Words: John Packman
Negativity is underappreciated. I cannot stress this enough. Sometimes the gas face needs to be given and received. We live in an era where The Secret is a bestseller, twee ukulele music shills hybrid cars, and Gwyneth Paltrow has a magazine. This horrible beige monoculture is a desert and I am your John the Baptist.
13. Rob Ford/Crackgate
Let me be very clear on this issue: I am as sick of hearing about this buffoon as you are. I actually think he deserves to be higher on this list, but I stuck him at number 13 for the sole purpose of getting him out of the way.
12. Guy Fieri’s violent altercation with his hairdresser
Sure, anyone who willingly sells bottles of something called ‘Donkey Sauce’ with his cartoon Smash Mouth-looking-ass face immortalized on the label is pretty much the walking embodiment of wackness to begin with, but the cherry on this particular sadness sundae was humanity’s collective realization that this guy employed someone full-time to make his hair look like that. Speaking of Smash Mouth…
11. Late-90s nostalgia officially becomes a thing
I have nothing to support this beyond the release of a new Korn album and enough anecdotal evidence from eavesdropping on fellow public transit passengers to suggest that said Korn album was long overdue. Lou Bega featuring Danny Brown, coming up in a hot minute!
10. That movie where the dredged-up, bloated corpse of Vince Vaughn snaps a couple off at the sperm bank for extra beer money and 15-some-odd years later all of his sperm-spawn show up and ask for an allowance increase or whatever and he learns the true meaning of fatherhood or whatever
No, of course I didn’t see it.
9. Lou Reed dies right around the same time that I become aware of the ‘Perfect Day’ PlayStation commercial
When I’m not writing my own name in syringe-blood on the mildewed walls of the Chelsea, I’m busy PWNING SUM L4ME-455 N00BZZZ AT COD. I should add that this use of ‘Perfect Day’ is no more or less appropriate than using it as your wedding song.
8. Russia acts like a massive dickweed; gets the Sochi Olympics anyway
Gay men are routinely beaten beyond recognition, protestors and anarchist pranksters are sent to the gulags, kids in bombed-out apartment towers are shooting skin-melting mutagen-heroin, the mafia runs everything, and Ilya Kovalchuk got a new contract without being forced to sit out a year, and the best the sporting world can do is a stern finger-wagging and the occasional promise to wear a rainbow-flag pin somewhere inconspicuous? What were the other two countries with Olympic bids, Zimbabwe and Mordor?
8. George Clooney goes to space
Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi epic Gravity is a near-masterpiece. The ‘near’ is provided by that great big juicy Christmas ham George “Golden Girls” Clooney and his absolute refusal to deliver any of his lines as though he were actually hurtling through space with 1% of his oxygen remaining. Here’s my impression of George Clooney if he had been cast in Mystic River: “Hi, I’m film and television star George Clooney. Say, is that my daughter in there? You look ravishing tonight.”
7. PRISM is revealed to be a thing
You know, when Batman rigged up that doohickey that could listen to everyone’s cellphones, Alfred almost quit over how wrong it was, and those two are tight bros from way back when.
6. This trend piece on vaporwave
Particularly that last line about ‘casinowave’.
5. The Obamacare website keeps crashing
America spends years on this ridiculous philosophical debate about the nanny state and self-determination and the social contract and wrist microchips and taking the mark of the beast and it turns out that the real futuristic dystopian nightmare involves a corrupted .ini file. Geoff the IT guy is on vacation at Epcot for another few days and we just gotta wait this one out fellas.
4. The Fukushima plant turns out to have been leaking contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean this whole time
Speaking in my capacity as a resident of Vancouver who loves seafood, I can at least take solace in the fact that all those cigarettes I smoked over the years may not have mattered in the long run. What gives, Japan? It’s not like your government to cover up its past transgressions.
3. The provincial governments of Alberta and BC enter into a tentative agreement to approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and no-one notices
Why didn’t anyone notice? I must regretfully refer you back to number 13.
2. That one guy from that one band turns out to be an insane crack-smoking kid toucher
Why am I using such vague terminology? I must regretfully refer you back to number 7.
1. Raccoons attack my cat and irrevocably damage our relationship
At this time last year, my cat was a precocious, rambunctious, playful, aggressive, happy little fella who would walk right up to you and headbutt you, demanding to be petted. Now he is a frail husk of a cat, startled by anything and everything, peeing himself at the sound of a car horn or a bird chirping. He has PTSD from being attacked by damned filthy raccoons. Raccoons cut his nose and the end of his tail (the latter of which has still not fully healed) for no reason other than their eternal devotion to their chaotic evil alignment. Raccoons have been whitewashed in the media and made to look cute. They are not cute. They are vicious, disease-carrying, garbage-eating vermin with long, sharp claws. The Great Outdoors was the only movie to get this right. That stupid Raccoons cartoon show is virulent propaganda from the pro-raccoon lobby, and it should be banned from the airwaves. Team Cyril Sneer, all the way. I only pray that Groucho and I can arrive at some sort of peace.
John Packman is one half of The Steve and John Power Hour with Steve and John.