28 November 2019

The 2019 Turkey Awards

An annual tradition for two decades! This is my list of ridiculous people from 2019 (so far). Pass me one of those rolls, please:

  • The Greasy Gravy Award for oily publicity that makes the main dish inedible goes to Fox News over its attacks on Greta Thunberg. The irony of using an ad hominem attack in this context is far, far too much… <SARCASM> especially given that one of the attackers is a blonde </SARCASM>. We'll leave aside for the moment that that particular individual doesn't appear to have taken a science or math course beyond minimum general-education requirements, yet continuously comments on purported "scientific consensus" issues that — all too conveniently — redefine the word "consensus" differently for every such issue.
  • The Red-Tide Oyster Stuffing Award for carelessly poisoning an otherwise tasty dish goes to cooks who wash their turkeys but not their hands and then wonder, a couple of days later, why those who attended their feasts all have stomach bugs.
  • The Broken Wishbone Award for shattering dreams goes to Doug Evans. It has four eyes and can't see (except the color of one's skin). If this sort of conduct doesn't call an individual's fitness to practice law into question, I don't know what would. Well, according to most state disciplinary systems alcoholism, sex with clients, and stealing from clients would… but mere perversion of the course of justice, not so much.
  • The Golden Gristle Award for assertions far too difficult to digest (and prone to becoming stuck in one's teeth) goes to Macmillan USA/John Sargent and their assertions that at-publication library availability of e-books hurts publisher revenue — a fact-free (or at least timing-ignorant) presentation that makes one wonder just how little Sargent charged Old Toby for his soul. Some fairly simple math demonstrates this. Actual gross revenue to the publisher per copy of a new-issue-from-casebound e-book sold to end-users is less than $13 (minus, as never allowed for, production and fulfillment costs, but no further payments to the author on initial publication because the author's advance is sunk money); actual payment to the publisher for a "library license" for that same e-book is well over $60, a little over four times that; and the calendar shows that an e-book could be loaned for only four four-week periods during the proposed "embargo." And all of that presumes that e-book borrowers will purchase at all, which — as my earlier screed noted — is a mere presumption. <SARCASM> Great job demonstrating a plausible loss of revenue there, Mr Sargent. </SARCASM>
  • The Conspicuous Consumption Cranberry Relish Award for the most-outrageous example thereof goes to the asshole who purchased a "Salvator Mundi" for half a billion dollars. Followed closely by the asshole at a foundation (whose money comes from real-estate speculation) who decided that the University of Pennsylvania School of Law should be named after the foundation's benefactor, despite that benefactor's lack of connection to the study or practice of law.
  • The Crabapple Pie Award for marketing something sour as something sweet goes to Boris the Spider. Maybe for Brexit, maybe for immigration policy even more cruel and dysfunctional than Drumpf's, maybe for privatizing the National Health Service (which, for all its faults, is one helluva lot better than what is available to about 60% of the US population), maybe for continuing to associate with Rees-Mogg, maybe for damned near anything else he has said or done — let alone his Charles I antics in "proroguing Parliament" in an attempt to evade oversight (hmm, that reminds me of someone on this side of the Pond…). If anyone had any doubts that the Tories are the Mean Party, they should long have been erased.
  • 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 Franklin Graham. And that's just the nepotism-and-finance-and-bigotry spoilage; no #MeToo issues among evangelical leaders here, move along, folks, nothing to see there (n.b. supporting documentation neither public nor available online, which does not lead to a defensible conclusion that it doesn't exist).
  • The Brussels Sprout Award for stinky, slimy, overcooked, gentrified little cabbages goes to The Dishonorable Devin Nunes (R-CA). Conversely, because he's not ridiculous and therefore wouldn't ordinarily make his way to this holiday feast, Lt Col Vindman gets the Super-Tasty Kimche Award (so, so good in general with the leftovers… and especially in a hastily-thrown-together-in-the-field sandwich in the middle of a twelve-hour patrol or forty-eight-hour stint in the alert barn).
  • The Dried-Out Breastmeat Award for overcooking the books goes to the Association of Talent Agents (and their union-busting allies in Drumpf's DoJ, who seem to have forgotten about § 6 of the Clayton Act). The WGA is functionally engaging in a strike against employers who won't bargain in good faith on a working condition; calling it a "boycott" just raises the specter of "who's really an employee?" — a specter that is becoming more corporeal all the time, and the California Supreme Court has made that answer excrutiatingly clear for screenwriters. Hint: If your output is statutorily "work made for hire," you're almost certainly an employee.
  • The Rancid Drumstick Award for something that should be edible, but isn't, goes to the real Bond villains: FAANG. Which leads one to wonder whether "small/no government conservatives/libertarians" aren't really just anarchists, who should get all of the worshipful attention accorded Kropotkin.
  • The GMO Tofurkey Roast Award for a main-dish item that's supposed to be more wholesome, nutritious, and/or ethical, but merely hides something that's perhaps worse under that veneer of virtue, goes to overpromotion of soy as a substitute for other protein sources, whether (as is most common from the Amazon) soy meal for meat animals or as direct constituents of human protein sources. Soylent Rainforest, anyone?
  • Special Limited Time Offer! The Salmonella Carrot Medley (Artificial Color Added) Award for discrediting an office and a nation goes to this guy — hopefully, only through 2020. Although now that I think about it, he'll continue to do so long after he's left office under whatever circumstances that happens.