The 1997 Brutally Honest Awards
- by David Matthews 2
With 1997 coming to a close, I figured I’d join the crowd and get in my own year-end awards. I was trying to come up with some cute little award logo to go with each, but I figured that the time wasted could better be spent on retooling the Brutally Honest site for 1998.
The Chicken Little Award for an Over-hyped Issue in 97- The UN Greenhouse "Solution." A "global" solution to a "global" threat where the solution is neither global nor is the threat a certainty. We’ve heard the exact same doom and gloom about acid rain and the "ice age." What happened to them? Big duds! The end result of this proposed solution? Government regulations and laws, and more and more money coming out of YOUR pocket! If these so-called TWO THOUSAND SCIENTISTS and their supporters think this is a problem, fine, let them pay for it out of THEIR OWN pockets, not ours!
The LIFETIME Chicken Little Award for an Over-hyped Issue - The problem with "X" on the Internet. "X" could be anything from sex to predators to businesses to encryption. No matter what, the media and the government have it in for the Internet, and if government can’t control it, the media will try to destroy it.
The Temporary Sanity Award for 97 - The US Supreme Court. For being the most technically-challenged branch of the federal government, the nine justices somehow got it right when they struck down the Communications Decency Act as being blatantly unconstitutional. Now if only they can remember that freedom should be the default in ALL situations, not the exception. Special kudos to Justice John Paul Stevens, whose quote on the decision is worthy of Thomas Jefferson.
The "Where did it go" Award for 97 - The GOP tax break. Somehow, the rhetoric in the GOP-controlled Congress changed from giving a "tax cut" to getting a "tax credit." The two are not interchangeable! You can see a tax cut in your paycheck with more of YOUR money coming back to you. You can only see a tax credit when the time comes to fill out your income tax forms!
The Don Juan Quixote Award for Government in 97 - The US Department of Justice Vs. Microsoft. While dragons such as the campaign finance issue roamed through Washington, Janet Reno’s Quixote knights were charging at windmills like Microsoft. Maybe next time around Bill Gates can just hand Reno a generous campaign contribution and get the whole matter settled before it reaches court. Hell, make it enough of a settlement, and Janet Reno probably won’t even know where to find Microsoft, never mind Gates! Worked for Charlie Tree.
The Don Juan Quixote Award for Public in 97 - The Baptist’s Boycott of Disney. Yeah, it’s really putting the hurt on the mouse, isn’t it? The folks at Disney are just ACHING for that moralist money, aren’t they? First they wanted this unilateral boycott of all things Disney. Then, they asked their members to just deny Disney $100 of what they would normally spend. Here’s a hint folks - it’s not working! Every time they listen to Rush Limbaugh or Paul Harvey, watch "Home Improvement" or "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee" or ESPN, or pay for any cable service that carries the Disney Channel as part of their basic package, they’re paying for the "evil institution" that they claim to be anti-family!
The Ronald Reagan "Evil Empire" Award for 97 - The Anti-Smoking Crusade. Let’s see if I get this straight… smoking, a legal adult substance, is akin to everything evil in the world, but the government doesn’t want to ban it. Worse yet, tobacco companies are accused of marketing to kids, even though it’s been against the law to sell cigarettes to anyone under 18 for years. Nobody wants to enforce the law, but Uncle Sam and his fifty spoiled brats want the tobacco companies to pay big bucks and tax them heavily to boot. And the biggest crusader against tobacco, Al Gore, has a family tobacco farm? I’d ask what is wrong with this picture, except that we all KNOW what’s wrong with it - it’s politics!
The Bad Penny Award for 97 - Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Like a bad horror movie villain, Hussein keeps popping up to remind us he’s still alive and is still a pain in the ass. I think the only reason why he keeps causing trouble is just to keep the prophecies of Nostradamus alive.
The Worst Waste of Airtime for Television Award for 97 - The re-re-re-rebroadcast of the funeral of Diana. Yeah, maybe the astronauts onboard Mir didn’t see all of Elton John performing his retooled song "Candle In The Wind." Let’s rebroadcast the funeral a zillion times until the cassette turns to mush and the tape snaps. A truly tragic event turned into the biggest media hype of the year. That day was a good day to see the funeral once, then spend the rest of the day doing anything except watching television.
The Worst Waste of Court Time Award for 97 - The Marv Albert trial. Listen Marv, the next time you get into a trial situation where every nuance of your private life will be paraded in front of the public like a vaudeville freak show, do us all a favor and plea out BEFORE it hits the courtroom!
The Worst Decision in Television Award for 97 - Cancellation of "The Site." MSNBC had a good thing going with The Site. A show about computers and the Internet for a new cable station with an online presence. Gone without even a whisper. Now what do they have? A poor man’s Larry King on his worst day! If Microsoft is as powerful as Janet Reno keeps claiming it is, they should have pulled their strings on this decision, because it MSSUCKS!
The "Bullseye? What Bullseye on my back?" Award for 97 - Terry Nichols. Yeah, Terry. We know you didn’t mean to build a bomb that Tim McVeigh would use to blow up the federal building. Nah, you were just TALKING about it. I guess you’re finding out the hard way that when the Clinton Administration wants its pound of flesh, it wants the WHOLE pound, plus the gallon blood that goes with it. Word of advice to any would-be copycats - use the ballot box like the rest of the masses! It does more damage to Washington, and it has fewer repercussions!
The Oliver Stone Award for 97 - The GOP and "Arlington-gate." Did you hear? The president has been selling plots in Arlington for campaign contributions! Oh, wait a minute.. the GOP doesn’t really have any proof that it happened.. BUT IT COULD HAVE! Listen guys, you had better stick with the facts in hand when it comes to investigating the Clinton Administration for illicit campaign contributions instead of spinning tall tales. This fishing expedition only netted one man whose only crime is he lied about his service record to get buried in Arlington. Hardly an offense worthy of impeaching the president. In fact, getting caught lying is nothing new for the folks in Washington. Who amongst the self-professed gods of Mount Legislation haven’t lied to their constituents?
The Elephant Man Award for 97 - The Internal Revenue Service. I’m not an animal, I’m a legitimate federal agency! Look, they’re a monster, but Congress made them into one.. and guess who elected Congress? If the IRS wants to change its act, it needs to be held to the same burden of proof that any other federal agency is bound to (at least in theory). And remember, no matter what "cure-all" measure we support, it will never get rid of the IRS completely.
The "Practicing what he preaches" Award for 97 - Neal Boortz. The WSB radio talk show host and proud Libertarian who has spend much of his time talking about bad government now spends his off-air time on the Fulton County Library Commission. His "talkmaster" attitude may be radio hype, but Fulton County may be in for a treat when they learn his Libertarian attitudes aren’t hype.
The "Great.. well, its not really great.. how about above average?.. no, that isn’t it.. Average? No, it’s not average.. below average?.. no, worse that that.. Mediocre… no, not even that… Ah, screw it.. WE ARE THE BORG" Society Award for 97 - The Clinton Administration. Let’s face it, we went from a slick politician with aims to shake up politics with a facade of JFK, to a political junkie who is so obsessed with carving some kind of "legacy" for himself that he grab at ANY topic, ANY issue, and bastardize it in some socialistic pattern that would make even Karl Marx cringe in disgust! The first action of the next administration in 2001 should be to apologize to America for Clinton’s second term. We deserve at least that much!