Sunday, December 22, 2013

Who is The Konformist Beast of the Year?

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It's time for the annual pick of The Konformist Beast of the Year.

One nominee was chosen each month from May 2012 to April 2013. Here are the choices:

May 2012: Rupert Murdoch
Let's forget for a minute that Murdoch runs the most ruthlessly dishonest right-wing media empire in the world.  Let's forget also that while it's been uncovered that his outlets have been engaging in widespread computer hacking while he has hypocritically pushed for tougher laws against cyber criminals.  Just ask this: if the names "Murdoch" and "News Corp" were taken out of the story, and the evidence of the widespread hacking were reported in the news, would this guy be in jail?

June 2012: Nicolas Sarkozy
While losing his re-election campaign for France's President, Sarkozy became the face for the failed austerity movement in Europe and the voter backlash against it.  That may be a tad unfair (the real culprit isn't Sarkozy, it's the IMF) but he's been such a toad to both Bush and Obama, he deserves little sympathy.

July 2012: Jerry Sandusky
There really is a slam dunk choice in BOTM with a guy who engaged in serial pedophilia for well over a decade, aided with a coverup by institutional leaders of one of the most powerful colleges in the US.  That is scandalous enough, but left uncovered is allegations that Sandusky was providing kids to others richer and more powerful, allegations that indicate Sandusky is a scapegoat in his own right.

August 2012: Justin Beiber
Perhaps this pick doesn't need to be elaborated on.  The question is simply this: "Why is this guy still around?"

September 2012: Dan Cathy
It seems strange that the question of eating a chicken sandwich would hold so much political importance.  But as Cathy has pushed an anti-gay agenda through his Chick-fil-A profits and even used the company itself to promote his views, it has become a ground zero in the battle of gay rights and gay marriage.

October 2012: Innocence of Muslims
Rarely has a movie made such an impact on politics as this one, although here the term "movie" is used loosely since there's no evidence this film actually exists.  Nevertheless, the excerpts of this "film" on YouTube make this an attempted October Surprise apparently organized by far-right CIA operatives, anti-Islam Fundamentalist Christians, and Israel through it's Mossad espionage outfit.

November 2012: Todd Akin
Why did the Republicans get their asses kicked in the 2012 election?  Sorry, Mitt Romney wasn't the real problem, the real problem was the GOP candidates just plain scared most Americans.  And nobody perfectly represented this scariness like Akins, who led off a "Rape Brigade" of rogues who just couldn't stop talking about rape in a stunningly offensive way.

December 2012: SuperPACs
For all the Democratic victories, the real winner of the 2012 election was still money and the corruptive influence of SuperPAcs on democracy.  And it seems that the negative influence of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling will only continue in the coming years.

January 2013: Benjamin Netanyahu
Okay, The Konformist concedes the complexitites of Middle East politics can't be fairly reduced to a snarky paragraph placing all the blame on one bad "Beast" character.  Still, Bibi, the current Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud Party, is the ideological equivalent of the Neocons that drove the US to Iraq War disaster.  Meanwhile, it's time to acknowledge that when comparing the treatment of the Palestinians to apartheid-era abuses, Israel could be fairly described as little more than South Africa with bagels.

February 2013: Piers Morgan
Let's pretend for a second that the establishment media caricature of star Alex Jones as a paranoid nutjob is essentially correct.  (And as entertaining as his surreal performance on Piers Morgan's show may have been, we concede he made the case very easy.)  Even if that was true, he still came off better than Morgan in the gun control debate.  Meanwhile, Morgan is as heavily involved in the British tabloid hacking scandal as Rupert Murdoch, a fact that has been unreported.

March 2013: Zero Dark Thirty
Sometimes Beastly art is just poorly made.  (If you need examples, watch a few Pauly Shore films.)  And sometimes Beastly art is well made but offensive.  Case in point: Zero Dark Thirty, the cinematic glorification of the alleged Osama bin Laden assassination, which dabbled in apologism for torture and traded artistic integrity by becoming a mouthpiece for the CIA and Pentagon.

April 2013: Cardinal Keith O’Brien
Less than eight years after assuming the papacy, Benedict XVI called it quits, amid widespread evidence that his rise in the church hieracrchy was linked to his coverup of pedophilia among priests.  The corrupt nature of selecting his replacement is highlighted by O'Brien, who only was excluded from the conclave by his own choice after revelations of abusing his position for demands of homosexual sex.  This despite Cardinal O'Brien pushing the Catholic Church's anti-gay agenda publicly.

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