Worse than WBTC: 1996

Yes, it’s finally time. After waaay too long without actually getting off my backside and doing this, it’s time.

This was a really, really underwhelming year. Virtually all of these songs vanished between then and now, and the number one spot was the freaking Macarena.

Drumroll please…actually, best to avoid drumrolls, some of these people would hurt themselves with it.

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Parody headlines that need to happen: US Shutdown Edition

So if you’ve been avoiding US politics like I should have been, you need to know that over in the States, the Republican refusal to let Obama have anything has led to them shutting down the government for reasons that are by and large incoherent and stupid.

But I’m not going to talk about how the idiots responsible for this should be beaten with tyre irons until they put on their big boy pants and behave like responsible citizens of a democracy rather than spoilt toddlers refusing to accept that they can’t have what they want. (They should, but I’m not going to go into that.) Rather, I’m going to list parody headlines regarding bits and pieces about it.

Obama confesses shutdown his fault – “I should have burped Boehner after giving him his bottle,” President admits.

New developments in trucker citizen grand jury – Planners propose second grand jury to arrest Supreme Court for when they are told to piss off.

Support for Republican Party at all time highchair – New chairs have been installed for Republican candidates

New GOP policy: outlaw alcohol and smuggle it! “The protection racket isn’t working, so we’re going into bootlegging,” says Cruz. “Sadly, Prohibition has been over for 80 years now, so we’ll need to reinstitute the 18th Amendment.”

Tea Party sets up new entrance test: applicants google Tea Party website; those who can find it are told to go away. “We’ve found that it’s really helped us find our core supporters – people militantly allergic to fact checking,” says spokesperson.

Worse Than WBTC has been postponed until the US gets its act together.

– OSM out

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I hate “one bad apple” politics

I should probably elaborate on what this means:

This is a term I’ve devised for the mentality, mostly found in right-wing politics, in which the existence of one person abusing a thing in ways that cause very little harm is proof that that thing should be banned.

You see it in the assertion that boat people are the biggest threat to Australian security, even though the 15,800 refugees to arrive in the past year are outnumbered approximately 2000 to 1 and 85% of them are legitimate refugees anyway according to the UN.

You see it in the idea that the (fictitious) existence of “welfare scroungers” in the US means that the entire welfare system should be shut down and screw the people who are dependent on it to scratch a precarious living.

Oddly enough, usually the main field you don’t see it in is gun rights, in which the people who misuse them – usually in ways that cost multiple lives – are brushed under the carpet and dismissed as fringe nutjobs so that the people speaking can keep their firearms. Weird. You’d think that consistency would at least obligate them to apply this to everything – people text while driving? Ban both cars and mobile phones! That kind of thing.

All I will say is that “it is better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent be punished”.

– OSM out


(Worse than WBTC will come eventually! I just think I’ve been trapped in the Valve-Time Continuum.)

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Worse than WBTC: Taking a while!

Last week was busy.

That’s really the only justification I have. Hopefully I can have 1996 wrapped up by Friday, but there might be more time required. 100 songs is a lot.

I will, however, set a couple of rules this early:

I will mainly be restricting it to the Billboard Hot 100, unless I have memories of a song from that year that’s worse. (Really not applicable before at least 1999.)

I will not be including many rap or hip-hop songs. Ironically enough, this is not because I’m a fan of them, because I’m not. And that’s the problem: I don’t have the necessary handle on what differentiates a good one from a bad one to really judge their quality. So I will generally show lenience to them, since I have trouble telling whether I think they’re bad because they’re a genre I don’t like, or if I think they’re bad because they’re bad. (There will be exceptions to this, but I’ll try and keep it down.)

– OSM out

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Worst song ever? I know worse (2005)

So apparently people really, really hate “We Built This City”, to the point where it wins a lot of “Worst Song Ever” votes.

As someone who finds it the fun, cheesy kind of bad, I find this offensive. I can name a lot worse. So I’m going to go through my own memory box and Billboard’s Top 100 lists (thank you Mr. In The Shadows), and find five songs from each year that are worse for every year from 1986 to 2010, for a nice round 25 years of godawful music that you can use to remind yourself that no, cheesy 80s sellout songs are not as bad as it can get.

Today, I’m going to go with 2005, which was not a good year for music. Let’s put it this way: I can think of exactly one song on the Billboard Top 100 that I would willingly listen to. Hollaback Girl is at #2. HOLLABACK. GIRL.

Yeah. This may not be much fun.

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Why I don’t like the American right

This is building up to a “Why I Don’t Like The Australian Right” in a day or two. Be warned.

A fair bit of this comes from one twitter, which, as part of my non-idiot-shaming philosophy, will not be linked.


#10: “Government is untrustworthy, except when it comes to military force”

Government is untrustworthy. But you know what? The most untrustworthy bit is the military, because that is what totalitarian states use to maintain control.

And yet somehow American right-wingers are hugely in favour of the military. Which is kind of hilarious given their opposition to food stamp welfare, which feeds no less than 5000 soldiers on active service.


#9: “Poor people are just lazy.”

In a country with full employment and sufficient minimum wage, yes, lacking a job would be a sign that you don’t want one.

Your country has neither of those things. You do not have full employment. Your minimum wage is one third what it needs to be to produce a living wage. The politicians you are voting for are fighting against fixing those things. Try some empathy.


#8: “America is a Christian nation.”

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” – the Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11.

Usually the people who spout this somehow miss that “sell all you have, and give it to the poor” is in theory a Christian teaching. See #9 and #7. (I say “in theory” because large Christian organizations never seem interested in actually practicing it to that degree, and large right-wing Christian organizations are more along the lines of “sell all you have and give it to ME”.)


#7: “Government aid creates a dependent class, unlike private charities.”

How? Faezress radiation? Why does one create that effect and not the other? People who need food are getting fed either way. Does the government’s involvement have some magical effect that turns otherwise decent human beings into leeches?

If I was starving, my response to being given food by the government would not be “sweet, I can now develop into a dependent class”. It would be “hell yes, now I don’t need to starve.”

Usually the people who say this are operating on a resentment that their taxes are being used to pay for this, which is why I don’t view it as honest – you’ve expressed a desire to pay less, you tend to assume everyone else will also pay less, exactly which programs do you expect private charities to cut to pay for the starving people you’ve dropped on them? Since you want to keep your money, why would you give it to charity rather than government when the sole difference is a thing that you made up?

(This one, incidentally, is complete bullshit. The vast majority of American welfare recipients are on welfare for less than two years. Hooray for zombie lies and inadequate fact checking I guess.)


#6: “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”

With guns.

Which are tools that make killing easier.

Especially when it comes to killing multiple people, which is very easy with an assault rifle and very hard with a butter knife.

Hey, here’s an idea. How about legalising the possession and sale of nuclear weapons? After all, nukes don’t kill people – people do.


#5: “We need guns to protect ourselves from the government.”

The government that has more guns and bombs than you do.

And which you in fact vote against when they propose reducing the number of guns and bombs they possess.

Consistency isn’t your strong suit, is it?


#4: “Firing a soldier who commits racist harassment of his co-workers threatens free speech.”

No it doesn’t. He is perfectly free to continue being racist in the unemployment line.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. Nor does it entitle you to harass your co-workers, which is grounds for sacking in literally any other career in existence. Why should the military have to keep on douchenozzles when any other industry is entitled to give them the boot?


#3: “There are able-bodied people on food stamps!”

You do realise that 100% employment does not exist, right? So occasionally people who are not disabled will not be able to find employment? Would you seriously prefer them to turn to crime rather than seek out welfare? Because for reasons we’ve already discussed, it’s pretty clear that under your strategy they won’t be able to get help from the now overworked and under-financed private charities. You don’t like the tiny tax expenditure they cause you? How much will you like your increased insurance premiums when someone steals your TV to buy food?

Jokes aside, this is a symptom of a larger problem I see infecting right-wing politics today: “it is better for ten innocents to suffer than one guilty person go unpunished.” You see it in Abbott’s and Rudd’s boat people plans, in which dealing with people smugglers at the cost of their passengers is A-OK. (That their plans are worthless for this purpose is a thing I will get to later this week.) You see it in the idea that one welfare abuser automatically invalidates the whole system. I would rather have my tax occasionally go to help people who don’t deserve it than that it never go to people who do.

(Well, okay, I don’t pay tax at the moment because I can’t find a job that pays enough to get taxed, but you get the idea.)

This is not justice. It’s the exact opposite of justice. People complain when a few jerks ruin it for the rest of them because that should not happen; it’s so much worse when what’s at stake is starvation.


#2: Opposition to gay marriage.

I absolutely despise the idea that my gay sibling should not be permitted to marry whoever they like because of some idiot with his head up his backside. Case closed.


#1: “Champions of small government”

Did you perhaps nap through the entire Bush administration? You know, the guy who overrode as many checks and balances as possible? Nice going dudes. I’ve never been so glad to not live in your country as I was between 2001 and 2008.


Yeah, the next few weeks are probably not going to be fun for you guys, because:

a) With the election coming up, I’m thinking about politics more;

b) Thinking about politics usually makes me angry, because of how atrocious it gets sometimes;

c) When I’m angry, I usually vent it, and my parents are deeply bored of me venting to them.

On a brighter note, I would like to remind you that echidnas are the most adorable creatures ever. That waddling gait of theirs is surprisingly cute.

– OSM out

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Can’t post. Dungeon Robber.

It can be found here.

That’s all.

– OSM out

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