Is The Summer Of 2011 The Worst Ever?

Is The Summer Of 2011 The Worst Ever?

Rupert Murdoch was pied in the face. TBS canceled the late-night show of alleged comedian George Lopez. And a Mexican mariachi band serenaded a beluga whale in Connecticut.

That was it. Media schadenfreude and a gyrating marine mammal: the lone highlights of the Summer of 2011. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Summer of 2010 should have been rock bottom. Three interminable months of the Greek contagion, the BP Gulf Leak, and an Icelandic volcano no one could pronounce.

Sports fans endured breathlessly hyped months of LeBronian ego. Saintly boyfriends, Sex & The City 2. And fratty roommates everywhere, the Smirnoff Ice Bros Icing Bros meme.

I lived in fear then. The left pocket of my favorite pair of jeans is still molded to the shape of a Smirnoff bottle. Security guards frisked me while leaving Duane Reade or Chipotle until they saw the suspicious bulge was a lukewarm bottle of malt-liquor and realized not even shop-lifters would stoop so low. But at the end of the day all this was bearable. We had the World Cup.

Sex & The City 2 bombed. Bros Icing Bros mercifully fizzled out. And LeBron met his comeuppances at the hands of Dallas’ stingy zone defense. Yet this is of little consolation. Because the Summer of 2011 is far, far worse. It is the worst summer of our lives.

Rioters vs Bankers Political Comic

Uprisings and discontent tweets, Facebook updates, and Skypes its way across the globe. Unemployment, food prices, and/or Middle Eastern strongmen, the clarion call to this 21st Century global revolt. Riots and looting gut capitals from Jerusalem to London. Baseball bat sales surged 6500% on Amazon’s United Kingdom site.

Alas, Arab Spring wilted into a Summer of stalemate. Tahrir Square swarms again with protesters protesting this isn’t what they protested for. Syria cracks down, Muammar Gaddafi digs in. And Iran’s centrifuges spin on…

Cartman at Egypt Protests

Stateside, the Summer of 2011 is The Summer of Lockout. From district courts to the hard-court, it’s been an endless Summer of hot, broke, and deadlocked; of filibusters, walk-outs, and stonewalling. A bitter Summer of record high gold prices ($1,800+/ounce) and record low Congressional approval ratings (12%). A Summer when “compromise” became a four letter word.

Bruce Springsteen will not pen a song about this one. It is the Summer of 9.1% unemployment. The Summer when Apple had more cash on hand than the U.S. government. And perhaps most tragically of all, the Summer of a Transformers movie—sans Megan Fox.

Legally, t’was a Summer no one got what they deserved. The Supreme Court sided with Wal-Mart. Casey Anthony, Roger Clemens, and Dominic Strauss Kahn—a butcher, a faker, and an IMF banker— all convicted only in the court of public opinion.

True, New York finally granted gays the right to marry. But not Sesame Street. The children’s program kiboshed an online petition for the ambiguous Bert and Ernie duo to wed, arguing they “do not have a sexual orientation.” Bert and Ernie were unavailable to comment, possibly because they are puppets.

2011 United States Heat Wave

And there was the heat. La Niña—the less famous, cold-watered sibling to El Niño—cooled off the Pacific, shut off the moisture pipeline, and desiccated the U.S. in the worst drought since the Dust Bowl. Texas governor Rick Perry declared a state-wide three day prayer for rain. There wasn’t the slightest drizzle for a week. Perry hosted a prayer rally after the S&P downgraded the U.S. The Dow plunged 5.5% the next day.

Small wonder God’s approval ratings plummeted to 52% in a Public Policy Polling survey. Younger respondents docked the Heavenly Father for his handling of natural disasters. 71% of respondents approved of God’s creation of the Universe. And 100% of respondents are believed to have asked why Public Policy Polling bothered with the study.

The sports gods must be bored. They must be entertained by the whims of Philly’s barbarian sports fans. Deus Ex Machina is the only explanation why the trashiest sports city now hosts an athletic Golden Age.

The fans don’t deserve this. They’ve pelted opposing players with D-cell batteries, cheered when they hurt. They’ve even booed Santa Claus. They should be cursed with years of cellar-dwelling. Years of perennial rebuilding in creaky, run-down stadiums. Not hoisting divisional titles before sell-out crowds in sparkling Citizens Bank Park.

The fans don’t deserve Roy Halladay. They don’t deserve Nnamdi Asomugha. And they especially don’t deserve a masterful front office that has fleeced the league.

The Phillies front office mustered an arms race—Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt—the likes of which the game has never seen before. The Eagles’ front office assembled an arguable Dream Team after scooping up the crème de la crème from a lock-out shortened free agency. The Phillies coast with the best record in the majors. The Eagles envision Super Bowl or Bust in preseason. And the gods await another tribute celebration from the savage fans…

This is the third of a 3 part series on the Summer of 2011. See the other parts here: Why Obama Is The Big Loser Of The Summer and The Heroes And Zeros Of Summer 2011.


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  1. James says:

    While the summer of 2011 has undoubtedly been one of the worst on record, I do resent your last point about Philadelphia.

    Do you think it’s coincidence that both Nnamdi and Cliff left more money on the table to come to Philadelphia? They love the fact that we are batshit insane. Yeah we threw snowballs at Santa Claus (who by the way was a skinny old guy who was drunk off his ass that day) but if you win a championship in this city we fucking love you. Ever hear of Pat Burrell? In the years leading up to the 2008 World Series you’d be hard pressed to find a more reviled player in Philadelphia, but as soon as he contributed to a World Title he became untouchable. Even when he left Philadelphia he received standing Os upon his return.

    If you play like shit and don’t try we will treat you like shit. If you bust your balls everyday on the field/ice/court we love you. If you bust your ass AND win? You become a god.

    But damn, it’s been fucking hot this summer.

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