Buzzfeed today offered one of their more obvious sorts of lists: “the worst” people of the past year. A couple of them were American politicians that the author of the article didn’t like; the others were entertainers, or others who briefly hit the news for being jerks of various sorts, all whose political or religious point of view the author didn’t like. Doing a search on Buzzfeed I found other articles of a similar quality: for instance, an older one listing 31 people who made racist tweets against the current President. The headline on the article was “31 Worst People On the Planet.” Admittedly the people in both lists I perused today are awful people, but they don’t come close to being “the worst” on the planet or in the world or even “the worst” of the past year.
Some of the worst people of the past year would be the guys who killed cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo; or the guys who killed people in Paris, or the two people who murdered people in San Bernardino; or the members of ISIS who are slaughtering and raping and beheading people; or those who blew up a Russian passenger jet, or the terrorists who are stabbing people in Israel. Those are the awful, horrible, worst people of this past year. Not the politicians or pundits or entertainers that you happen to find annoying because you don’t like what they believer or what they said. The worst people on the planet are instead the rapists, the murderers, the terrorists, the people who hang gays, stone women, behead Christians and the like. Pay attention Buzzfeed. This isn’t so hard.