One thing I think everyone can agree on is the fact that this past decade has had more than its fair share of dicks. While almost everyone can agree on the dickishness of certain slimy characters out there, certain others inexplicably have their passionate defenders.
To my mind, however, over the past ten years quintessential dickishness has been defined by a select few.
So here it is, my list of the Biggest Dicks of The Decade:
#10. The Bankers at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, etc
First they nearly bring down the world financial system through their greed and short-term lust for profit, selling worthless bundled derivatives and their like. Then, after taking a trillion dollar bailout, they go straight back to their old reckless ways and, just to rub it in, start handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in bonuses to employees who wouldn't even have jobs if it weren't for the taxpayers saving their institutions from complete collapse a few months earlier. Capitalism taken to its logical, unregulated extreme. And let's not forget all the mindless deregulating politicians and, of course, Ayn Rand disciple and Mr. Housing Bubble himself, Alan Greenspan, the once mighty head of the Fed. Dicks!
#9. Ahmadinejad and the Conservative Mullahs of Iran
Rolling back the democratic and social reforms of his predecessor, fixing elections, labeling the Holocaust a sham, and sending out thugs to beat up, arrest, torture and even kill peaceful protesters and opposition supporters, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supporters in the conservative theocracy have enough blood on their hands to make it onto anyone's list. Dicks!
#8. Robert Mugabe
This is a no brainer. For destroying a once prosperous country and for turning the breadbasket of southern Africa into a nation of famine and poverty that can only survive with massive food aid from abroad - all the while unleashing a reign of terror against his opponents in an attempt to cling to power at all costs - this guy defines and even radiates the term dick. Read more about this buffoon here: A Delusional Dictatorial Demagogue: The Mugabe (and Mbeki) Rant. Dick!
#7. The Israeli Government
The governments of Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, and Benjamin Netanyahu, for their continued oppression of the Palestinian people; for the war on the people of Lebanon and the war on the people of Gaza, both featuring mass, disproportionate killings of civilians and horrific destruction. Then there's the continuing embargo on Gaza, leaving the people there living not just in the world's largest prison camp but also in a land of hopeless poverty and mounds of rubble. And let's not forget the Apartheid Wall through the West Bank and the never-ending and completely illegal appropriation of Palestinian land to build more and more Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank.
It's always fun to listen to Israel's knee-jerk defenders explain why all of this oppression and land stealing is not just ok, but is actually the Palestinians own fault. But the truth remains that this is one of the last bastions of outright brutal colonialism in the world. There are others too, of course, but Israel's constant refrain that it is the most civilized nation in the Middle East makes it a worthy member of this list on the grounds of flagrant hypocrisy alone. Dicks!
Yes, Canadians. It may shock some to see the famously nice, friendly and polite people of Canada making their first ever appearance on a Dicks of The Decade list, but this, I assure you, is a well-earned honor.
And we're not just talking about the country's leaders here; no, we're talking about most of the population.
Well, for our complacency and complicity in becoming the world's worst environmental degraders.
For accepting, with a seeming shrug of the shoulders, the humiliating reality of being the world's worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters.
For allowing our country to become a laughing stock at the recent Copenhagen climate change conference, where we were mocked daily as a "fossil".
For accepting the idea that we can get richer and richer while harming the rest of the world and the rest of the world can just go screw themselves.