If the last ten years have taught the fame-producing world anything, it’s that publicity is publicity is publicity. While good press fizzles, bad press never stops smelling – or selling. So let’s spray on the cheap perfume. For your guilty-reading pleasure, here’s our selection of the year’s most memorable playas, scammers, and back-stabbers.
February 16, 2009
Damien Hirst, enfant terrible of the art world, finally got dumped. Though the gallery system had supported him through his entire career at a measly 50 percent commission rate, in 2008, Hirst cheated. Seduced by Sothebys shameless 15-20 percent commissions, he auctioned off 223 works through the auction house (a calf submerged in formaldehyde sold for $18.4 million). The art world stood by their man at first, buying $198 million of his works. But in 2009, he accused a sixteen-year-old designer of reproducing an image of his diamond-encrusted-skull in a collage. Double irony from an appropriationist artist or just megalomania? Infidelity was forgivable, but hitting the kids was not. Hirst’s works haven’t been faring as well since—the Ukranian Billionaires are back to buying expensive Picassos.
June 24th, 2009
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford got lost on the Appalachian Trail and somehow ended up Argentina. Unless there is a time-space portal hidden somewhere in Appalachia, Sanford ranks high on our list of infidels. In South Carolina’s long and noble tradition of infidelity (The War for Southern Independence, aka the Civil War), Sanford is an honorary member.
August 11, 2009 / January 4, 2010
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, shocked his crunch-yup client base with his right-wing political views. In August, the Wall Street Journal published an opinions piece that opposed Obama’s health care plan. Then, this January, Mackey told the New Yorker he believes that “no scientific consensus exists” about climate change. Just who does he think he’s selling to?
August 19, 2009
Brett Favre came out of retirement again, this time to play for the Minnesota Vikings, pouring salt into the wounds of the neighboring Green Bay Packers’ fans. It seems this was negotiated through coy back and forth messages, reported by him as “Nothing other than, ‘Are you interested?’ And vice versa.” Cheating? Not exactly. But we’d think Favre above a “Prospect and Meeting”-style casual encounter with the enemy. Perhaps he could learn some etiquette and restraint from his daughter, the inspiration behind a 300-person strong Facebook group my brother just joined: “The Brittany Favre Rejected My Friend Request Experience.”
September 10, 2009
Congressman Joe Wilson, this year’s second honorary member of South Carolina’s fiery league, was betrayed by his own nation. During Obama’s speech to congress, Wilson screamed out “You lie!,” standing up against the president’s attempt to corrupt national freedom with socialist propaganda. Joe has since gathered a following. Two days after the outburst, Wilson had received $1 million in campaign donations. ‘I’m with Joe Wilson’ T-shirts are now available online—FREE with signature of life-long voting contract with the GOP.
October 1, 2009
David Letterman revealed, in an awkwardly flippant monologue, that he had cheated on his wife with a staff member of his show, and was currently getting blackmailed for it. After a year of politicians, press conferences, and pressured wives, no one was really shocked. Well, except his audience, who were held hostage and tricked into laughing at the twisted humor-pastiche that Letterman was trying to pass off as a monologue. Set a sense of humor free, and if it’s meant to be, it’ll come back to you, Dave.
November 3, 2009
Life as an actress the on F(at) list is not easy. Although these days, Kirstie Alley seems to have found a lucrative career in documenting her diets and binges on reality television. This year, Kirstie broke up with Jenny Craig and got back together with Jelly Doughnut, gaining 85 pounds. Kirstie is now learning to cope on her new reality show “Big Life.” Thank God Oprah was there to get her through things.
January 21, 2010
The fact that John Edwards cheated on his cancer-stricken wife with crazytown mayor Rielle Hunter has been common knowledge for the past two years. On this day, the former presidential candidate came forth to claim paternity of Hunter’s bouncing, Edwards-cheeked baby girl. Jokes about his “two Americas” potency aside, this was a rare moment of honesty for the disgraced politico.