5 Acts of Staggering Hypocrisy From Self-Righteous Critics
As we've previously discussed, even the staunchest figurehead of a noble cause can become an unapologetic hypocrite under the right circumstances. The president of PETA would find their worldview growing foggy after spending three weeks marooned on Veal Island. Here are five outspoken critics who suddenly found themselves Googling for a way to cleanly remove all of the bumper stickers from their car.
California State Senator Pushes Strict Gun Control Laws, Gets Caught Running Guns
Ever since his election to the California State Senate in 2006, Leland Yee has been a passionate champion for gun control, pushing for bans on all assault-style weapons, keeping firearms out of the hands of children, and outlawing features such as detachable magazines. His efforts have even been honored by the Brady Campaign, an organization whose mere mention causes an AK-47 to shed a single, explosive tear.
Better tears than a tantrum.
Running for office is super expensive, you guys, and when Yee ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2011, he got his ass handed to him (he came in fifth, which is slightly better than you would have fared had you written your own name in on the ballot). Instead of nabbing a cushy new job as the head of one of the most expensive cities in America, Yee found himself $70,000 in the hole. Realizing that his extensive knowledge in the field of illegal weaponry could be mined for personal gain, he decided to make that money back by selling a shitload of guns, because the golden shimmer of illicit fortune tends to blind people to irony.
In March of 2014, Yee was arrested alongside a Chinatown mobster known as "Shrimp Boy" after brokering a $2 million arms deal with a group of Islamic rebels for a pile of machine guns and rocket launchers. That's right -- one of the most visible supporters of gun control got caught selling rocket launchers to terrorists.
"Nah, it's cool. They said they were for target practice and home defense."
Luckily for pretty much the entire world, the people whom Yee thought were Islamic rebels in the Philippines were actually undercover FBI agents, and Yee was suspended from the Senate on numerous charges of being a terrible asshole.
Ayn Rand, Ultimate Government Program Denouncer, Collected Medicare and Social Security
Ayn Rand, best known for writing Atlas Shrugged and one or two other books you have never read, was an outspoken fan of capitalism, self-interest, and utter disdain for government interference. Atlas Shrugged was a manifesto in fiction form, promoting what she referred to as "laissez-faire capitalism," a free-thinking society in which all citizens worked solely for themselves, totally free from the government's grimy, grasping fingers getting all up in their business. According to Rand, anyone who debased themselves by using government programs such as Social Security or Medicare were "moochers," and submitting yourself to such methods of governmental control was on par with succumbing to slavery. She was presumably not super fun to hang out with.
Rand's views on government and personal industry are polarizing, but she had another strongly held belief that pretty much everyone will agree was tapdancingly daffy: she insisted that all the scientific evidence outlining the dangers of smoking was just a big ol' pile of bullshit. She loved her some smoking -- all of the characters in her novels were chain smokers, and she wrote poetic descriptions of her two-pack-a-day habit right up until the age of 69, when her doctor showed her an x-ray of her lungs that looked like the Specter of Death in a windsurfing competition.
"The left is full of tar and ash, and the right is packed with inhaled Bic lighters."
It didn't take long for the resulting medical bills to stack up thicker than The Fountainhead, and book royalties can only stretch so far when you aren't writing about an orphan being abducted into a magical boarding school. After a series of arguments that we imagine must've read like the transcript of a late-for-work mother trying to negotiate a spoon of vegetables into a child's mouth, a social worker named Evva Pryor was finally able to convince Rand that she needed help ... from the government.
Unlike her fellow founder of American Libertarianism, Isabel Paterson, who chose to die sick and poor rather than even open her Social Security card, Rand spent the rest of her life collecting over $11,000 in government assistance, because principles are all well and good until you get cancer. We're not saying she didn't deserve the help, but she sure dedicated the pre-cancer stage of her life to giving people in similar situations a ton of shit for it.
Steven Spielberg Criticizes Hollywood for Producing Movies Just for Money, Produces Movies Just for Money
Steven Spielberg has either directed or produced every movie you have ever loved, which is only a slight exaggeration, unless you have spent the last 40 years watching movies incorrectly.
"Extra butter, please."
As one of the most legendary and influential filmmakers of all time, it's probably not that surprising to learn that he's somewhat less than impressed with Hollywood's current fascination with rebooting reboots and making sequels that couldn't be more blatant cash grabs unless the producers somehow found a way to charge you admission to your own memories. According to Spielberg, "There's not a lot of films I'd watch that are made over the past 20 years. I think producers are more interested in backing concepts than directors and writers. I don't think that's the right way of making a decision about whether you're going to back a film or not."
That's some powerful wisdom from an accomplished dreamer. If only today's movie makers would follow his example.
Yeah, about that ...
Steven Spielberg has served as executive producer of all four Transformers films, which is a sentence that never should have existed. Spielberg bought the film rights to the space robot franchise because his kids played with the toys, and encouraged Michael Bay to continue with the series when all Bay really wanted to do was make one of those "small movies" that Spielberg so lamented the loss of. That's right -- the Transformers movies are such soulless money-printing machines that even Michael Bay tried to walk away from them. But Steven Spielberg wouldn't let him.
"How can I say no to the man who introduced me to the thing I love most?"
But it's not like Spielberg finally succumbed to the lure of commercial filmmaking after decades of resistance -- remember Raiders of the Lost Ark, the movie that gave us Indiana Jones and bad guys suffering R-rated deaths in a PG setting? Yeah, turns out the sole reason Spielberg worked on it in the first place was because he needed the cash after sabotaging his own career with the sucktastic, jokeless comedy 1941. Now, he still made Raiders into one of the best films of all time (he is Steven Spielberg, after all), but the initial decision to direct it wasn't based on "I love this script" so much as "I need some goddamn money."
Spielberg is also responsible for producing more unnecessary sequels than possibly any other filmmaker in history, including Jurassic Park III, a handful of Men In Black movies, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the latter of which managed to coin an entirely new phrase for ruining a series: "nuking the fridge." This is something that Spielberg is proud of. We're pretty sure Spielberg didn't help Men in Black II into production because he was dazzled by the concept, and Jurassic Park III didn't even have a script when they started filming it. Nope, those films were made for the singular purpose of adding an ice cream machine to Spielberg's Jacuzzi.
In the End, the Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous Just Wanted to Get Plastered
William Griffith Wilson, known to many simply as Bill W., struggled with alcohol addiction for over 17 years, starting from the time he was 21 years old and ending right around the time he got blackout drunk during the Great Depression (which, to be fair, is totally understandable) and woke up in a hospital bed. According to Bill, while in the hospital, he saw a "great white light" fill the room, which to him was a sign of a spiritual awakening, but was more often than not a result of the doctors having plugged too many things into a wall outlet. He went on to co-found Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Bob, a fellow alcoholic and a presumably terrible doctor.
Despite what this guy would have you believe, no one is a better doctor while constantly fucked up.
Bill W. never touched another drop of alcohol in his life, and his lasting legacy gave the world its best hope for dealing with alcoholism since we fucked up and made LSD illegal.
On Christmas Eve, 1970, 75-year-old Bill W. once again found himself lying in a hospital bed, this time dying of emphysema (further proving that the best cure for a crippling addiction is another crippling addiction). Bright and early Christmas morning, he made a simple, dying request for three shots of whiskey. His nurses refused, because they clearly had no respect for the spirit(s) of Christmas.
Can't have Christmas without the three wise men.
But Bill W. was nothing if not resolute -- he asked for booze again about a week later. Then a week after that. Then a week after that. His caretakers denied him his final wish every time, even though we're pretty sure the only reason he kept staving off death was to try to get him some whiskey. We'll never know, because on January 24, 1971, Bill W. passed on to his final judgment without ever getting that last drink.
We have to ask -- had Bill managed to pull through, would he have been grateful that his nurses helped him maintain his 30 years of sobriety? Or would he be furiously pissed that they refused a dying man some simple shots of alcohol to dull the excruciating pain of terminal cancer in his final days? It's not like he would have been any less deserving of an annual holiday if they had cut the poor bastard a break and let him toss a few back before strolling off into oblivion.
Hobby Lobby Fights against Providing Birth Control for Its Employees, Invests in Companies That Manufacture Birth Control
If you're not big into arts and crafts, you may have never even heard of Hobby Lobby before their highly publicized bout with Obamacare earlier this year made the news. In case you missed it, Hobby Lobby's Evangelical Christian owners had a gigantic beef with the Affordable Care Act -- namely, that certain methods of birth control which are covered by the act (including morning-after pills and IUDs) are against their religion, because they prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's womb and are therefore the same thing as abortion.
Hobby Lobby took their claim all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the company could not be forced to provide its employees with contraceptives that offended its owners' religious views. Hobby Lobby could rest easy knowing that it had successfully defended its employees' uteruses from themselves.
From that, at least. We're pretty sure a couple of stores have a vajazzler or two.
When their lawsuit was filed, Hobby Lobby's 401(k) plan had more than $73 million invested in mutual funds with holdings in companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (makers of morning-after pills and IUDs), Pfizer and AstraZeneca (which both produce drugs used to induce abortions), and even Aetna and Humana (health insurance companies that cover various methods of abortion). For a company so offended by the thought of giving its employees access to contraceptives that aren't related to abortions, they sure are comfortable collecting a ton of money from actual abortions.
Gotta drive up poster board sales somehow.
It's not like the mutual funds in their portfolio were so diversely invested that they had no way of knowing where their money was going, because anyone with an internet connection could've traced that money after approximately six seconds of Googling. Furthermore, Hobby Lobby could've selected any number of faith-based mutual funds that deliberately avoid getting tangled up in anything that could be viewed as un-Christian. But those don't have as high a yield, so Hobby Lobby said "God can just hang back for a minute while we deposit these checks" and went ahead with what they were doing. It's not like they're the first to take that approach to religion, but it's interesting how they only want to take a stand when it's their employees who get dicked over.
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For more people who should probably stop talking, check out 9 Famous Thinkers Who Were Total Hypocrites and 5 Famous Online Copyright Crusaders Who Are Total Hypocrites.
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