Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Edward Snowden Inducted Into Hall of Bad Dudes.

I have a bone to pick with Edward Snowden that has little to do with the issues most people would have with someone who leaked classified documents to expose a government spying on its own people. My first point is the American people already knew the NSA and other intelligence agencies were spying on them. They've known this since 90% of Americans supported the Patriot Act when it was set in place in 2001. They knew it when Bush signed Presidential letters to  approve wire taps of American citizens. And they voted to approve it. Not once. Not twice. Three times. There have been three separate Presidential elections since the Patriot Act was signed into law. Twice as many Congressional elections. None of this was done in secret. In fact, it has been done with the support of the American people. Not only that, Obama added on a bunch more oppressive stuff he said he would fight against. He approved torture, kept Gitmo open, signed a NDAA that allows the declaration of Americans as enemy combatants and allows  unwarranted searches, indefinite detention, even torture of American citizens...

And Americans voted for it...


Now there's an outcry that they're doing what you voted for them to do. What the fuck did you think was going to happen?

But that's not my beef with Edward Snowden. Here's the part of the story that angers me.

When you leak classified documents that allow the enemy to place our diplomats and intelligence specialist working all over the world, most of the time our side will have enough advanced warning to get our people out of there before the whip comes down. But the people who can't get out of there are the vast web or informants, assets, and agents on the other side we were working with to make a change. Now the enemy goes and rounds those people up and tortures them and murders them. It ways you wouldn't even like to see in the movies, although many of you seem to have developed a rather advanced bloodlust these days.

So, when someone like Assange, or Bradley Manning, or Edward Snowden leaks these documents, and tens of thousands were leaked, most of them having nothing to do with spying on Americans, they have decided that as an individual they have the right to fuck with all those other peoples' live. They've in effect decided that they have the right to make American foreign policy. See, and that's not how we do things around here.

We vote.

And we did vote.

And three times Americans approved what is happening. It wasn't happening in secret. These issues were brought up in those elections. I remember. I heard them. And the candidates bringing up those issues were mocked mercilessly. 

Hell, most of you didn't even vote. Didn't vote, can't name the candidates, don't follow the issues, but feel you have some innate right to know the inner workings of our intelligence and diplomatic communities. The irony would be sad if it wasn't so ignorant. 

You don't care if Google, your Facebook friends, everyone in your gaming community, or who reads your blog, knows what you are doing in excruciating detail, but if the NSA, who has done a damn fine job of ensuring you can wake up every day and not worry about the types of atrocities that occur almost everywhere else in the world happen while you're telling us about your bowel movements, you freak out. You should be honored. Someone cares.

You should be so interesting.

Ever wonder who the Ten Worst Popes of All Time are?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Steve Alford Inducted Into Hall of Bad Dudes

Eleven years after then Iowa head basketball coach Steve Alford used his influence to pressure a sexual assault victim to recant her accusations against one of his players, Pierre Pierce, and only days after being fired from New mexico after his team once again flamed out early in the NCAA Tournament, scumbag Steve Alford was hired by UCLA as head basketball coach. The only difference this time is when he is fired a lot of people will be going with him.

What the hell was the athletic director at UCLA thinking?

He claimed at first he didn't know about the scandal that caused Alford to be run out of the entire state, a scandal where "Alford enlisted the help of close friend Jim Goodrich, the campus representative for Christian group Athletes in Action who often traveled with the team and conducted bible-study sessions. Per specific instruction from Alford, the victim was invited to what she was told was a “prayer meeting,” at which she was urged to back off and not cause problems for a basketball program that could overpower her." -Dan Bernstein

It's often only after a piece of shit like this is fired that people will come out of the woodwork to publicly state what a dick he was when he was in power. Alford had a reputation for walking out of restaurants, cleaners, clothiers, and many other business establishments without paying. Simply stealing whatever product or service he felt he was entitled to as head coach of the basketball team. 

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero deserves to lose his job for this hiring, and he will. Soon enough. For sexual assault victims, knowing a piece of human sewage like Alford will be afforded at least one more opportunity to treat people like crap and pretend he's a feudal lord probably stings, but the only upside is everyone who hates Alford is about to see him crash and burn in a way that would make Evel Knieval proud. Welcome to the Extreme Scumbag wing of the Hall of Bad Dudes, Steve Alford. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Margaret Thatcher Was a Bad Dude

Margaret Thatcher died. And almost nobody seems to be sad about that. On the contrary, the venom has been flowing. As an American, and a teenager at the time, I remember Thatcher's opposite number here in America, Ronald Reagan, and how we were experiencing many of the same difficulties here: homelessness, de-institutionalization of the mentally ill, the vanishing of good jobs that paid wages sufficient to feed a family. 
Most of what I know about Thatcher I learned from watching The Young Ones (thank you, Tim Stotz), or listening to The Clash. I guess I sort of assumed it was just youthful rage, the same kind The Dead Kennedy's were expressing in America about Ronald Reagan cutting school lunches or turning the mentally ill out of institutions. 

But it was worse for the English.

Far worse. So, when I saw how much negative sentiment there was against Thatcher, and how her death seemed to bring out so many bitter and painful memories, I wanted to know more about exactly what she did that was so bad and caused so many people so much suffering. Today I saw a video that encapsulated the suffering rather well. 

We know The Clash and punk rockers were on about Thatcher, but comedian Russell Brand ? This is a woman who apparently earned every bit of hatred that was spewed back at her this week. All the people who were there who just burst forth this week with spontaneous displays of rage and bitterness towards this woman. Those people weren't grinding political axes. So, there's only one thing we can do here at The Hall of Bad Dudes... welcome our first female member. Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes, Margaret Thatcher. 

And let the dead stay dead.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

JD Salinger Was a Bad Dude

So, JD Salinger is dead.

I guess my initial response to that was, so what?

But my more considered and enduring response is something like, maybe that's not such a bad thing. He'll stay dead, and he can't die again or any more than he did, but in terms of raw humanity I think the Universe might have just become a slightly better place.

We have this tendency in America to worship people who succeed. As Raider's owner Al Davis used to say, "Just win, baby." He still says it, but when he does applesauce tends to ooze from his mouth and his Swedish nurse says, "There, there, Al, the Raiders have moved to San Diego." She knows it's not true, but it's one of those lies meant to alleviate suffering.

Unlike JD Salinger, who really didn't do very much to alleviate the suffering of those around him. In fact, like Robert Frost or Charles M. Shulz, he was the cause of much of that suffering. 

But he wrote a book about people being phony and hypocritical. 

God, what an insight.

Life, and good art, in MY opinion, is about what you do AFTER you come to that rather simplistic conclusion that all is phony and false.

I read Catcher In the Rye. It's a good book. But in terms of message or influence it's on my list right after the movie Used Cars and that Leave It To Beaver episode about telling the truth.

Salinger was a misguided person. By all accounts he made those around him suffer. He didn't care much for humanity and didn't show very much respect for those who sought him out to share his "wisdom."

So, I pretty much say the same thing I would to any old man who died after a lifetime of not contributing much to the lives' of others... take a fuckin' hike.

Having talent doesn't entitle you to be cold, cruel and dismissive of others. Empathy IS a talent. The people I respect the most aren't the ones who can throw a baseball or turn a phrase cleverly, it's the ones who have no discernable gift except caring about other people. You didn't have it, JD Salinger, and you have not earned my respect.

But the rest of you can go and lick that ass if you want.

Salinger was involved in some pretty savage covert ops in WWII. he had that type of moral and intellectual makeup that he was capable of it, and the Army used him. Welcome to The Hall of Bad Dudes, JD Salinger. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hugo Chavez, Friend of Ozzie Guillen, Dead

Hugo Chavez is dead. probably. He did a lot of bad stuff to a lot of people, but he's making the Hall of Bad Dudes today for one reason, and one reason only...

Because he's friends with ex Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. But aside from this blemish on his character, Chavez managed to do a lot of bad things in his own right.

A lot of people consider Chavez a hero. A liberator of Venezuela from the Imperialism of America and others, but in recent years under the Chavez administration, Venezuela has suffered from rampant violent crime -- saddling the country with South America's highest murder rate, official corruption which serves as a constant reminder of the "sleaze" that Chavez once condemned during his rise to power, and blatant economic mismanagement producing one of the world's highest inflation rates.

Things might have been better for a few wealthy Venezuelans that benefited from Chavez nationalizing everything, but for the poor things got worse. Much worse. Some of them might love Chavez for extending the middle finger to America, but when push came to shove, most of the money Chavez "nationalized" ended up right here making a few of his cronies even wealthier while the people of Venezuela starved. Food, water, and electricity rationed to the point where his citizens starved and remained in darkness for weeks while he lived the high life. 

No, you are, Hugo Chavez. A Bad Dude, that is. Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes El  Capitan.

Owner of Midway Theater a Bad Dude
Ted Nugent
Bad Cartoonist

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Owner of the Midway Theater In Rockford Inducted Into Hall of Bad Dudes

Forbes magazine recently rated the city of Rockford, Illinois the third most miserable city in America. The natives took this news in the gallant and noble manner they usually do. No, not by changing anything, but by bitching and whining that Forbes is nuts. This is a city with a long history of being told it sucks. Back in the 80's when Money Magazine rated Rockford the 300th worst city in America (out of 300) instead of heeding that as a warning that the manufacturing base of America had disappeared and any city that wanted to survive into the next millenium had better get on the path to technology, the locals made a bonfire of Money Magazine. Typically caveman behavior. I can imagine them looking like the chimps in 2001 raising their sticks to the sky with one hand, and their Old Milwaukee Lights (the official beer of Rockford) in the other and grunting. And things got worse. 

Last March the roof collapsed on the historic Midway Theater right in the middle of the Downtown area everyone is trying to class up as a demonstration of how Rockford doesn't suck. 

In the background you see the historic Faust Landmark hotel, where John Kennedy stayed, now used to warehouse the elderly until other arrangements can be found. Once the Midway Theater looked like this...

Classy. Hell, it looks like Rockford even had a symphony orchestra. Not sure anyone here even knows how to play an oboe anymore. But the thing about the roof is... nobody fixed it. No one even tried. Days went by and I watched out the window expecting to see an emergency construction crew show up to make repairs. I contacted the mayor's office and was assured the owner was going to get a stern talking to and be forced to make the repairs or forfeit the property. But nothing happened. Now a year later we learn almost nothing is being done to fix the roof

There are a lot of romantic depictions of The Midway Theater and The Faust landmark by local artists and photographers. But this is what it looks like. At street level you could see the homeless turned out at dawn by the shelter down the street, the mentally ill turned out when Singer closed and other local mental health facilities were too strapped to pick up the overflow, and the elderly and disabled warehoused at the Faust and nearby. This is what you'd see looking out my window. You'd wonder if Forbes Magazine and others didn't have it exactly right, and we have it exactly wrong. Trying to sweep a century of racism, bad city planning, and corruption under (well, there just isn't anywhere left to sweep it) anymore. 

Midway Theater marquee in acrylic by artist Jenny Mathews

I don't know who owns the Midway Theater. Maybe even some property speculator who had good intentions and got in over his head, but more likely one of the scavengers we find all too common in places like this, buying up properties then allowing them to rot and collapse while waiting for public funding to come through. I'm sure the owner of this building is waiting for the city, or the state, or the federal government to step in and hand him a big check for being such a swell custodian of a beautiful and historic building. All I know is one year has passed. The roof fell in. On the busiest street in town. And a year later it's not fixed and no one is making him fix it. If you don't want to be considered a joke and an afterthought by the national media things like this just can't happen. You lose all credibility, and a great deal of your claim to humanity, too, in my opinion, when you point to one or two buildings down the street and try to convince me because some carpetbagger has taken an old building, used a couple million tax dollars, and created an amateur brewery or a site for wedding receptions, a place where the homeless, disabled, elderly, and mentally ill literally pass by and watch the local petit bourgeois sip bad beer on a deck while they have no place to stay, is a public service you deserve to be lionized for.

Far from it. That's the type of thing people in civilizations that have failed do. It's tone deaf and it's deplorable. Don't you even know what you look like when you do something like that? Apparently the rest of America does. 

Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes, owner of the Midway Theater.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Is Bad, Bad Leroy Brown Bad Enough For the Hall of Bad Dudes?

Does Bad, Bad Leroy Brown deserve to be enshrined in The Hall of Bad Dudes, as Jim Croce asserted back in 1973. Well, here at the HOBD we like to keep an open mind, but to be included in this collection of villains you've got to have a pretty crummy resume, so let's examine the evidence. 

"From the South side of Chicago..."
Sorry, but being from the greatest city on the planet ain't helping your case with this committee. Maybe there's more. Some conclusive evidence that Leroy Brown is a Bad Dude. Let's dig deeper.

Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wear his diamond rings
On everybodys nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a 32 gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe

Let's get this straight: Leroy Brown likes cars, gambling, and nice clothes. hey, me too. You're going to have to do better than that to get in this Hall, Brown. Maybe there's more. Here's the rough stuff...

Well Friday bout a week ago
Leroy shootin' dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And ooh that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
Leroy Brown learned a lesson
'Bout messin' with the wife of a jealous man

Hmm. Leroy Brown appears to like chicks, too. Shit, even the Popes in this Hall have banged more ass than the average badass, so I'm going to need a little more. How does this end...

Well the two men took to fightin'
And when they pulled them from the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone

Sorry bout it, Jimmy Croce, but this allegedly bad, bad Leroy Brown, seems like a choir boy when compared to even the tamest member of The Hall of Bad Dudes. The verdict is in...

Leroy Brown, you are NOT in The Hall of Bad Dudes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oscar Pistorius Can't Outrun Hall of Bad Dudes

Violence against women is never funny. And for some reason it never seems to go away. Paralympic champion and Olympic semi-finalist sprinter Oscar Pistorius will be charged this morning for the shooting murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, yesterday. Although many news outlets used the word shocking somewhere in their pieces about the story, the sad thing is acts like this aren't shocking. They're all too common. And for some reason they seem even more common in the world of sports, with Kansas City Chief's linebacker Jovan Belcher's murder of his wife and subsequent suicide last December being only the latest example.

Pistorius is being described as a gun enthusiast who lived in a state of paranoia, being his fame would attract those who wanted to kidnap him, rob him, or break into his home. What I learned from the story is that this a common theme in South Africa. Many of the wealthy there live in guarded, gated complexes, and hire personal security forces to keep out those who want to rob or kidnap them. The gun culture in South Africa is rampant. And violence against women is extremely common.

So common was the gun violence, and specifically the gun violence against women, that South Africa passed the Firearms Control Act of 2004. It restricts South Africans to one gun, either a handgun or a shotgun, for self-defense. Exceptions exist for regular hunters, but all weapons must be licensed, and gun owners are required to demonstrate that they are trained in gun safety and are free from mental instability and substance abuse.

The overall murder rate has dropped 50% since then, and cases of women being killed by someone they were intimate with have dropped from 31% to 17%. None of this will help Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but it doesn't take a lot of imagination to draw parallels between the culture of paranoia and gun violence we are learning about in South Africa and the current debate about gun violence in America.

Would even tighter gun control laws have saved the life of Reeva Steenkamp? It's impossible to say. But it has saved the lives of many women in South Africa. In the coming days and maybe weeks before this story fades from memory most of what we will here are jokes and sports' related references. But what I think this story has opened a debate about how one country is dealing with gun violence, and how what they have done either has or hasn't worked, and how our country might want to learn something. 

This is what Oscar Pistorius looked like in one of his finer moments. 

And this was Oscar Pistorius yesterday. A reminder we don't really know anyone just because we see them on a television screen. Oscar Pistorius, welcome to The Hall of Bad Dudes. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ted Nugent Can Wango Tango His Ass To Russia For All I Care

Rock star/gun rights advocate Ted Nugent is attending Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Rep. Steve Stockman (R) of Texas announced Monday.

Sure, Ted Nugent loves freedom. He's just not prepared to fight for it. Here's what Ted the Sledge told The Detroit Free Press in 1990: Nugent told the Detroit Free Press in 1990 that he meticulously planned to get out of the war. He stopped bathing 30 days before going before the draft board and later ate nothing but junk food and Pepsi. A few days before his appointment, Nugent started defecating in his pants. It obviously worked — and it's a good thing, because "if I would have gone over there, I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed all the Hippies in the foxholes. I would have killed everybody."

Sounds like a real hero to me. Of course, unlike wild game, the Vietcong shot back. 

Nugent claimed he would either be dead or in jail at this time next year if Obama were  re-elected President. So we all have that to look forward to. Hopefully the Secret Service gives his pack age a tight squeeze tonight. Then again, I'm not sure they'd find him packing. Hey, but Ted Nugent loves the ladies. There's nothing more American than that, right? Only trouble is Ted likes em young. Real Young.

In 1978 Ted Nugent met Pele Massa. Only trouble she was 17. So he arranged with her parents to become her legal guardian. How that made him less of a scumbag is beyond me. But, seriously, Nuge loves the ladies, especially feminists, who he said of... "What’s a feminist anyways? A fat pig who doesn’t get it often enough?" Does anyone see a pattern forming here? A tough-talking guy who doesn't want to fight in the war, doesn't want to deal all-growed up women, and likes to shoot things that can't fire back. Sounds like a coward to me. Ted likes Blacks, too... "I use the word n****r a lot because I hang around with a lot of n****rs, and they use the word n****r, and I tend to use words that communicate," he said.

Seriously, what a sleeze. You'd think, being a rockstar who likes to shag underage girls and play the gee-tar, Ted would at least have one thing in common with the rest of us red-blooded American men who actually like women who have an opinion... beer. Wrong.

So, this Blatz is for you, dickhead. I hope you enjoy listening to a real man who respects women and his fellow citizens speak tonight. I hear he is a gracious host as well as being capable of enduring the barbs and resistance of idiots such as yourself as he cleans up the mess he was left by his predecessor. America is a great place and the fact that a piece of trash like you is allowed anywhere near a man like Barack Obama is proof of that. Now you may go.

Hey, Ted, want to have a beer with the President of these United States of America.? Oh, I forgot, you hate beer. Pussy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ten Popes Named To The Hall of Bad Dudes

The Vatican is a pretty shady place. History confirms at one time or another the Vatican has been used as a brothel, a drug den, a rape and torture dungeon, the scene for Satanic rituals, and other atrocities too revolting for the delicate sensibilities of this August assembly. More depraved, diseased psychopaths have passed through the Vatican than the Baltimore Ravens locker room. So, to choose one worst Pope is a task better left to more divine intellects than mine. I'm sure they'll all get their day in court. The history of Popes started out quite ugly when one of the first Popes...

1) Sixtus III (432-440). Seduced a nun, and was put on trial, but saved his bacon by quoting the most classic scripture of scumbags, "Let ye who are without sin cast the first stone." Everyone there apparently knew what he meant because they let him go back to plowing through the nuns like a rabid French Bulldog on Viagra. But we're just getting warmed up. Sixtus III was a beginner compared to some of the Vatican's later occupants. If you want to make this list you got to do better than raping a few nuns. How about instituting a policy of torture that was used to inflict more pain in more cruel and sadistic ways than almost anyone else who ever lived. I got the Pope for you...

2) Innocent IV (1243-1254). The Inquistion, what a show
The Inquistion, here we go/We know you're wishing
That we'd go away
But the Inquistion's here and it's here to stay 
Most famous victim of The Inquisition: Galileo for his heretical belief that the Earth revolves around the sun. The dude who started it all. 

3) Pope John XII (955-964). You like-a  da rape of your virgin daughter you sent on a pilgrimage to the most holy of holies? You like a Pope with enough of a sense of humor to invoke the name of Satan to help him with rolling the dice? You like a Pope who gets beat to death Sam Cook style by a jealous husband? Boy have I got just the Pope for you.

4) Alexander VI (1492-1503) Hey, if you got a swell crib like The Vatican, why not throw a bunch of orgies, invite every Euro trash piece of filth, and party like it's 1999? Sure, the Papacy had been secularized and pimped out to the highest bidder at this point, but is it too much to ask to not use the Holy Grail as a bong? This guy banged his own daughter there in the Vatican. Naked little boys jumping out of cakes... hey, it's still early in the evening. This Vatican thing is way too sweet to use as permanent housing for a bunch of stick-in-the-muds. All a small price to pay for his support of Michelangelo

5) Pius XII (1939-1958). First of all, this guy just looks like a cocksucker. Secondly, if you look at the years when he was Pope you know WHAT he did, or didn't do. I imagine the call went like this "Genocide?" "Well, normally WE do that, but be my guest. Good luck breaking our record." "I feel confident." "I'm sure you do, Adie. Let me know if I can help in any way. I got a sweet tax-free setup here." 

6) Sergius III (904-911). 911 is about right on this guy, because he was a disaster. Even his cardinals referred to him as "the slave of every vice." Seems to be a pattern, doesn't it? He had a son with his teenage prostitute mistress, who was thirty years younger than him, and guess what, the little bastard also became Pope. This was the beginning of the church's "dark century." How they chose one over any other is a mystery, but apparently even they thought this shit was getting a little bananas. 

7) John XII (955-964). Just sixteen when he was crowned, coronated, or whatever one does to name a Pope, this dude had all the pep he needed to bed not only his sisters but everyone else around. I mean, what the fuck kind of moron bin have you dickheads been running all these years, and why aren't the rest of us killing you? I guess this would have been during what even the church considered their "dark century." You'll be happy to know this twat also got Sam Cooked and had his skull crushed by a real man. I feel nauseous even writing about this Catholic garbage. How do you people stand yourselves, being responsible for so much of history's evil and suffering, and simultaneously being responsible for suppressing anyone who tried to lift humanity out of the misery you had caused? On with the show...

8) Leo X (1513-1521). Is it just me, or do a lot of these dingbats look like John Lovitz? This dingbat did what was almost impossible: he bankrupted the church. To his credit, he had a good excuse: there was a helluva lot of good art out there, and he wanted it. He had a good solution to the problem. Sell papal indulgences to any sinner who had enough money and wanted to buy their way into Heaven. I'm pretty sure that's what God intended. Fortunately, there was at least one man of principle around, Martin Luther, so this dickhead inadvertently spurred a lot of good art to be preserved and led to the Protestant Reformation. I'm not sure there are any Baptists out there willing to thank him, but most of them can't read anyway.

9) Boniface VIII (1294-1303). After massacring the entire population in the Italian town of Palestrina, Boniface VIII (1294-1303) indulged in ménages with a married woman and her daughter and became renowned through Rome as a shameless pedophile. He famously declared that having sex with young boys was no more a sin than rubbing one hand against the other — which should make him the patron saint of Boston priests today. The poet Dante reserved a place for him in the eighth circle of Hell. Well, before I go vomit, we have one last pope on a rope to chronicle here in the Hall of Bad Dudes. It's sad but true to say I don't have to stop here. I want to stop here. 

10) Sixtus IV (1471-1484). Decamping back to Rome, the papacy hit its true low point in the Renaissance. (Church historian Eamon Duffy compares Rome to Nixon’s Washington, “a city of expense-account whores and political graft.”) Sixtus IV, who funded the Sistine Chapel, had six illegitimate sons — one with his sister. He collected a Church tax on prostitutes and charged priests for keeping mistresses, but critics argued that this merely increased the prevalence of clerical homosexuality.

There you have it, my fine feathered fiends. Feel good about yourselves today, because unless you have a prodigious appetite for villainy, and some fine digs with a history of evil second to none like The Vatican, your sins this day will appear rather mild when you meet your non-existent gods to explain them. Welcome to The Hall of Bad Dudes ten of the worst popes of all time.

The Hall of Bad Dudes

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lance Armstrong Is a Bad Dude

Most of you will be surprised it took so long for me to induct Lance Armstrong into The Hall of Bad Dudes, but the fact is I already did back in 2005 when I started writing about how I thought he was a cheat and a fraud, and aside from that just an asshat. The response at that time was 75-90% that I was the jerk for pointing it out and (remember this classic?) "He's never failed one drug test." Well, here's a news flash for you... Lance Armstrong still hasn't failed a drug test. Seven years later whenever a discussion about Lance Armstrong broke out with increasingly well-documented evidence that he was a cheater, a jerk, and defrauding those who worshipped him as a cancer crusader, there was still an overwhelming number of people burying their heads in the sand and defending him.

Until a few weeks ago. Now you can't seem to find a single person on the planet who will admit to be one of the deutschbanks who defended him. But you did, didn't you? And there were a whole lot of you. Aside from constantly reminding us he had never failed a drug test the second prong of their defense was that look at all he's done for cancer research. Yes, by skimming all that money off the top then selling his website to the highest bidder.

I'm not going to go through the long list of reasons why Lance Armstrong is deserving of enshrinement in The Hall of Bad Dudes. I've been doing that for seven years. Really this induction is more about YOU. Yes, all of you who fought tooth and nail against reason, decency, and the overwhelming evidence every step of the way. Those of you who were so smug even just a few months ago telling the rest of us any investigation of Lance Armstrong was a "waste of government money." Wrong very much? I realize most of you are on to defending the next scumbag. Maybe somebody like Ray Lewis or Lebron James, but here at the Hall we don't celebrate petty villains. 

No, Lance Armstrong, you are. A bad dude, that is. Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes. We're building a special wing and making it large enough for all your acolytes. Free admission with a Lie Strong wrist band.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Richard III Stays In the Hall of Bad Dudes

With he recent discovery of one of history's greatest villains, Richard III's bones, underneath a parking lot in Leicester (because it would have been unusual to find them in Scranton), much of the response has gone in an unexpected direction: maybe Richard III wasn't as bad a dude as Shakespeare made him out to be. Here at the Hall of Bad Dudes we have just response to that...

Richard III is one of the baddest dudes of all time, despite what some mamby-pamby archaelogists would have you believe that his bones actually show he was a bunch-backed, feminine wisp of a man. 

Richard III was such a bad dude they not only killed him, they shoved a sword up his royal ass until his pelvic bone broke. You don't give that type of special treatment to just a run-of-the-mill bad dude. They didn't shove a sword up princess Diana's ass. At least not that we know of. But now a lot of politically correct professor types think we should re-examine the facts and give poor old Dick 3 a second chance because Shakespeare was probably making the whole thing up because he was boning the queen and that everyone else did what he did, too, but here at the Hall of Bad Dudes we say there's no room for facts in history. None. Richard III was deformed, and probably a Manchester United fan and he shoved people in wine barrels and that's a double act of villainy when you consider how much that wine would be worth at current market prices. Richard III STAYS in this Hall of Bad Dudes, and no professor of whiney bitchology is going to change that. Here comes the obligatory "my kingdom for something" joke...

My kingdom for (fuck it, insert your own joke here, I've already written three sword up the ass jokes tonight)

Want to recommend a bad dude for this august assembly?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Charles Schulz Was Kind of a Cruel Bastard

Imagine this scene: the Lincoln Theater in Freeport, Illinois, 1977. A packed house full of excited children. The curtain slowly starts to open, because they really did have a curtain in front of the screen. And the feature begins. It's Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown. The movie is exciting and fun. Disney was all but dead in 1977 so The Peanuts were a huge deal. I know in my life they were. But a huge deal in a traumatic way. But that's not unusual because looking back The Peanuts are a franchise based on scapegoating a small boy named Charlie Brown for all the problems of the world, created by a man who by all reports was a miserable and cruel father and husband, Charles M. Schulz. In fact, here's the first Peanuts strip ever.

What the hell? And forever after Charlie Brown was the butt of everyone's anger. What the hell kind of warped crap was that? Even as a child I really did not like The Peanuts, and as it turns out my intuition that this was cruel and cold and needlessly mean was verified when I learned Charles M. Schulz was indeed exactly that as a person.

If you want to inflict crippling depression on a child, make them sit through Bon Voyage Charlie Brown. (And Don't Come Back). 

It turns out Schulz was a serial cheater who wasn't very well liked by anyone who had to deal with him. He was described as mean, aloof, arrogant, bitter, and cheap. Here is how one person described him...

2 Well...I grew up in the front row on this one! I knew Sparky, his wife Jean ( a very well respected and well loved woman in the community), their sons Craig and Monty, daughter Jill... 
Sparky was very uncomfortable socially. He held an annual Senior Olympics Hockey tournament at his ice rink in Santa Rosa, and many of the people in attendance didn't like him at all. He was described as aloof and arrogant; I think it was more his social ineptness that cast him in that light, though aloof was fitting. My own personal experience was that he was a grumpy sourpuss of a man who rarely smiled (when he did it seemed pained), was very picky, demanding, and didn't like us (the kids who played hockey there). He liked the figure skaters (Jill was quite accomplished and a very nice person), and let them get away with murder. Their messes and bullshit always got blamed on us. 
I liked 'Peanuts' as a kid. I didn't care for Sparky.

You can find dozens of anecdotes like this with a simple search. I also saw a lot of people defending him and saying his work outweighed whatever type of person he was in real life, but my point is I always found the work itself cruel. I never learned anything positive from Charlie Brown or went away feeling anything but depression. Maybe a lot of people liked Peanuts because they identified not with Charlie Brown, but those who heaped the abuse on him. They were the bullies and selfish, greedy users for whom nothing was good enough. I don't know, but even this song destroys me and I can never be objective about Charlie Brown. "He's only a boy named Charlie."

I hope you found a calm, happy place in the afterlife, Charles M. Schulz, but regardless of the positive impact you seem to have made in the life's of many there's never an excuse for cruelty, so I'm still inducting you into The Hall of Bad Dudes

Writer's Note: I did not enjoy writing this blog. My feelings of ennui about this subject are valid. Charlie Brown was a big deal when I was a kid and watching him get kicked around wasn't at all funny for me and didn't teach me anything about adversity. It just made me sad. For my fourth birthday my mother went all out. I had been sick most of my early life and we were dirt poor and she wanted to do something nice. I remember this magnificent Charlie Brown cake she had made and how she was inconsolable as the cake slid down the side of the refrigerator. Seems appropriate but I had the blanket I got that day which read "Happiness is friends" for many years. So, if anyone thinks I want to discover someone who had a very big impact on my life was a rather miserable person who treated others badly you're wrong. It's just who he was.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Welcome To the Hall of Bad Dudes, Ron Jeremy

When I had the idea for The Hall of Bad Dudes yesterday it seemed obvious to me I was using the term "dudes" loosely,  and anyone from the beginning of human history, even dogs, chimpanzees, or inanimate objects were fair game for induction into The Hall of Bad Dudes. Even women could make it in. Then I wrote about Ray Lewis. I listen to sports radio and whatever is currently happening in the world of sports creates the background noise for my day. Some people constantly have a television or a radio on, I listen to the Boers and Bernstein Show on 670 the Score. So it was obvious I would write about Ray Lewis because aside from Ron Jeremy there just wasn't anything else being talked about. But here's the thing: I don't enjoy writing about sports or sports figures. Unlike many sports commentators, I don't consider sports a microcosm of human behavior. In fact, I feel exactly the opposite. I feel sports is often an isolated example of the human experience. I cringe when I hear writers refer to "the battlefield" and how they are "going to war," or how a sports contest or an athlete is healing a city or providing an example for anyone to follow. End of sermon on that. My point is I don't just want to create a rogues' gallery of sports figures who have behaved badly because at a certain point I find bashing sports figures as uninteresting as lifting them up for worship. 

The problem is when I write about sports people show up, as nearly a thousand readers did yesterday to read a blog that didn't even exist at the beginning of the day. But I'm not just going to bang on athletes. I like sports. I think there are elements in sport and especially team sport that do demonstrate some of the best that we are capable of as a species. Nor do i consider myself the judge and jury of who is and who is not a "good" person. I hope there will be an element of tongue- in- cheek going on as I induct others into this august assembly of scoundrels. That said, today's inductee into the Hall of Bad Dudes is...

Ron Jeremy
Before I proceed, I want to say I hope Ron Jeremy makes a full recovery and lives fifty more years, and I'm far from a prude, but there's one simple reason I'm inducting Ron Jeremy... wasted potential. Ron Jeremy is a likable and talented person, and I was surprised when I learned he had begun his adult life teaching special education children in New York. He was born to extremely intelligent parents, his father being a physicist and his mother was a book editor who spoke several languages. I watched the movie Porn Star and I was left with the impression that he wasn't an entirely happy person. My evaluation is less about character than the possibility that he wasted a great many years of his life performing in adult movies when he could have been doing something a little more meaningful. He seems perfectly capable of it. 

Keep in mind this is The Hall of Bad Dudes, not the Hall of Evil Dudes. And there's a lot of iconoclastic worship of Ron Jeremy from people who probably envy what he does, but I'm not sure anything Ron Jeremy has done since the moment he walked out of a classroom has been all that noble, meaningful, or worthy of respect. And to me that seems like a shame because this is clearly a person with the talent to have have earned that respect in a lot of different ways. 

So, Ron Jeremy, get well soon, and welcome to The Hall of Bad Dudes.

previous inductees Ray Lewis

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Hall of Bad Dudes: Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis is our first inductee into The Hall of Bad Dudes. I have come to despise this man these past few weeks, whereas I previously just hated him. I didn't follow the murder trial he was involved in twelve years ago because I just was too busy with my own bad- assery to follow football back then. The evidence seems to indicate he either aides, abetted, or directly participated in a double murder and the covering up of the act.   he did plead out to an obstruction of justice charge and paid off the victim's families in a civil settlement, both things most people not guilty of a crime don't do, but none of that is really why I hate Ray Lewis. I hate him because of the people who love him. 

If I knew nothing about Ray Lewis this picture alone would be sufficient to gain him entry into The Hall of Bad Dudes. Religion is the last refuge of scoundrels. I buy his devoutness about as much as I buy his testimony in the murder trial. Fate has a way of tracking down these bad dudes. It will find Ray Lewis. This week is the apex of his football career. Even though some people are asking questions about his character and wondering why he's receiving so much worship most of America is willing to buy the popular narrative and jump the bandwagon of uncritical hero worship. But this week will end and a new one will begin. And as often happens, the public will slowly forget about Ray Lewis. But out there somewhere is another bad dude. A dude even badder than Ray Lewis. I think one day Ray Lewis will run into that bad dude.

Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes, Ray Lewis.

Want to suggest a bad dude?