Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

The end of the year; when most people start to compile Top 10 lists to show some of the advancements over the last 365 days. Most detail technological advances, political achievements, celebrity happenings or entertainment, but they all forget about the most important parts of our lives: dicks.

Sure, you can call them dicks, dick-heads, assholes or pieces of shit, but it's these human piles of excrement that truly advance our society, by making us angry enough to want to make a difference in the world. So, it's in this spirit, that we present to you our list of the Top 10 Dicks of 2009.

It should be noted here that several of the people on this list have a litigious history, and have been known to sue people who disagree with them, or say things about them that they don't like. Let it be known here that the following article is commentary on the events of 2009, and is being used for the purposes of entertainment, and thus falls under the category of free speech. In absolutely no way is this a call for the public to do harm to any of the people or organizations on this list, and thus cannot be classified as hateful speech.

10. Milton Bradley (the baseball player, not the board game company)

Sure, he's a passable player, and he did command a salary of $10 million in 2009, making him one of the more expensive hitters in the League, but that's not why he's here. He's here because he's a dick.

Since joining the Montreal Expos in 2000, Bradley has been traded eight times. You could say it's his temper, his violent streak or his tendency for confrontation that leads him to get moved around. That was certainly the case in 2009 when he was playing for the Chicago Cubs.

I know, this is the first thing that popped into my head too.
I know, this is the first thing that popped into my head too.

Bradley was interviewed complaining about his team, the reporters and the fans, blaming them for his poor performance and saying that:

"It's just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. There's too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly. Everything is just bashing you. You got out there and you play harder than anybody on the field and never get credit for it. It's just negativity.

"And you understand why they haven't won in 100 years here, because it's negative. It's what it is."

His teammates disagreed. Outfielder Reed Johnson agreed and was quoted as saying "That's just something that's intolerable to me, to blame the fans and the other things that were blamed."

Good use for $10 million: two chicks at the same time.
Good use for $10 million: two chicks at the same time.

For Cubs management, that was the last straw. After several injuries and a history of poor sportsmanship, he was suspended for the rest of the year and later traded to Seattle for the 2010 season.

If somebody was paying you $10 million a year to play a game, you'd probably be one of the happiest people out there, but not Milton Bradley. He bit the hand that fed him, and landed himself a spot as one of 2009's most notable dicks.

9. Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is not a nice guy, and certainly not grounded in reality. His apocalyptic views of the world seem to resonate with certain people though, which has afforded him both a television and a radio show as well as several book deals. Not bad for a guy who relies primarily on what would be considered shady tactics.

Shady you ask? How so? Well, let's take a quote from his radio show dated April 30, 2007:

"Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. ...You need to have fear. You needed to have the fear of starvation. You needed to have the fear of the whole place going to hell in a handbasket. Which - do we have that fear now with global warming?...Then you have to discredit the scientists that say 'That's not right.' And you must silence all dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did. That's what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing]."

It's official: this guy's a looney...or possibly mentally retarded.
It's official: this guy's a looney...or possibly mentally retarded.

As you can see from the quote, Beck is a master of comparing apples with nazis or global warming activists with oranges. The main point is that he has a habit of making people think the worst of something by implication.

Well, continual use of that kind of rhetoric got a lot of people upset, so in September of 2009, a man by the name of
Isaac Eiland-Hall decided to call attention to the problem by creating a website called

The name comes from a joke Gilbert Gottfried made at the comedy roast of Bob Saget, making it the first time that Gilbert Gottfried was relevant. Within the first day the site had 120,000 page loads.

"Look at me now Ma!  I'm culturally relevant!"
"Look at me now Ma! I'm culturally relevant!"

By the 3rd of September, Beck's lawyers started to take legal action and tried to have the site shut down, and when that failed, they tried arbitration through WIPO, an agency of the UN. On October 29th, WIPO ruled in Eiland-Hall's favor, saying that parody did not constitute libel.

Eiland-Hall even went so far as to then voluntarily give Beck control of the website after the ruling. Beck's lawyers declined to comment on the matter.

Glenn Beck has secured a spot on this list for being unable to take a joke, to the extreme of suing the person telling it.

8. Jack Thompson

Bet you thought you'd heard the last of him eh? If you're not in the know, Jack Thompson has a history of being a dick. His main shtick is suing video game manufacturers for making violent games, which he says contributes to violent children.

In his career, he has blamed video games, movies and pornography for contributing to violence (as opposed to placing the blame on the people committing said violence). Notably he has sued Rockstar, makers of the Grand Theft Auto series of games, and even going so far as to mail a hateful letter to the mother of Rockstar's president Straus Zelnick on Mother's Day in 2008.

Uhh...Jack, you got a little something there...
Uhh...Jack, you got a little something there...

He also reneged on a pledge to donate $10,000 to charity if a video game was created to his specifications (and to fit his agenda), which was later fulfilled by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of the webcomic Penny Arcade.

But the douche-baggery doesn't stop there. He's also had a history of filing suits against The Florida Bar, claiming that it was unconstitutional because it infringed on his religious beliefs and is famous for submitting filings with swastikas and cartoons on them and in the opinion of the Florida Supreme Court, incomprehensible arguments.

It wasn't much of a surprise when in 2008, he was permanently disbarred in Florida (and thus not legally allowed to practice law there).

So, it finally did come as a surprise when, despite being disbarred, Thompson filed a $40 million lawsuit against the social networking site Facebook because comments made by users about him caused him "great harm" and "distress", and this is coming from a man who tried to get both the Seattle Police Department and FBI to investigate somebody who had sent him flowers.

To Mr. Thompson, these constitute criminal behavior.
To Mr. Thompson, these constitute criminal behavior.

And the best part of this story: due to the US Communications Decency Act, which was passed in 1996, Facebook isn't liable for the comments made on their site by visitors, and thus Thompson has likely lost his case before it even started.

So, for yet another frivolous lawsuit, in the face of dozens of failures and disbarment, Jack Thompson earns a spot on this list (and possibly jail time in 2010 for practicing law without a license).

7. Many members of the UK Parliament

Sometimes, it's not just one person being a dick, but an entire group. That's what happened in the UK, when a large portion of their parliament was caught up in an expenses scandal this year.

The Daily Telegraph, a newspaper in the UK, broke one hell of a story when they discovered that many of the Ministers of Parliament (MPs) had been using their allowances and expenses inappropriately.

How inappropriate are we talking here?

Derek Conway the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup was found to have been employing his son as a part-time assistant in his office for three years at a salary of £10,000 (approximately $16,012 USD) despite the boy being an full time student at Newcastle University.

Caroline Spelman, who was the Chairman of the Conservative Party at the time was paying for her nanny out of her expenses between 1997 and 1998.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary was found to have claimed expenses for two pay-per-view porno movies for her husband, who watched them while she was away.

HER husband needed porn?  Say it ain't so Jacqui!
HER husband needed porn? Say it ain't so Jacqui!

Needless to say, people were pissed. Some politicians apologized, many who were caught were forced to repay some or all of the money spent and several resigned or retired from their positions.

So, the number 7 spot on this list goes out to all those MPs who were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Proving that no matter how wrong something is, people will keep doing it until they're caught. These MPs will have to buy their own pornos from now on.

6. The Executives at AIG

It's hard to pick on just one company that was implicated in the near collapse of the US economy, but the number 6 spot on the list goes to those unapologetic assholes at AIG who incited populist rage (kind of like what I'm doing now) by spending what many considered to be frivolous amounts while receiving a bailout loan from the US government to keep their company from going bankrupt.

It's also very difficult to explain AIG's place in the grand scheme of the collapse in a few short sentences. Consider if you will a case of a couple of kids in a store. Kid 1 wants to buy a candy bar, but he can't afford it. Kid 2 not only offers to give him a loan (with interest), but he also convinces Kid 1 to borrow more money to get a more expensive candy bar.

Kid 1 borrows the money and buys his candy bar, and Kid 2 is left with an IOU. Kid 2 then turns around and sells the IOU for a quick profit based on the speculation that Kid 1 is going take a certain period of time paying it back, and thus will have to pay a certain amount of interest.

This keeps going on and on for a while, and the IOU keeps changing hands for more and more money based on the idea that the loan will eventually be paid off. Kid 1 then moves to another city and leaves his debt unpaid. Now it turns out the IOU won't be paid off, and the interest is lost. But that's not the worst of it. Several people who had been buying the IOU in this period had been borrowing money to do so, in the hopes that they would be able to pay it off when the IOU was paid. Since that doesn't happen, a whole bunch of people are left unable to pay off their IOUs and the system collapses.

I know that's a bit simplistic, but the idea is the same. Money was loaned, the debt was traded on speculation that never paid off and people were left holding comically large bags.

So, AIG ended up losing $61.7 billion for the final three quarters of 2008 and needed to receive bailout money in excess of $122 billion to keep afloat. So, what did they do?

They went on a fucking vacation.

AIG, and its CEO Edward M. Liddy ended up defending:

  • A California retreat ($440,000)
  • An English hunting trip ($86,000)
  • A trip to an Arizona resort ($343,000)
  • These three vacations ended up costing the company $869,000, which is just a drop in the bucket compared to the $122 billion in loans they had taken out with the US Government (this particular drop was much less than 1% of the loans). The effect of them apparently astounded the management at AIG, who hadn't realized that spending more than many people make in a year on vacations while claiming to be going bankrupt tends to piss people off, especially when their tax money is going towards preventing said bankruptcy.

    Artist's rendering of the AIG executives.
    Artist's rendering of the AIG executives.

    But all this happened in 2008. So, why are the AIG executives on the list?

    Because after all the backlash from the vacations, and the apologizing, they did it again by spending $165 million in executive bonuses, with news of total bonuses of approximately $1.2 billion. Granted, this is still a drop in the bucket (0.1% of the loans for the executives, 0.9% overall), but it was a much larger drop and for a much stupider reason.

    AIG executives are paid 'retention bonuses', which are meant to keep their executives from moving to another company where they might be paid more. The problem is, the executives for the most part, screwed up and caused the near collapse of the company in what many consider to be a dip-shit move.

    So, despite making stupid moves that contributed to a major recession, and branding themselves as unhirable in their chosen profession, the executives need to get their retention bonuses to make sure that they don't get hired to bankrupt another company.

    The US Government did spring into action and imposed a 90% tax on bonuses that received more than $5 billion in aid, which has caused some executives to predictably start looking for work at other companies. Whether they'll actually find work or not is another story, but because of the balls needed to demand a bonus from a company you ran into the ground and then set on fire, AIG executives have made the list.

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