The 9 Biggest Bastards of 2011

Economic crises, royal weddings and Amy Winehouse discovered to have been alive: all huge news stories, but none relevant to us. Good morning! This is the Year in Bastardry, 2011.

A mere smattering.

Our working definition of a bastard: Someone who does anything to win, and bows to no one. You'll find them on both sides of the moral fence, because human beings are a little bit ape, and even littler bit angel. Good or ill, you eventually need a bastard, because as we know, bastards always win. Unless they're facing bigger, more or better-equipped bastards.

The fact is, they're the ones who get the most done -- usually something reason and morality suggest should never have been done at all. If you don't claim them, some other group will. Here are the unbelievable achievers you would mostly not want to meet at parties.

Top-Ranking Bastards

2011's triumphant bastards (for the 10,000th year running), were the rich, powerful and corrupt, which (surprisingly) are sometimes discrete groups.

Oh, man, what a cock-up. Weiner was always a staff-mauling, race-baiting loudmouth, making enemies in his own party for protecting the middle class and for talking to Republicans the way Republicans talk to everyone. Still, it takes a Film-Schwarzenegger sense of invulnerability to use Twitter for sexting and not expect to end up with a Reality-Schwarzenegger scandal. Anthony Weiner, you are 2011's recipient of the Gary Hart Award for Sex-Addled Democrats. Your prize is a month's worth of irresistible news headline puns.

My colleague and comedy-crush Luke McKinney outlined what an infected cyst Trump really is, but there's no bottom to the pot of loathing that bubbles for this goon. What he doesn't coat in gold he files for bankruptcy, and only King Midas should be able to do both of those at once. Despite enough fiscal irresponsibility to thrive in politics, his presidential platform amounted to pounding the birther chord and hoping the chorus would carry the tune. Plus, he earned a lifetime ban for selling mail-order steaks through Sharper Image, which is offensive to cows and people who love to eat cows.

"I am personally going to take a shit on each one of these."

Every day they're not [allegedly --'s lawyers] hacking 9/11 victims' phones, they're [definitely --'s solicitors] hacking dead English people's, because interviewing survivors is too classy. How do you hire for that kind of job, anyway? You need, at the very least, a sleazy private investigator, a sexy woman of mystery played by Angelina Jolie and a 13-year-old Korean whiz kid.

Other bastards hate this bastard for proving they're bastards with their own documents. This year WikiLeaks revealed how many prisoners at the Guantanamo gulagphantom zone detention center are innocent but shackled up anyway, because the spring pageant needs a high headcount to really make the "Yankee Doodle Dandy" number soar. On the plate for 2012: determining whether Assange is also a molesty bastard.

2011 was the year we learned these rampaging bloodsuckers thrive on incest. Again, much like the 1 percent.

You'd think marrying your cousin would fall out of fashion

How is it our ancestors cured this problem with heavy boots and DDT baths for the kids, yet we future-wizards suffer a plague? Where is our army of microscopic Terminators fueled by bedbug eggs?

We hit 7 billion people this year! And nobody's getting out of here alive.

Saw our ecological rampage and raised. Pointing the gun at her own head, Earth slaughtered hordes of birds and fish just to prove she will go to the wall and climb it. Then she gave us a taste of next year's winter solstice with natural disasters. She's a defeated villain dangling over the edge of the building, but she'd rather die if she can pull us down with her.

Those villains are very foreign.

Suppose I asked you to hold a hundred bucks for me. Now say you lost it before I came back from wherever I was afraid to carry money -- probably Newark. You'd be the jerk, right? But our friendship would survive unless you pretended to be baffled. Then you'd be Jon Corzine, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs (oh, no ...), former senator (oh, Jesus ...) and former governor of (Aaaah, here it comes!) New Jersey. Then you'd have misplaced $1.2 billion, including your employees' retirement funds, and crashed your commodities firm three years after all the cool CEOs were doing it. Testifying twice before Congress, he summoned an achingly heartfelt shrug and didn't even claim to have been mugged in Newark.

And yet someone managed to out-bastard him. Someone managed to out-bastard them all, so profoundly that it's difficult to imagine any of the runners-up inventing a fictional character as perfectly bastardly as him ...

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Brendan McGinley

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