#3. Major League Baseball's Biogenesis Scandal
Ugh! The Biogenesis scandal, right, everybody? I mean, what kind of bullshit was that?
Right. For most of you, understandably, the proper emphasis in the previous sentence should be what kind of bullshit was that? As in, "What the fuck are you talking about again?" The simple answer is steroids. Specifically, steroids in baseball. That's another topic I covered in a column when I mentioned that, since the days when Ty Cobb was knifing spectators for having black friends or however that story goes, the real problem in baseball was amphetamines.
He certainly looked fierce!
The article didn't do a ton of traffic, which was to be expected. Baseball is a niche topic, and we're trying to reach a pretty wide audience here. Honestly, there aren't too many points I didn't make there that would be worth adding here. I included this on the list mostly because I feel like it's a holdover from a problem of a few years ago that wasn't really even a problem.
Also, holy shit did they stick it to A-Rod! I think he's suspended until the Cubs win the World Series or some shit.
Any day now.
Sidebar! I was born and raised in Illinois, have been a Cubs fan my entire life, and even caught a game back before the stadium had lights. I'm allowed to make that joke, because I'm as sad as you are.
So anyway, I guess that A-Rod suspension made this noteworthy enough to mention as well.
Still, if you don't care about baseball, you've probably already stopped reading. If you do care about baseball (I certainly don't) and you read Cracked regularly (nope again), you likely read my article Why Steroids Were Never the Real Problem in Baseball. If you didn't and are interested, make a mental note to click that link a little later and read all about it. For now, though, join the rest of us in moving on from this bullshit topic, just like baseball should have a long damn time ago.
#2. Racist Halloween Costumes
Of all the hot new looks this Halloween season, "racist" was the most popular by far. I actually wrote something earlier this year about racist Halloween costumes right around the same time this happened:
Orange is the new ... never mind.
That's former Dancing With the Stars pro and co-destroyer of the Footloose legacy Julianne Hough on Halloween this year. If you're unfamiliar, this is what she normally looks like:
Of course, once images of Hough's unfortunate costume choice started making the rounds, heads exploded. If we're being completely honest, I'm no less susceptible to being swept up in the false outrage generated by a bullshit story than anyone else. So, like I said earlier, I not only wrote about the Julianne Hough incident, I also included some angry words for stuff like this:
Relax, it just looks like it should be racist.
That's Slate editor Dave Weigel, who, like about 10 million other people this year, did his best to come up with a costume that best represented the debacle that was the launch of the president's national health care program.
Here's the thing: I have to crank these columns out every single week, along with doing a lot of other tasks for the site (it's a real job, everybody). Sometimes I'll write something and, given enough time to think about it, realize I'm totally wrong.
It's about as rare as this meat, but still, it happens.
Both of these stories would fall into that category.
If you're mad about Obama masks, name one president in recent times who hasn't had a Halloween mask or a thousand produced in his likeness. Are we really saying that, whenever we have a black president, only black children can dress up as the president for Halloween? Does that mean black kids can't dress up as white presidents? That's silly.
As for Hough, as I pointed out in that article (and again a few weeks ago), what she did is absolutely no different from what Robert Downey Jr. did in Tropic Thunder. If anything, it was less offensive. See, at least we know Hough is trying to look like a specific character. That's not the case with Robert Downey Jr. though, right? Even still, this isn't blackface:
I'm not saying racist Halloween costumes are something we should never be upset about; I'm just suggesting that you make sure they are actually racist before you decide to lose your shit. Unless you have a deadline to meet, of course.
#1. Miley Cyrus at the VMAs
Former pop princess and (wink, wink) "salvia" advocate Miley Cyrus kicked her Hannah Montana image square in the vagina at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, where she twerked her way through the date rape anthem "Blurred Lines" while duet partner Robin Thicke turned the show into one long game of "Costume or not?" by wearing a suit that made him look like the lucky winner of Michael Keaton's belongings on some newfangled celebrity edition of Storage Wars.
It's not authentic without the wig, dude.
You know, the kind of show where celebrities show and up and it's just magically revealed out of the blue that they have some insane hidden talent that we never knew about? If I'm casting this show in my head, which I clearly have already started to do, I think Robin Thicke's hook should be that he only buys as much stuff as he can carry on bicycle, a nod to his early career days when he didn't realize that most R&B clubs have a strict dress code so he opted for a more "hippie bike messenger" persona before wisely settling into his current role as "the Justin Timberlake of Alan Thicke's offspring."
It's a testament to how little I care about this Miley Cyrus performance that I've spent the first two entire paragraphs just talking about Robin Thicke. But see, I think he's actually the problem. Or rather, his song is the problem. "Blurred Lines" is the song rape listens to when it wants to dance. The title alone is a questionable choice. Something like "How Drunk Is Too Drunk?" might have worked better, I don't know, I don't name songs for a living.
What I'm getting at, though, is that in a lot of corners of the world, "Blurred Lines" was viewed as more than a little misogynistic, and then into the fray came Miley Cyrus, endorsing it all with reckless, motorboating abandon. I imagine for a woman who was legitimately offended by the premise and lyrics of "Blurred Lines," seeing Miley Cyrus willingly play the role of the drunk chick Robin Thicke is trying to lure back to his sex van probably felt like a bit of a knife turn, especially coming from a young woman who's just a couple of years removed from being posterized on the wall of every girl of Disney Channel-watching age in America.
I guess I can understand that. Granted, if Miley Cyrus is a crisis that affected your family, it's totally your fault for watching the VMAs in the first place. But still, I get it.
Adam would like to remind you that he is hosting a new Cracked podcast called 'Unpopular Opinion' that you can download on iTunes right now! You can also see him tell jokes in person the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica. Click here for tickets and more info. If you're still in the mood for a few more links after all that, you can follow Adam on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
As 2013 draws to a close, be sure to check out Cracked's year in review because, well, we know you don't remember it half as well as you think.
Related Reading: Speaking of media cock-ups, Bryan Cranston won't be Lex Luthor. But at least those lazy journalists didn't accuse an innocent cop of beating a man. Really, it all comes down to the fact that most news organizations suck at Google.