The Top 10 People Who Almost Destroyed Fun
We take a lot of things for granted. We turned the internet into a free utopia of naked boobs and girl-on-girl pornography. We knock back strong drinks until our arms don't have the strength to lift the glass to our green faces. We watch grown men, both real and fictional, beat the living juices out of each other for our own amusement. But there was a time when these moments of euphoria were in danger of becoming nothing more than a distant memory.
10. Jack Thompson
First of all, he's an attorney, so he's pretty much been trained to seek out and destroy all forms of fun like a fun-seeking tactical missile. Second of all, he's dedicated his already-stained profession to enforcing a morality clause in just about everything he deems offensive from Howard Stern's radio show to overrated rap music. But mostly, he's known for rearing his grey-haired head whenever tragedy strikes to blame the whole sordid mess on video games. If an angry kid shoots up his school, Thompson is on TV the next day to blame the whole thing on the fact that the shooter played video games.
9. Charles Keating
Source: Thomas Ives/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
The former face of the Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal didn't spend his entire life trying to take the life savings of every man who walked into the scope of his view. He also spent part of it trying to take their pornography from them. The Cincinnati attorney formed the Citizens for Decent Literature in the late 1950s, an organization that used any legal recourse necessary to outlaw pornography in all of its forms. He even produced his own film, Perversion for Profit, that became a huge bestseller among disappointed men in trench coats.
He not only failed to outlaw porno, but ended up in jail on charges of wire and bankruptcy fraud, where the term "Perversion for Profit" has more to do with earning cigarettes.
8. John McCain
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If history has taught us anything, it's that banning something only makes it stronger. Tell people they can't have something and they will want it ten times as much as they did before. Presidential loser John McCain learned that lesson the hard way when he tried to completely ban mixed martial arts and disband the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the 1990s by getting nearly 40 states to outlaw the sport and two major cable networks to take the fights off of their pay-per-view rosters.
Now the league is worth millions of dollars and enjoys more popularity than ever. We're not saying his stance on the issue cost him the chance to become president in 2008, but if debate rules allowed him to anaconda choke his opponent the minute he starts stammering, it couldn't have hurt him.
7. Joe Lieberman
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The Democratic turncoat sounds and looks like the world's most boring human being. So it should serve as no surprise that he has dedicated more than half of his political life trying to snuff out any form of objectionable entertainment from passing past your eyes and making them bleed from their extreme filthiness. He not only led a public crusade against violence in video games, but even helped pass the Communications Decency Act, which aimed to regulate and monitor objectionable and offensive material on the internet. The measure obviously didn't work because you're reading Spike.com and a SWAT team hasn't tossed a flash bang in your living room and rappelled through the windows for clicking on a PG Porn link.
6. Dr. Frederic Wertham
Source: University of Würzburg
Adults like to blame lots of things for children's bad behavior, other than a convenient lack of knowledgeable parenting. In the 1950s, Dr. Frederic Wertham aimed his blame-thrower on comic books, specifically EC Comics titles like Tales from the Crypt, Shock SuspenStories, and even classics like Wonder Woman, which he claimed carried undertones of bondage and S&M behavior. It sounds like he developed that theory based less on careful scientific thought and more on wishful thinking.
Wertham managed to get most of EC's titles banned, except for a little-known title named Mad, by forming a Comics Code that forbade comic publishers from the use of certain words, gory depictions, or females with "exaggeration of any physical qualities." Thank God those rules don't apply anymore. That last one would have made Catwoman completely unwatchable.