Monday, December 21, 2015

The Results Are In! The Winners of the 2015 Miserable Crank Awards Are...

What is the Worst Government Decision?
Indiana Religious Freedom Law

What is the Worst Technological Advance?
Amazon Prime Day

What is the Worst Sporting Event?
FIFA Scandal

What is the Most Embarrassing Thing? 
Ahmed And The Clock Bomb

What is the Worst Business Decision? 
Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

What is the Worst Popular Trend? 
Confederate Flag

What is the Worst Incident? 
Paris Attacks

What is the Worst Entertainment? 
Left Shark

Who is the Worst Person? 
Kim Davis

What is the Worst Inconvenience? 
Starbucks Cups

And finally...

 Donald Trump

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Vote Now! The 2015 Miserable Crank Awards: Day Four

Today is the last post for voting for the 2015 Miserable Crank Awards. Go vote for each of the categories now!

Voting for day one includes Government, Technology, Sports, and Embarrassment.

Voting for day two includes Business, Popular Trends, and Incident.

Voting for day three includes Entertainment, Person, and Inconvenience.

Vote in each of the categories above, and then the final vote is below. Remember, this vote is for the absolute worst thing of 2015, regardless of category. You can vote for something different or re-vote for something you voted on an earlier post; it doesn't matter. Whichever gets the most votes below wins the overall award, and whoever the runner up for whatever category it was out of will win that category instead. Remember: you need to vote in the previous three posts (ten categories total) and vote below.

Remember, voting ends on Thursday, December 17th, 2015, so the polls will be open for a full week after today. 

[Voting is now closed.]

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Vote Now! The 2015 Miserable Crank Awards: Day Three

Here are the candidates for day three of voting for the Miserable Crank Awards of 2015.

Left Shark
You know what’s a pretty big deal? The Superbowl. You know what is also a pretty big deal? Katy Perry. Well, your mileage may vary on that, but, still, playing the halftime show at the most-watched event each year is a highlight of anyone’s career. So when Perry put on a hell of a show that featured various beach-themed elements, it was well-received…especially a dancing shark, who was clearly out of his or her depth, flailing around like a fish out of…out of something while the opposing right shark parades around flawlessly.

Ariana Grande
This year’s hot new star, the very young and talented Ariana Grande made quite a few enemies when she was captured on video at a donut shop doing two very unfortunate things: claiming she hated America (apparently based on the metric of donut consumption), and then licking donuts intended for other customers. Aside from the hygienic of the situation, talking trash about your potential customer base can be career-destroying (please see: Chicks, Dixie).

Taylor Swift/Nicki Minaj Feud
Ain’t no feud like a twitter feud, because a twitter feud is an obnoxious waste of time. Two very popular singers, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, got into a relatively minor argument about the MTV Video Music Award nominees, where Minaj made increasingly specific jabs at Swift getting nominated instead of her, and when Swift took the bait Minaj claimed innocence. This eventually spread to a host of other nominees and celebrities with their two cents, which on the surface was fairly good-natured but still drug up issues of race, image, and sexism. Thankfully, just like anything that has even happened on twitter, none of it mattered to a whole lot. 

Adam Sandler's Career
Adam Sandler hasn’t had a great year. Well, he hasn’t had a great decade, industry-wise. His movies haven’t fared particularly well lately (although they tend to still make money), but this year’s Pixels was particularly galling; it was seen as an inventive different take on what Sandler usually does (although, as it turns out, not that much different)and still bombed. More telling, several Native Americans walked off the set of a film currently being shot because of disrespectful jokes concerning Native Americans, the actors apparently not having ever seen an Adam Sandler movie before.

Bill Cosby
One of entertainment’s most iconic performers, Bill Cosby—who ushered in an integrated television show (I Spy), revived the sitcom (The Cosby Show) and proved that unorthodox educational methods, race, and mainstream America could get along quite nicely. Of course, if they hadn’t gotten along quite nicely, Cosby would have finished the job with a glass full of roofies and sexual assault. While the charges are—as always—alleged, the number and volume of accusations reached a point where they could not be effectively ignored.

Stephen Rannazzisi
Comedian Stephen Rannazzisi, known primarily for his role in the basic cable fantasy-football themed sitcom The League and nothing else, has long contended that his backstory (and, in no small part, a reason for his initial success) included being in the Twin Towers on 9/11. Fast forward over ten years later, and when reporters sussed out that the story was highly likely to be untrue (he claimed to work for Merril Lynch, which had no offices in the building) he confessed to making the whole thing up. With The League all but wrapped up for filming, the only immediate consequences was losing out on a sweet advertising campaign for Buffalo Wild Wings. Actions have consequences, and those consequences sometimes means not being paid in spicy chicken wings.
Donald Trump
Where to start with who is, as of the time of this writing, the frontrunner for the nomination to the Presidency by a major political party in America? Maybe we can stop at his announcement speech, where he threw Mexicans under the bus, or maybe we can stop at him calling out John McCain because he was captured  or maybe we can stop at him giving out rival Lindsey Graham’s home phone number, or inferring that Megyn Kelly was menstruating when moderating a GOP debate. And that’s just up through August! 

Kim Davis 
After the Supreme Court declared that gay marriage was legal in all 50 states, some individuals, it should be said, did not agree. Most people relegated their frustrations via poorly-thought out Facebook status updates or reserved anger until Thanksgiving dinner with distant relatives. But Kim Davis is nothing if not an overachiever; she extended her outrage into not performing the duties of her job, which, as the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, is to, in part, issue marriage licenses. In refusing to issue same-sex documents (but also not resigning her post), she started a firestorm of protest across the nation. 

Walter Palmer
Big-game enthusiast and (apparently) highly lucrative dentist Walter Palmer decided to travel to Africa to bag him a lion. What Palmer didn't know--or chose not to find out--is that Zimbabwe is a soulless mass of corruption and sleaze, and relying to "local guides" to help him snag his trophy probably was a bad idea. So when he bagged the famed lion, a beloved tourist attraction in the fields of Africa, the international outrage was swift and loud, and conservationists took a long hard look in the mirror. And the world wrote poems and sang sad songs about...wait, what was the lion's name again? We all knew it this past summer like he was our best friend, right? 

Rachel Dolezal 
Rachel Dolezal was the head of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. So imagine everyone's surprise when it turns out that she was, um, white. Dolezal claimed that she "identifies" as black, which, while a little weird, most people can navigate through after a while, but one can't get past the rather obvious lies she had to create to get to where she was at. This, sadly, included accusations of people discriminating against her because she was black (which, to repeat, she was not), and it took almost six months before she would publicly declare that she was born white. 

California Drought 
For years, California was seen as the paradise of America—it’s where all the rich and glamorous people live. Even the industry is glamorous, being a major producer of wine and pistachios. This all came to an end, however, as a massive, months-long drought hit the Golden State. After the water tables were depleted and the poor people curtailed their usage, the major farms who decided to grow crops next to a desert suddenly found themselves in hot—well, not water, I guess. Crop insurance will make sure most of them will stay in business to cause this to happen again in a few years, so it looks like it all worked itself out. Well, when it starts to rain again.

Runaway Blimp 
There was a modest amount of slow-moving and extremely avoidable danger late this year when the military lost control of a blimp. That’s right—a blimp. No, this isn’t the Miserable Crank Awards from 1906. The blimp—apparently used to detect missile attacks, which is not a joke—became untethered, dragging a mile-long length of cable and causing property damage, knocking out power, and forcing the delays of airline trips. If ISIS has penetrated the US to the point where missile attacks are likely in the panhandle of Maryland and central Pennsylvania, we’re in big trouble.

Starbucks Cup
Poor Starbucks. The ubiquitous coffee chain that shows up on every street corner (literally) has tried, in recent times, to make some waves. They bombed earlier in the year by encouraging patrons to engage in a dialogue about race—because the one thing people want when they’re picking up their coffee is not convenience or price but to slow everything down and discussing a highly contentious issue that has nothing to do with serving ground up beans. After that fiasco, they decided to play it safe with unadorned Christmas cups—igniting the ire of (an admittedly extremely small) number of Christian groups who felt they were erasing the holiday—er, I specifically mean Christmas.

Twitter's Like Icon 
The highly popular social media application Twitter—tailor-made for quick access and even quicker consumption—has long been able to remain popular due to the ease of sharing and promoting content. So imagine everyone’s surprise when the historically pleasing “like” option, where one simply taps on a tweet to signify approval without actually having to rely on human-to-human interaction, went from the familiar star to the more awkward heart. Not a big deal to most, one assumes, but stars are universal—no, literally, they are what make up the universe. Hew3arts, on the other hand, carry certain connotations that people go to twitter to specifically avoid. 

Clickbait—the obnoxious attention-grabbing articles with sensationalistic headlines that compel people to read an internet article—have been around for a while; hell, they’ve been around since the first internet opened up in, like, 1980 or whatever. But it’s been honed down to a craft at this point, with ad revenue being maximized via things like slideshows and link farms, and the ease in which these articles can be shared in social media, especially Facebook, acts as a force multiplier. Sites such as Buzzfeed have grown exponentially this year because of tactics like these, so it appears as though we’re stuck with it for CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE ON. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT COMES NEXT!

[Voting is now closed.]

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Vote Now! The 2015 Miserable Crank Awards: Day Two

Here are the candidates for day two of voting for the Miserable Crank Awards of 2015.

Lilly for Target
Do you know a way to get a bunch of bored housewives mad? First, you get them all excited about a product line that is supposed to be hip but is really just the rehashed commercialization of modern middle-class kitsch. Then, you announce the day it's going to be released. Then it sells out in days so most of them can't get their hands on it. Then it turns out a bunch of people bought all the stock and resold it on eBay for higher prices. Then you make these customers realize that their irrational demand for mediocre products makes them no better than the rubes at Wal-Mart they think they are superior than. 

Exchange Rate Fixing Scandal
The Forex scandal--Forex standing for "Economic Term No One Understands"--hit the international markets this past year. Forex deals with the exchange rates between banks. As should come as a surprise to no one, there was a scandal of manipulating these rates for their own gain, using loopholes to set rates before the actual rates were revealed. This year, the banks themselves pleaded guilty and paid heavy fines for their role in the matter. 

Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
The German automobile maker, heretofore as having a reliable if mildly expensive reputation, took a huge hit when it was revealed that the emission sensors on their vehicles were rigged, claiming they created significantly less pollution than they actually did. The head of VW was sacked and a settlement was reached but not before they took a huge hit to their standing in the industry. 

THERANOS! sounds like a futuristic company, the sort of thing Lex Luthor heads. And for many, it was sold like that. A medical company that does...something with blood testing managed to net millions of investor money and billions in worth and snags former Secretaries of State and Senators on their board. Except that it turns out their devices have not only not been scrutinized by any agencies or peer reviews, but, it appears that absolutely zero data has been released showing that the thing actually works. 

Radio Shack Files For Bankruptcy
Remember the 80's? Radio Shack sure does, because they've been there ever since...well, even since the 80's ended. It's always been an enigma how the place managed to stay open so long; in a world with massive leaps in technology and huge cuts in the cost of manufacturing such things, Radio Shack remained wedded to selling overpriced audio equipment, cheaply made remote control cars, and weirdly pushy sales clerks. About the only thing they were successful at in the last two decades was monopolizing the zip code gathering industry. Finally, after decades of question marks, they finally filed for bankruptcy this year, hoping to reorganize into something resembling Best Buy right before Best Buy goes out of business. 

Differently Colored Dress
Moving swiftly across the internet, the popular image of a dress showed up in everyone's feed. Why a dress? The dress was either blue and black or white and gold, depending on...well, no one knows. Heated debates broke out about the color of the dress, and disagreements still linger to this day for people who dare to repost the image. The real winners, of course, were science-based web sites, who got all excited because they could post an article people would actually read.

Man Buns
It's the new hairstyle--for men! After years of hipsters keeping their hair short, they've liberated themselves and grow out their hair. Except with a combination of EXPERIMENTING WITH APPEARANCES AS STATEMENTS, SMASHING SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS, and NOT WANTING TO SPEND TIME ON THEIR HAIR, they've popularized the man bun. Man Bun: For when you don't want people to respect you because you're dressed like a unemployed lumberjack, you want them to not respect you because of your choice in hairstyle. 

Llama Escape
Nothing breaks up a workday then sitting in the break room watching the television and following a bunch of llamas escape and run through an Arizona retirement community. Where were they going? Who knows? Probably back to Australia or wherever llamas are from. 

Confederate Flag
After a racist asshole opened fire in a church in South Carolina, there was a renewed push to remove the confederate flag from official state emblems and flags across the deep south. For most of the nation who has decided to move on past 1865, this was both a no-brainer and a non-issue. Sadly, for many in the south, and a surprising number of northern folks, the Stars and Bars was suddenly held up with a high level of esteem and pride, as if they had them themselves just walked off the battlefield of Chancellorsville. Most people just can't understand why waving around the flag of racists and, yes, official, recorded-in-the-history-books losers was something they'd want to do in the first place. There are plenty of awesome Southern things that can be pointed to with pride, like Coke and the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Go Set A Watchman
After decades, the long-awaited sequel to one of the most iconic books of American history, To Kill A Mockingbird was finally released. Well, maybe not long-awaited since no one really knew it existed. And really not a sequel as much as it is a first draft. And maybe it wasn't really ready to go because the author didn't really seem like it was something that should have been published. And maybe it was published only because the estate pushed for it to be published against her wishes--or her wishes are unknown because she is elderly and senile. In any case, have fun writing that book report.

Paris Attacks
The year started off poorly for the residents of Paris, France. An attack on a popular satirical media house—Charlie Hebdo—sparked international outrage and a focus on the world stage of preventing further attacks by militant Islamists. Almost a year later, a coordinated attack by ISIS on a Paris concert hall and other venues left over a hundred dead. The attack highlighted several issues, from appropriate response to security concerns to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. 

Mass Shootings
2015 saw a significant increase in the number of high-profile mass shootings, from the racially charged shootings at a church in South Carolina, an assault at a military center in Tennessee, an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, and a religion-based attack in California. These attacks brought attention to a variety of issues ranging from gun control to mental health. 

The worst fears of most airline travelers were realized earlier this year, as one of the pilots on a plane with the Germanwings airline intentionally crashed the plane into the Alps, carrying around 150 passengers and crew. All of those on board perished. The co-pilot had a history of severe depression and thoughts of suicide, and the parent company Lufthansa was left trying to answer questions as to how something like this could slip through all off the operational protocols. 

Refugee Crisis
After years of civil war, millions of Syrians fled their war-torn country as refugees, traveling the globe and attempting to settle in faraway lands to escape the violence. This influx brought with it logistical nightmares—but also a significant amount of political and cultural strife, as European nations began balking at accepting Muslim immigrants at a time when both Muslims and immigration were hot topics. Most (though not all) of the leaders in Europe opened the borders as the right thing to do, although not without opposition; after the Paris attacks, the issue spilled over to the United States, where opinions were sharp, varied, and vocal. 

Nepal Earthquake
Earthquakes are rotten disasters to deal with; they are impossible to prevent, they create unique structural challenges, and the cleanup after the fact is monumentally difficult and expensive. When it hits one of the few nations on earth that is notoriously difficult to access, it makes it all the worse. Tens of thousands were injured, and half that number dead, while most of the world offered help that it was practically impossible for Nepal to take.

[Voting is now closed.]

Monday, December 7, 2015

Vote Now! The 2015 Miserable Crank Awards: Day One

It's time for the 6th annual Miserable Crank awards, where we determine the worst events of the year!

The categories are:
  • Worst Government Decision 
  • Worst Technological Advance
  • Worst Sports Event
  • Worst Embarrassment
  • Worst Business Decision
  • Worst Popular Trend
  • Worst Incident
  • Worst Entertainment
  • Worst Person
  • Worst Inconvenience
Simply vote for one candidate in each category over the next three days. Then, you can vote again for any one event as the "Worst Thing About 2015" on day four. On that day, you can vote for the same candidate as you had in the past or a different one; it's up to you. Whichever one wins the overall vote wins the Worst Event, and whoever the runner-up is in that category wins that category instead. I retain a little bit of judgement and discretion on this one, however, since not all of the candidates are appropriate.

(The second day of voting is for Business, Popular Trends, and Incidents.The third day of voting is for Entertainment, Person, and Inconvenience.)

Voting will end on Thursday, December 17th. The results will be posted the following Monday.

Hillary Clinton's Private Email Accounts
Hillary Clinton, who--if you aren't aware, is running for President--has had a bit of a rough go of it. While she is still the frontrunner, she has been dogged for years over her handling of communications. During her time as Secretary of State (remember that?) she used an unsecured email account for official business, which is something federal employees really shouldn't be doing--official documentation and all that. According to her team, she didn't use any classified information on this account, but according to Republicans she might as well have pasted her password (hunter2, one presumes) on her Google Plus account. We can all agree that, regardless of your political leanings, that Hillary is the sort of person to use a Google Plus account, right?    

Indiana Religious Freedom Law
Not much goes in the Hoosier State--a little bit of basketball, a little bit of David Letterman, and a whole lot of Gary, Indiana. So imagine everyone's surprise when they passed a law that would prevent even more things from happening--namely, not serving people who (whatever the code words were for being gay.) After a backlash, the law was effectively amended as to be useless, but by then the damage was done, and most of the nation could get back to forgetting that Indiana exists.     
Anthrax Shipments
We don't expect much from our government here in America; we're used to having the powers that be hold a recklessly cavalier attitude about daily governance. A government that does little is best, so they say. That said, citizens do have a bit of a problem when the incompetence of the government actively causes harm, as it did when it mistakenly shipped out dozens of live anthrax cultures to labs--you know, the exact sort of thing that a decade ago sent the entire nation into a panic. If nothing else, the recipients were all labs capable of handling the poison, but still.  

Greek Bailout
There's some old saying--by Socrates, I believe--about throwing good money after bad. Third time's the charm, after all. Greece, which has been on the verge of anarchic mayhem for roughly a decade now, has begged for, and received, yet another bailout by the EU. And by the EU, I mean mostly Germany. Granted, this was after the Greek people roundly defeated a public referendum to get the bailout with what every other person in the room considered modest reforms, so the the chances of this one succeeding any differently than the last two bailouts are slim at best. 

Central Command Gets Hacked 
We expect our armed forces to be at least somewhat prepared for unexpected attacks, but apparently that doesn't extend to social media. CENTCOM covers (surprise!) the Middle East, and as such their Twitter account was hacked and converted to a pro-ISIS mouthpiece, including an avatar that stated (I am not making this up) "I love you ISIS." They then proceeded to tell all the followers that "You won't BELIEVE what the Jihadists have in store for America! (#3 will cause you to EXPLODE!)"

AOL-Verizon Merger 
AOL, the once-proud internet service company, is merging with Verizon, the once-proud leader in communications. In theory, it's a merging of synergies--the old landline system with a bolted-on telecommunications center and the new digital master of the modern age joined together for a communications behemoth. And yet once one knocks all the cobwebs off the merger, they're going to find even more cobwebs, because none of these companies have had anything close to synergy for decades. And one half expects Time Warner to make drunk phone calls to the new company at 3 am. 

Amazon Prime Day
It was hyped as being the single greatest sale of the history of the universe—Amazon, the king of online retailing, was holding a sale that rivaled Black Friday in total dealage. People waited patiently, refreshing their browser, tagging their favorite items—only to find out most of the deals were on generic detergent and 144-packs of canned peaches. Aside from a few mid-range electronics, most of the sales lacked the flashy buzz of, well, pretty much every other sale in existence save the occasional Martin Luther King, Jr Mattress Sale.

Windows 10
A new upgrade to Windows—for free (at first), no less!—is a hard thing to complain about, but leave it to Microsoft to ballsack it up anyway. While the upgrade itself was relatively harmless (and useful), it got pushed to customers more or less without their approval, causing some customers on limited bandwidth plans to get outrageous bills form their providers. In addition, they chose to take it off the market in response, which served to confuse the non-confused users even more.

New iPhone Design
Another year, another round of questionable decisions by the iPhone design staff. One's gut is willing to give them a pass--what with them designing the single greatest electronic device in recorded history--and yet let's not forget that someone made the world's greatest punchcard machine at one point, too. Some of the new ideas--no headphone jack being the biggest issue--perplexed even the company's biggest fans.

CMU Admissions Procedure
In a spectacular moment of pure hubris, Carnegie Mellon University--the place where robots are building robots that will eventually take your job--had their own major flare-up. One would think their tech team would be on top of, well, everything, and yet somehow the university managed to send out over 800 false acceptance letters to 800 pasty-faced, broken-hearted nerds. They blamed it on "human error," a blatant lie since no human has worked there for decades, but it sounds better than "The algorithm in the AI for our Admissions Department was flawed." If that isn't rolling a 20 on a 20-sided die, I don't know what is.

Woe be the lowly Patriots! Having had to wait almost a decade to not win every single Superbowl ever, and even suffered a humiliating and completely unfair loss only a few years ago, they finally made it to the championship game based on their own merit and skill. Oh, and, possibly, by cheating. The method of cheating in this case was the deflating of footballs, which apparently makes it easier for some quarterbacks and/or receivers to handle. The Patriots are no stranger to cheating being accused of cheating in football games, so this incident wasn't simply brushed off--and to many, the behavior after the fact was much worse than the crime itself.  

Mayweather-Paquino Fight
Boxing is supposed to be exciting, right? Two trained professionals hamming it up before the fight, getting everyone to pay insane amounts of money to see it on cable, and then watching two grown men who should know better beat the ever-loving shit out of eat other. Well, that is what is expected, but that's not what most fan believed they got in what was billed as the "Fight of the Century," a bold claim in 2015. Floyd Mayweather played defensively (read: boring) while Paquino failed to land much by way of offense (read: boring) and the bout was scored the old-fashioned way, by boring judges. To top it all off, not one ear was bitten off.

FIFA Scandal
Soccer--or, rather, what Europeans call "football" and Americans call "What's in the next channel?"--has long had FIFA as its governing body, including running the highly lucrative World Cup. It's also long been accused of being a corrupt pit of dark arts and chicanery, all of which came to a head this year as fourteen (and counting) high-ranking officials were indicted on charges of racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud. In fact, as you are reading this, six more executives have been charged.  

Qatar World Cup
While the financial scandals are the ghost of FIFA past, let's look at the ghost of FIFA future. Qatar--a nation not known for hosting large, logistically intense foreigners--won the World Cup hosting privileges for 2022. To prepare, they had to build a series of stadiums and other supporting buildings in their copious arable land. Qatar, however, has had a few logistically intense issues of their own, but instead of soccer players being paid millions of dollars to kick a leather bladder around, they're scooping up foreign slaves to build stuff. Allegedly. 

DraftKings and FanDuel
If you've watched any football this year, you've no doubt seen some commercials for both DraftKings and FanDuel. And when I say "some commercials" I mean "100,000 commercials." The for-pay fantasy football site has come under fire for a variety of reasons: it's technically gambling in many states, which is, um, illegal; but more importantly allegations that insiders at DraftKings were using the data to win money for themselves, which is also, um, illegal. (Apparently the workers at FanDuel know better or else aren't as good at cheating.) 

Ahmed And The Clock Bomb
When 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed built a clock, he was proud of it; so proud that he brought it to school to show his teachers. The engineering teacher approved; the English teacher, not so much. And when the principal got hold of it--well, watch out, cause the cops are getting called! Islam + electronic device = potential threat! While there's some debate about intentions--Ahmed's father is a known political troublemaker--what isn't under dispute by most individuals is that the administration and the cops, who proceeded with a full-on arrest of a minor, mug shot and all, overreacted in the worst possible way.
Brian Williams, War Hero
Respected news anchor Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News found himself in trouble after it was found that some of his claims about the Iraq War were false--specifically, that a helicopter he was in was fired at by enemy forces. Journalists, who are generally expected to err more on the side of truth than fiction, don't have a whole lot of leeway about this, especially the sort of story that could easily be fact-checked like this one. Williams lost his job, but quickly bounced back, a testament to both his reputation and/or the rather thin excuse for journalism that exists today. 

The Duggars 
The Duggar family, known primarily as that family that has enough kids to field the number of people in the TLC Network executive’s room it took to OK a reality TV series featuring the Duggar family, has always had its fair share of controversy, although up until this year the complaints were largely in the realm of small-ball low-grade nataliphobia. Well, that all came to a screeching, uncomfortable halt when it was revealed that Josh Duggar, the oldest of the brood, was accused of molesting two of his many, many sisters. Their TV show was taken off the air and criminal charges are pending and the family was reduced to a meager few career options, which boil down to 1) Christian musicians traveling between Branson, MO and Salt Lake City or 2) invading force large enough to conquer Hobby Lobby.

Subway Spokesman
Jared Fogel, the nice-enough guy who rode to fame as the spokesman for the Subway chain of restaurants, is a proper American cultural icon. He’s been around forever, starring in Superbowl commercials and showing up in bit-part cameos in movies about sharks and/or tornados, all hanging off of his (admittedly impressive) claim of losing a lot of weight. Sadly, it turns out he has other interests that involve child pornography, and so his long, inexplicable life in the spotlight came to an end this year.

The View Vs Nurses 
The View, a show where four miserable women complain to other miserable women, received a fair amount of criticism due to some throwaway comments while discussing the Miss America Pageant—comments that basically dismissed nursing as “not a talent” after a contestant claimed as such. Since there's nothing more that miserable women love than to make everyone else miserable as well, the story barrelled through social media at lightning speed.

[Voting is now closed.]