CONTRIBUTORSJeb Lund is the founder of Mr. Destructo, wrote the "America's Screaming Conscience" column for Gawker from February 2012-2013 under the pseudonym Mobutu Sese Seko, and is currently a contributing writer at Sports on Earth. Under other pseudonyms, he moderated a major book forum, reviewed history and public policy texts, and contributed to music video story development for acts like Metallica and Disturbed while authoring viral media campaigns. He writes the lion's share of Mr. Destructo articles and is responsible for the clumsy layout, turgid copy-editing and inexplicable style-sheet changes from year to year. His columns and articles have appeared—under both real and fake names—in The Awl, The Classical, Deadspin, Esquire, GQ, The New Republic, SBNation, and Vice.
Marty Peretz is the owner and publisher of Et tu, Mr. Destructo? He purchased the website when it first became popular and profitable, following the printing of White America's Inconvenience Tantrum, Part IV. His column, a more in-your-face version of "The Spine," covers the spectrum of human activity, from hip-hop to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to Drew Brees' peerless Super Bowl performance.
Mr. Awesome is not a pundit. He honed his loathing and dissections of Washington groupthink during years of work in public policy in that city. Later, he fled from the nation's capitol in search of a more noble and respected calling, like being a lawyer. He specializes in deconstructing beltway journalism and believes that reading novels is just "dreaming for cowards."
Mark Brendle is the only contributor audacious enough to use his own name. He is a reviewer for BarnesandNoble.com and a short-fiction writer. Brendle writes the Criterion Recollection, critical analyses and re-reviews of the Criterion Collection series of historic and innovative films. You can follow him on Twitter and view his Blogger profile here.
Kim Jong-il is the Supreme Leader of North Korea but claims to be a journalist for an award-winning international wire service as a clever ruse to foil his enemies. For Mr. Destructo, he primarily writes about the mysteries of the Orient.
Alan Greenspan is a Julliard alumnus, a former Objectivist, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve and a world-class bitch hunter. He blogs about whatever the fuck he wants. You can view his Blogger profile here.
Idi Amin Dada has a Bachelor's degree in political science, the rank of Field Marshal and was the last ruler of a free Uganda. Since his exile at the hands of imperialists, he has busied himself researching topics ranging from politics to philately. Fans can find him engaging in lively debates on FreeRepublic, Redstate, AIPAC, and Stormfront, where he blends in seamlessly. He has not eaten anyone since 1980.
Flavor Flav first rose to fame as a member of the political rap group Public Enemy, specializing in the role of the "hype man," who pumped up the crowd and punctuated lines in Public Enemy raps for effect. After battling drug addiction, he returned to the national spotlight on MTV's The Surreal Life, where he engaged in conspicuous osculation with Brigitte Nielsen. Since then, he has taken to reading young men's adventure novels and blogging about terrorism. You can view his Blogger profile here.
General Rehavam "Gandhi" Ze'evi is the assassinated ex-Tourism Minister of the State of Israel and a former commander of the IDF's elite Sayeret Kharuv anti-terror squad. He advocates for the forcible expulsion of Palestinians, recreationally shoots minicabs and occasionally reads. In his spare time, he also enjoys studying as a graduate student in the Middle East. He has never been indicted for incitement to genocide — on the grounds that despite his deeply racist, ultraviolent authoritarianism, he is still kind of a cool guy. For Mr. Destructo, his primary focus are the lands once under the dominion of Suleiman the Magnificent, known colorfully even to American children as "US Imperialism's Death Orchard Watered by Oil."
HIGHLIGHTSFor those familiar with our previous "Welcome, an Influx of New People" pieces, the following list may not be new. However, it will obviate the need for new pieces like it in the future. As for the rest of you, please consider reading any of the following (apart from the "Tantrum" pieces, all articles are listed in order of appearance):
White America's Inconvenience Tantrum, Part I & II — Overview of the rhetoric behind the April 15, 2009 teaparty demonstrations, video analysis and signage mockery, followed by a liveblog of Glenn Beck's "historic" broadcast in front of the Alamo.
White America's Inconvenience Tantrum, Part III — July 4th, 2009, sees the proactive movement to re-take the country sitting in lawn chairs, with potato salad. Sarah Palin's resignation from her only job sabotaged the signage of people screeching about hard work, but the signs are still worth explaining for people who don't speak crazy.
White America's Inconvenience Tantrum, Part IV — September 12, 2009 takes us to the Capitol and an essay about fascism's familiarity with FreedomWorks, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and their moral emptiness in invoking watering liberty trees with blood. The most pictures yet, with even more abuse and mini-essays about Shepard Smith, "What Would Reagan Do?" and the fall of Nationalist China.
White America's Inconvenience Tantrum, Part V — Glenn Beck's appropriation of MLK's speech at the Lincoln Memorial, plus the disposal of the First Amendment signals the end of history for the GOP. Take a gander at 50+ Facebook statuses parroting the religious/racial nativist hatred directed by Beck, FOX News and GOP talking points at Muslims, immigrants and their so-called "enablers," liberals.
9/11 Is NOT a Joke — Rapper, artist and ladies man Flavor Flav takes time away from the set to remember what he was doing on that fateful day and chastise those who exploit and dishonor the fallen.
I'm Aborting Right Now — I literally cannot stop having abortions.
MLB Tonight: Glenn Beck Deconstructed — Baseball Experts Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan break down Glenn Beck's sports metaphors and explain why he's the grittiest, guttiest albino in the business.
"Poor People Can't Have Healthcare Because I Fear Dumb Shit" — The Mysterious Mr. Awesome travels to "The Underage Babyfucking Planet" to destroy a bunch of worthless arguments from libertarian-keyword dispenser Megan McArdle.
Field of Schemes: A Glimpse at the Neocon Playbook — Deconstructing a risible piece from National Review's Andrew McCarthy about, of all things, Obama's ceremonial first pitch at the MLB All-Star Game.
"I'm Pretty Sure I Can Ace This Death Panel" — Sarah Palin's Sixth Child issues an impassioned plea to remain unborn and stop watching Red Dawn.
Dollhouse and Joss Whedon's Commitment to Garbage — Despite having watched every hour of entertainment Joss Whedon has produced, a fan admits that he's the Kevin Smith of television: B-grade actors playing C-grade cardboard cutout people who deliver pastiche uptalking for self-referential internet males. Follow-up piece here.
Let's Make LolRands! — What "can you has" when you combine the funniest tardcats online with the greatest champion the Free Market and The Individual have ever known? A veritable Galt's Gulch of comedy that will make you check every one of your premises.
'The Forever War' and Dexter Filkins — A look at possibly the best "war" memoir to emerge from the Iraq conflict. Relates the book in the context of George Packer's The Assassin's Gate, Rajiv Chandresekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City and Thomas Ricks' Fiasco, along with mini-reviews of those other books.
Okay, So Here's My Pitch — What do you get when you tie knives to babies' arms and put them in a cage until only one emerges? What happens when you get a chainsmoking English computer-animated duck to walk a newly rich galoot through the corridors of power? Only two of the best goddamned ideas for new TV shows since America's Next Top Ramen.
An Open Letter from Sheriff John Bunnell — The host of World's Wildest Police Videos makes an authoritative case for public-option healthcare.
Gandalf the Urban: Jim Butcher's Terrible 'Dresden Files' — Review of one of the worst successful books of the decade. Some people objected to this review, claiming it was unfair to the "Dresden Files" series, because the first two books are terrible, but then the author manages to write the same terrible formulas marginally less offensively from there on out. The response was like reading a restaurant critic say, "The hamburger made me shit for days, and the restaurant is terrible," and saying, "Well, he should have tried the hamburger again, then switched to the chili."
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, "Murder My Balls" — A faithfully written fan-script for the famous NBC series sees Detectives Benson and Stabler trying to figure out who completely destroyed the balls of Doug Robb from Hoobastank. Could a famous empty-headed political malaprop be involved? Will the law be able to catch up with the killer? WILL SOMEONE GET TOO CLOSE TO THIS CASE?
The Yankees Are Cancer — "Being a baseball fan and rooting for the Yankees is like being an oncologist and rooting for cancer." A bilious post-season roundup, coming off several World Series and playoff pieces. Those more interested in earlier post-season takes can look at the intro to this piece and find a multitude of links to different updates.
The AV Club's 50 Best Albums of the Decade Are All Wrong — Sometimes an end-of-year list of the best albums has a few clunkers. But this is different: The Onion AV Club's list of 50 albums was wrong. Completely wrong. All 50 albums should not have been on the list, because they were just that sucky, and the AV Club is just that wrong. Find out why, with Youtube links to songs from each band, from each album. Stick around for our ten best albums of the decade, presented by former Julliard student Alan Greenspan.
Let My Orly Go — Speaking of the feisty former Fed chairman, Greenspan returns from his album ratings and his earlier confessional about his sultry sex with Ayn Rand to issue an invitation to the Queen of the Birthers. Orly Taitz might think that Obama was born (and belongs) in Kenya, but Alan knows Orly belongs in only one place: his totally swank-ass apartment.
Southern College Football Fans Are the Biggest Bandwagoners in Sports — Grown men, with law degrees, traveling states in gangs? People accosting strangers in high schools and demanding they state their allegiance? Pure Football vs. Impure Football? Why is the south this completely nuts, and why are they the worst example of regionalistic bandwagoning around? Check it out, then check back with an update about the 2010 BCS Title Game.
The Unfathomable Complex Badness of '21 Jumpstreet' — No, really, it's amazing. There's also a funeral where an Asian guy dressed like Tom Wolfe does karate or tai chi or something. Also, the really amazing undercover captain is a hippie.
ARE Y'ALL READY FOR SOME WHITE PEOPLE? — Breakdown of a racist, homophobic, conspiracist and "birther" rap made by a member of conservative wingnut website World Net Daily. The rap sucks unequivocally, with lyrics, screencaps and general political mockery. Also, this rap was so godawful that it inspired this awesome diss track.
Newsweek Sucks Really Bad — Mr. Awesome makes a bet with himself that he can open a copy of Newsweek to any article and that it will contain no intellectual content but lots of beltway self-affirmation. Guess what? He's right.
Deconstructing the Texas Board of Education — Mr. Awesome and Mobutu Sese Seko try to envision what the Texas Board of Education's ideal classroom discussion would look like by examining their allergy to historicity, context and the idea of a story having any linear coherence. Bonus: guns.
The Threat of Giving a Shit About the Health Care Reform Bills — Mr. Awesome offers a one-two punch attacking the sloppy journalistic coverage of the HCR bills while providing a detailed list of what you need to know about their provisions. If you've ever found yourself defending or criticizing the Obama HCR legislation while being unsure of what it signified, check out the latter piece for the sort of clarity Newsweek and its ilk don't consider necessary.
All the Amish You Need, None of the Explicit Amish Pornography You Crave — If you see ONE Lifetime Original Movie about Amish children being slaughtered in a one-room schoolhouse and an unsettlingly sexy Amish mother refusing to forgive the mass murderer in the customary Amish way, make sure you see THIS Lifetime Original Movie about Amish children, etc. Enjoy beards that belong in a local repertory theater and Amish who are like Hallmark collectibles instead of human beings.
Field of Schemes: Barack Obama's Not a Naturally Born Man — Three comically bad articles from the Weekly Standard and National Review in which authors pored over videos of Obama throwing a first pitch and shooting hoops during the Final Four to determine his un-Americanness. You don't need to challenge his birth certificate when it is obvious that he had to doctor the footage of his shooting threes with Clark Kellogg. No real American would do that. And as for his opening-day pitch, notice how the arm goes back and to the left. Back, and to the left.
The Right Kind of Terrorism — What would you call a group of fundamentalists trying to create a unitary world order and explode a major building? Oddly, this is about the Gunpowder Plot — when English catholics tried to blow up Parliament and the King — which the Republican Governors' Association deliberately likened to their struggle to defeat Barack Obama. This examines how the American right considers patriotism indivisible from their politics, and thus how advancing the latter with the rhetoric of terror constitutes True Americanism.
Foul Things I Have Eaten — A sober, sincere and non-gluttonous defense of KFC's "Double Down."
Meet Thomas Sowell: A Moron — Innocently signing up for an Ayn Rand singles website led to getting regular emails from a famous black libertarian economist who writes the kind of fact-free drivel that your racist grandmother can't resist clipping out and mailing to you to support her hatred of immigrants and Brown v. Board of Education. The perfect article to print out and mail back to that grandmother, as it offers a small-scale simulation of how good it must feel to slap her or Sowell stupid.
'Unfriendly Fire' and Repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell — Nathaniel Frank's excellent book about the politically and morally contemptible origins of the DADT policy, how it weakens the military and preserves homophobia by codifying its acceptability, protecting its practitioners and criminalizing the lives of its victims.
SAVAGE SEZ: Free Lemonade Leads to Gov. Lemon-Aid — Chicago Sun-Times columnist Terry Savage rolled down her window to berate children at a lemonade stand because they failed to act in their rational economic self-interest. Savage is a horrible person and thinker whose columns trade in warmed-over Reaganomics while contrasting the free market only to Cuba or the USSR. It's the intellectual equivalent of replying, "WELL MAYBE YOU OUGHTA MOVE TO RUSSIA, COMRADE."
53 Things to Know, Do or Not Do at a Small Liberal Arts College — A list of advice for incoming freshmen on how to avoid using their newfound freedom to become a complete wank.
Profiles in Florida: Countdown to Rick Scott — A campaign bio and pre-election rundown on how Florida was about to elect a catastrophe of a human being. Rick Scott is indistinguishable from a Hialeah check-kiter but for the zeroes before the decimal point in the net total of fraud he has committed. This piece also kicks off the repeat loathing for Cancer Man.
Even More Things I Want to Do When I Grow Up — An annual Mr. Destructo tradition, in which we look back at the last year's accomplishments and set the bar higher for the coming year.
Picket Lines: Wisconsin, Unions—and a Nation of Immigrants Unsurprisingly Forgets Where It Came From — A disgusted rundown of the manufactured "labor" controversy in Wisconsin, a history of American attitudes toward labor, data about how we have a national perception of unions that's deeply, deeply out of whack, plus sheer fucking outrage. Plus, a nice one-stop shop for shutting up that terrible friend of yours whose idea of "understanding labor policy" is some joke about fat Teamsters.
How to Score While Seeing 'Atlas Shrugged' — There's gonna be pussy in America's future Libertopia. You're going to want to know how to get some.
Bill Simmons and Grantland — A look at ESPN's everyman Sportsguy and his new website, featuring an ill-defined purpose, an ill-fitting name, a collection of insipidly solipsistic "cultural commentators," ostensible hiring tokenism — and an incurious everyman-who-isn't wrapped in tissue-paper-thin skin.
SOMETHING AWFUL CONTRIBUTIONSTwo and a Half Mensch: How HuffPo and CollegeHumor Missed a Fat Comedy Target • DEATH PANEL • Meet Miss Destructo! • The Emmys Are for Idiots (Part I) • In Defense of Gringo Star • The Men and Women Without Quality (Vlog Every Day in April)