Without wanting to sound like a whimpering listicle merchant, the year 2016 was quite shit, wasn't it? Not only did everyone on earth die, but the entire vibe of it was just stinky. 2017 is already a lot better. We have a great new world leader, our own government looks set to keep ploughing on with all the good stuff they've been doing and there's not even the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII to worry about. Yep, pretty f-ing good year so far by my estimation.
Two icons of our culture have done exceptionally well this year: the two Chelseas – Chelsea Manning and Chelsea Football Club. The former being released from torturous solitary confinement inflicted by a cruel and unusual military and government body, the latter winning the Premier League and reaching the FA Cup final.
But who's having a better year, when all's said and done, as we enter the autumn of Q2 2017? Is it Manning, with her new shoes and pizza, or FC, with their millions of pounds? There's only one way to find out!
Photo via Chelsea Manning's Twitter
CHELSEA MANNING: Since being released from the waking nightmare of her incomprehensibly vicious incarceration, ol' Chelsea Manning has had at least one glass of the bubbly stuff. If you zoom in on the photo she posted on Twitter, you will notice that she is drinking a glass of 2006 vintage Dom Perignon, which on the skreets will set you back about £110. Pretty fucking snazzy stuff, Chelsea!
CHELSEA FC: Late last year manager Antonio Conte revealed that, after games, players are allowed to drink beer and wine, even a Coca-Cola on the odd occasion. "After the game, for rehydration, you can drink Coca-Cola or one beer. It's good for recovery," he said. "But one, not a lot. After you finish the game, quickly, not an hour after the end." Thing is, Chelsea's beer sponsor is Singha, a beer which nobody buys unless they're in a Thai restaurant, because it's a pretty middling lager as they go. I can't imagine they're drinking a glass of wine after an hour-and-a-half of gruelling physical exertion and sometime emotional turmoil, so we can rule out a cheeky sup of Casillero del Diablo during the post-match locker room debrief. They could reasonably be pouring nice expensive champagne all over each other when they do the trophy presentation this Saturday, but that's a waste of booze, and frankly is a bit annoying.
CHELSEA MANNING: Since her release from the state-enforced torture she experience for years, there's been a huge outpouring of admiration for Chelsea. However, a lot of men who have guns and beards think Manning is a disgusting traitor who should literally be executed. I wouldn't say this is the prevailing attitude by any means, but it's certainly a popular enough opinion that we can say for sure it's not total good vibes towards CM. Still, I think most people are pretty stoked that a human being isn't being treated like a broken-legged greyhound owned by a nasty and indifferent dog trainer any more.
CHELSEA FC: The only people who are stoked on Chelsea winning the league are Chelsea fans. Everyone else fucking hates them because of their history of violent racism and Soviet blood money-funded onslaught of sudden success. A villainous team of villainous players.
Photo via Chelsea Manning's Twitter
CHELSEA MANNING: I don't know what shoes they let you wear in solitary confinement, but I imagine they probably fit with the general vibe of claustrophobic mental suffering and greyed, timeless, non-stop isolation. To be honest, the shoe I'd pick for that is a nice pair of Converse, which Chelsea seems to have optionally opted for. Mind you, there's more to life than Converse. The world is your oyster now, Chelsea – get some Jordans or something!
CHELSEA FC: Everyone in the Chelsea squad wears boots with fucking stupid names that sound like a Japanese arcade cabinet. "Hypervenom Phantom III", "Mercurial Vapour XI", "Magista Opus II". They all sound like fighting games in which half of the characters are sexy soldiers and the other half are pulsating phallic demonoid creatures. Having said that, at least they offer a bit of colour, a bit of flair.
CHELSEA MANNING: Not gonna lie, I can't think of anything more satisfying than having your borderline criminal treatment at the hands of an unforgiving, wretchedly punitive and spiteful state overturned at the last minute, meaning the freedom you probably never thought you'd gain becomes an immediate reality. I can't imagine the feeling, sitting in the car, as you pass through the gates and away from the living hell you've endured, of contemplating reintegration and the future, looking out onto every knoll, every piece of pavement, every shop and supermarket, every cinema and restaurant, thinking, 'I can go to any of these whenever I fucking want to.' The tornado of feelings whipping up the organs of your body, twisting them and throwing them back into place. Can it, as a human feeling, really ever be matched?
CHELSEA FC: Errr, yeah? Winning the fucking Premier League, the greatest league in the world? Scoring goals? Earning loads of fucking money? Living in a massive house? Being able to be a cunt almost all the time and no one being able to stop you? Living the actual dream of millions of people around the world every week, literally for just playing football, a game where you use your muscly legs to batter a ball into a goal? Everyone loving you even if you're thick and a wanker? Being a 24-year-old millionaire? Lifting a trophy in front of thousands of adoring fans who would cut their eyeballs out in the mere hope of tasting the feeling you are experiencing at that very moment? I think I know who wins here.
CHELSEA MANNING: 28/40
CHELSEA FC: 46/40
Welp, looks like we have a winner! Though Chelsea Manning's life has changed exponentially for the better now she's been released from the claws of the military prison system, there's nothing quite like winning the Premier League. Roll on the FA Cup for the double!
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