Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Worst of Awards 2009

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Worst Part of State Government

South Carolina State Legislature

We’ve been riding DHEC for five years now and with good reason. But let’s not forget our horribly underfunded public schools — 11 out of the 25 worst schools in the United States are in South Carolina. Plus, there are all the usual reasons that make most sane residents of this state wake up screaming in the shadow of the Confederate Flag.

Worst Representation of South Carolina A five-way tie:

Leon Lott vs. Michael Phelps

Henry McMaster vs. Craigslist

Mark Sanford’s affair

The guy who had sex with a horse

Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” outburst

Worst Political Counter Move

Andre Bauer on Homosexuality

Blogger Mike Rogers, who outed both Larry Craig and Mark Foley, recently cited male sources who claimed to have had sex with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. Instead of letting the rumors die, Bauer brought up the subject himself during an interview with the State and then allowed state Sen. Jake Knotts to distribute a letter that blamed the rumors on Sanford staffers.

What a drama queen!

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Worst Use of Taxpayer Money

Hospitality Tax Funding

Since 2003, the Columbia City Council and the state Department of Revenue have been overcharging local restaurants to assist their buddies. Here’s what the racket seems to be: They use the tax revenue to create business guilds that charge members dues and then the organizers lobby for additional tax dollars with which to line their own pockets. The scam is so great, we’re ashamed we didn’t think of it ourselves.

Worst Moonlighting Gig

Erotica Authoress

Well, it’s the worst gig if you’re the chair of the State Board of Education, anyway. Kristin Maguire, also a former Republican committee member, allegedly authored erotic fiction under the pen name Bridget Keeney. Nothing against writing smut — especially coming from us — but it’s just another example of the conservative GOP hypocrisy. Here’s a quick excerpt from Keeney’s story “Continental Cuisine:”

“The rhythmic sway of the train car added to the bobbing of my head as I sucked deeply. [...] My hands were braced on Erik’s hips to keep us in synch. [...] His friend Joren was watching us. I gazed at him in the dim light from the moon as I slid my hands under Erik’s balls. [...] I had come to Europe for new experiences. Sucking off two strangers in a train car would definitely count as one.”

Worst Good Ol’ Boy Hire

Charles Austin

The former city manager accidentally misplaced $30 million in city reserves yet apparently is the perfect candidate for a deanship at Benedict College.


Worst Local TV Show

Lion of Judah Worship Center’s “Miracle Service” on Cable Channel 4

This is a spectacle so bizarre it’s good. Watching a West Columbia faith healer claim to speak for God and then dupe a mentally deficient congregation is somehow fun, enraging and sad all at the same time.

Worst Advertising Scheme

Best Of Awards

A Best Of Award from corporate media is the equivalent of your nephew’s Little League trophy: They get one just for showing up. Or, in the case of some local Best Of Awards, advertisers get one just for having a checkbook and a pen. Here’s the trick: To read a Best Of issue properly, you must insert some language — you know, like putting “in bed” at the end of your fortune-cookie fortune. Next time, when you read “Best Bar,” instead read “Best Bar Who’s Giving Us Money.”

Worst Print Publication

Carolina Panorama

Carolina Panorama is Bizarro Columbia City Paper. It prints only positive news! And that makes sense for a state like South Carolina, where the official unemployment number hovers around 10 percent, the illiteracy rate is the third-highest in the nation, and crime is beating in your back door. Finally, as much as we love positive news, we must deliver a negative message for Carolina Panorama’s publisher: Stop putting your awful newspaper on the top portion of our racks.

Worst Local Advertisement

COF Columbia Office Furniture

Last year, we had no trouble making fun of the $99 office chair guy. But this year, the old man has outdone himself, holding up his granddaughter in what seems to be a desperate plea for you chain-loving bastards to think of small family-owned businesses this holiday season.

Worst Editorial Playbook

The State

Columbia’s daily fishwrap ran 359 anti-Sanford articles but was the only major newspaper in South Carolina not to call the international playboy’s resignation.


Worst Karaoke Song

(No such thing.)

Worst Pick Up Line

“Excuse me, haven’t I seen you in a Bang Bus video?”

Worst Shot

The Discombobulated Sasquatch

... Or: anything mixed on the fly during the interview segment of Drinking in the Morning with Aaron and Grant.

Worst Bathroom

St. Patty’s Day Festival Port-a-John

There hasn’t been this much fecal matter concentrated in one spot since the Five Points Association opened its visitors center.

Worst Rock Scene Trend

The Whole Friggin’ Thing

Put down the xylophones and synthesizers, get Lasik, and bring some danger and bravado back to rock ‘n’ roll. Just because you walk around the club with your shirt off after the show doesn’t excuse the fact that your band sounds like REO Speedwagon.

Worst Hip-Hop Scene Trend

Auto Tune

Why not buy an Alvin and the Chipmunks R&B album and be done with it?

[caption id="attachment_479" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Thug Life!"]Thug Life![/caption]

Worst Thug Fashion

Spongebob Squarepants Ganstawear

According to the cops, Spongebob clothing is related to a street gang — and believe us, fellas, we mean no disrespect here — but maybe y’all could find a scarier cartoon character related to the number five?

Worst Place for Public Sex

Elmwood Cemetery

This is a popular spot for cops to bust teenagers and Republican legislators to engage in sex acts (sometimes with each other).


Worst Place for a Picnic

West Columbia River Walk

By this, we’re talking specifically about the Columbia Farms chicken plant side of River Walk. It comes with  a truly Biblical stench. Add the hobos bathing on the rocks and there’s just no way to salvage your picnic.

Worst Fashion

Fluorescent 1980s throwbacks

Why do fashion boutiques these days look like K-Mart in 1986?

Worst Shame in Local Sports

No South Carolina IWFL team

We had a brief semi-pro tease with the Columbia Stingers indoor football league a couple of years ago. But what this town needs is a semi-pro women’s football league. North Carolina has three! We’re talking women with crew cuts and missing teeth. Think we could convince a local roller girl or two to test their mettle, put on some shoulder pads, and go full tackle with a 200-pound nose guard from High Point?

Worst Tattoo Parlor

Richland County Detention Center

Worst Marketing

U.S. food labeling

The liberties the Food and Drug Administration allows in the promotion of food products are not only getting out of hand — they’re becoming a national security issue. Earlier this month, the Pentagon reported that more than one-third of Army recruits aged 17 to 24 are too fat for service.

Worst Sign

No Turn On Red

These signs are misplaced throughout the city.  Our favorite is the one at Main and Gervais where there isn’t even a cross street. As for Five Points, packed with pedestrians and drunken drivers, no need for any signs there!

Worst Homeless Hotel

RCPL Downtown

Or: Five Points Post Office

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