The summer of 2014, like most summers, was a summer consisting of good and bad. Unfortunately this particular summer’s bad was exceptionally bad.
Like, really bad.
Russia being Russia.
As a result, the good needed to be super good. And there was definitely some good.
But this is about the bad.
Specifically, this is about the Least Valuable Player of the summer of 2014. We’ll get to the Most Valuable later. We’ll need them.
Giddy Up America’s Summer ’14 Least Valuable Player
10. Justin Bieber
Self-awareness is a wonderful thing. However, lack of self-awareness is a downright dangerous thing. Mr. Bieber? That dude doesn’t even know what self-awareness is. Say the phrase to him and he’ll most likely take a swing at you, thinking you insulted his latest tattoo. But hey, that swing will probably miss you. So, bonus.
There is a part of me that thinks maybe Bieber is just messing with us; that he knows what he’s doing and all of his behavior and actions are part of an elaborate Andy Kaufman-like stunt. He’s laughing that we’re laughing at him. And he’s laughing all the way to the bank.
Yet there is another part of me, a far bigger part, that thinks that that last part is nuts. Bieber is Bieber and Bieber is an insufferable little asshole.
You keep being corrupt, disgusting, sexist, racist, blatantly corrupt and tone deaf FIFA. We’ll gladly tune in every four years, but we won’t feel particularly great about it.
8. Buzzfeed’s Coverage of Celebrities Doing the Ice Bucket Challenge
BuzzFeed, we get it, lots of celebrities have not only done the Ice Bucket Challenge, but have done so in creative ways. It’s wonderful. Thumbs up to them.
But thumbs down to you. Telling me that I need to stop everything and watch a celebrities’ video or that a certain celebrities’ video is the best ever numerous times a day is not only excessive, it’s annoying. I want your stupid quizzes, BuzzFeed. I want your lists about why Coach Eric Taylor is the best dad, BuzzFeed. I want your collection of .gifs from the most recent award show, BuzzFeed. I want ANYTHING about Jennifer Lawrence, BuzzFeed.
Get your shit together, BuzzFeed.
But hey, thanks for calling attention to ALS. That part is pretty cool.
7. Drugs at EDM Festivals
I am not a fan of EDM. I’m not a casual fan, I’m not a passive observer of EDM, I’m not even remotely inclined to go to one of these weirdo EDM festivals. But if you want to go, then go. You do you. But be smart about it. Steer clear of some of these super dangerous designer drugs that are running rampant at these festivals. Somehow if a EDM festival happens and less than 30 people suffered overdoses, it’s a success. That’s crazy. Drugs and music will always hold each other’s hands, but if the drugs become the dominant person in the relationship, then the music will eventually recede into the background before disappearing completely.
Now I personally think that EDM will eventually fade away because the “music” is insanely repetitive and people will get sick of it. But you know what will really kill it? The lack of opportunities to experience EDM live, which is totally possible if people keeping dying at EDM festivals.
Say what you will about Phish concerts being druggie-fests, but there aren’t any Phish shows that have 40-50 people overdosing at them.
6. Ann Coulter
“Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.”
That was Coulter addressing Americans getting into the World Cup this summer.
It was also another example of Coulter saying one of the dumbest and insulting things you’ve ever heard.
5. Kim Kardashian
I don’t follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram. I don’t really feel that I have to because every time she posts a picture, especially a selfie, it’s posted as news on the Huffington Post. But that’s a separate complaint.
Kim is a big fan of selfies. This summer she decided that she would create a book of selfies for her husband while he was out on tour. And that’s like, so sweet. And deciding to release that book to the public? That’s like, so effin’ ridiculous.
The only thing more ridiculous?
Buying that book.
4. Talking Heads
Not the Talking Heads. They’re a great band. I’m talking about talking heads on 24 hour news channels. And that includes 24 hour sports channels. There’s too many of them and too much vitriolic garbage for them to spew. They’re better at being President than the actual President. They’re white but more in tune with African Americans than actual African Americans. They’re uniformed but armed with a loud voice and an inability to listen.
They’re not going away anytime soon.
But I really think we’d be better off as a country if they were.
3. Fox News’ Coverage of Everything That Went Down in Ferguson
Just looking for attention.
Those other news outlets?
Blowing everything out of proportion.
Those machine-gun toting Cops?
Just doing their job!
Some people shouldn’t be allowed to talk about certain things. I don’t think I should be allowed to talk about what a woman does with her body. I don’t think my dog Lucy should be allowed to allowed to talk about a squirrel’s right to privacy. And I don’t think Fox News should be allowed to talk about anything that involves Ferguson.
2. Vladimir Putin
Dude, just admit it, you’re totally behind those pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. We all know you are. You’re not fooling anyone.
So cut the shit. We’re not going to to take you to war, but we will totally TP your house.
And it will suck.
Just like you.
1. That Whole Ray Rice Thing
In short: Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens and “one of the good guys in the NFL,” got busted for knocking his wife out and the dragging her out of a Atlantic City casino’s elevator. This was caught on video. Rice went in front of judge and ended up with a slap on the wrist.
Next up was going in front of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a notorious hard ass, who earlier in the summer, gave Robert Mathis of the Colts a 4 game suspension for using a fertility drug because he and his wife were having trouble conceiving a child. Surely when it came to Rice and his actions, he’d be getting much worse than a slap on the wrist.
Goodell didn’t even graze Rice’s wrist.
Ray Rice would be suspended for two games. Two. That’s it. Not three, not four, not even five. Just two. Even the Ravens were surprised.
The resulting fall out got ugly. Goodell didn’t see what the fuss was about. The NFL Network declared that Rice had experienced the iron fist of the NFL. And on his ESPN Radio show, Stephen A. Smith went on a long rant about how women of the world need to be smart and not do the kind of things that would make a dude knock ’em side the head. Smith then doubled down on Twitter when faced with criticism of his comments.
No one walked away clean from the whole thing.
Well except for Ray Rice.
He walked away just fine all things considered.
So yeah, this summer was weird.
Stay tuned for the Summer ’14 Most Valuable Player.