Ze Frank’s commentary on the natural world wins silver for Mental Health Break:
Paul Krugman was close second for the Dick Morris Award. He was nominated for his remarkably incorrect 1998 prediction about the Internet:
The growth of the Internet will slow drastically [as it] becomes apparent [that] most people have nothing to say to each other…. By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.
The Chart Of The Year runner up shows the damage global warming is doing:
Joe Romm looks ahead to the future implied by Andy Haveland-Robinson’s “death spiral” chart of Arctic Ocean ice coverage over time:
If recent volume trends continue, many experts say we will see a “near ice-free Arctic in summer” within a decade. Recent research finds that may well usher in a permanent change toward extreme, prolonged weather events “such as drought, flooding, cold spells and heat waves.”
Ian Bogost’s thoughts on McRib nearly won the Dish’s award for bad writing:
The McRib is like Holbein’s skull: we experience it as (quasi-)foodstuff, as marketing campaign, as cult object, as Internet meme, but those experiences don’t sufficiently explain it. To understand McRib fully, we have to look at the sandwich askew. … The McRib’s stochastic return mcdonalds-mcribmakes visible the relationship between the eater and the McDonald’s menu. It produces a stain, a tear in the order of things that reveals the object-cause of desire for McDonald’s, but only briefly before it evaporates like faux-cartilage. The fragile conditions that make the McRib possible also insure that desire for McDonald’s food more generally speaking is maintained.
Desire is a delicate system. For Lacan, the lover “gives what he does not possess,” namely the objet a that incites desire rather than sustaining it. Likewise, McDonald’s sells what it does not sell: the conditions of predictability, affordability, and chemico-machinic automated cookery that make its very business viable. … Industrialism is also a kind of magic, the magic of the perfect facsimile. Eating at McDonald’s—eating anything whatsoever at McDonald’s—connects us to that magic, allows us to marinate inside it and take on its power.
The Pope’s Selfie was second for Face Of The Year:
— Fabio M. Ragona (@FabioMRagona) August 29, 2013
This comment by Richard Cohen almost earned him the Malkin Award:
People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)
This ugly comment made North Carolina State Representative Larry Pittman runner-up for the Hewitt Award:
Someone had posted something with a picture of Barack Obama and across it said ‘traitor.’ And, you know, I don’t always agree with the guy, I certainly didn’t vote for him but I gotta defend him on this one. I just don’t think it’s right at all to call Barack Obama a traitor. There’s a lot of things he’s done wrong but he is not a traitor. Not as far as I can tell. I haven’t come across any evidence yet that he has done one thing to harm Kenya.
A close second for Window View Of The Year:
Ubud, Bali, 10.07 am
Ramesh Ponnuru was the Yglesias Award runner-up for this admission:
[Republicans] have no real health-care agenda. Voters don’t trust them to look out for middle-class economic interests. Republicans are confused and divided about how to solve the party’s problems. What they can do is unite in opposition to the Obama administration’s scandals and mistakes. So that’s what they’re doing. They’re trying to win news cycles when they need votes.
And second place for the Moore Award goes to Mike Malloy for this rant against Limbaugh:
This guy, this Limbaugh, this is one of the most vile human beings ever to live! If Limbaugh had the power, he would open gas chambers! If Limbaugh had the power, he would line people up against the wall and execute them! If Limbaugh had the power, he would destroy children because he can’t have any! The only thing he sees in children is sex partners! This is a sick, degenerate, evil man!
The winners are named here.