Best/Worst of 20## lists are boring; let us instead list the personalities that We, the People, opened our hearts and wallets to in the past year. Some of the people on the following list have been graciously forgiven by the American public, while some have been forgiven for things I think most people just got tired of caring about.
1. Katy Perry, for writing a song about bisexuality that basically trivializes the entire identity. Her second album, released in August 2010, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. In other words, she exploited bisexuality as a means of making money, and this is the response the American public gave her:
2. Kanye West, who finally caught on to hipster-style irony: if you point out just how much media critics and the general American public think you reign supreme in the Kingdom of Assholery, pretentious music websites (lookin’ at you, Pitchfork) will give your album a 10 star rating.
(Though I’d like to point out that I stood by my boi Yeezy 110 percent. When this blog blows up and he reads it religiously, he’ll know I was there for him the whole time/ask for my hand in common law marriage.)
3. Bill Clinton, but for all the wrong reasons. Sure, I don’t want to see the guy’s legacy forever tainted by getting a bj under the newly-polished oak desk in the Oval Office, but I also don’t want to see him become Golden Boy U.S.A. because he has this “great” plan to rebuild Haiti that involves forcing their economy to depend on the import of sweatshop jobs and the export of goods created through cheap labor.
4. President Obama. After getting flack from both parties alllll year, Obama & Co. finally got their metaphorical shit together and signed off on DADT and START, proving that you can get things done even if people don’t like you. In fact, it might even be better that way, because then you can sign off on real issues instead of pandering to everybody.
5. Annoying teenagers. Damn you, Justin Bieber, for capturing the hearts of women who would normally be old enough to become concerned/enraged that you text while driving, and chastise you for ruining your childhood just like that Gary Coleman (R.I.P.), but are instead helpless before your puppy-dog-eye implants. Nobody else got respect, much less admiration, from adults at the age of 16–why should you? [Shout-out here to my mom, the only woman over the age of 30 I know who inexplicably loathes the little brat.]
6. Mark Zuckerberg. People complain about how much Facebook sucks, the fact that he owns every photo and video you give him, but no one’s going to stop using the site because of it. I know I would immediately lose track of any and all social events, my friends’ birthdays and my birthday, become a hermit and forget that I ever “liked” anything IRL. Not only that, but the douchebag is Time’s Person of the Year, and the movie about his life is up for 6 Golden Globe nominations and was voted Best Film of the Year by every newspaper you’ve ever read.
7. Ellen Page, for starring in three mediocre movies as an annoying brat (Juno and Whip It, and the lesser known The Tracey Fragments). Here’s another person on the list that I didn’t personally hate, even though I’d gladly see anyone involved with the contrived The Tracey Fragments trade places with one of the Chilean miners stuck underground for two months. But Page actually earned the forgiveness of the American people with a great performance in a brilliant movie in 2010’s Inception.
8. Elizabeth Gilbert, the lauded author of Eat, Pray, Love, for being the worst best-selling memoirist at representing herself. For those of you unfamiliar with E,P,L, it begins with Gilbert’s descriptions of sobbing on her bathroom floor because she realizes she and her husband need to get a divorce– descriptions that, as one of my writing professors put it, make it sound like “no one has ever been divorced before.” She decides to go on a world tour to discover herself, to become the strong, self-sufficient woman she knows she is, as any wealthy and newly single adolescent girl would, except this Bildungsroman follows a middle-aged woman. And, by the end of the book, she’s fallen in love with someone else…whom she marries. She says she’s “ready to love again,” but I can’t help but think it’s impossible for her to live without a man. Her book about marriage, Commitment: A Love Story, was a New York Times Bestseller in 2010, and the movie version of E,P,L, starring Julia Roberts, premiered not long thereafter.
9. Michele Bachmann, who was somehow re-elected in the 2010 Congressional elections. Sorry to be referencing another Minnesotan politician on this list, but if you’re not familiar with Bachmann (and especially if you are), read this list of the top ten nutso things this Tea Party-er has recently uttered:
10. And, finally, let us not forget: ourselves. We’re still at war in the Middle East, still allowing people who have no working knowledge of the Constitution/humanity to represent us in Congress, still won’t allow homosexuals to get married, still having petty arguments over whether the government should provide necessary services like health care–and still making New Year’s resolutions like, “Join a gym to get hot abs like The Situation,” and, “Buy sexy lingerie.” And, of course, still making Top Ten lists of the year before, so we can wrap it up with a nice HTML bow and pretend none of those things will still be happening in 2011.
Well done, America!