Yes, it has been a long hiatus for the DOW Award, but that was due to more than just simple apathy on my part; there have been far too many candidates to choose from. There were no truly Epic Douches, defined as those who stood head-and-shoulders above the field, to single out for special recognition. How to choose when the field is so full?
The sad fact of American Life is that the phenomenon of Douchebaggery has become so common is that it takes an industrial disaster of epic proportions to make the distinction between the huddled masses of workaday douchebags, and those who have ascended to the mystic and exalted heights of Mount Douchebottle -- the Olympus of Douchedom -- on their way to cosmic douchebag immortality, to burn brightly in the sky in the Galaxy We Call The Douchey Way.
Tony Hayward, the CEO of British Petroleum (BP) has made the arduous journey from ordinary douche (obnoxious businessman) to become the four-star General, the George S. Patton, if you will, of Douchedom.
Hayward's company has poisoned the Gulf of Mexico -- perhaps for generations -- with an oil spill that began 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, at the very limits of technological and engineering capabilities. BP has allegedly co-opted the very regulators (and politicians) who are supposed to ensure that a) BP doesn't make the mistakes that lead to an uncontrollable oil spill, and b) has a a plan and the wherewithal to clean up after those mistakes, with campaign contributions and a cozy relationship with the regulators that involves the promise of future employment.
It does this all the while running commercials, for years, about it's commitment to a cleaner environment and the Energy of Tomorrow.
BP has, despite protestations to the contrary, done little to protect the Gulf Coast, or to actually clean up after itself. It has lawyered up (and granted, the Obamatards stepped in right way with the threat of Federal lawsuits -- talk about putting carts before horses!) it has fudged the numbers on the size of the spill, the amount of oil leaking, the effects of it's counter-spill efforts, even the number and amount of claims it has paid to local fishermen. It has been aided and abetted by the Obama Administration it has bought and paid for, while all the while giving that same bunch of lame-ass morons both a plausible excuse for their piss-poor reaction (BP is responsible, not us!), and the excuse to further rape the American consumer and Taxpayer (tighter regulations and restrictions on the Energy Industry, as well as new taxes, are on the way).
BP is front-and-center in an environmental disaster that makes the Exxon Valdez look like a cup of coffee spilled in a bathtub. The scope and scale of this disaster, and the difficulty involved in shutting off the flow of oil, makes a Chernobyl-like explosion appear to be an acceptable risk in terms of making nuclear power a more-viable alternative to oil.
Yet, through it all -- all the ruined fisheries, the devastated local economies, the now-sure-to-be-cancelled tourist season, the dead pelicans and otters, the frightening imagery of an uncontrollable undersea volcano of black sludge -- Tony Hawyard feels picked on. He "wants his life back". He wants the media spotlight off his company, and him personally.
You see, Tony, this is not about you, inasmuch as you have gotten the attention solely because you happen to be the man in charge. You're the CEO, you get the salary, and it's your job, frankly, to be the lightning rod in the shitstorm -- it's why you're overpaid in the first place. If it bothers you that much, then don't whine, just fucking quit. We couldn't possibly think any less of you, anyway. What this is really about is the millions of Americans whose lives are now going to be affected, perhaps for decades, because of this disaster. How do they get their lives back, Shithead?
And yet, Mr. Hayward, already regarded in this country as something slightly-less popular than Cholera, thinks he can make people forget that BP has destroyed their beaches and livelihoods, and that all his douchey tomfoolery over personalizing the effects can be erased by a propaganda campaign, a series of commercials and public service announcements about what BP is doing to help clean up the Gulf and make things right.
That sort of rehabilitate-the-image crap works for democratic party politicians, Mr. Hayward (mostly because their supporters are dumber than dogshit), but we're talking about people's wallets and health, now. Most Americans can be counted upon to misunderstand "complicated" issues like politics, but they certainly understand money and upset stomachs. And when some foreigner-with-a-bad-attitude insults them by pretending as if they don't matter (because Tony wants HIS life back, ignoring the lives his company has probably destroyed), Americans get angry and no amount of PR will douse the fires. Just ask George III what happens when Americans feel ignored, marginalized and ripped off by uppity British assholes.
If you think you can brazen this out after making your true feelings known, Mr. Hayward, you're in a sorrier position than Barack Obama, and probably in as thick a bubble, too. Commercials aside, even you can't be dumb enough to believe your own bullshit.
For being a total Douchebag above and beyond the call of duty -- for daring to think that you could brazen your way out of an ecological disaster of this magnitude, for displaying an intense conceit that is only explainable in psychological terms, for poisoning an entire sea, and finally, for giving the opportunistic and overreaching Obama Administration another excuse to practice their craft and destroy the American Energy Industry (and why not? They've already destroyed the Health Care Industry, the Auto Industry, the Real Estate Industry and the Banking Industry) -- Cap and Trade is on it's way, along with a bewildering array of new taxes, restrictions, regulations and so forth -- Tony Hayward becomes the first-ever recipient of the Douchebag of the Week Award With Oak Leaf Clusters.
And I know of a really big hole that you CAN plug with those clusters, Mr. Hayward.