10. Ayn Rand
“But Robot King, she’s already dead!” some of you are no doubt protesting. I don’t care. I want to bring her back to life just so I can watch her die. People are still treating her like she’s relevant, and since there are too many of them to round them all up and drown them in lava, I’m going to suggest the next best thing: sending a message to her fans that “rational self-interest” is pseudo-intellectual speak for “acting like an entitled asshole”. You know what I find most amusing about the people who think that the talented innovators in our society should “go John Galt” and relocate to an exclusive community where they can create and do genius things unencumbered by the rest of us? They always think they’re the first ones who’d be called away to Rapture—er, I mean, called away by John Galt. In all fairness to Ayn, there are times when I don’t know what I’d do without her. She’s such a ripe vein of comedy that even fifty-plus years after the publication of Atlas Shrugged, jokes about her are still funny. As Dorothy Parker quipped, “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” This is, of course, nothing compared to Whittaker Chambers, who wrote:
“The book’s dictatorial tone is much its most striking feature. Out of an entire lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal . . . From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘To the gas chamber — go!’”
I really wouldn’t hate her so much if she stopped trying to paint herself as a good person who is simply more enlightened than the rest of us. Face it, Ayn: you’re a sociopath. There’s nothing wrong with that. Well, actually there is, but you know what I mean.
9. Angelina Jolie
She probably seems like an odd choice. I understand. She doesn’t seem like a bad person—in fact, I greatly admire all of her humanitarian work. And she’s not a bad actress either, just one whose movie star persona tends to overshadow her talent. So why do I think she should be dead? Even after all these years, she still won’t get her disgusting, filthy, whorish paws off my future husband.
8. People Who Don’t Like Shakespeare
As an English major, I used to meet a fair amount of people who don’t much care for him. After I punched them in the face repeatedly, I explained that reading Shakespeare is not the way to understand him. He is meant to be performed, not read. Believe me, I’ve acted in a handful of his plays and seen more stage and film adaptations than I can count, but even I find reading him to be a little bit dry. Even so, if you can’t appreciate the eloquence of a good speech from Hamlet without hearing it aloud, something’s wrong with you. He’s Western Civilization’s defining playwright. Give him a chance! Really, I’m just tired of people thinking that he’s only accessible to stuffy academics. That man loved a good dick joke, and whenever I can’t understand something he’s written, I just assume it’s sexual. 99% of the time, I’m right.
7. Rick Santorum
My reasoning on this one is slightly different. I mean, sure, Rick Santorum is a loathsome bigot whose idea of a perfect America is one in which everyone is white, uneducated and so sexually repressed that we’re all humping fence posts just to relieve some tension, but he’s already dropped out of the presidential race, and at this point is likely to just fade into obscurity. That’s exactly the problem. I’m not done with him yet. I want him to die so that everyone will start talking about him again. Yes, I found it satisfying to hear his name become the basis of a million and one nasty double entendres, but that’s not enough. We should set aside an entire week in which we do nothing but marvel that such a douchebag could get so far in the presidential race. That that man is not spat upon everywhere he goes is proof positive that a great many Americans are still living in the 19th century. Get back here, you asswipe. I want to see you literally get fucked in the ass.
6. Ron Paul and His Supporters
But only after they’ve talked for more than five minutes.
They’re pretty much the Mormons of our day, in that their origin story is not only ridiculous, but patently false, yet they continue to believe. Jews and Christians at least have the excuse that since their holy stories all supposedly occurred thousands of years ago, it’s impossible to prove or disprove them either way. Scientologists have no such excuse. The religion’s creator made the whole thing up. We have proof. So why does the religion still exist? I’m unclear on this. I liked Tom Cruise a lot more before he was insane. These days, he mostly just runs a lot. Scientology also frustrates me because, unlike Christianity, it isn’t even inspiring. The Gospels, fictional or not, provide a lot of helpful advice on how to live a virtuous life. What does L. Ron Hubbard teach us? That all our problems began with something out of a bad sci-fi novel and that people who practice homosexuality, promiscuity, and BDSM are physically ill. No, really. The sad part is that if this were part of a movie, it would be really great acting.
4. M. Night Shyamalan
I used to defend this man. Yes, I’m one of those people. I loved The Sixth Sense, really liked Unbreakable, and have gone to bat for Signs once or twice, albeit halfheartedly. Hell, I’ll even argue that Lady in the Water is more of an interesting failure than an outright disaster. M. “Night” Shyamalan (not his real middle name, he just thought it sounded cool) is a phenomenally talented director who, early in his career, was compared to both Spielberg and Hitchcock. It wasn’t entirely unwarranted—he could build tension using nothing more than creative camera placement, and had a real gift for coaxing believable and naturalistic performances out of child actors. Had he continued to grow as a filmmaker rather than collapsing under the weight of his own ego, he could have been truly extraordinary. Then came The Happening, a film with the dumbest premise this side of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. After that, there was The Last Airbender, which not only managed to render its wonderful source material flat and dull, but actively showed contempt for it by making it both racist and sexist. Christ, you’d think an Indian-American would have more sensitivity. I guess Manoj was too busy masturbating to his own cameos.
3. People Who Don’t Support Gay Marriage
Notice that I didn’t write “People Who Oppose Gay Marriage”, because they’re bigots and that’s plain to see. I’m talking about people who are still on the fence about it despite the arguments for and against it not changing in the decade-plus since it’s become an issue. No, President Obama, your views are not “evolving”; you’ve made up your mind already. Now say so so that we can move on. This really needs to stop being an issue. The people who support it are always talking about how “it’ll happen”, so I should just relax. No, I won’t. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more. If you are still “thinking critically” about this one, stop. Just…stop. I’m sick of being told that my rights are anything other than sacrosanct. Man the fuck up and do what you know is right. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
2. David Brooks
On some of the blogs I read, the mere mention of this man’s name is enough to make people foam at the mouth. He’s the quintessential self-righteous moderate: a spineless douchebag who believes that no matter what the facts of the situation are, both sides must be a little bit right and a little bit wrong. I’ve seen him contort himself into some truly elaborate logical pretzels to justify this, and it would be hilarious if there weren’t so many people who take him seriously. I mentioned to my mother that I hate his guts, and she sent me one of his saner articles in an apparent attempt to convince me that not everything he says is nonsense. Yeah, and Pat Robertson supports legalizing marijuana. It doesn’t make him any less of a fucktard. I hate David Brooks with the fire of a thousand suns. If I ever meet him, I’ll drag him off to a soundproof room so that I can yell at him until he concedes that he doesn’t really believe what he says, he just says it because telling other people that they aren’t seeing the full truth gives him a stiffy. Could it be that he’s the one who doesn’t see the full truth? No, that’s ridiculous. That would require an admission that he is human and fallible, but we all know that centrists are just more evolved forms of liberals and conservatives. My favorite column of his was one in which he claims that religion and athletics are incompatible. Wait, what? In it, he refers to Jeremy Lin as unique because he is a Christian and a professional athlete. Um, I don’t watch football, and even I’ve heard of Tim Tebow. Although I prefer this picture of him just because, well, you know.
1. Matt Smith
Some of you like him. You need to stop doing so. Do you know why I like the Doctor? He is what he is. No matter what time or place you put him in, he’s basically the same guy. Part of the reason why I think David Tennant is overrated is that you can see him “acting”. He gets the character, sure, but the quality of his performance rises and falls with the scripts, and shouldn’t the Doctor’s individuality reach a little bit deeper than that? Matt Smith is everything that I didn’t like about Tennant increased exponentially. He’s arrogant, smug, insufferably narcissistic, and not half as clever as he thinks he is. Remember when the Doctor was just a scared old man with a TARDIS, stumbling from place to place? Turning him into a superhero who reboots the universe and rewrites history at his convenience isn’t evolution, it’s devolution. Of course, part of the blame for this must lie at the feet of Steven Moffat, who apparently believes that if you just stuff your script full of so many time travel paradoxes that the result should be three hours long rather than one, you’ve got a great Doctor Who script. You don’t. What you have is something so unbearably over-complicated that it’s actually becoming painful for me to keep up with the show. I think Doctor Who should be simple. It’s just a show about an alien and his companion(s) traveling through time and space, after all. It doesn’t have to be Lost. There are some things about which I can agree to disagree with my fellow Whovians. This isn’t one of them. Steven Moffat isn’t a godsend; he’s the worst thing to happen to the series since John Nathan-Turner. At this point, I honestly kind of wish the show would get cancelled. We have fifty years of history. Isn’t that enough?