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.
Our working definition of
A mere smattering.
Every day they're not hacking 9/11 victims' phones, they're 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
"I am personally going to take a shit on each one of these."
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.
You'd think marrying your cousin would fall out of fashion
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
Those villains are very foreign.
America continued to ease off its foreign bastardry commitments to invest its remaining $10 in misery at home. Exiting Iraq relieved pressure on an inflated bastard reputation, even as 63 deaths wrote a touching post-script to the love letter we wrote that country in the blood of dead citizens. With anywhere from 100,000 to 1,000,000 Iraqi corpses -- ahhh, but who's counting? -- the important thing is that we shared this kind of once-in-a-lifetime-and-usually-at-the-end-of-it intimacy.Domestic bastardry continued its 50-year climb, as fiscal titans raised a snide glass of champagne to the 99 percent who had saved their asses without even being allowed to stipulate how the money should be spent. The strongest growth was, as always, among uninformed bastards that think they know everything, who chided at protestors angry about the lack of real jobs to go get real jobs.
Really, who doesn't have an uncle they're ashamed of? Not my nieces, by God.
Old Dirty Bastard, and subject to just as many name variants, he made the biggest exit on this list. As rebels swarmed the capital, Gaddaffi was dragged out of a sewer pipe, pistol-whipped in the streets, and sodomized with a bayonet (or a stick. But: OW! Still). Shot in the head and chest, he stayed alive for another half-hour, because he never could recognize when nobody wanted him around anymore.
In his long reign Gaddafi gadhaffied gadafi kadhafy's gaddhafi by khaddafying qadaffily. He spent much of his life asking nuclear powers if they had any spare bombs, for which he would gladly pay them on Tuesday.No demagogue ever embodied such diversion as Gaddafi: a handsome young soldier who melted into the fifth Golden Girl (Madge, the zany sex offender). He was also branded twice as a "freedom fighter" and then "the mad dog of the Middle East," depending on how convenient he was to the West. Despite looking like a walking Muppet parody he was rockstar enough for a cadre of devoted
Also because he was a zombie, which I propose we call Zombaffie, even though Gaddombie would be good too.
The Rich Bastard will be missed by weird Apple cultists and fans of Wrangler dad jeans with tennis Reeboks. You know which of yourselves I'm talking about, Victoria's Secret models. The world will miss his relentless vision of the sterile totalitarianism promised to us by 1970s sci-fi, as well as his branding campaign pretending to be the complete opposite. We're sure he's thinking differently and tolerating no variance in Heaven now, praise iGod.
Crazy Bastard's sudden demise left his nation adrift. Without Dear Leader, whose statues will fill their bomb shelters in lieu of food? (Assuming they one day get food.) Who will teach them the secret mysteries of a child's laugh, or the 22-minute orgasm, or worst of all, the strange connection between the two? Who will sprinkle the sky with stars every time he sneezes, and who will invent new musical notes to write the greatest song ever composed (about himself)? For God's sake,
Born Bastard was the snob your aunt imagines all atheists to be, and an iconoclast who must have been doing something right, because everybody wanted to shush him. Some also coveted his glorious, shiny locks. Efforts to label him as Neoconservative Pig or Idiot Liberal will begin just as soon as everyone forgets his original message of "Stop hurting people, you hypocrites."
You know why people hate cops? Because 70 percent of people are terrible under pressure, which means even in a routine traffic stop, the odds are 91 percent someone will be a jerk, and 100 percent at least one of you has a gun. It's a tough job.But it's supposed to be a tough job. It calls for tough bastards to protect us from all the freelance tough bastards. A policeman's job, they say, is only easy in a police state, and Pepper Spray Cop has the easiest job imaginable: gassing cowering teenagers. He could at least get into it. Sneer or smile, or enjoy the rare moment to boot-stomp some liberal campus faces. But no, he's just doing a job. Is it so much to ask for a little passion from the vandals of the First Amendment? Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and that means a rampage, not blithely following orders.
Yes, Pepper Spray Cop, the very symbol of world politics today: a bloated blue line between oligarchic overlords and the mob they strip of all but enough sustenance to harvest again next year. Swinging his indiscriminate poison, he waters the tree of liberty with the tears of idealistic youth -- blast their hopes and blight their lives, Amen.For this is the bastard's world, and we're all struggling through it. Our only hope, and indeed, one of our hard-won rights, is to laugh at their frail humanity and remind them they're us. Or barring that, rise up as one and overthrow them, but I don't own a cool bandana mask. Do you? Brendan McGinley wishes you a happy bastard New Year, and will see you in 2012 for The State of the Gentleman.
They learned so much more about the world in this one moment than in four years of college.