Ah, the beginning of the year. A time to take stock. A time to look ahead at the year to come. And most importantly, a time to consider all of the people who deserve a very horrible new year.
That’s right, we’re talking about rich people. 2020 was an absolutely banner year for wealthy people behaving poorly, which is really saying something for a class of citizens whose mere status makes them morally dubious. And yet they continued to surprise us with just how irresponsible, uncaring, and unaware they can be!
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed entirely new ways for the ultra rich to behave reprehensibly, from escaping New York City during the first wave of the virus to going on group vacations to simply continuing to live in extreme comfort while millions of people struggle to stay safe and pay their bills. Now, they’re offering tens of thousands of dollars to jump the vaccine line, ahead of essential workers and vulnerable populations who need it most. Truly, there is no bar too low.
We’ve asked it before, and we’re sure to ask it again: Rich people, what is wrong with them? One thing’s for sure, being rich is a brain disease. We hope these people find a cure in 2021! If not, maybe we can find one for them.
People with “vacation homes,” submitted by Aleks Chan
I look at the unemployment and poverty numbers from 2020 and I shake with fury—according to data reported by the Washington Post, 12 million Americans will owe an average of more than $5,000 in unpaid rent and utilities by January. My anger is based more in the larger systemic inequalities that allow for some people to own multiple homes when so many have no roof over their heads. But if you have a second home, maybe where you normally “vacation,” because you are financially secure enough to use “vacation” as a verb, I beg, beg, beg you: Feel an appropriate amount of shame about it, don’t post to your social media about being “bored” in your Hamptons beach house, and give to the direly needed mutual aid networks (find one near you here) supporting unhoused communities you don’t see from the comfort of your extra home.
The Trump cabinet, submitted by Paul Blest:
For four years, the leadership of the federal government has been the largest collection of repulsive hogs hungry for money and power this side of Davos. From William Barr ordering federal troops into cities to crush racial justice protests, to Scott Pruitt and his cartoonishly bad grifting when he wasn’t handing over the keys to the EPA, to Mike Pompeo fighting his Christian holy war from the top perch at the State Department, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, Steven Mnuchin, Alex Azar, Wiilbur Ross, Betsy DeVos, Jeff fucking Sessions—the list goes on and on. And that’s not even counting the pieces of shit who made up the Trump White House (looking at you, Stephen Miller). One more time with feeling: Fuck all of these people.
Self-canceled journalists, submitted by Rafi Schwartz:
It must be tough being a marquee journalist these days. Why else would so many big name writers be jumping ship — often to the newsletter bandwagon — when the digital media landscape is already such a salted-earth wasteland to begin with? Golly gee whiz, I bet it’s great to know you can get by on a meager $400K after voluntarily leaving your half-a-million dollars a year salary because someone had the audacity to suggest that you might need some edits on your latest blog, huh Glenn? And, yeah, it must sting to realize that you’re gonna have to publish your only-barely hidden racism yourself moving forward, but them’s the breaks Sully. I’m sure you’ll be just fine. Hell, Bari’s self-published New York Times resignation letter still has its own header on her website, just above a laudatory blurb from Cynthia fucking Ozick. If this is “cancel culture” then what’s the problem? Please, I beg of you all: fuck off into the sun and leave the rest of us alone.
Texas shitheads, submitted by Sam Grasso:
My brain, like many people’s brains, has been scrambled by the trauma of 2020, so here is a loosely chronological list of some of the ways that Texas’ well-to-do elected officials have launched us to near victory as the state with the second-highest number of COVID cases AND deaths: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offered up the lives of Texas grandparents in exchange for a prosperous economy. Then Gov. Greg Abbott opened the state far too early and without giving Texans resources to stem the virus from spreading. And then he and a bunch of other Texas shitheads like Reps. Chip Roy and Dan Crenshaw rallied to release a North Texas hairdresser from jail for operating during the shutdown (her entire protest was bullshit, at that), only to leave thousands of other people vulnerable to COVID — most people who have died of COVID while incarcerated in Texas, for instance, were never convicted of a crime. Early on Abbott banned cities from enforcing their own mask ordinances, and resisted imposing a state-wide mask requirement as cases spiked, finally acting ONLY after it was too late. Abbott has insisted that Texas won’t be going into a second lockdown as Sen. Ted Cruz owns the libs (or, more so, all the people dying in El Paso) by pledging his allegiance to Thanksgiving and Christmas over the lives of other Texans. And all the while, all of these fucking people have the financial resources and access to medical attention to weather a pandemic that a majority of Texans do not, and would rather protect their own financial interests in the state than the people they’re supposed to serve. Every last one of them can fuck off, for infinity!!!
The Lincoln Project, submitted by Katherine Krueger:
I would love nothing more than say we’re leaving these Republicans in Democrats’ clothing in 2020, but I don’t like to be naive. The Lincoln Project was the perfect political project to thrive in the political (and general) misery of the past year, logging nearly $60 million in fundraising since launching by bilking mostly Democratic-voting small-dollar donors while also catering to the billionaire set. What could bring Republicans, billionaires, and Democrats with enough money to donate to a super PAC together? Desperation for a more polite, offline president, one who respects norms and the Rule of Law. Their stated singular aim was defeating Trump—who, when you look at his record, championed a lot of policies that conservative Republicans strongly support—for the purpose of being let in from the cold into the favor of the next administration. Boy has it worked and made a lot of people rich in the process. Fuck off!
Cable news anchors, submitted by Jack Crosbie:
Comfortable, well-paid news anchors sucking shit isn’t exactly a new trend, but every four years we get a political news cycle that really gives them a chance to shine. What is essentially happening right now is the polarization of America not along political lines but along the lines of who is comfortable and who is not. Cable news exists to serve the first category, as it always has, and it continues to do so well: whether it’s Vanderbilt heir Anderson Cooper looking aghast every time someone he interviews mentions a wealth tax, Jake Tapper being openly Islamophobic on main, or Stephanie Ruhle constantly breaking journalistic ethics to serve the financial industry, these people have failed us time and time again. People in the second category are catching on, but as trust in mainstream news declines, many of the alternatives that have cropped up in the past four years, enabled by the president and opportunists on Fox News seeking to ride this wave, now only exist to suck skeptical, hurting people down a pipeline of conspiracies and hate. Not all of this is Chris Cuomo or Rachel Maddow’s fault. But the fact that the mainstream, liberal-minded media isn’t offering anything to represent, inform, or address people on the margins is something they have the power to change, but will not.
George W. Bush, submitted by Jack Mirkinson
The years-long trend of adoration for this brain-dead war criminal reached a nauseating peak in 2020, as his supposed decency was contrasted with Trump’s wickedness. No. No. No. There is nothing decent about George W. Bush, and his rehabilitation mostly shows that Americans are willing to forgive you as long as you mostly shut up and you kept most of your torture and slaughter regime confined to foreign shores. With Trump out of the way, surely it is time for the Bush myth to finally die.
Jeff Bezos, submitted by Caitlin Schneider
Jeff Bezos is an easy target, yes, but he’s never deserved it more than now. As the pandemic has devastated millions of Americans, Bezos has only gotten richer (seriously, he’s gotten $90 BILLION richer this year), all while his own employees have asked for basic protections to little avail. Now, at least 20,000 of them have tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile the company has been spying on warehouse workers and obsessively surveilling labor and union-organizing activity. MacKenzie Scott, Bezos’ ex wife, who is reportedly worth around $57 billion, has made headlines recently for saying that she’s given a few of her billions to charity. That’s nice, but you know what would be better? A wealth tax.
Please nominate your own Rich People Who Can Fuck Off in the comments! It was honestly very difficult to choose among the many, many deserving candidates and there are probably many more we didn’t even think of. (Some dishonorable mentions include Ellen DeGeneres, celebrities who received PPP loans, and everyone in the “Imagine” video.) Sound off below and may the mega-rich rot in hell in 2021. 🙂