As we head into the heart of the holiday season, our thoughts naturally turn to Christmas giving and receiving, but they also turn to the new year and our hopes for the future. Personally, one of my biggest hopes for 2008 is that the rest of society will stop annoying me so much. With that in mind, this week's +5 is Five People I Hope To See A Lot Less Of In 2008.
I don't care that he's one of the top-rated passers in the NFL. Don't care that his replica jersey is suddenly the league's most popular (so was Michael Vick's, for a while). Unlike Peter King, I certainly don't care that he "leads the league in smiling." He's a Cowboy, which means that by definition, he's overexposed. And despite signing an unbelievably fat contract and being the leader of the top team in the NFC, he apparently still couldn't sack up and ask Jessica Simpson out on a date himself, he had to wait until her dad made the first move. That's right, her dad. Quick tip, Romes, if you're still waiting for chicks' dads to set you up on dates, you're probably not man enough to win a Super Bowl. But hey, uh, keep smilin', I guess.
Heidi Montag (and pretty much anyone else on "The Hills")
Earlier this year, Heidi Montag got a lot of publicity for getting breast implants. For all the attention this received, I figured these implants granted wishes or had solved America's dependence on foreign oil or something, but nope, they're just your garden-variety C-cups. So I tried to figure out why this was such a big deal, but then I realized I didn't know who the hell Heidi Montag was in the first place. Turns out she's on some show called "The Hills," which is not a show about her implants but rather a reality show about a bunch of rich girls in Los Angeles who . . . go to work and date and go shopping and whatnot. Seriously, that's it. They don't operate an organized-crime ring or fight terrorists or play sports or anything like that, they work and date and go shopping. I can't even fathom why anybody would watch something like this; I mean, say what you will about Paris Hilton having no reason whatsoever to be famous, but at least she went through the trouble of making a sex tape.
People like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are major-league cocksuckers, no two ways about it, but at least they're brazen and aggressive in their douchebaggery. Glenn Beck, who hosts a nightly talk/rant/whatever show on Headline News, is like Hannity Lite: He holds the same asshat opinions but without the true venom to back them up, much less a creative way of expressing them, and thus he comes across as just another whiny white guy who's fuming that the guy at the counter at Dunkin' Donuts doesn't speak English all that well; imagine Les Nessman reading from the Bill O'Reilly songbook and you've pretty much got it. His show is bad enough, but what's worse is when they let him break into the news programs on HN to spew his impotent rage unchallenged; not only do they have no outlet for a comparable liberal viewpoint, but he's also taking away screen time from Robin Meade, which is like cutting away from the Victoria's Secret fashion show on CBS to air a rerun of "Dateline." The biggest head-scratcher is that he continues to be given this platform despite uniformly terrible ratings, to the point where even some of his fellow conservatives think CNN should pull the plug already. But hey, comparing Al Gore to Goebbels is certainly an incisive, well-thought-out viewpoint. You can't get stuff like that just anywhere.
This one's pretty obvious. There was a certain morbid fascination to her descent into boozed-out whoredom for a while, but even I can only watch car wrecks for so long before I start wondering what's on the other channel. So no, I don't want to hear about her anymore, don't want to know which club she stumbled out of at 6 a.m., don't want to know whose car she ran into, don't want to know which C-list actor/singer/producer she's been banging while the court-appointed parenting supervisor watches "Dora the Explorer" videos with the kids in the next room. Take her kids away, give her one last chance to cowboy up and get sober, and if that doesn't take then just let her slink off into gin-soaked, pasty-thighed oblivion. (And you know what? The thing is, I actually used to think pink wigs were sexy. Thanks for fucking nothing, Spears.)
Fall Out Boy
I realize I'm only stealing a joke from Brian Posehn here, but Fall Out Boy finally made me give some credence to the argument that music can inspire violence in kids: I've never wanted to kill another human being more than I did after hearing their cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart." (Safe for work, but not safe for anyone with any kind of taste in music.) Clearly this is a band that has "flash in the pan" written all over it, but some flashes last longer than others; if theirs hasn't burned out by the end of '08, I'm going to be very upset.
And now the Ten:
1. Radio 4, "Certain Tragedy"
2. Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"
3. Groove Armada, "A Private Interlude"
4. David Holmes, "Slip Your Skin"
5. BT, "Loving You More"
6. Orbital, "The Box"
7. David Holmes, "69 Police"
8. Nouvelle Vague, "Dancing With Myself"
9. Pet Shop Boys, "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"
10. The Beastie Boys, "Girls"
And now: How are you doing? Whom do you hope to be much less annoyed by in the coming year? Leave your answers (and your Tens) in the comments.