Most Punchable Face – Top 20 of 2016

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12.) Jared Leto

(Image courtesy Warner Bros./DC Entertainment.)
Leto

Just as the offenses of George Lucas are ultimately trivial in the galactic scheme of things, this guy too has wrought no real crime upon humanity—but look at that picture. That’s attractive actor Jared Leto, decked out in Joker regalia, from a promotional still for the upcoming movie Suicide Squad. We mention this, of course, for the benefit of the blind friend for whom you’re reading this aloud, as every sighted person on the planet knows full well who this is—there’s no logging into YouTube without this thing staring back at you, nor has there been for months. That’s a pretty 44-year-old man trying like an overeager puppy to be taken seriously as an actor, and not doing a great job of it. That’s the guy who drunkenly roughed up Elijah “Frodo Baggins” Wood himself, allegedly because Wood said unkind things about 30 Seconds to Mars, the band Leto fronts. In Elijah’s defense, 30 Seconds to Mars is hardly a thing to marvel at, just like Jared’s acting. And again, like Jared himself, no one could be bothered to give a crap about his band if he weren’t such a comely flower of a man. Chances are that upon seeing this publicity still for the 20th time, you didn’t need this article to get you thinking about knocking the green dye from Leto’s hair. Sadly for all, he’s hardly the worst Jared we have to contend with.

11.) Jared Fogle

(Image courtesy Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.)
Fogle

Yup, him. Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. In what was only ever a bizarre story, he first came to national attention by supposedly losing a “significant” amount of weight largely just by eating Subway sandwiches. Four years later, he set up the Jared Foundation, ostensibly to help combat, uh, childhood obesity; as of 2015, it had yet to pay out a single grant promised in its mission. And, ahem—later that same year, Fogle’s home was raided by the FBI in a hunt for, uh, child pornography. They did not return empty-handed. Jared was arrested, and in the weeks that followed, horrific details of his predatory ways would surface. Not only did he collect graphic images of children as young as six, he trolled youth events and even a Subway establishment in hopes of arranging, ahem, encounters. For all this and more—including paid illicit contact with a minor—Fogle was sentenced to nearly 16 years at Englewood Federal Correctional Institution, where the phrase “eat fresh” means something far less savory than what the rest of us are used to. Did we suggest he ought to be punched? Sorry, that was a typo; we’d meant to say that someone needs to pulverize this pedophile into a pulp.

10.) Sarah Palin

(Image courtesy Krupa/AP.)
Palin

Fogle’s crimes, at least, have placed him well away from the public eye. We’re hardly so lucky in the case of Sarah Palin. We all know the story too well: she rose from relative obscurity to become John McCain’s token woman VP pick, blathered folksy nonsense, likely cost her party the presidency, and then promptly abandoned her position as Alaskan governor to pursue a career in reality television. She’s kind of like the David Brent of politics—an inept nitwit with dreams of superstardom. Eight years later, she’s again made a mad dash for the spotlight, riffing schizophrenic word-salad in praise o f Donald Trump (takeaways include “They’ve been wearing a, this, political correctness kind of like a suicide vest,” “We bend over and say, ‘Thank you, enemy,’ ” “Well, and then, funny, ha ha, not funny, but now, what they’re doing is wailing, ‘Well, Trump and his Trumpeters, they’re not conservative enough,’ ” and other far less coherent witticisms). On the very same day, Sarah’s son Track (she might as well have named him “Recliner” or “Moped”) was arrested on charges of punching his girlfriend (a punch that even this list cannot condone); the elder Palin attributed this to her veteran boy’s PTSD, and faulted none other than President Obama for it (veterans groups were quick to retortyour son is a freak, leave us out of this). We’d never dare say this of a less loathsome personage, but for a Vice Presidential candidate chosen exclusively for her supple, hockey-MILF bosom and nothing more, we’ll go ahead and let loose: she hardly looks as good as she did in 2008, does she? Kind of like that smug, vacant face has already taken a beating.

9.) Beyoncé Haters

(Image courtesy AP.)
Haters

That’s former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani pictured above. As one of the few cool heads to prevail on 9/11, he became known as “America’s Mayor;” having since taken a page from Palin’s book, only rearing his head to bleat attention-grabbing inflammatory sound bites, he might better be described now as “America’s Loneliest Man Who Just Wants to Remain Relevant.” With reactionary comments made just after this year’s Super Bowl, he exemplifies our entry for the 9th most punchable face (or collective of faces): Beyoncé haters. You haven’t even got to like Bey’s music to appreciate the gravity of this one. At her halftime performance, she audaciously worked Black Lives Matter references and the Black Power salute into her routine; only the day before had she released her controversial “Formation” video online. Rudy contributed his two cents to the scaredy-old-white-person chorus, describing the affair as “ridiculous,” “outrageous,” an “attack” on police. Have you seen the video though? Many versed in either hip-hop, black history, and/or flooding would find it innocuous enough. Yes, there’s a police cruiser, atop which the Queen B sits, engulfed in water—except that in the Katrina-era New Orleans where much of the video is set, it was God who let that flood loose on those things and more—not Beyoncé, not any black person, not any black people’s movement. Yes, there’s a bit where riot police put their hands up in mock surrender—but that’s a little boy, a child, armed with no more than dance to which they submit rather than open fire. The rest of the clip is a celebration of the black American experience, imbuing it with a pride seldom seen in the media or anywhere. And this, it seems, is what offends people like Rudy Giuliani. When African Americans assert who they are, rather than posturing themselves as what society would prefer they be, many remain intimidated, consider it an affront to all things decent. These are the same people with no familial history, spanning five centuries, of institutionalized brutality, of being property, of accepting as a fact of life whippings and lynchings. True reparations would position Giuliani as “America’s Frailest House Honkey,” and from there all his progeny until 2516. A few brief slugs to the Bey haters would certainly be preferable—we’ll call our left fists “40 Acres,” and our right ones “the Mule.”

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