An annual tradition for a decade and a half! This is my list of ridiculous people from 2013 (so far). Pass me one of those rolls, please:
- The Greasy Gravy Award for oily publicity that makes the main dish inedible goes to right-wing talk radio (and media in general), for more reasons and examples than I can count conveniently (even with the aid of a computer). One particularly obvious example is the semiorgasmic response to an "account" of Benghazi that, as an extraordinary claim, required extraordinary proof... that was obviously lacking; another is the shouted claims that the sticker price of Affordable Care Act coverage is necessarily the price that will be paid by those most in need of coverage — those (like me) with "preexisting conditions" (who were priced out of the market even once absolute denial of coverage became prohibited by a different Affordable Care Act provision) and those in the lower economic strata... let alone the rest of the scaremongering about the Affordable Care Act that presumes that the "listener" necessarily already has affordable healthcare coverage, no significant chronic conditions, and would be upset if people of different races and/or social strata were sharing the doctor's waiting room.
- The Red-Tide Oyster Stuffing Award for carelessly poisoning an otherwise tasty dish goes to those responsible for managing access to Affordable Care Act programs... specifically including the states that refused to share in the administration of a program that is overly complex (and thereby virtually guaranteeing significant problems for everyone else). Unfortunately, the simple solution (single payer, with neither domination by nor prohibition of private insurance) was not politically achievable.
- The Broken Wishbone Award for shattering dreams goes to the "leadership" of the barely-majority party in the House of Reprehensibles that is knuckling under to less than even a plurality of its own party. Even your (immigrant) heroine Ayn Rand accepted Social Security, guys.
- The Golden Gristle Award for assertions far too difficult to digest (and usually stuck in one's teeth) goes to the management and litigation counsel of Apple, Inc. for their refusal to acknowledge that — at least as the judge found after hearing all of the evidence — Apple's senior management (at minimum) was "not credible" regarding unlawful price-fixing. Then, villains never believe that they are villains...
- The Crabapple Pie Award for marketing something sour as something sweet goes to the NCAA for yet another aspect of shamateurism in intercollegiate athletics: The outright theft of athletes' publicity and privacy rights in the name of ensuring that they aren't "overpaid" so as to harm the NCAA's
TV contracts monopolypropaganda concerning so-called "student-athletes" who are frequently discredits to their universities for their lack of academic achievement (even when pursuing special academic programs pursued by almost nobody except "scholarship" athletes).
- New this year! The Wilted Salad Award for the one part of the meal that's supposed to be "good for you," but is instead rather past its sell-by date, goes to the Bibliotheque Nationale for outright theft of authors' rights in their works in the name of expanding its own collection. The irony that this is coming from the nation that forced through the most-excessive copyright terms is too much; so, for that matter, is the insanely convoluted procedure for objecting, especially if you do not speak governmental French.
- The Brussels Sprout Award for stinky, slimy, overcooked, gentrified little cabbages goes to Games Workshop (UK) for trademark overreaching against a non-competing author. My, how trademark has changed from the days when it protected toffs from being deceived with knock-off silverware!
- The Dried-Out Breastmeat Award for overcooking the books goes to the publishing industry for profiteering from its collusive imposition of a 25%-of-net-royalty rate for e-books on authors while reporting increased profits almost entirely attributable to e-book sales.
- The Rancid Drumstick Award for something that should be edible, but isn't, goes to Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto. Not because he's more than a point of amusement... because he's really not that exceptional among the political "class." And that's just a few obvious US examples.