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Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Annual D-Bag of the Year Awards

Ten contenders.  Twelve months of Douchebaggery.  

In past years, I've devoted multiple posts to this topic.   I've slacked and I've phoned it in.   To be truthful, my blogging days are numbered.  But, I couldn't help but honor tradition, so I've narrowed the focus to just ten on the list.  And here they are:

10. EA – Selling You A Car, Then Requiring You To Buy The Engine After The FactI included EA on this list for one simple fact.  They have not learned a damn thing in the last few years.  After SimCity, and Sims 4, you would think they would not let another title be released with their name on it unless it delivered a better experience than previous installments and with the release of Star Wars Battlefront for next gen consoles and PC, they went ahead and did exactly that.  No single player campaign, no space battles, stripped down, reskinned play of Battlefield, and DLC for all the credits you can muster.  You pay $60 for a game, and then on top of that, another $50 for DLC pass.  That’s $110 for a game, not to mention it lacks all the things previous Battlefront titles had.  Well, the nerds have spoken and the price at GameStop was slashed by about $20.  Not sure if that’s GameStop realizing it’s a dying institution in the digital download age, or if the sales of the game were really that bad.  I kind of hope both apply, really.  In the meantime, I still play Battlefront II on PC with multi player through Steam and it was a steal!   All the stuff I want from a game that is over ten years old and is still great.

9.  Roger Goodell – CEO of Thuggery INC. aka The NFL
Goodell has made this list numerous times and why stop now?   This year he’s managed to try and look tough by instituting a four game suspension on Tom Brady for his role in deflategate, only to have it overturned in the courts?  Really? REALLY?  Come on, anyone who believes that this was Goodell being beaten in court by the Patriots needs to understand that Goodell and Kraft are bros.   Roger only appears to be tough on the Patriots, realizing that whatever he tries to lob at the club will look like he’s being tough but won’t stick long enough to do any damage.   After all, Brady started on opening day and the Patriots are currently 11-2.   On top of this, the ridiculous fining of players and the allowing of thuggery like Greg Hardy’s domestic abuse allegations that were somehow expunged from his record and he still plays manages to be another reason why I stopped watching football two years ago.   Goodell’s salary is another point of contention.  The NFL was a non-profit league that manages to pay its CEO $35 million this past year.   Goodell is a horrible commissioner that makes the league money.  That is why he’s allowed to be in charge.   The owners, for all their supposed hatred of the man, continue to make money off of his buffoonery.   Pure and simple, though, Goodell is a d-bag first team, all American.

8. VW – The Diesel Bug That Couldn’t
Funny thing about new vehicles; they have more features, more electronics, and more problems than the old ones.   The upside is that with all that innovation, they’re supposed to be more efficient and cleaner… but VW didn’t think anyone would notice that their ECU software was circumventing environmental regulations.  Hell, they touted it as a selling point, and got caught.  Stock went down, they tried to buy back the vehicles rather than fix them.    I guess, as a fair play follower, it’s nice to know they got caught with their lips on the tailpipe, but companies do bad all the time and they get caught, but does anyone, other than the consumer, every pay for it?  

7.  Death – Perennial Favorite and All Around D-Bag of Bones
Death, you had a busy year.  Between Paris x2, San Bernardino, and every other tragedy that claimed the lives of humans, you didn’t take time off to nip a few notable people from the ranks of the living.
Mario Cuomo, Beau Biden, Stuart Scott, Fred Dalton Thompson, Jackie Collins, Leonard Nimoy, John Nash, Yogi Bera, Christopher Lee, Donna Douglas, Rod Taylor, Taylor Negron, Anita Ekberg, Bob Simon, David Carr, Sam Simon, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Colleen McCullough, Terry Pratchet, Leslie A. Williams, James Best, Geoffrey Lewis, Percy Sledge, Mary Doyle Keefe, Ben E. King, BB King, James Horner, Nicholas Winton, Amanda Peterson, Jerry Weintraub, Omar Sharif, Alex Rocco, Roddy Piper, Frank Gifford, Julian Bond, Emma Didlake, Yvonne Craig, Marcy Borders, Amelia Boynton Robinson, Alison Parker, Adam Ward, Wes Craven, Dean Jones, Ben Kuroki, Jean Darling, Martin Miner, Paul Prudhomme, Maureen O'Hara, Melissa Mathison, David Canary, Cynthia Robinson, Scott Weiland, Robert Loggia, and Holly Woodlawn are just a small sampling and if any of those names are unfamiliar to you, I suggest you look them up.  

6.  Josh Duggar – Ashley Madison’s Poster Boy
I guess it’s hard for a parent to keep track of what their kid is doing when they have more than 15.  Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar should be the poster parents for Planned Parenthood.  Their views, their practices, aside, the breach of Ashley Madison’s website, releasing all of the douchebaggery onto the web just goes to show you that when you voice your throw a bunch of stones from your glass house, you probably will end up with a few broken windows from them being lobbed back.  Anti-gay activism, child molestation, and extramarital affairs all prove that Josh Duggar is a d-bag and serves him right to have a few windows knocked out.

5.  Kim Davis – County Clerk, minus the “o” and the “y
She gained infamy for denying same sex couples marriage licenses after the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court.  She went to jail for contempt of court in the matter and emerged with Mike Huckabee as a supporter.  In the fray, it came out that somehow, Davis had a meeting with Pope Francis during his US visit.  This was either a manufactured by Davis’ lawyer or in some way orchestrated as a chance encounter but the Vatican basically denied it happened the way Davis’ camp said it did.   It’s possible that the Pope didn’t know who he was meeting, but in any case, anyone who sits high and mighty, declaring herself judge of others, circumventing the law, while being a horrible role model for marriage, deserves to be on this list.

4.  Martin Shkreli – Hedge Fund Pharma CEO and Fraud Artist
He gained infamy for being the CEO of a biotech company that held the manufacturing license for Daraprim, a HIV drug, marking it up 5500%.  The pictures of this guy on the Internet, alone, would be enough to put him on this list.  His ‘bro’-ness is only matched by his douchebaggery by taking a drug that is used to treat AIDS and HIV and raising the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill in one fell swoop.  Why?  Because he could.  And as of November, the price has still not come down.  However, Martin, may be coming down with something if he is convicted of securities fraud and sent to prison.  Boy, wouldn’t that be karmic?  Raise the price of a drug to treat AIDS and then get it in prison.  Most likely, he won’t serve anytime or be put in some country club prison.  Shame.  He deserves it in the end… quite literally.

3.  Jared Fogle – Subway Guy Gone Wrong
I really tried to not jump on the bandwagon of hate when it came out that his foundation’s director was involved in electronically trading child pornography.  I said, “Hold up, we don’t know the real reason.  Let the investigation happen before the hate.”  Well, it did, and unfortunately, it was bad.  Very bad.   No one really thought about Fogle’s early venture into being an entrepreneur or of porn in the college dorms.   This detail came out of all the media surrounding the investigation.    It went dark.  Very dark.  Allegations came out that he paid finder’s fees to prostitutes to get him younger sex partners.   How did he keep this life secret from his family?  This guy had a wife and kids.  Very disturbing.  So far, 2029 seems to be the year Fogle will be released from prison and while he’s on this list for 2015, he’s on the registered sex offenders’ list for life.

2. Donald Trump – Billionaire Buffoon With Bountiful Bouffant On The Ballot
This guy is the Internet comment section come time life.   He’s not just an entry on Snopes, he’s basically his own hoax generator.  In past years, he went after Obama for his long form birth certificate.  Now, he’s running with the GOP and leading in the polls for the nomination.   He wants to build a wall, ban Muslims, and basically turn America into the alternate reality of Back To The Future Part II where Biff runs everything.  Look, I like that a non-politician has gained a following over career ones in the polls.  But, it’s not like we got Jon Stewart instead of Bill O’Reilly.  We didn’t even get Robin Williams’ Tom Dobbs from Man of the Year.    If you’re still wondering when the bottom is going to fall out, just remember, “Who benefits by Trump staying in it this long?”   There might be more to this than a supposed bid for the White House.   He proves the point of how horrible Americans can be by his hateful rhetoric.   In the end, he could never win the Presidency, but who will get the nomination?  Perhaps Trump is a puppet to boost some other candidate that will benefit from his sideshow.  I didn’t necessarily say Republican candidate, either.  Check his contributions.   Get your tinfoil and bring on the Michael Jackson popcorn images.


1.  Everyone – You Know Who You Are
OK, so I consolidated The Internet, Terrorists, The Media, and The Rest of the Politicians into a lump of douchebaggery.  Why?  Because it’s nitpicking the same thing from all of them. The Media reports something, construing the context, losing the full picture, and then the Internet shares it, via Everyone.   Politicians use it as their fear mongering in their campaigns, pointing to snippets of stories and stats to make you afraid and then you share it.  The Terrorists do something.   They do it to inspire others to join them, and their targets to fear the broad majority of their small ranks, labelling an entire group as the perpetrators.  Meanwhile, the fear mongering wins out, the lobbyists get their way, and you end up cutting ties with people because they are too dumb or jaded to investigate and see what’s really true and what’s pointed rhetoric.    Whether we call all Democrats baby killing, tree hugging, ISIS loving pansies;  the GOP warmongering, holy rolling, gun loving, redneck, big business loving
Bigots; African Americans thugs who should just listen to police and stop looting their city when someone gets killed; or all Muslims and refugees are terrorists; is pretty much the same thing.  We’re blaming an entire group for the action of a handful of people.   The biggest problem we have is extremism.  Whether it be Charlie Hedbo, the second Paris Attacks, the crisis in Syria, the Attacks in San Bernardino, the attack on Planned Parenthood, the attack in a church in South Carolina, Baltimore, Ferguson, Chicago, Texas, it doesn’t matter… We are all responsible for the perpetuation of hatred among the human race.  I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that the current jabber on the political and social circuits is driving the car, and we’re just steering it into a crowd. We have to start taking responsibility for fixing the message.  The truth is we are all humans.  We are all white, black, Latino, Asian. We are all Muslim, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists.   We are all conservative, progressive, liberal, and pragmatic.   

And I will not say #AllLivesMatter because that goes without saying.   The fact that we have to single out one group to say, “We matter” doesn’t mean we discount the others.  It means that something has been wrong for far too long with the way we’ve been doing things that maybe we need to pay attention there.

If tomorrow, an alien race showed up saying, “We need you to send us someone to argue that you deserve to be saved from eradication by our superior firepower.”    If it were me as advocate, man I’d have a tough time saying we don’t.  As a human, I’d be hard pressed to say we weren’t horrible.    And some would say, that’s akin to not being patriotic.  And I would say, “Yeah, but if they aliens gave you a choice, guilt free, as to only eradicating some groups, would you consider it?”     The fact that you actually thought about it proves my point.  Should be a non-question.    We are the problem.  We are the d-bags of 2015.

Congratulations on a repeat win.


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