Winners & Losers Of 2009 (Part One)

 
Winner:  Megan Fox
 
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen was an international commercial juggernaut, even bigger than its 2007 predecessor.  She landed her first lead role in Jennifer’s Body which garnered some raves from Richard Roeper, The Globe & MailSlateRoger Ebert, The New York Times, Time Magazine and Rolling Stone, among others.  She hosted the 35th season premiere of Saturday Night Live.  She’s one of the most searched celebrities on the Internet.  Maxim Magazine voted her the second hottest woman on the planet (just behind Olivia Wilde).  Her controversial interviews generate frequent news coverage.  And she was hired to model in her underwear.
 
Loser:  Megan Fox
 
Critics savaged Revenge Of The Fallen.  Jennifer’s Body generally received mixed reviews and only made back its small budget.  Her mostly unfunny SNL gig, where she played one pretty character after another (greatly limiting comic possibilities), was overshadowed by new cast member Jenny Slate’s accidental cursing (“I fuckin’ love you.”) and U2’s typically stellar 3-song performance.  Furthermore, Fox didn’t even bother to mention Jennifer’s Body during her opening monologue.  She was harshly criticized by three anonymous crew members on Michael Bay’s official website for being an on-set diva after comparing the Transformer director to both Hitler and Napoleon during an interview with a British magazine.  (The website comments were quickly removed, Bay distanced himself from them, another anonymous crew member defended her and Fox offered a quick, general denial of the unproven accusations many months later without thanking the guy that stood by her.)  Her overexposure led to a one-day online boycott by irritated blogs.  And according to a sometimes unflattering New York Times Magazine profile, she has a tendency to bullshit in interviews and frequently hides behind transparently phony images.  With more movies to come in 2010, a sizeable non-Transformers hit that enhances her acting reputation is more desperately needed than more hatefully memorable quotes.
 
Winner:  The Pittsburgh Penguins
 
In the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, the two-time champions were defeated by The Detroit Red Wings in 6 games.  However, 2009 would be a different story.
 
After going 45-28-9 in the regular season, The Pens returned to the post-season with only one goal in mine.  After disposing of The Philadelphia Flyers in six, The Washington Capitals in seven and The Carolina Hurricanes in four, they were one step closer to achieving it.  Meanwhile, the defending champions were knocking off The Columbus Blue Jackets, The Anaheim Ducks, and The Chicago Blackhawks on their own route to repeat glory.
 
For the first time in 25 years, the same two NHL teams battled it out in two consecutive championship series.  (The Edmonton Oilers and The New York Islanders previously squared off for The Cup in 1983 and 1984.)  After dropping the first two games on the road, Pittsburgh bounced back in games three and four.  Then Detroit skunked The Pens 5-0 in game five, giving them a three-games-to-two advantage.  It would be their last victory in the series.
 
Pittsburgh tied the series at home after a close game six but had their work cut out for them in game seven.  In the second period, Max Talbot scored two goals within nine minutes of each other, giving the road team a huge, surprising boost.  Although Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury lost his shutout late in the third, Sidney Crosby (who accumulated 31 points in the post-season but lost the Conn Smythe to teammate Evgeny Malkin who earned 36) and company held on to win The Penguins’ third Stanley Cup.  It was a thrilling end to a remarkable season.
 
Loser:  Conservatism
 
Robert Novak and William Safire died.  The wildly unpopular Sarah Palin mysteriously resigned midway through her only term as The Governor of Alaska.  She released a political memoir riddled with factual errors and endless whining.  Lou Dobbs quit CNN.  The New York Post published an offensive editorial cartoon regarding President Obama’s stimulus bill.  Two of their former employees are suing them for wrongful dismissal.  Google had to remove an equally offensive doctored photo of Michelle Obama, The First Lady, when it would pop up during searches made through the site.  Among the many Glenn Beck transgressions this year, his false assertion that Obama is a racist and hates white people (even though he has a caucasian mother) which cost him more than 80 advertisers for his afternoon Fox News Channel program was the most damaging.  Owner Rupert Murdoch agreed with him, than lamely backtracked through a spokesperson.  The Washington Times is on the verge of collapse. 
 
The pathetic “Birthers” movement (right-wing conspiracy theorists who are desperate to prove Obama isn’t an American citizen (he was born in Hawaii, not Kenya and yes, he has a legitimate birth certificate) and therefore not eligible to be President) has been an utter failure.  Ditto The Tea Party movement.  Speaking of which, racism and illogical comparisons to notorious dictators like Hitler and Stalin abounds amongst the protestors (as well as in The Conservative Media).  Misguided activists have shouted down politicians and fellow citizens during public health care forums because they dislike the public option The Democrats support.  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomeyer had to withstand numerous smears against her character and gender because she was Obama’s nominee.  (Despite the resistance by conservatives, she was confirmed and started her first term this October.)  In late January, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts unintentionally screwed up Obama’s oath during his inauguration which led to another crackpot theory that the 44th President couldn’t take office because he wasn’t officially sworn in.  (He had a redo not too long afterward at the Oval Office which went much more smoothly.)  A number of Conservatives cheered when Chicago, where Obama once worked and lived, lost a bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Others whined when he won The Nobel Peace Prize.
 
Andrew Sullivan and Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson belatedly left the party.  Rush Limbaugh was dropped from a group of bidders hoping to purchase The St. Louis Rams thanks to decades of hateful commentary catching up to him.  He also openly and continuously hoped Obama would fail.  ACORN had its public funding needlessly cut off after the grassroots organization was repeatedly smeared over unproven election fraud and a suspiciously edited series of videotapes put together by a couple of untrustworthy right-wing activists.  Fox News refused to broadcast numerous Obama press conferences.  Bill O’Reilly’s constant reference to murdered abortion doctor George Tiller as “Tiller The Baby Killer” came back to haunt him.  Arlen Specter became a Democrat.  Clear Channel, one of the Republican Party’s biggest corporate supporters, overpaid Limbaugh to keep him on the radio and is seriously broke.  Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman refused to concede his Senate seat to Al Franken until many months of legal timewasting.  (He never had the votes to beat the longtime SNL comedian.)  CNBC’s Jim Kramer got bitchslapped repeatedly by Jon Stewart.  His colleague, Rick Santilli, embarrassed himself, as well.
 
Far-right Republicans made a big, public push for Doug Hoffman in a local election for New York’s 23rd District.  He finished a distant third and the more moderate Republican candidate he replaced, the pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Dierdre Scozzafava, endorsed Democrat Bill Owens who won the seat.  Conservatives complained that Obama’s address to the country’s schoolchildren was “indoctrination”, even though numerous past Presidents, including George W. Bush, have given speeches like this.  After the speech, they were strangely silent.  A song honouring Obama and other famous African-Americans became a failed cause celebre for increasingly desperate Republicans.  South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford got caught skipping work to screw around with his Argentinian mistress.  Although 28 of the 37 ethics charges against him were recently dismissed, he still faces the possibility of either impeachment or censure.  Nevada Senator John Ensign was in an extramarital and political pickle of his ownFox News ceased being a credible news organization by becoming the unofficial opposition of Obama and the Democratic Party.  Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is against gay marriage but not against screwing around on his beautiful, extremely accomplished soon-to-be-ex-wife.
 
Were it not for the cowardly Democrats, who repeatedly refuse to listen to their constituents and sue for libel against those who consistently misrepresent their views and maliciously hammer away at their reputations, The Grand Old Party would be in even sadder shape. 
 
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, December 6, 2009
4:27 p.m.
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Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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