10. Gay People
Despite the GOP presidential candidates pretty much collectively taking the initiative to prevent anyone from having orgasms this year, the homosexual cause has come from behind and thrust itself into the political atmosphere. It was a long, hard, swollen year for the plight of those seeking equality for all sexual orientations. Yes, we got New York. Yes, DADT is gone. However, there were also setbacks. There was massive backlash from Republicans after DADT was repealed, despite the Pentagon study validating that troop morale would be unaffected, if not improved, and I think anybody who doesn't drown baskets of gay kittens for breakfast was disheartened by the state of humanity when a gay soldier was booed at one of the GOP debates. Marcus Bachmann referred to homosexuals as "barbarians that need to be educated" (don't think he read that in a book) while Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed the FAMiLY LEADER pledge to denounce same-sex marriage and essentially logic in general. Quite possibly most detrimental of all is the fact Perez Hilton is still gay, and he generally just sucks as a person.
Menace to society
Despite all of the horrible things said and done to homosexuals in 2011: the clause introduced to Michigan bullying laws including an exemption for ideological differences, Santorum comparing homosexuality to slavery and giving an odd, paper thin rant against same-sex marriage utilizing napkins and paper towels (I thought in Leviticus it said you can't mix more than one fabric?), Bachmann concluding preventing same-sex mariage was the biggest issue facing America in the last 30 years (apparently she doesn't watch Fox News because they think it's Obama's golf score), Newt Gingrich telling a gay man not to vote for him, and Ann Coulter well, existing, gays remained triumphant.
Why they're winning:
Moreso than any other issue, homosexuality has revealed the misinformation, lack of intelligence, and bigotry of the Republican candidates. It has gotten to point where Mr. Gays Cause Natural Disasters, Pat Robertson, has even called the GOP field, "too extreme." Lo and behold, the candidate with the least heinous opposition to homosexuality, Mitt Romney, is surging in polls. Although I believe that has more to do with the fact he's offering the most tax breaks for the people that own Washington and everyone wants to see if his hair is actually made of granite or not. Hell, Mitt Romney has even introduced a three tier same-sex marriage plan, but if it's anything like the heterosexual marriage plan it will go:
1. get married
2. hate each other
3. get divorced
So even though it appears equality had a good year in 2011, remember that in most places in America, you can still only get married for 72 days if you're straight. And remember, at least 1400 species of animals from worms up to primates engage in homosexual activity, so if we were all created in god's image, he probably watched Gilmore Girls. So whatever you may think about homosexuality, be reassured that the very powers that vehemently oppose sodomy are ironically double-stuffing you with the long dicks of consumerism and capitalism, so don't be so sure you shouldn't slide yourself down a little farther on the Kinsey scale.
If I learned anything at the Republican debates in 2011, it's that life begins at conception and ends when you can't afford health insurance. As I reflect back on my life, it appears to me that my popularity peaked about weeks 20-35. Personhood laws, heartbeat bills, fetal remains bills, and crude ads depicting all abortion as late-term, partial birth abortion have ensured the survival of both wanted and unwanted zygotes. The war on choice has turned into a religious crusade in this past year, and basically if you say the "a" word out loud you're guarunteed a one-way ticket to Hades, or Somalia, or wherever people that don't find a genocidal maniac with dissociative identiy disorder damning you to death and although being omnipotent, omniscient, and loving, is somehow required to sacrifice his son to torture because you ate his fruit out of the employee fridge intellectually satisfying go.
Why they're winners:
Fetuses are on a roll this year because they've this year, seemingly more than in years' past, have been tied to a "pro-life" movement. The pro-life movement has become more of a counter-enlightenment movement than an actual push to preserve life, but nonetheless the Christian majority clung onto this concept and ran with it. I just wish they'd keep running...like somewhere else. Wanting to protect life is totally understandable, but unfortunately, this movement of the fetal protection program is more of a political move to further demonize the left as godless baby killers....that are also Muslim and have lots of gay sex. If it were truly an issue of protecting the helpless, the GOP wouldn't be pushing to drug test recipients of entitlements, unless of course you believe a 4 year old is capable of staging an intervention to get his or her mom off the pipe. And if it were really about life, Rick Perry wouldn't have gotten a standing ovation for the trail of blood he left from Texas to Iowa, heating for the poor wouldn't have gotten cut by 25% to avoid a shutdown and raise the military budget, and Fox News wouldn't be clamoring "God Bless Income Disparity" when 15 million American children live in poverty. I digress. In any event, whatever the motive may be for the cult of the fetus, I suggest next time you go down to the local bar, ditch your letterman's jacket and strap on your placenta.
8. Michael Jackson
Unfortunately for the king of pop(pin' 10 year old cherries...god I'm sick), he didn't get to see daylight in what could have possibly been the easiest year of his life. Let me clarify that I am in no position to pass judgment on the accusations of child molestation, so all jokes should be taken for what they are...jokes..lighten up. Even though Michael wasn't around, there was no shortage of coverage about his life in the news and he actually wasn't being portrayed as the Solon of the pop world. Not only did the media coverage of MJ take a turn in his favor, but there was also a plethora of scandals involving children (outside of the womb) to take attention off his questionable past.
Why he's winning:
First, Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case surrounding MJ's death. After a hard court battle and having to put up with LaToya being relevant for a few months, justice was finally served. However, we're all adults here and can honestly say if Jack Kevorkian was Dr. Death, Conrad Murray was Dr. Well-We-Kinda-Saw-That-Coming.
I am not a crook
Not only was 2011 the year of the conviction of the doctor clearly in violation of his Hippocratic oath during the events that prefaced MJ's death, but he also lost the crown of "worst person to leave your kids with." Both Bernie Fine and Jerry Sandusky dominated the headlines as the proverbial "Coaching Staff Kid Snatchers" (that's a thing, right?) and completely overshadowed talk about Michael's giant House on Kind of Creepy Hill. I do think we are a little harsh on MJ, especially since he was never truly convicted. We lost Heavy D, the next person on our list, and we finally got rid of Katy Perry...no?... well wishful thinking. So despite all of his flaws, remember Michael Jackson for the talent that he was, and that he didn't care if you were black or white.......as long as you were a minor.
7. Amy Winehouse
As horrible as it may sound, I think that the biggest suprise of 2011 was not that Amy Winehouse passed away, but that anybody in America gave a shit. Whoa, before you light your torches and storm my basement apartment at my mom's house, hear me out. Do you know how many people die every day? A lot, and for the majority of them, you couldn't care less. Now look yourself in the mirror and tell me that you liked Amy Winehouse's music before she died. If you say yes, fuck you, you're lying. I have no inclination as to what type of person Amy Winehouse was and whatever she does in her personal life is her own business, but we weren't surprised this happened and making the tragedy of a young person dying a tale of personal loss of one of your favorite artists is just as degrading and disgusting as dancing on her grave. Which would have to be to somebody else's music.
Why she's winning:
I think it's obvious. Perhaps like Poe, Winehouse was somehow brilliant before her time. In her life she was reduced to a waste, a drug addict, and vastly underappreciated. In death, she was brilliant, talented, and a secret philanthropist. It suffices to say that if you don't have any friends, dying is a great way to make a few. Please don't take that statement literally and I hold no responsibility for any person that takes their own life to get friends. So if you're a talented, tormented artist, I think the lesson learned is your fans will probably be in the UK.
6. Casey Anthony
You seem dubious, as if the death of your baby and having a drawn out court battle in which you were presumed innocent, but still guilty in the eyes of... well, everyone is a bad thing. When not making chloroform cocktails and getting double-teamed by Persians in the back seat of a Lincoln, Casey Anthony spent most of the year in court. However, despite what could have potentially been a total buzzkill to her lavish lifestyle of whippets and moneyshots, she turned it around.
Why she's winning:
Casey Anthony took advantage of something the prosecution never took into consideration. America's disdain for Nancy Grace. I firmly believe that the only reason the jury found Casey Anthony innocent was that they couldn't possibly bring themselves to agree with anything Nancy Grace was squawking about. So she got off, had a baby, went to court, got off again, and was offered $8 million for a book deal. In a year when fetal personhood and the protection of innocence took centerstage in politics, it's ironic that even though it appeared Casey Anthony killed her child, she got off more easily than a guy who just forgot to wear a condom when double-dutching a couple of Swedish chicks (Assange). Thus, Casey Anthony will forever be included with talks of O.J. Simpson, who did to a white woman what a Florida jury couldn't quite pull off.
5. Justin Bieber
Why he's winning: He finished another year without coming out of the closet.
4. Cosmic Adventurers
As the year concludes, the planets Keppler 20(e), 20(f), and 22(b) emerge as potentially capable of supporting or even currently harboring life. This is merely a reflection of the year in which planetary discovery has exploded in the public media as we begin to convince Republicans that space isn't just a made up construct to get unwed teenage mothers to have sex and subsequently get abortions after denouncing Christ and having a totally lesbo make-out session with Janeane Garofalo.
Why they're winning:
Stephen Hawking and many theoroetical physicists and astronomers agree that for the human race to stand the test of time, we'll eventually have to inhabit other planets. From Enceladus to possible life zones in the galactic nuclei of black holes, the cosmos may harbor more life than Charlie Sheen's taint. Cosmonauts who don't find moving to Andorra sufficient to escape their exes may find Pandora more inviting. For once the possibility that we will be the goofy looking guys in big machines death ray zapping the shit out of fools to inhabit their planet; take that H.G. Wells. Now just as Carl Sagan warned before his death, we need to be wary of anthropocentrism when exploring exoplanets, and need to take into consideration the ramifications of interfering with life on other planets. So basically, let's not do this whole "discovery of the New World" thing again. Casinos may not be as big of a hit on Europa.
3. The Poor
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit, well, pretty much fucking nothing." - Jesus Christ (R). After the Arab Spring, political activism in America took a drastic change from throwing stink bombs at whaling vessels to setting up tent cities in public parks to combat corporate corruption in our government, the growing income disparity in this country, and having to wash behind our ears. The narrative in the news has change from "We hate the black guy in office" to "We hate the black guy in office, oh, and there are a shit ton of people in poverty in this country."
Why they're winning:
In a country where the income of the top 1% has increased by 275% while thatof the bottom of 20% has only increased by 18% between '79 and '07, it's easy to see that the social contract begins to fray. As taxes on the rich are at all-time lows, with billionaires paying lower rates than their secretaries, and 30 corporations posting combined profits of over $160 billion not paying any taxes at all, people are starting to doubt the effectiveness of trickle-down economics (the belief that if wealth is concetrated at the top, the rich will piss on everyone else to make them work harder and accrue more wealth). The War on Poverty, or moreso the War on the Poor, continues to heat up with most presidential candidates proposing greater tax breaks for the rich and even tax increases for the disappearing middle class. However, some politicians, celebrities, economists, sociologists, and even psychologists have come to the aid of the poor to protest the increasing inequality and the potential consequences poverty has on America's social fabric as a whole as it remains a light to the rest of the world....atop a hill of slums. Even the Pope came out on Christmas to defend the poor, showing his endorsement of Ron Paul by wearing the entire world's gold reserves.
2. Coach Mike Krzyzewski
I'm only going to type out Krzyzewski once...okay twice.. because that name is just ridiculous. As Coach K again brings his Blue Devils to the top of the NCAA again, he has had a monumental year. He wakes up in the morning and shaves his chiseled face with an Olympic gold medal, followed by a brisk jog into the Carolina wilderness to kill his breakfast. Taking this same dedication and unrivaled burliness onto the court, Coach K surpassed Bob Knight as the winningest coach in Division I Men's College Basketball history, but that isn't the whole story.
Why he's winning:
It was always peculiar to me why, although Coach K is at the grand age of 64, he has never looked better. Then I had a revelation. Coach K is a fucking vampire. It's hard for me to truly honor his accomplishments when in reality he has had 500-560 years to accrue knowledge (based on radioactive dating). In a year in which the most anticipated wedding was the fictional wedding between two teenage vampires, it has been a great year for vampires as a race. However, even the whole immortal advantage Coach K holds on his predecessors and peers, we all need to admire that neither he, nor his coaching staff have been caught shuttling low-income pre-teens into their hotel rooms at away games.
Coach K at 53 or 278
1. The Mayans
Okay, okay. So most people spent 2011 blasting the Mayans, disproving the possiblity that they actually believed the world would end in 2012 with the finality of the 13th b'ak'tun. It is arguable to whether the Mayans truly conceived 2012 as a significant year, but the the likes of Terrance McKenna and many other New Age thinkers clung on to it and associated it with their own theories and ideologies. Whether we collide with a floating planet, black hole, or antimatter, whether we begin to live in the concert of a single consciousness, whether the Jonas Brothers win a Grammy, 2012 will be a year more heralded in the books of Geekery than the appearance of John Titor.
Why they're winning:
Despite scientists and the general public being disenchanted with the y2k-like hysteria surrounding 2012, as 2011 continued to progress, the Mayans began to look better and better. Tornadoes in the United States, earthquakes all over the globe, Fukushima, the global financial crisis, famine, global warming, and the combeback of Britney Spears have all lended their hand in a revival of belief in the world's conclusion in December of 2012. So grab your crystal skull, load up on non-perishable food items, and make sure your flux capacitor is in good form...just in case.
Well those were this year's biggest winners. I'm sure the next year will continue to grant us overrated, recycled pop tunes, natural disasters, and political douchebaggery. Happy holidays and enjoy your New Year's party. Also, remember this, if you have unprotected sex with a stranger, it doesn't count before 12 AM.