Can you believe it? Yet another year is behind us, and is currently in the process of being filed into the comedy section of the history books. 2018 was another year that continued the tradition of being a 24/7 shitstorm of political debate, questionable technical innovation, and endless celebrity stupidity that came in all the flavors of the rainbow. There was plenty of bad stuff, there was some occasional good stuff, but no matter what, there was always something new and stupid to point and laugh at. The constant feed from social media worked as an accelerant that amplified and intensified the constant stream of questionable information being blasted directly into our eyeballs all day long. No matter how much terrible news entered our Twitter feeds, it was pretty hard to stay mad at any one single event or trend, because it was usually replaced by something else that was even more infuriating within the hour.
The following list is far from being a all-encompassing snapshot of 2018, but the sheer amount of news and media that was shared over this last year is destined to leave more than a few stragglers swirling around inside the bowl. Without any further ado, I present to you, dear reader…..
TEHBEN.COM’s BEST OF 2018 AWARDS!
COOLEST THING SHOT INTO SPACE:
TESLA ROADSTER (FEB. 6)
Elon Musk and his privatized space company continue to impress us almost on a daily basis with amazing technical feats accomplished in large-scale model rocketry. Now that they have perfected automated vertical rocket landings on moving barge platforms, they are moving on to crazier experiments, as scientists and mathematicians of this caliber tend to get bored rather easily. In February, Space X decided to test fire a Falcon Heavy booster rocket into low earth orbit, but carrying a secret stowaway payload aboard. Musk decided to show off his technical prowess by launching his own personal electric Tesla roadster into space, and it was shot into an orbit that will swing out well beyond the planet Mars. A car floating around in space is pretty bitchin’ by itself, but Musk also put a life-sized dummy in a spacesuit in the driver’s seat. He also surrounded the car in GoPro cameras and streamed the whole thing on the internet. By doing this, he inadvertently ended up creating the most expensive bumper for 1980’s-era MTV.
This amazing feat of ingenuity coupled with putting a bizarre object into the heavens made the collective internet go bananas. There was a measurable public excitement for the future of space programs at level not seen since the inception of the Space Force. Musk was finally becoming the folk hero he was destined to be, that is, until Musk decided to try to help save a soccer team trapped inside a flooded cave that summer with the help of his homemade micro submarine. The H.M.S. Child Sub (insert your own Jared Fogle joke here) ended up being too big for some of the cavern passages, and was unable to be utilized in the rescue effort. One of the people who actually rescued these kids called him out on his involvement as nothing more than a publicity stunt, so Musk retorted this grievous insult by calling him a pedophile. After retracting that accusation, he then doubled-down on repeating it a month later when he made a surprise appearance on the Joe Rogan Podcast where he smoked all the marijuana and talked about rockets, rainbows and the plight of the lizard people. Musk can certainly be a dick sometimes, but you have to cut him a little slack since it’s hard being the only guy on the planet that’s actively trying to nudge our species off this rock.
BEST TWITTER HASHTAG THREAD:
#SECONDCIVILWARLETTERS (July 4th)
You might have noticed that there’s been a tiny little bit of political derision and division ever since the electoral college chose a sentient potato with bad hair to be the behind the desk of the highest office of the country/world. While it would be fun to try to pick out the “best/dumbest Trump tweets” for this list, it is insulting to anyone who would have to look through all of them, since almost every one of his tweets feel like they are written by a second-year third grader that watched half an episode of School House Rock! If you want to write your own, Trump tweets are as easy to forge, all you have to do is mash out the words “NO COLLUSION! WITCH HUNT!” (Repeat 43,000 times)
The political divide hit pitches of feverish proportions around the same date as birthday of the country, when the Great Prophet Alex Jones swore that the Democrats were going to oust Dear Leader forcefully from power. He used the bullhorn of the internet to try to convince anyone that would listen that we were headed into cataclysmic divide so deep that the country would take up arms in a second Civil War. The Democrats and the Republicans would soon be waging death to each other in the bloody trenches, surrounded by several half-empty twelve packs of Mountain Dew and mountains of empty Cheetos bags.
While this very idea is an imbecilic fever dream at best, this imminent “threat to America” led to hilarious threads, posts, and “attacks” from both sides. The Republicans attacked the left with jokes about running out of avocado toast and how having empathy for others is weak, you fuckin’ pussy! Democrats attacked the Republicans for their aversion to scientific facts, blatant racism, and the fact of how hard it would actually be to fight a war with a rifle jammed firmly up your ass. This was the one thread this year that I could not get enough of, and I found it to be entertaining for hours, despite everybody under the sun retreading all the same jokes.
SADDEST CELEBRITY DEATH:
JOSH MARTIN, ANAL C*NT GUITARIST (MAY 28)
One of the most influential grindcore musicians of this generation passed away in May from blunt force trauma absorbed from an escalator fall. Martin was well known for his inability to play music, notes, chords or keep time. His playing was featured on many A.C. albums, and his best-known and well-loved songs were “You Look Divorced”, “Eazy-E Got AIDS From Freddy Mercury” and “You Went to See Dishwalla and Everclear (You’re Gay)”,
Martin leaves behind his friends, family, and an extremely small group of fans. He died doing what he loved: falling off an escalator directly onto his skull, inside of a packed mall in front of a bunch of people.
ANTI-VAX REINDEER (DECEMBER)
There’s some really great dank memes going around this year, circulating like herpes, but it’s cool because it’s the funny kind of herpes. This year’s winner surprisingly was not a Spongebob meme (these compose around 86% of the internet) despite being suddenly tinged with a hint of sadness due to the recent passing of creator Steven Hillerburg. His death still hasn’t stopped most folks from posting floods of them in every political thread.
Some memes are obtuse, some memes are stupid, and all memes are misspelled to the extreme. But sometimes, one special meme comes along that transcends party lines, and gives us all something truly great. Behold:
Now, that’s a great joke that everyone can get behind, unless you are still one of those morons that assumes that everything that surrounds you is a deep-state government conspiracy. Hope your kids have fun getting polio, you stupid fuck.
The runner-up is this sick burn from Michelle Wolf giving President Toad Dick the finger.
BEST DISNEY VILLAIN:
MAGABOMBER (OCTOBER 25th)
Occasionally, there are stories of incredibly stupid crimes and crime sprees lifted directly from the scripts of Scooby-Doo episodes. It would happen that the crime of the century unfolded during the last week of October. A deranged person started mailing explosives to prolific Democrats and anybody who was a vocal opponent of President Orange.
For an intense week, bombs continued to show up on doorsteps and businesses, and almost all of them were intercepted by an unpaid intern. These poor bastards had to handle and deal with homemade bombs (while getting paid nothing). Remember these brave souls whenever you think that your job sucks.
Thankfully, these explosive devices were built with precision of a child’s finger painting, and every bomb that was sent out showcased craftsmanship on a level that indicated that the bomber was most likely a blind second grader. As more bombs were discovered each day, the partisan finger-pointing battle intensified online. The Democrats claimed that the bomber was most likely an ammosexual MAGA dumbfuck, and the Republicans swore that the culprit was a shadowy government entity that was trying to frame them and distract the public from discovering all those pizza sex dungeons.
Of course, somebody that was this bad at being a terrorist would eventually make a mistake, and the bomber in question finally left enough DNA evidence (and return address) to get caught, and he did indeed turn out to be a nationality confused ammosexual MAGA dumbfuck. It can’t be stated enough how grateful we are that there were no injuries or fatalities that were the result from his idiotic stunt. While callous, cowardly acts like this are not endorsed by tehben.com, we could not help ourselves but use this fuckery to cash in some of our chips, hoping for fame.
BEST FROZEN DESSERT:
Watermelon Bomb Pops (SUMMERTIME)
The summer of 2018 was indeed stupid hot, and hot summer days that were that brutal needed a special something that can cool you down from the inside out. While folks on the east coast have easy access to the Friendly’s WhattaMelon for handling this summer task, we just don’t have that kind of stuff here in the mountains to the west.
But we finally had something comparable this year! Bomb Pops made a watermelon popsicle, complete with candy seeds mixed inside the syrupy sweet red section. These “seeds” weren’t chocolate (that would have been gross), but were instead a delicious mix of hard candy and ground-up plastic beads. These tasty treats were the very embodiment of the summer spirit and fun, and every delicious bite whisked you away to a fireworks show on a beach. Once I discovered these, I ran out and bought about 20 boxes of these fucking things, and managed to clear out several Wal-Marts. In September our extra freezer died, which was still stockpiled to the top with boxes full of these. I had Watermelon Bomb Pops for three consecutive meals for about a week, which honestly, has kind of strained my relationship with these.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you can get your very own box next summer! I recommend only buying one box at a time, tho.
BEST KARMIC RETRIBUTION:
THE $20 OF GASOLINE GOFUNDME ASSHOLES (ONGOING)
Now let’s take a break and focus on something warm and fuzzy, shall we? Back at the end of 2017, the news closed out the year on a heartwarming note with the saccharine-filled story of homeless veteran John Bobbitt (not the same dude who got his dick chopped off in the 90’s) who rescued a helpless lady who ran out of gas. This modern adaptation of the classic Arthurian legend says that this fearless veteran walked miles to a gas station, used his last 20 bucks to get her a can of gasoline and then brought it back to her. She was so floored by this amazing act of generosity that she decided to create a Gofundme to ask strangers on the internet repay this stranger for his selfless act of kindness, because you can’t draw blood from a dumbass that clearly isn’t smart enough to be able to read a gas gauge.
With this incredible story cemented in place for the three participants, the three of them proceeded to panhandle the internet to the tune of $400,000 fucking dollars. If a reward of this size was going directly to an actual homeless hero that actually did this, this would have been perfectly fine. But the wheels to the fundraising story fell off once Bobbitt came forward to tell the rest of the world that the woman and her creepy-ass boyfriend kept most of his cut of the take and that every possible word of this story was nothing more than a complete fabrication. It turns out that the most uplifting story of 2017, something that became a compelling beacon of hope for those who had lost faith in humanity, ended up being 100% fictional. Like every great American fable, the underlying moral of the story is always “grifters gon grift”.
These fucking clown shoes also did not make it very hard for police to figure out what was going on, since the normally strapped for cash couple suddenly began buying BMWs and going on lavish gambling trips and vacations. There was a whole week of news coverage that was dedicated to detailing all the different shit that the police were repossessing directly from their property. Right now, all three of these idiots are currently on the hook for all that missing money and are looking at possibly doing some jail time for international fraud. Instead of spending that charity on stupid shit, it turns out that Bobbitt was, in fact, the smartest of the three of them. Turns out that it’s impossible for the police to repossess used heroin.
The new and improved version of the story with all the legal trouble and exposed fraud is kind of more heartwarming and more representative of American values than the original story, in my opinion.
BEST VIDEO GAME:
RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 (OCT. 26)
There have been some seriously awesome video games this year across all platforms, but the real standout of the bunch was the much-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games. This sequel picks up just before the events of the first sequel (Redemption 1 was, of course, the sequel to Red Dead Revolver), when the gang of miscreants and ne’er do wells terrorize the wild west in search of unattainable riches all while trying to escape detectives, bounty hunters and the hangman’s noose.
We gave our first impressions here on tehben.com, and while I was initially very irritated by the awful button layout and controls, I eventually gave it a real chance due to the immense beauty of the natural world inside the game, populated by a massive cast of memorable characters. From this point on, I have decided that I should not give inflammatory game reviews without allowing myself 20 hours of play time to get used to overwhelmingly technical controls. I am a whole ass, indeed.
Seriously though, this game is (at a minimum) 60 hours of breathtaking fun that you can spin in whatever fashion you wish. I chose to be a heartless villain, and I did horrific stuff that made me question my what underlying stuff is going on in my brain. It was fun trying to figure out fun new ways to kill random settlers, and there’s never a dull moment in this game if you’re creative enough. On a craggy mountain trail, I spent a whole afternoon piling up dead pedestrians behind a rock to try to make a castle out of bodies, stealing their hats in the process. Your mileage may vary.
Do yourself a favor and go get this game right now! At first, the controls will irritate you almost to the point of quitting, but don’t despair, eventually they will feel better. And you can enjoy the emotional plot twists and turns for the first time on your own since people online haven’t been leaking a lot of spoilers either, which is nice for a change.
GOTTI (JUNE 15)
Have you ever wanted to watch a two-hour long biopic on John Gotti, who was pretty much just Diet Al Capone? Not many people did either, as this movie only made 13 dollars during its two-day theatrical run, making this film less successful than The Room. It turns out that there just isn’t a very large Gotti fanbase out there, as most of them have come to unfortunate ends. John Travolta plays the lead role, reprising the talent that made Battlefield: Earth such a critical and commercial hit.
If you are feeling like a glutton for punishment, Gotti is streaming for free on Amazon Prime right now. Even though it is free, watching this film will still make you feel like you’re being robbed somehow.
GRETA VAN FLEET, ANTHEM OF THE PEACEFUL ARMY (OCT. 19)
Based on looks alone, the dudes that make up this band look like they are nothing more than a hairy Fall Out Boy clone. Once these guys start playing, this band becomes something amazing, they are brand new classic rock. The lead singer absolutely crushes everything he sings and reinvents the sound of 1970’s anthem rock by making it palpable for the current day and age. While the vocals are positively smoldering, the accompanying music is…. lacking. Every note, chord, and progression could be learned and figured out by anyone who has spent two minutes playing around on a plastic Rock Band guitar. It’s embarrassing how simplistic the guitar, bass and drum lines are; I have seen more intricate music being played during 8th grade jazz band concerts.
The first few singles these guys recorded generated a ton of buzz, and they got included on sports video game soundtracks and ran the late night talk show circuit for weeks. Everyone was excited to hear their first LP, until they actually released their first LP. It was not as big a hit as anyone had hoped. Like I said, Greta Van Fleet is pretty much just a once-in-a-generation vocalist paired up with the least talented band you’ve ever heard.
Anthem of the Peaceful Army might not be the biggest crowd pleaser of the year, but it is about the only new music that was released this year that felt relevant and fresh to an old fossil like myself.
BEST WEIRD POLITICAL BEDFELLOWS
AXL ROSE AND SEBASTIAN BACH TAG TEAM SOME RANDO (NOV. 11)
This was weird, but a fun (and all too brief) moment on Twitter. The president had spent the day tweeting about stupid shit like golfing and covfefe and eventually decided to give his honest opinion on the California wildfires that were destroying Malibu. Trump decided that these awful fires were all California’s fault, because of course he did. Everything this guy does is so very presidential.
So this ignorant dumpster fire led to the kind of great arguments that Twitter is famous for. Of course, it was nothing but a toxic cesspool of trash, until the ignorant comments from a Chicagoan woman who just wanted to Make America Great Again, through her unique take on politics and her prevalent untreated head injury decided to put in her two cents:
Yes, this is all dumb, but it was just dumb enough to build bridges between the bitter rival generals of the butt-rock hair metal wars. Axl Rose, the lead singer for Guns N’ Roses and current spokesperson for Clairol and Fat Burger took time from getting beat up by fashion designers to team up with Sebastian Bach, the lead singer for Skid Row. These guys always had beef with each other throughout the 80’s but are enlightened enough these days to realize we are stronger when united against somebody parroting some stupid bullshit.
I kind of have a renewed respect for both these kings of Butt Rock.
BEST SPORTS FUCKUP:
BACKUP QB EATS CAT TRANQUILIZERS, GETS BEAT THE FUCK UP (OCT. 23)
While our predictions that Paxton Lynch was going to lead Denver to an AFC title were a bogus lead, we completely overlooked the other doofus in Denver’s QB stable. This third-string quarterback was pretty much a grenade of stupidity and testosterone just waiting to go off, and he did it during a Halloween party. He did some bad drugs, freaked out and disappeared into the night looking to break into a random resident’s home and ended up getting the shit kicked out him by a dude wielding a vacuum.
He’s still unemployed as of this writing, so if your NFL/CFL/PeeWee team needs a asymmetrical-faced quarterback with poor self-control and a penchant for breaking and entering, Chad’s your guy. Just treat him the same way you would a puppy, and hit him over the head with a vacuum tube whenever he shits in the living room.
HIGHEST PERFORMING ARTICLE ON TEHBEN.COM:
“KYLE BUSCH IS TRYING TO SAVE NASCAR” by Matt Burroughs
This bad boy took our stat counter and made it explode with numbers I never thought were even possible. For the last five years (are you fucking kidding me??) I’ve gotten quite good at posting an article using a deceptive title and hoping that one or two wino grandmothers on Facebook would share it. This promotional model has not been the best demographic decision, as it is hard to be “your mom’s favorite website” with lower view counts than that “Hello My Future Girlfriend” dudes’ site.
Matt’s awesome sense of humor and well-crafted writing, paired with his intimate knowledge of what the readers want to read resulted in this awesome post that was loved and shared by pretty much everyone. In it, he talks about how NASCAR drivers are basically pro wrestlers with the same hierarchy and roles, and a truly entertaining match needs heroes just as much as it needs heels. While the content was great, it also opened our eyes on new ways to market and promote our brand and we finally proved there was actual demand somewhere out there.
Thanks again, Matt for everything you do!
FANS AND SUBSCRIBERS OF TEHBEN.COM!!
You guys are all great! Thank you for sticking with us as we finally managed to get our footing this year. We are poised to do even more damage in the realm of sports, soda, games, and vintage toys in 2019! Thanks for making all this hard work worth it!