

The war on sexual harassment has left a trail of disgraced men and foiled toxic masculinity. But it didn’t come without unintended consequences.

Men are left scratching their heads as to how they should really approach women without ending up in court – as if dating isn’t already complicated enough – and how they can defend themselves if they, ironically, find themselves victimised by women who exploit the movement.   

3. Tumblr bans porn

What started as a microblogging platform for users to do ‘Gram-like stuff before the ‘Gram even existed spiralled into a PornHub alternative for amateur material.

It was a matter of time the lax policing of explicit content led to porn extremism – in this case, child pornography – which prompted Tumblr to do some major cleaning up.

4. Slow dating, the new trend

A healing balm for your dating burnout.

5. Zombieing

The undead of dating fads in which an ex-lover resurfaces unexpectedly with a ‘Hey’ text. Got one of those this year?

6. Men love CMB

According to a poll conducted by AskMen in September, Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) is the best dating app based on factors such as ease of setup, ease of use, quality of connections and likelihood to recommend.

7. Rise of sex tech

Just when you thought getting solicited dating advice from robo-butler Alexa is groundbreaking, check this out: regular porn watchers are now closing the gap with adult performers with virtual reality head gears; in other news, a certain sex doll maker in Canada have started erecting sexbot brothels in a bid to circumvent issues of ethics and STDs.