We’re worried about you. You’re sitting by the fire with a hot toddy. Most of your family has retreated since the holidays, and you’re enjoying your first really quiet time since the first Republican debate. Your blood pressure, which has been pegged in the red all year, is dangerously low. Not to worry: While we still have a few days left of this bruising year, let’s revisit 15 of the people who made us grind our teeth and bark at our computer screens in 2015.
You’ll notice one very conspicuous absence here — a man whose assholiness is so well-documented as to need no help from us. Otherwise, the gang’s all here: bigots, gun-toting dentists and assemblywomen, cultural appropriators, environmental plunderers and one pharmaceutical bandit. OK, deep breath. Here we go.
In March, a video surfaced showing some loathsome wannabe frat stars aboard a party bus pumping their fists and chanting: “There will never be a ni**** in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.“ They were students at the University of Oklahoma, which promptly expelled them when their cheerful racism was made public. Not a whole lot to say about those individuals except: good fucking riddance.
When a 13-year-old black-maned lion named Cecil was illegally lured from his sanctuary in Zimbabwe, wounded by an arrow, tracked for 40 hours and then shot, skinned and decapitated, the world demanded a name. Enter 55-year-old dentist and big-game hunter Walter Palmer. It takes but one glance at a photo of the once magnificent Cecil the Lion to understand why Palmer had to essentially go into hiding — getting a taste of what it feels like to be hunted, as some critics have aptly noted — following the release of his name to the public.
Volkswagen has long been a model of efficient engineering, so it’s especially maddening to watch the stalwart German brand fuck up now, when hybrids are proliferating and electric cars are evolving at such a good clip. Back in September, we learned that VW had equipped hundreds of thousands of its deisel models with software designed to cheat emissions tests. The man responsible for this wise and noble use of resources? The jury’s still out on the culpability of acting CEO Martin Winterkorn, who promptly resigned, but a handful of insiders interviewed by Reuters suggested that the "climate of fear” Winterkorn instilled was to blame. If only there were a German word for “harmful joy.”
Seemingly overnight, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis achieved international fame for the worst reasons. You couldn’t write a character more infuriating than Davis, whose deluded, self-righteous refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples this summer spit in the face of both progress and the democratic process. It was only the smallest consolation that Davis served five days in jail for disobeying a federal court order. News of her clandestine meeting with Pope Francis in Washington — and her lawyer’s subsequent gloating on her behalf — only made her more revolting, if that was even possible.
Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky made waves in 2015 by signing a fashion model deal, booking a TV project with Comedy Central and stealing a crap load of jokes. It’s that last part that we have the problem with. TFJ subsequently lost his Comedy Central deal because of the backlash against his rampant joke-stealing.
Valentino’s fashion show for spring/summer 2016 featured mostly white models walking the runway wearing cornrows. The show was said to be “Africa-inspired.” Specifically, the show’s notes said the “primitive…spiritual, yet regal” collection was inspired by “wild, tribal Africa,” and that it was a “journey to the beginning of time and the essential of primitive nature.” From the view over here, the great minds designing clothes at Valentino seem to be less inspired by Africa than by a white colonial fantasy.
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years in the world of video games, which makes it more important than ever that gamers act as rational adults so that games can be taken seriously by the rest of the world. Or we could do what the game developers at Destructive Creations did and make a game where you go on a shooting spree, playing a mass murderer who looks like a cheap knock-off of Dethklok’s Nathan Explosion. Luckily the game was complete shit; nevertheless, thanks for setting us back 20 years, you douche bags.
Almost everyone knows who Hulk Hogan is. The most famous wrestler of all time is known for his Harley-sized mustache, his bald head and his cartoonish showboating. Well, we can now add notorious racist to that list as well. The WWE severed ties with Hogan after video emerged of the Hulkster dropping several N-bombs. Unfortunately, this probably made him more popular amongst parts of their key demographic.
It’s really, really hard to watch the viral footage of Hungarian camerawoman Petra Laszlo tripping and kicking Syrian refugees without letting your blood pressure shoot through the roof. The video shows Laszlo filming a man, who is clutching his young son in his arms and running desperately, before the camerawoman pauses and sticks out her leg to trip them. The refugee falls on top of his child, and you can see the young boy crying in pain while Laszlo continues to film them. If that wasn’t enough, Laszlo is now suing this Syrian refugee.
At this point, using “Martin Shkreli” and “asshole” in the same sentence is both a cliché and a redundancy. The 32-year-old hedge funder and biopharmaceutical exec has combined financial chicanery, potentially lethal price-gouging and Trump levels of social media dick-swinging; as cocktails of arrogance in 2015 go, it’s a Long Island Ice Tea with a flaming Bacardi 151 top. Now that he’s under indictment for securities fraud, resulting in his ouster as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, we can only hope that justice is swift, and that the public loathing doesn’t prove too much for a guy who, beneath that grin, seems desperately nervous and lonely.
Devo bassist and singer Jerry Casale got married on September 11 and celebrated his nuptials with a cake modeled after the Twin Towers and adorned with the couple’s faces. Party favors for the themed wedding event — which, let’s be clear, took place on the 14th anniversary of the day that took 2,977 lives — gifted box cutters as party favors. When photos of the soiree became public, Casale took to Twitter to defend himself. “Deep apologies for all offended,” he wrote. “There is a real explanation and its [sic] not what you think. Surprise cake and pix to TMZ was a set up. TBC…”
Nothing spreads festive, wholesome Christmas spirit like… a picture of your family armed with semi-automatic weapons? Nevada Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore posted this Christmas card to her Facebook page a day before the shooting in San Bernardino and just days after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. The message that accompanies Fiore’s family photo reads, “It’s up to Americans to protect America. We’re just your ordinary American family. With love & liberty, Michele". With all due respect, Michele, few things are more terrifying than a small child smiling and holding a gun.
Floyd Mayweather retired this year with a perfect 49-0 record all-time. But the undefeated boxer will probably be remembered less for his flawless skills in the ring and more so for being an intolerable douche. He refused to face many of his toughest opponents until after their primes (see this year’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for proof of this) and finished his career by fighting a complete unknown in Andre Berto. If Floyd were to come back and either re-face Pacquiao or take on Canelo Alvarez again, he could possibly repair some of his a-hole reputation.
Nic, Nic, Nic, what have you done? You took one of the most highly regarded shows on television and turned it into the laughing stock of the Internet. I’m talking about Nic Pizzolatto, of course, the creator of True Detective and the driving force behind the terribleness that was season 2. It’s difficult to pin a show’s failure on one person, but not so difficult when that person is the executive producer, sole writer and showrunner. Without the guidance of season 1’s director Cary Fukunaga, Pizzolatto was left to lead True Detective season 2 to a morose, confusing and boring Dumpster.
After everything else that happened in 2015, the last thing we needed was the Point Break remake perpetrated by director Ericson Core and screenwriter Kurt Wimmer. Even if it had been the most amazing movie of the year — and judging by the reviews, it definitely was not — Point Break was already a perfect movie. And the new version, which turns Johnny Utah into a motocross star and Bodhi into an environmentalist, completely missed the point of the original — which, again, is a masterpiece. For shame, Hollywood. For shame.