It’s hard to know whether 2014 was a particularly grim year or whether a certain kind of person -- relatively affluent, relatively unaffected by war and famine -- was simply exposed to more meat hook realities than they’d care to know about. It certainly felt like a grey cloud hovered over these last 12 months. As Guy Rundle put it last week in Crikey: "There wasn’t a single place in the world which appeared to be having a win. It was either tragedy or just a general grinding on."