By Ryan Meehan
Welcome back. In the first installment of the end of year piece, we took a look at some things that were inherently positive. Since you know that isn’t really me, I feel like now we need to take a look at some of the things that have been going on which are completely awful. There was plenty of that in 2014, so let’s take a look at some of the things that made us want to drive into a brick wall over the past twelve months.
Most disappointing sporting event – Super Bowl XLVIII
I realize that the United States’ catastrophic loss to Belgium in the World Cup was heart-wrenching, but I also realize that if you’re that affected by soccer the odds you’re on this website to begin with are probably pretty low. That’s why my vote for most disappointing sporting event has to go to Super Bowl XLVIII. After a record setting regular season in which there was no chance in the world he wouldn’t win the league MVP award, the second the Super Bowl started it was very evident that Peyton Manning was miles away from being on the same page as anybody else on the field wearing an orange uniform. Somehow he was 34 of 49 and was only able to drum up eight points, a far cry from the five touchdowns his team would eventually lose by. The game was the first ever Super Bowl to be held outside in a cold-weather market, and after journalists and television analysts spent the whole year suspecting that the weather could potentially cause problems it turns out that the weather was the only thing we could rely on to make it a level playing field. Just two weeks after Richard Sherman got all Busta Rhymes on Erin Andrews and ensured that every person who was already tired of his antics now hated his guts, the Seahawks became the team whom it was easy to hate and then they went and beat the crap out of the Broncos. It wasn’t even close, and it was pretty obvious from the get go that Denver would never control the pace of the game. They were down 22-0 at halftime, and shortly after Bruno Mars ended what was a quality but forgettable halftime show Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown. It probably didn’t help that one of New York’s most beloved sons in the entertainment industry (Philip Seymour Hoffman) kicked the bucket the night before from doing too much smack. To top it all off, I was sick as a dog the entire time and could not even enjoy the game with my family like I do every single year. I grew up in the era of the Super Blowouts, but after we’ve had a lot of close games the past decade or so even I was having a hard time understanding what I was seeing. I don’t even really care who wins this year, I just want to see a good game between two teams that both actually show up. As for this one, it was a total yawner…
Worst Single of the Year: Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
It’s hard to believe that yours truly would select anything other than Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” as the worst song of 2014, but when Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” came out in early August my jaw hit the ground because I couldn’t believe how pathetic it was. A lot of the attention centered around the video which featured Minaj in the jungle showcasing her ability to wear a thong, but I was blown away by the lack of substance in the track itself. First things first: Nicki Minaj can’t rap at all. She’s got this Fauz-Carribean thing going on where she almost sounds a little bit British. Then when she sings she’s no different than any other televised singing competition cast off that is saved in the studio by the wonders of auto-tune. When she tries to do both in the same verse, she just ends up sounding like that Snow asshole from the early 90s who tricked us into believing that he was from somewhere else other than Canada with that “Informer” song. But that was before iTunes…Can you imagine how many people have wanted to guzzle a jug of windshield wiper fluid after hearing this piece of shit? As you might has well have heard, this song samples Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”, and does so to an alarming degree. There’s almost no songwriting going on here, and that’s a garbage sample to begin with. You’re gonna take that guy’s one hit, use arguably the dumbest three seconds of it, and then shit all over it like that? This is the new generation of pop musicians: People who are too lazy to write that don’t give a fuck about what they are putting out as a finished product. And what do you end up with? This kind of audio abortion. With the least possible effort, you’ve cranked out a song that will be a number one hit as long as your collagen lip injections don’t fall out. There was a certain portion of the population that found the video and subject matter of this track to be offensive. I was offended by it, but more so because of the fact that it totally sucks yak scrotum. I don’t usually take things like this personally, but this is insulting to the intelligence of people who will never purchase a pop record in their entire life. I hope Lil’ Kim finds out where this woman lives, kidnaps her parents and hogties them to chairs outside of a swimming pool filled with paint thinner with their eyes stapled open. Then she ties a belt around Nicki Minaj’s ankles and wrists behind her back before placing her in a grocery cart face down and then lighting her on clothes on fire. After pushing her in the pool where she will burn to a crisp while her parents recoil in horror, I hope Kim unties her folks and then forces them to work as her gardeners at knifepoint until they both starve to death while delicious foods are within smelling distance at all times. I hope everybody had a happy holidays.
Celebrity I have absolutely had enough of: Melissa McCarthy
Before we get started, let me just say that my hatred for Melissa McCarthy has nothing to do with her weight. It’s primarily based around the fact that if somebody doesn’t say something soon, she’s going to be playing the same character for the rest of her life. I look at Melissa McCarthy the same way I look at Jim Varney, the actor who played Earnest in all of the “Earnest Goes Straight To VHS series”. If you’re stuck in that one role, you’re going to be stuck there for a long time until the day you finally have a coronary. She’s also a cousin of Jenny McCarthy, who has recently spent her time annoying the hell out of everyone with her anti-vaccine panic propaganda. I like Billy Gardell’s stand-up, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a fifteen second clip of “Mike & Molly”. Now that show’s in syndication, so if you’re channel surfing you’re bound to see even more of Melissa than ever. Also look for her in a new movie early next year where she acts predictably goofy, and sings a bunch of songs at karaoke that you can hear any other fat girl do at your local bar without spending eleven bucks on a goddamned movie ticket.
Best Picture I saw All Year
No explanation will be given because I believe one is not needed.
Culinary Trend that has to Stop – Pretzels finding their way into every meal
Before I start this portion of the piece, let’s get one thing straight – I like pretzels. I like their warm, gooey, soft core and their buttery crust. I love the gargantuan chunks of salt that remain at the bottom of the little pouch you get with the pretzel, and I enjoy the fact that their carbohydrate count can wreck my diet. But somewhere along the line, pretzels began showing up in almost every other type of food. First it was pretzel dogs, and that was okay. Then it was pretzel buns, and that was okay until Wendy’s declared that you could pretty much get a pretzel bun on everything on the menu including Frosties and kids’ size sodas. (Which I believe contain seventy-two ounces these days…) Now certain pizza chains are offering pretzel crust pizzas, which I’m sure are well on their way to being stuffed with cheese and bacon because apparently obesity is not as rampant as we’d like it to be. All of this shocks me because I guess I thought the whole reason that people ate pretzels to begin with was because they were a far cry from the other meals we are so used to eating. Nobody eats pretzels every single night, and I guarantee you there isn’t a single person on earth that can’t “get going” without their morning pretzel. The pretzel invasion has to stop before we’re eating pretzel cereal and people are getting pretzel enemas in the middle of the street in front of a grade school. If you type “pretzel ice cream” into Google, on the next page it will produce 4.7 million results in a third of a second. We need to assemble a task force to face off against those responsible for injecting pretzels into popular culture to the point where you can’t even get a goddamned salad without somebody offering you pretzels to go with it. I’m tired of pretzel bites as well, that has to be the laziest idea in the world. It’s very bothersome to me that there was even one person throughout the history of time who must have said “You know, I really want to make homemade pretzels…But I don’t want to go through all of the trouble spending that extra two seconds to tie them into a knot”. We need to round all of those people up, tie them into the shape of a pretzel, and then have them electrocuted. These executions can be done in public, and I’m sure somebody there will have a pushcart selling pretzels.
Least Effective Advertising Campaign of the Year: Mila Kunis for Jim Beam Bourbon
I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for the jackass in the Jim Beam marketing department who stood up and said “You know what? The hard-core liver murderers that consume our product and ignore Hollywood at all costs are just dying to have a celebrity spokesperson…Is there any possible way we can get the girl who played Jackie on ‘That 70’s Show’ to shoot a commercial where she sorts through barrels at the distillery as if she actually weighs more than a hundred and twelve pounds soaking wet?” Marketing for about 95% of the products in modern-day America is pointless and jumped the shark many decades ago, but this one takes falling asleep with your hand in a waffle iron to an entirely different level of stupidity. Look, I get that Mila Kunis is super hot and that she gained points with old dudes everywhere when she got all Portia De Rossi with Natalie Portman in “The Black Swan”. But she has about as much credibility selling bourbon as the Westboro Baptist Church would in a thirty second spot promoting felching. The unfortunate juxtaposition of Kunis and eventual cirrhosis doesn’t even compare to the fact that when Jim Beam had this ad at the peak of its saturation, she was pregnant. Are you fucking kidding me? From everything I’ve read in line at the supermarket this woman has said for some time that she wanted a baby, and nobody bothered to check on whether or not the year she got paid incredulous amount of money to endorse a product no one drinks casually might overlap with the year she couldn’t enjoy a single drop? What’s next, Ted Nugent doing PETA billboards before he goes home and eats his neighbor’s guinea pig and one of the six kids of his we probably don’t know about? I understand that LeBron James probably doesn’t scarf down McDonald’s on a regular basis, and that Ice-T doing PSAs for the NFL telling us how we should treat women is probably the most hypocritical thing on the face of the earth. But if a liquor company is going to hire a celebrity actress, I’d better be hearing something along the lines of “Hi, this is Lindsay Lohan…If your taste buds fell off of your tongue a long time ago due to anti-depressant abuse, you won’t even notice how bad Southern Comfort really tastes…”.
Musical Artist which rose to stardom that shouldn’t even exist – Babymetal
Before I get started here, I want to point out that in no way is this portion of the piece intended to be misogynistic or desecrating to those of Asian descent. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I can be level with you: I hate Babymetal. When I say I hate them, that’s a term that I genuinely mean to use. It’s not one of those things where I don’t understand what’s going on or I’m not familiar with the target market that is trying to be reached. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Babymetal doing whatever the fuck it is you would call it that they do, take a look at this if you can get through a minute of it without vomiting uncontrollably:
Yeah. That’s what I said too. Here are a couple of things that I’ve learned about heavy metal over the years:
- No artist who has a song called “Gimme Chocolate” can be considered heavy metal. There is absolutely no exception to this rule unless Lemmy Kilmeister has a stroke at the Hershey factory.
- No artist who wears this type of clothing can be considered heavy metal. Just because you make the “metal” sign with your hand and you have a decent backup band doesn’t mean you are a heavy metal “act”.
- Heavy metal is not a fetish.
That last one seems to be a good place to pick up this discussion. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that people are into this sort of thing because of the musical integrity of what’s going on behind these young women. And this is probably a good place to mention that two of these “young women” are only fifteen years old. The other one is seventeen, but that’s kind of a moot point isn’t it? Look, the band behind them is decent but we all know that’s not the draw. This is a musical project directed at dorks in SyFy Network beanies that masturbate to anime. Let’s get real: It’s pervert shit, and it’s hardly metal. The fact that there are respectable metal publications which include posters of these little girls is a disgrace to true metal fans everywhere. Babymetal sucks, period.
Most depressing celebrity death: Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) of GWAR
If you’re expecting to see a dual tribute to Robin Williams and Joan Rivers here, you’re not going to find it. Although I’m a huge comedy fan and the passing of those two legends made a huge dent in the collective spirit of the comedy community, I’m also a huge metal fan and heavy metal wouldn’t be where it is today without Dave Brockie and what he did in Gwar. I’m a little bit biased here because I had the opportunity to speak with Dave when Battle Maximus was released back in 2013, and we have had several other Metal Blade Records guests in our 7 questions segment. Dave’s death was like some of the other celebrity deaths in 2014 in the sense that it wasn’t particularly surprising, but it was different in the sense that he was so familiar for playing one specific character and his passing sort of humanized the extraterrestrial entity that was Oderus. The fact that you know he’s never going to be on the other end of that phone to promote the next Gwar record is really sad enough, but not nearly as sad as the reality that the family he has built around that band has to carry on without him. It’s soul crushing, even for the most die hard metal fan because I guess part of us just kind of always thought that everyone in Gwar would live another hundred billion years. And although that still might be possible, things are never going to be the same as when Dave was at the helm. He was only fifty fucking years old, and he was an entertainer for over sixty percent of that time period.
Online Trend that is Becoming Obscenely Stupid – Posting Fake Articles that Take You to a Website Telling you You’ve Been Tricked
This is from the “gotcha” culture that I thought we were done with forever ago. There are whoopee cushions that have been sitting in dresser drawers for decades that don’t think this shit is still funny. What’s really sad about this whole thing is the guy who does this on my feed is a well-respected and creative comic from a very large city, and you would think he would know better. The one that popped up on my Facebook feed today had the headline “Mother and Daughter Come Out About Lesbian Relationship”. Some of them are actually fake articles, but others direct you to a page informing you that you’ve been the victim of an online prank. Here’s the rule: If something sounds like it’s too similar to The Onion, 1) The Onion Has Probably Already done it; or 2) you’re coming too close to ripping off The Onion. Also, isn’t the point of a prank for other people to see you being humiliated? When somebody clicks on the link, unless they comment on the post the person who posted it doesn’t know. The person who clicked on the link in the first place just thinks that the individual who posted it is being a total dick. And with the bizarre news stories we see on a daily basis, as crazy as some of these are you can’t blame us for clicking on them to begin with. Supposedly the purpose of this is to incite fake outrage, but I just think it’s juvenile and stupid.
Most annoying aspect of popular media culture that I hope disappears in 2015 – The Unnecessary Apology
In my life, I’ve been guilty of apologizing to a degree that seems overly compensatory at times. And in several of those instances the apology has been over menial subject matter and is for the most part completely unwarranted, so what I am about to say is extremely hypocritical. I have had it with people apologizing for things that a only a handful of “lit fuse” individuals have a huge problem with. Usually these statements, tweets, or status updates make the news cycle and the media acknowledges that somebody like PETA or the like is demanding an apology. Then whoever it is that made the statement to begin with (which they probably meant to a certain extent, you know…given the fact that they said it in the first place…) sheepishly takes to Twitter and says that they’re sorry for what they’ve done. This has to go. I actually have respect for those who stand by their beliefs and refuse to apologize for any statement made that doesn’t genuinely afflict any harm on the individual who feels “offended”. Sadly, I have a feeling those people are becoming a dying breed to say the very least.
Just so we’re clear, if you’re an A list actor who smokes a freezer full of bath salts and then goes on a rampage with a blowtorch that essentially turns your entire Los Angeles suburb into ashes – That’s different. That’s something that you are probably really sorry for to begin with; and if you don’t apologize to everyone involved that’s not really fair to the company who built that blow torch, is it? I’m not talking about those unfortunate yet hilarious scenarios…I’m speaking about the politicians and broadcasting figures who express their opinion (which by the way they are being paid to do…) only to find out their words have been taken out of context and then spend the next week in cable media news exile. Until of course, they finally come out with a forced apology that was written by someone other than themselves. What really gets me about this is the fact that it doesn’t really resolve anything. It’s an empty reassurance for the sad folk demanding apologies for whatever they feel has offended them. But in the end nobody truly feels like the situation has been resolved because it hasn’t, and maybe that’s because it was never that big of a deal to begin with. I long for the time when people who were slaughtered in the court of public opinion turned right around and refused to apologize for what they said and believed. At least it wasn’t phony. #thankstwitter
We’re always hearing from every direction that the world is going to hell in handbasket, and these two pieces are probably proof that that may indeed be the case. But if that’s true, then I have two questions for you: 1) Isn’t it crazy that with all of that, we’re still here?; and 2) Who doesn’t love a good handbasket? We had all hoped as kids that in the week leading up to 2015, we’d all have flying cars and world peace would be something that technology would have made possible over a decade ago. But even if that were the case, would we really be ready for all of that stuff? I can’t believe that we would, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in putting together this sad wrap-up of the past calendar year it’s that we are now more immature than ever. There are great things in the world for us to be passionate about, and there can be good times ahead if we could focus our energy on the things that are really worthwhile. However if we did so we would miss the season premiere of “American Idol”, and that would throw off our priorities to the point where we might not even recognize ourselfies anymore. Even with all of the ISIS, Ebola, BabyMetal, and Bill Cosby floating around these days…The world is still an amazing place, and although some of these topics are of serious concerns for the most part maybe we’re too distracted by a lot of world news. Maybe it’s too much for us to understand, and maybe I need to back off of it for a while.
That’s why I’ve decided to make some major life changes in the twelve months that lie ahead. For me, 2015 is going to be different because I don’t plan on stressing over this kind of stuff anymore. It’s time for me to crawl out from behind this keyboard and see what there is to experience in life. That’s why I’ve decided to retire from writing. I spend way too much time doing it, and because of it I’m missing out on a lot of what life has to offer. So from this point forward, if you hear from me it will be in person. I’m going outside right now and starting my new life from scratch. I’m going to change the way I do everything, and it starts right now.
Fuck that, it’s freezing out there. See you right back here tomorrow.
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