Another year has almost passed (despite the potential end of the world and sentient robots that could have walked the bare earth), and with it has brought a wealth of best and worst moments in our society. Of course, our culture is easy to mock, and I like to do that with the yearly acknowledgement blog post known (to me and my single-digit readers) as the Blurst of the Year awards.
The Blursties originated from an episode of The Simpsons where 1,000 monkeys on typewriters attempted to replicate Charles Dickens (“It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!”). “Blurst” celebrates the absurd for the positive and negative qualities, and OH LAWD there were some absurdities this year.
So attach your KFC Famous Feedbags and open your bowels, because here are the shittiest, Blurstiest moments of 2012!
Blurst Political Election: President of the United States
2012 saw the election of the new leader of the free world. It also saw an outpouring of crazy not seen since the Sentinels attacked Zion in The Matrix Revolutions. (Dated reference: CHECK!) Let’s forget out-of-touch GOP nominee Mitt Romney, as there were more inane developments in the lead-up to November 6:
- RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE
- Race and racism were foisted onto the main stage–from the son of a Wisconsin Senate candidate claiming he could send President Obama back to Kenya, to Newt Gingrich calling Obama the “Food Stamp President.” Read more if you want to be cynical about the cries of POST-RACIAL!
- Immigration was a hot-button issue, including the Dream Act and general alienation of Latino voters–one example being Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio being investigated for racial profiling of Spanish speakers.
- Birtherism made a brief comeback–most comically in the form of Sheriff Arpaio’s Don Quixote-like quest to out President Obama as a foreigner via claims of a fake birth certificate.
- Chronic liar/GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was a one-man car crash of assholish proportions
Blurst Coming Out: Frank Ocean
R&B artist Frank Ocean had a banner year musically, garnering critical and fan praise for the excellent album Channel Orange. It was nearly (and at times definitely) overshadowed by his revelation of being gay via Tumblr. His announcement garnered positive support from fans and peers–with a few caveats: R&B singer Miguel questioned the timing of the news; and legendary artist Stevie Wonder believed Ocean to be confused about his sexuality.
Others were more ignorant with their comments. Rapper Lil Wayne referenced it with his lyrics “No, Frank Ocean, I’m straight” on the Future song “Turn on the Lights.” And in what should be no surprise, R&B singer Chris Brown greeted the news with “Man, no homo”–though he later pledged support on Twitter.
Speaking of Chris Brown…
Blurst Heir to Charlie Sheen’s Mantle of Worst Human Being: Chris Brown
Dressing as an Islamic terrorist for Halloween, flashing a tattoo that drew comparisons to the ghastly Rihanna police report picture after her beating at Brown’s hands, brawling with rapper Drake in a nightclub, and going nuclearly vulgar on a comedian on Twitter: it’s hard to remember that Chris Brown is a popular singer that plays to packed clubs and stadiums when he is moonlighting as a blithering sociopath and hatemonger. He even released a new album, Fortune, in June! He dated at least two women this year–one of them being his ex-girlfriend Rihanna!
Between supporting his new music and fighting the urge to be a dickbag, 2013 should be another remarkable year for that horrorcore of a human being known as Christopher Maurice Brown.
Blurst Introduction to Politics: The David Petraeus Scandal
A four-star general with a 37-year career with the United States Army (including service and leadership of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan), it took a resignation from his post as director of the Central Intelligence Agency for much of America to ask “Who’s David Petraeus?” And the media was more than willing to divulge.
Petraeus resigned due to “personal reasons” after it was discovered that the FBI was investigating emails that included details on an extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell. Somewhat juicy info for gossip hounds, but then shit got crazy:
- Jill Kelley, a socialite from Tampa, Florida, and familiar with Mr. and Mrs. Petraeus, contacted the FBI after a string of harassing emails from Broadwell
- General John Allen, a four-star general who succeeded Petraeus as commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan in the International Security Assistance Force, was reported to be “close” (translation: knockin’ boots) with Kelley
Of course this lead to around-the-clock coverage on news channels, what with the handsome military men and hot-toddy women cavorting about. And it also led to a great mocking of said coverage on Saturday Night Live.
Blurst Use of White Whine: Social Media Outrage
With Facebook’s (disastrous) IPO earlier this year, the social media unleashed a slew of changes to increase traffic in key demographics and user clicks via increasingly obtrusive ads and submission of user data to advertisers. They also allowed data to be shared across services (such as Instagram) and put an end to users being able to vote on changes to the policies of their terms of service. Naturally, people complained.
When the previously-iPhone-only cellphone app Instagram became available to Android users, people complained. And when Instagram, after their acquisition by Facebook, changed their service terms in confusing language that made many fear their photos would be used and sold without their permission, people complained.
It’s funny that there is more visible backlash against terms of services for free websites. Social media outrage can be used for good. Remember the Arab Spring revolution? That was thanks to communication between frustrated people on social media sites. Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live? Thank a Facebook page dedicated to that cause. (Okay, that may have not been a good use of social media.)
There are more constructive uses for dismay than simply bitching about it: gather people behind your cause; write to the folks in charge; explain why the issues are important. Simply complaining about the website’s terms of service on said website is like a dog chasing its tail: it’s useless, but damn is it funny. I bet starving orphans in Africa weren’t as upset about their Instagram accounts.
Despite the unlucky “13” in “2013,” I bet there will be bright, blursty sides to whatever hell on Earth we face in the upcoming year. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I’ll poke fun at it. Engage!