Dr. David Thorpe, finally back from his month-long “research” visit to Sempervirens Behavioral Health Center, is ready to gently remind us of his alleged sanity with a brand new tempestuous torrent of bile! 2003 is finally over, and Dr. Thorpe is taking some time to bark out his opinions once again, in the hope of generating enough angry mail to feed the dark energy of his soul! Prepare for a celebration of the lamest of the lame as we bring you the first annual World's Greatest Dad Awards!

Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve wanted my own gala awards ceremony. This dream was, like so many of my endeavors, poorly thought-out; it seemed to involve personally hosting the awards, presenting the awards, choosing the winners, and probably winning some awards myself and making speeches in which I conspicuously snubbed people I didn’t like. Despite the absurdity of all this, I have now decided to take the first step toward making my foolhardy dream a reality. Unfortunately, the awards won’t be televised this year, there won’t be any celebrity presenters, there will be no tangible trophies or prizes, and the people who win will probably never know about it. Despite these minor setbacks I am determined to present SomethingAwful readers with a unique and entertaining internet awards ceremony.

When planning the awards, one major hang-up was coming up with a name for them. It had to be catchy and memorable, and if possible, there needed to be pre-existing images bearing the name of the award so that I wouldn’t have to do any actual work. Hence, the World’s Greatest Dad Awards were born. I am pleased to present you the first annual World’s Greatest Dad awards, celebrating the year’s most annoying, ridiculous, and god-awful music.

The World’s Greatest Dad Award for Most Irritating Hip Hop Act of 2003

Who but the slack-jawed, glassy-eyed bullet magnet 50 CentBetter stop shooting, you might pop the balloon!could be worthy of this, the first SomethingAwful.com World’s Greatest Dad award ever presented? While 50 Cent is lauded by many critics as a welcome break from the look-how-rich-I-am antics of some of his peers, I personally find his ceaseless mumbling and staring to be inconsistent with anything approaching good delivery, and the dire lack of wit evident in his hit singles eclipses any merit he gains from being fresh, audacious, or new. Sure, a few of us might have had a chuckle when we heard him say “I love you like a fat kid loves cake,” but if it’s junior-high level one-liners you’re after, you might as well listen to Ludacris rapping about how many minks died to cover his car seat. While we'll all be sad to see Jay-Z bow out of the record-recording business after his current album, hopefully he'll set some sort of a precedent for early retirement. If he influences just one person in this regard, it will have been worth it. But only if that person is 50 Cent.

Runner-up: Chingy, who is determined to uphold the great legacy of the South: destroying every genre of music it touches. He is truly the Lynyrd Skynyrd of hip hop. I was tempted to make him the winner in this category just because of the phrase "right thurr." In a similar vein, if God is kind and just, why has Nelly not been struck with a bolt of lightning yet? Or maybe he has, but it only did a tiny bit of damage, and that's why he wears that band-aid on his cheek.

The World’s Greatest Dad Award for Worst Metal Band of 2003

Saint Anger? That’s quite an interesting album title. One can only conclude that Metallica has been digging through Linkin Park’s trashcan looking for ideas that were thrown out for being too stupid.Actual photo of Metallica.Twenty years ago, Metallica built up an impressive reputation as the ultimate band for guys who wear t-shirts with dragons on them. It’s clear that with Saint Anger their goal is to update their game-plan for the twenty-first century; they shall now become the ultimate band for guys who wear those embarrassing Hot Topic t-shirts that say things like “you laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” Maybe it’s a step in the right direction for a band that’s spent the last decade steadily losing credibility among those that could stomach their grumbling, mullet-headed tripe. I’m not sure if this record is going to reverse that trend, because finding out would involve talking to a Metallica fan and I’m not much in the mood to flag down a Camaro. The lyrics, from what I’ve seen, seem to be pretty much terrible; any high school teachers reading this can thank Metallica for the line “I’m madly in anger with you,” which has surely been heard whistling through the braces of many a spotty-faced detentionite by now. Much has been said about Bob Rock’s mind-numbingly super-saturated production; although he may be known to Metallica fans as the man who produced their mainstream-busting eponymous album in 1991, the fact that he clearly dropped the ball on this record isn’t much of a shock to me, as he’s also the man who produced Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet.” Because I’m feeling generous, I’ll also award Metallica with an extra prize for “Band Whose Fans Are Most Likely to Eat Things That They Pick Off of Their Own Bodies.”

Runner-up: Pretty much every mainstream metal band sucks, so just take your pick.

The World’s Greatest Dad Award for Crappiest “Alternative” Band, Whatever the Hell That Means

You may recall that I already wrote about Good Charlotte in a previous column, but that certainly doesn’t exempt them from winning this award.A compelling pro-suicide argument.You may think I’ve run out of ammunition against them, but you’ll recall that I wrote that column before their absolutely hilarious anti-suicide single was released. You know, the one that begins with the singer gently reassuring us that although “this world, this wuh-huh-hurld is cold,” we don’t, in fact, have to go. Republishing all of the lyrics here, unfortunately, would be illegal; I’d love to do so, because they’re probably a better comedy article than I could ever come up with in my life. Imagine “Everybody Hurts” as collectively written and performed by a seventh grade remedial English class. I don’t know who or what convinced Good Charlotte that they were capable of plumbing the emotional depths required to effectively discuss suicide, since even they must know what affected, talentless, inarticulate retardates they are. It’s lucky for them that their judgment so severely lapsed, because the results of their colossal failure have won them not only the Crappiest Alternative Band award, but also the Most Unintentionally Hilarious Song of All Time award. Godspeed, you glorious cretins; we’re all hoping that you can squeeze out a few more surreally comedic singles before you inevitably wise up and die of shame.

Runner-up: Staind is still pretty goddamned terrible, I reckon. I was amused to hear their new single, which showcases the sunnier side of Staind—but not so amused that I didn’t turn the radio off. Also, they should change their named to “Stain’d” so it would be sort of Shakespearian. Or Ashton Kutcherian. Either way, it would be a chance to emulate one of the great geniuses of Western culture.

The World’s Greatest Dad Award for New Band That I’d Most Like to Chop Up with a Hatchet

I had a good derisive chuckle at Evanescence the first time their garish, ridiculous single “Bring Me to Life” turned up on the radio.Hot indeed, you NERDS. Notice the resemblence to John Belushi.In my mind, it seemed obvious that anyone with half a brain would find the song instantly unbearable due to its melodramatic, quasi-Christian airs. I was horrified and indignant to learn that people had actually found something to like about this band. “Don’t worry,” said their misguided supporters. “Not all of their songs have that retarded rapping guy.” I was furthermore assured that much of their material was less reminiscent of Linkin Park with a female singer and more subtle and piano-driven. Their current single, “My Immortal” seems to be an example of this style, although the nasal, crooning vocal sounds not like the work of a credible rock band but more like the self-produced vanity album of the girl who shakily squeezed out “Bridge over Troubled Water” at your high school graduation. Some of the more impressionable male Evanescence apologists even sought to convince me that the lead singer was hot. I suppose she’s decent if you like ladies who walk that dangerous, razor-thin line between “obviously used to be fat” and “will probably be fat again very soon.” It’s also fairly bewildering to me that anything about this band could be misconstrued as “gothic.” She certainly doesn’t have the advantage of being marginally hilarious like some of the other bands the media has mistakenly labeled as gothic, like Marilyn Manson. There is absolutely nothing mysterious or alluring about her voice; a careful observer would realize that a single such as “My Immortal” is nothing more than a vocally inept version of a shitty pop ballad worthy of being a Christina Aguilera b-side. To call something so tame, boring and conventional “gothic” is an illustration of just how far our culture’s standards have slipped. I’d imagine it takes every ounce of Peter Murphy’s willpower just to get out of his coffin at dusk and face such a world.

Runner-up: The Transplants. Their album came out in late 2002 (and considering the band’s membership it’s not exactly technically accurate to call them “new”) but I’m still going to count them, because they just suck that much. If I wanted to hear mush mouthed pseudo-rapping from that guy from Rancid, I’d… shoot myself in the face for being an unredeemable idiot.

The World’s Greatest Dad Award for Mercifully Dropping off the Radar

I must thank The Vines for not releasing any singles in 2003.Watch out, he'll steal your chromosomes!It’s reached the point where we can turn on the radio without too much fear of hearing a quite-possibly-retarded man tunelessly shrieking at us (well, aside from Kid Rock’s cover of “Feel Like Making Love,” that is). Since I like to point out the idiocy of the music press whenever possible, I’m going to mention the fact that they were hilariously pigeonholed as part of the same “scene” as The Strokes and The Hives when in fact they were obviously a lackluster grunge band who just came about a few years too late. The only thing that Craig Nicholls could ever hope to rip off from Kurt Cobain that would please anybody would be the suicide. There, I said it. Now let’s hope their upcoming album tanks and we can always remember them as “a less ambitious Silverchair.”

Runner-up: Let’s all laugh at Puddle of Mudd for making an even worse album than the last one. Yeah, that’s right, they have a new album. I’ll bet you didn’t know! Additionally, in an attempt to make sure that a certain red-hatted growlsmith never ever sees media attention again, I’m not even going to mention his miserable failure of a comeback album by name. We can finally put him out of our minds, knowing that he’ll never make a dent in the public’s perception again.

The World’s Greatest Dad Award for Most Unbearable Song

In 1991, the preposterous pop-metal band Ugly Kid Joe scored an undeserved hit with their single “Everything About You.”I found this image searching for "Three Days Grace." I'll assume it's them.If you’re like me, and are cursed with an encyclopedic memory of every single shitty song you’ve ever heard in your life, you’ll recall that the hook of the song was the line “I hate everything about you.” Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that over a decade later I’d be looking back on Ugly Kid Joe’s garish, overplayed single in a fond light. The band that brought about this personal misfortune is Three Days Grace, who have received quite a bit of alt-rock radio airplay with their debut single, which is called (I kid you not): “(I Hate) Everything About You.” No, it’s not a cover of Ugly Kid Joe’s terrible old song. It is, in fact, a brand new song sharing the same terrible gimmick. Amazingly, it manages to be about ten times worse than Ugly Kid Joe’s effort in every conceivable way; for although pop-metal was surely the worst sort of music that anybody had managed to come up with thirteen years ago, it’s been far out-crapped by Three Days Grace’s brand of nu-metal. Looking back on Ugly Kid Joe’s “Everything About You” in 2004, one might very well say “at least it sort of had a tune.”

Runner-up: "Headstrong" by Trapt. It’s every bit as bad as “(I Hate) Everything About You,” but it least when I hear it I don’t get TWO terrible songs stuck in my head.

The World’s Greatest Dad Special Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sucking

With nine stunningly shameful studio albums under their belt, I believe that it is safe to crown Insane Clown Posse as the all-time reigning champions of crap.I wonder if they REALLY know how they look.To criticize their albums for being sophomoric, socially retarded, musically catastrophic and generally disgusting would be missing the point, as their albums are obviously meant to be all those things. Yet somehow, knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to accept the existence of these moronic trolls, or their legions of moronic troll fans who would buy and greedily chug a jar of cat urine as long as it had the official ICP logo on it. Being a Juggalo, as ICP fans are called, is sort of like the opposite of being in MENSA; only the absolute stupidest of the stupid have any hope of making the ranks. Juggalos are barely even human; they're creatures who have thrown away every shred of dignity in order to worship the shittiest band on the face of the earth. They have the devotion of Deadheads, but their fashion sense is significantly more hideous. They wear makeup that makes them look like overworked gothic clowns, and their mode of human interaction usually involves hanging out at suburban malls and doing rebellious things like throwing french fries at old ladies and complaining that their Orange Juliuses are too cold. They're a bit like a gang, except harmless and direly uncool. On that note, I don’t normally encourage fans of the bands I make fun of to send me e-mail, but I would heartily, heartily encourage any ICP fans to e-mail me and defend their taste. Judging from this site’s history, it’s sure to end in tears of laughter.

If you have any comments about any aspect of this article, whether it be regarding choice of winners, categories, runners-up, or anything, you can just shut your spittle-caked trap, because this is MY awards ceremony and YOU have absolutely no say. If you want to congratulate me for a job well done and pile outrageous flattery upon my already super-inflated ego, that's fine. You can e-mail me at davidthorpe@somethingawful.com, and I just might respond to your letter if by some miracle you convince me that you're bright enough to understand the reply. Don't count on it.

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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