Monday, January 03, 2011

Ten Most Annoying in 2010

I have never compiled an end of the year Top 10 list, mainly because no one ever asked me. Nothing has changed in that regard, but since I wrote about this wretched 365 days past, I feel qualified to enumerate my ten most annoying people/events of the year. Since this was an election cycle, I could have filled the list with nothing but goofy senatorial candidates like Sharron Angle or the world's worst loser, Alaska's Joe Miller, but I tried to spread the scorn around a little. There were many deserving and hideous annoyances, but I've attempted to incorporate a wide range of the aggravating, beginning with:

10. Dick Clark. Although he only shows up once annually, it's enough horror to last all year long. When he first appeared several years ago on "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve" after a debilitating stroke, it seemed shocking but courageous for him to go on the air in a semi-incapacitated state. Now, after several years, it's purely for self-aggrandizement. Only there's no one around him to tell him to hang it up. Clark increasingly looks like the Cryptkeeper and speaks in brief, indecipherable mutterings that only Ryan Seacrest can understand. Seacrest calls him "The Master," while eyeballing that cozy, indoor desk-set he will inherit one day, maybe even on the air. It's a shame that Dick Clark began his career entertaining children and ends it by frightening them.

9. Willie Herenton. The former Memphis mayor did not go silently into that good night, but mounted one more vanity run for representative of the 9th Congressional district with the slogan "Just One." Had that meant there's just one Willie Herenton, it might have been effective, but the slogan and the Herenton campaign drew national media attention by consistently stating that the district could only be fairly represented by a black man. This racist strategy drew a rare congressional endorsement from President Obama for Herenton's opponent, Rep. Steve Cohen. Herenton cancelled a debate because he didn't approve of the questioners and even after Cohen beat him like a dusty floor rug, Herenton railed at the media, County Mayor A C Wharton, white voters, the president, and anyone else he considered responsible for his last hurrah. At least we can hope it was.

8. BP CEO Tony Hayward. After the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Hayward began a campaign of serial lying to stall for time. He intentionally misrepresented the size of the spill, the estimated damage to the Gulf, the mechanical safeguards that failed, and BP's grotesque record for safety. When appearing before Congress, Hayward said "I don't remember," more times than John Gotti at trial. His treatment of the victims of the spill was reminiscent of an English Viceroy in India during the days of the Raj, and his famous remark, "I want my life back," drew enough anger for BP to recall him to Great Britain. His replacement tried to tamp down the public relations damage while Hayward rushed off to the yacht races.

7. Cialis Commercials. Cialis is an erectile dysfunction medication made by GlaxoSmithKline, a public corporation. Since the Supreme Court determined in the Citizens United decision that corporations are now considered people, Cialis is one annoying sumbitch. Two aging yuppies are gardening or painting a house and exchange a randy glance, and suddenly waterfalls appear and thick plots of green grass grow where the horny couple appropriately pitch a tent. Next thing you know, they're reclining naked in the woods or on the beach in separate, antique bathtubs, implying that they did their dirty business thanks to Cialis. When's the last time you hit on someone and ended up nude, lying outside in a dry tub? I thought only tequila could do that.

6. Snooki. I allowed my wife to talk me into watching The Jersey Shore, with its cast of hedonists, and it happened to be the episode where Snooki gets cold-cocked by some beefy drunk in a bar. Intrigued, I watched for a couple of weeks until I realized that this show is about a group of aimless, clueless, functioning morons whose sole purpose in life is getting drunk, fighting, boasting of their "hotness" or manliness, and picking up strangers with whom to "hook up." I used to have a redneck friend who would get mean drunk and say, "I want to fuck or fight, and I don't much care which." This sums up the entire premise of Jersey Shore, and the result is that Snooki and her "poof" are international celebrities. Lord knows why.

5. Bank of America. The second largest non-oil company in the nation (after WalMart), BOA received $45 billion in government money through TARP, with the instructions to ease credit restrictions and work through their mortgage division to assist financially troubled homeowners in restructuring their loans. They responded by raising interest rates on credit cards by 28%. Only last week, the bank was accused of institutional fraud, where people applying for loan modifications found their paperwork "lost" within the system, until default. The bank's employees advised some homeowners to intentionally miss payments to illustrate the urgency of their need, only to have BOA speed up foreclosure on those in arrears. When the foreclosure horror stories emerged, BOA suspended, then resumed foreclosures in 23 states. The institution is so steeped in fraud, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said the next batch of leaks will succeed in taking down the bank and its officers.


4. Mel Gibson. It was bad enough to read Gibson's anti-Semitic screeds second-hand, but to actually hear his insane ravings on his former girlfriend's phone tapes proved that he's a regular, foaming-at-the-mouth, psychopath. His vile, name-calling obscenities and threats of violence were enough to make the worst misogynist wince. I, for one, am no longer capable of watching a Mel Gibson movie. And here I thought it was just the Jews that he hated.

3. The Republican Congressional Leadership. They devised a strategy of depriving the president of a single legislative victory through the tyranny of the minority, then pointed at him at election time and accused him of accomplishing nothing. And it worked. That is, until Obama steamrolled them during the lame duck session. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has admitted that the Senate Republicans' top priority is to deprive Obama of a second term, and new House Speaker John Boehner aims to "repeal and replace" the Obama health insurance reforms. It's not just that I think these men are working against the best interests of the country, and it may be superficial, but how do you take someone seriously when one of them looks like Mr. Toad from Alice in Wonderland, and the other looks like an Oompa Loompa?

2. My Neighbor. I make a point of knowing my next-door neighbors, but this is a family across the back fence and it's probably just as well I don't know their name. The wife and four kids have spent the last eight years in their back yard screaming. The children were infants when we moved in, and although I wondered aloud whether they shouldn't be in college by now, they're all still back there screaming. The husband owns every gas powered lawn device on the market, including a riding mower with a headlight so he can cut his postage-stamp sized yard at night. Between the leaf blower and the weed wacker, some deafening motor is always running. I had to wake Melody early one morning, however, to tell her that the neighbors now had chickens. She gazed in disbelief at the grown birds clucking away across the fence. Now, our dogs have gone insane and we've inquired about the legality of keeping barnyard animals in east Memphis. But the wife found a way to grandfather in the chickens before some new ordinance takes effect. They say strong fences make good neighbors, but, in this case, only when they're soundproofed.

1. Sarah Palin. I try to ignore her, but they won't let me. From the book deals, the speaking engagements, the Fox News commentary gig, and her inane "tweets," Palin has made a vast fortune from non-public service, or, as we used to call it, "self-service." And yet, a large segment of the population just loves her and can't get enough of her cruel sarcasm. The final outrage came during the reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska, when she traveled to some remote hunting area and murdered a young, female elk. Sure, she justified it by claiming they planned to eat the animal, but I'll bet the response to the dining experience won't match the orgasmic breathlessness exhibited by the bystanders when she killed that majestic creature. If this weekly Palin infomercial is intended to boost her chances for higher office, it has, so far, only exhibited her vapidity. I'm convinced that this woman is a complete idiot, and if you think she's qualified to be the president, then so are you. And that's deeply annoying.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sputnik, I don't know if you saved the best for last, or if this was the best for first! I'm still rolling, only it's unfortunate that it's sad consolation that the same majority of "deep thinkers" who voted Bush in twice, also find serious meeaning in these wackos that make up their ideas of "governance"..... Great song by one of my favorites, John Gorka has the lyric, "It makes me mad that the people who work, could really care about these kinds of jerks"... talking about D. Trump.... Sort of sums it all up.... we need better education!

zephyrman

Anonymous said...

Of course you saved the beat for last. I laughed so hard I wet my pants, which at my age is easy to do, unfortunatley, but again you nailed it. Happy New Year and please keep on keeping us on our collective toes.

Anonymous said...

"I Is Yo New Neighbor"

The Commodores

ghg said...

Smiling. Still. Tart tongue, yours, old man. Love reading your tippity taps. Stay healthy. Live long. Speak clearly, as you do so well.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good Sputty, I actually agree with part of your post. But I think you should have included the federal government in the oil spill debacle. Here’s to a new year of decreasing the size of the federal government and its interference in our lives. Oh let me add one of my own. Islamophophia.

Alan said...

Snooki and her fans (check the rating) are the same people that put Obama over the top and did not vote in the Mid-Terms.

performs said...

Here is a related article you may find interesting:
http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/morford/

Anonymous said...

Another great piece, Randy. I would, of course, place MY neighbors where your neighbors appear. The ones to the left cook kimchee (sp) and smoke, the smells wafting on to my porch and through our mutual "firewall." They, like my other neighbors, park in my reserved space perpetually, lowering their head when i ring their door bell to remind them. The ones on the right made me dislike my old love for African music by playing it loudly until 3 am and bringing what seems like the former residents of their entire Liberian town over to park in our cul-de-sac for the celebrations. As for the formerly orange oompa loompa? Give him a chance (you won't). Read a few of the loyal opposition's physical descriptions of Nancy. Happy New Year, Randy. By the way, I think the street "Woodston" post to me was about where the famous photo "Memphis," of a track house with trike in front, was taken. Not where "LX" (i learned too late) lived.

Anonymous said...

ghg, please don't refer to Randy as "old man." i haven't seen him since the early 60s when he was Radiant. i prefer to remember people the way they were. Ha.

ROBERT said...

very accurate and well written

Happy Hal said...

Randy is STILL radiant!

Across the fence said...

You were pretty bold to think I wouldn't read your blog. the crap you put out is the whole reason I got the damn chickens.

Wait till you see what I get next.....neighbor

Anonymous said...

In item #3 you said that the Senate Republicans' top priority is to deprive Obama of a second term. In a recent commentary, after Obama allowed the tax cut bill to pass, you said that you wouldn't vote to re-elect him. You seemed to imply that he is a traitor to the left wing cause. Why complain if the Republicans are going to help you out by working to defeat Obama in 2012? You also seem to be interested in unseating him. Is there an inconsistency here? Just trying to keep you on your 'collective' toes...pun intended.

Outside Observer said...

The fawning obsequiousness of some of the regulars here bespeaks of the mental state of mind-numbed lemmings. Your choice of avatars is questionable to say the least. But lefties have always been careless in regard to those to whom they adhere. Most wouldn't know truth if it sat in their lap and kissed them on the cheek. It is very, very sad.

Observer of the Passing Parade said...

Outside, what questions do you have about the choice of avatars here?

By the way, did you know that the long-standing notion of lemming "mass suicide" is a myth? Lemmings are no smarter or dumber than nature designed them to be, and as an organism, they are fairly successful, as their populations often outgrow the ability of their habitats to feed them, causing their populations to fluctuate significatntly from year to year.

Actually, lemmings can swim, and if, and when they drown, it is because the body of water that they choose to cross in search of a new habitat is too wide for their physical limitations.

The misconception about them that you are alluding to was spread by other "Outside Observers", such as yourself, in this case the Walt Disney Company, which staged the whole thing, in 1958, in an Academy Award winning film called "White Wilderness", in which staged footage was shown of lemmings jumping to certain death after faked scenes of mass migration. In fact, the lemmings used for this staged event were flown from Hudson Bay to Calgary, Alberta, where they did not jump off the cliff, but were in fact launched off the cliff using a turntable.

I'm sure the minds of these poor creatures were numb, but probably with terror.

Someday you must enlighten us all with tales of your life as a carnival dunk tank clown.

The Watcher said...

Hear is one of those 'go figure' situations. Back in the day, many of the hippies had the 'Establishment' and the 'Military-Industrial Complex' issue fairly well figured out. I don't know how many of them realized its scope, though. They were right about the Vietnam war. Some probably knew that most wars were and are planned by this Establishment for their own gain. The irony is that so many of the hippie types have been co-opted over the years and are now useful idiots for the very Establishment that they once scorned and tried to expose. This Establishment is using Marxism to overthrow the middle class to further enrich themselves. The full story is much more involved, but the bottom line is that those who were once 'hip' are now dupes for the bastards. How ironic is that?

Outside Obsevber said...

Passing Parade...can't believe that you spent so much time and energy on the whole lemming thing. You do know that it is just a figure of speech, don't you? Your response makes me question your IQ. You know what they say about those who make much ado about nothing, don't you? You are the type that I wouldn't bother with substantive issues. You may get lost on some jot or tittle and get lost on a rabbit trail.

Observer of the Passing Parade said...

"Obsevber", it's gratifying to know that the little things that I say from time to time cause you to do things, question things, like my IQ, although I wonder why my IQ should be of any interest to you. I mean, I wasn't aware that dunk tank clowns sometines moonlight as psychologists. Even as amateur ones like you. I suppose everyone needs a hobby. Why don't you try stamp collecting?

Maybe one of these days I can induce you to actually utter something substantive. So far that pleasure as proven elusive. But hope springs eternal. Perhaps sometime, really really soon...

No, I don't know what they say. Who is "they", and what do "they" say? Do you mean that all the time you were talking about nothing?

First lemmings and now rabbits. You like to compare everyone you don't like to some kind of a rodent? That's not very nice. Why not a weasel, or some other kind of feral creature? Maybe you are the weasel? Hmmmm? If so, then... POP! Off you go.

I still didn't learn what you find questionable about the choices of avatars here, and that is disappointing also. Throw us low-IQ rodents a bone, won't you, let us in on your little secret? That's a good fellow.

The next time you find yourself in a fury rage, as you obviously were, take a real deep cleansing breath, and type slower. Then you'll get your own name right, if you don't manage to get anything else.

Now, back to your hidey-hole, flathead.

Outside Observer said...

Passing Parade, you are a fascinating case study. Rave on. You are so petty and so easily disturbed. Judging from your rant you could be the next Jared Loughner. It may help if you would refrain from wearing your tin foil hat. You are receiving unhealthy communications from the space brothers.

St. Paul said...

Since most progressives are atheists (or worse), they see people as a higher order of animal rather than as beings who are made in the image of God. Since people are animals and subject to irrational herd behavior, individual freedom (the pursuit of happiness thing) is seen as a threat to society. This situation calls for enlightened despotism from an elite minority, much like the keepers of a zoo. The elites must shepherd the bewildered herd and move them toward some preconceived 'Utopia' fabricated by the elites. Or, as Gregg and Bill Mahr would put it, "Take them by the nape of the neck and drag them to do the 'right' things". What if Gregg and Bill don't make the cut. What if the elite consider them to be part of the problematic herd that needs to be coerced to do the right things. I can hear them saying, "But, elites, we share your views. Why are you treating us as part of the ignorant herd"? The elites will respond, "Because we set the bar quite a bit higher than the useful idiots that served us". What a bummer.

Anonymous said...

"Collectivism's ultimate end is death...death of the mind, death of the individual, and eventually death of everything good in society". Don't be fooled. It is a Devil's bargain.

performs said...

I find it a waste of time to simply dwell on the conflicts of mechanical devises adopted by cultures, the judging of “isms.” They are not the problem. Problems arise out of how a human being employs them. Will it be to express compassion, kindness, generosity, and selfless service, or to express cruelty, rivalry, greed, or a need to control others for satisfying one’s selfish ends? Honestly getting out on to the table our inner motivations (often in conflict as well), our values and their priorities will be infinitely more productive toward resolving problems.

Sardou said...

I swear I don't know why I stay up at night and watch Comedy Central. Some of these comments have me rolling on the floor. Gotta go change pants.

Zarathustra said...

Performs, you seem to be a sweet, gentle, well-meaning spirit. But, for some reason when I read your posts I visualize someone grinning vacuously while riding on a skate board and wearing one of those beanies with a propellor. This happens every time I read your posts. Are you some sort of psychic wizard of mind control?

Gimme a break said...

I have two observations on this string of bullshit.

1. Ya'll love to type flowerly overstated crap so you can punch "send" and then proudly read what you wrote to prove how smart you think you are.

2. You are all too sensitive and defensive and it pulls you away from the issue you think you are discussing.

Just get to the point and stop trying to impress everyone.

performs said...

The level of cynicism, flippancy, and ignoring of the point is of a very high level. Your children and parents must be very proud.
I’m not sure I could guess what your feelings are. I would guess that you value being winners or at least perceived by others as such. But winners at what?

Zarathustra said...

destiHere is the central problem of atheism. Atheists are those who don't believe in their own concepts of the ONE TRUE GOD. And, they shouldn't. It would be idolatry if they did. So, in a sense they are blessed. They just need to trade their bogus concepts for reality and then everthing will be cool with their souls. And, they will become more sane to boot. They will certainly leave behind their false god Marxism.

Ed Colton said...

It's amazing how finite men and women with their very limited abilities(can't even bring a semblance of peace to the world)try to figure out God-who He is andwhat He is like. In 1976 I was dying of muscular dystrophy, flew to the U.S. virgin Islands to live my limited life out. I called out to the Jesus of my youth on a mountainside, met some cool born-again hippies a month later who really knew God through Jesus. I was saved and had hands laid on me for healing and received it and I'm here 37 years later. No churchianity, no play games, no figuring out God just receiving Him thru Jesus. Peace that passes all human understanding.
I knew Randy Haspel in the Overton Square days in Memphis when we weren't trying to figure out anything, but just sensualizing with the world as we knew it.. No peace, no peace no real peace. then. Ah, but now and for 37 years real Peace.
I was Judge Colton's son then, now I am a son of God Ed Colton