I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him "father".
Come now, Mr. Rogers. Surely in Washington's time our young nation had to endure a small lot of insufferable Americans, who encumbered our fledgling republic and tried his own patience and humanity? Individuals whose mere voice or image he found unbearable, prompting him to put his powder-wigged head through one of Mount Vernon's storied walls? Perhaps not, as prior to the advent of mass communication, and given the geographic sprawl of the eastern seaboard, it was still possible to sequester oneself in a Virginia country estate and turn a deaf ear to the clatter of Boston and New York high society.
No longer. As technology evolves at a breakneck pace, including smartphones, 24-hour news cycles, social networking sites, and the nefarious E! Network, we find ourselves adrift in a perfect storm of celebrity saturation. We are confronted by a small but powerful faction of politicians, news and entertainment figures, and professional athletes who we find both intoxicating and infuriating, who endanger our collective sanity and stand as a menace to humankind and good taste.
Behold the Soviet Union. While no one could marginalize enemies of the state better than our old adversaries, the Russians were somewhat shortsighted, historically reserving their Siberian gulags for the truly sinister, such as political dissidents, violent convicts, and Gregory Hines. An American gulag, conversely, can aspire to be so much more. A place where we can secrete those who are a blight on our society, and put them somewhere cold, dark and lacking Internet connectivity. Yes, Canada. Consider it a reverse prisoner exchange; they give us Justin Bieber and Howie Mandel, and we send them the following Forty Most Annoying Americans.
40. Jack Dorsey. Thank you, creator of Twitter, because where would we be without the 140-word gems of wisdom and poignancy coming from some of the most insightful minds in America. "Just because some people suck doesn't mean you do too." So true, @donniewahlberg, so true. And when one of the Kardashian sisters had an x-ray of her butt, we heard about the results first on Twitter. Vive l'Internet!
39. The Kardashian Sisters. Today's generation has Kim, Kourtney and Khloe. My generation had Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Ladd. The Kardashians carry Guccis and Louis Vuittons, our gals carried Smith and Wessons. When Farrah married Lee Majors, we all said "wow!" When Kim married Kris Humphries, we all said "who?" I'm not protesting talentless sex symbols; I'm protesting how we've lowered our standards for talentless sex symbols.
38-37. Carrot Top and Cris Angel. In a rare stroke of good fortune, both are currently performing at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. National Security Council, are you listening? This is like finding Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein hiding in the same cave.
36. Senator Charles Schumer. All of the amiability and cheerfulness of Charles Krauthammer.
35. Charles Krauthammer. Shocked to learn that his nickname on the Fox News set is "Giggles". Who knew?
34. George Will. Smug, pompous and condescending. Concomitantly, he likes to employ obscure phraseology, like concomitantly, to remind his readers how intellectually inferior they are. One of several distinguished Americans known for their ubiquitous bow ties, including C. Everett Koop, Pee Wee Herman, and The Cat in the Hat.
33. Marion Barry. Thank goodness that after being caught by the FBI smoking crack (in his defense, the bitch set him up), serving in federal prison for drug possession and perjury, and more recently charged with numerous tax evasion crimes, he's no longer the Mayor. But wait, he's still a D.C. councilman? Yep. His campaign slogan was actually He May Not be Perfect, But He's Perfect For D.C. True that.
32. Cast of Jersey Shore. Really, I need to explain this?
31. Flavor Flav. The low water mark for reality television. Flav finding true love on VH-1 makes about as much sense as Flav opening up a fried chicken restaurant in Iowa. Wait - he tried that too?!?
30-29. Jake Pavelka & Vienna Girardi. Watching these two narcissistic, fame-seeking neurotics spar with each other is like watching the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. There is no one to cheer for. All we can do is hope for mutual destruction. And you know that whoever we cast our lot with now, we're just going to have to come back and take them down later.
28. Justin Timberlake. Handsome, sings, dances, acts, funny, charming, adored by all of America. Speaking for all men who are none of those things, off to the gulag you go.
27. Brett Favre. His text messages and attachments -- repugnant. His on-again, off-again retirement is nothing more than an exercise of his inflated ego and self-absorption. All of that could be forgiven. But trying to convince us to buy Wrangler jeans? Sir, have you no decency?
26. Kathie Lee Gifford. Hearing she was back on daytime television reminded me of watching Glenn Close lurch out of the bathtub in Fatal Attraction.
25. People With Tattoos In Languages They Don't Speak or Understand.
24. Rosie O'Donnell. Gives the word "shrill" a bad name.
23. Nancy Grace. Making us yearn for Rosie O'Donnell. Thankfully her viewership is limited to the 38 people watching CNN Headline News. But, Nancy, I would advise you not to tangle with Bruno.
22. Newt Gingrich. His pastime of penning novels that re-write history should tell you everything you need to know about the bombastic former Speaker of the House. Well, that and he was having an affair with a staff member while leading the impeachment charge against President Clinton, for, you know, having an affair with a staff member. In the GOP presidential primary, Lord of the Flies-version, he's Piggy desperately trying to get the conch.
21. Dan Snyder, NFL owner. Snyder will soon be releasing his first DIY book, How to Trash an NFL Franchise and Alienate an Entire Fan Base. Start by signing malcontents and past-their-prime players to monster contracts, and then watch them underperform and obliterate team morale and fan interest. Ladies and gentlemen, your Washington Redskins.
20. Dustin Diamond. Twenty years ago, there would have been an entire barracks in our gulag reserved for A.C. Slater, Jessie Spano, Mr. Belding, et al. Not Screech Powers though, the skinny, hapless lovable loser. But future porn star, reduced to panhandling for Internet donations to save his house, and then appearing on Celebrity Fit Club to lose weight and becoming the most belligerent reality star since Omarosa? Did not see that one coming.
19. Piers Morgan. Yes, Morgan is British. But he's on American television, so now he's our problem.
18. Glenn Beck. Fox News canceled his program? It would seem Glenn Beck was too controversial, perhaps too unbalanced, and occasionally too unhinged for Fox News. Now there is an indictment.
17. Rush Limbaugh. It's never gratifying to hear that someone had a drug addiction problem that led to legal difficulties, professional embarrassment and public humiliation. Well, almost never.
16. Keith Olbermann. Leading candidate for Worst Person on This List. Oh, too hyperbolic, Mr. Olbermann?
15. Sarah Palin. Vilifies the media at every turn, which is akin to Frankenstein grousing about Mary Shelley books.
14. Grover. Aren't we all a little tired of this irritating furball, his puppeteering antics and his God complex? Yes, Grover Norquist, I'm talking about you.
13. Duke University basketball fans at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The only thing worse than actually listening to the Cameron Crazies, is listening to Dick Vitale exalt them over and over again.
12. Kasey Kahl. A castoff from The Bachelorette who has found a second life as Clyde to Vienna's Bonnie. Would someone please guard and protect us from that voice? Creeeeppppyy.
11. Heidi and Spencer Pratt. Boy has no talent. Boy meets girl, also with no talent. Boy falls in love with girl, girl falls in love with boy, boy convinces girl to have 10 plastic surgeries in one day. Classic American love story. Having said that, Heidi is probably a decent person. She's no Ann Coulter.
10. Ann Coulter. No single individual personifies the degradation of political discourse in America more than Coulter. The pugnacious Coulter has zero tolerance for liberals, who are clearly dedicated to undermining our freedom, destroying America from within, and torturing adorable puppies. Coulter's followers point to her multiple best-selling books as proof of her wide appeal. Which is like arguing that if the Reverend Jim Jones were alive today, he would have a lot of Facebook friends.
9. Donald Trump. Just as with Jersey Shore, no explanation needed here. Perhaps it is callous and undeserving to liken Trump to the Jersey Shore cast. My apologies to the Jersey Shore cast.
8. Kate Gosselin. And don't forget her eight dependents - her bodyguard, personal assistant, personal chef, hair stylist, publicist, yoga instructor, personal trainer and travel agent.
7. Acronym Creators. OMG, IMHO. WTF? BTW, LMFAO.
6. Michelle Bachman. She wanted to root out "anti-American" elements in our government. She linked the outbreak of Swine Flu to two Democratic Presidents. She moved the onset of the American Revolutionary War from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. She asserted global warming is a hoax. In the wake of the recent earthquake and hurricane, she opined, "I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of politicians." Her presidential run is making America pine for the coherency and rationality of Ross Perot.
5. Kanye West. Kanye West doesn't care about class. Am I the only person who was hoping Taylor Swift would have decked him? Postscript: Kanye just read that he is only #5 on this list, and stormed out of whatever room he was in.
4. Bill O'Reilly. Hey Bill, here's a Talking Points Memo. Shut the F#&@ Up!
3. Vampires. Buffy, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood -- Enough! Zombies are far more compelling creatures. Soulless, slow-moving, flesh-eating monsters that keep threatening to consume us and destroy our way of life no matter how many of them we dispatch. Speaking of which...
2. The entire U.S. House of Representatives. Please. Go. Away.
And the number one most annoying American...
1. Dick Cheney. All of the warmth, charm and charisma of The Robot from Lost In Space, complete with flailing arms and the repetitive monotone of "Danger, George Bush, Danger". Promises that his new memoir will cause "heads to explode" - suggesting that he intends to take all of his readers on a hunting trip.