I, jackylonglegs, have a great appreciation for a good controversy. There’s nothing like a huge dispute with two sides so entrenched in their beliefs that they would rather die than admit they’re wrong. The human race truly has a passion for controversies, many of which date back to prehistoric times. It’s nice to know that large groups of people disagreed about stuff in the olden days, so maybe people will be a bit more compassionate toward the President for his penchant for the controversy. But, I digress. Let’s see who has the second top five after we look at mine.
Watergate’s legacy ultimately has nothing to do with Dick Nixon. People will forget about any historical lessons we may have learned from it, but every controversy, affair, and scandal from now until the end of time is going to ironically be called [insert controversy here]-gate at some point. Truly a game changer.
4. Who Killed King Joffrey?
If we can imagine, for a moment, living in the Game of Thrones universe (cause I totally don’t do that already, nope) then it is impossible not to appreciate how wild that storyline (a ‘narrative’ in 2017 media parlance) must have been. A dwarf, a prostitute ex-lover, an openly bisexual prince, a kangaroo trial, and a trial by combat that also happens to be the matchup of the century, and patricide; this controversy truly had it all.
3. The Guelphs and the Ghibellines
If I know anything about medieval Italy, it’s these two things: 1. Supporters of the Pope (Guelphs) and supporters of the German Emperor (Ghibellines) did not like each other, and 2. You were probably going to get stabbed or exiled for your political allegiances, assuming you were stabbed or exiled because of an unrelated vendetta. Anyone who disputes the bad blood created from the Guelph-Ghibelline conflict can go ahead and read the Inferno, a literary masterpiece written about the eternal souls of Dante’s enemies being ironically tormented forever.
2. The Assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
The ruler of the free world was gunned down in broad daylight and nearly 54 years later people are still skeptical of the traditional explanation. Either it was so mysterious and controversial that the most powerful investigating agencies aren’t sure of what happened, or they know the full story and are withholding information (which is even more controversial).
1. Who killed Jesus?
On the one hand, pretty much all historians agree that Jesus was put to death by the Romans as a rebel. On the other hand, anyone who’s been to mass on Palm Sunday will remember the crowd yelling “Crucify Jesus, we want Barabus!” etc. While I don’t think the Catholic Church officially believes that the Hebrews killed Jesus anymore, they’re sure as hell not about to throw some white-out over those parts in the Bible. The Bible is one of the handful of things that people will believe hands-down without a shred of evidence, so this already ancient controversy has the legs to last another thousand years at least, which is why it is numbah one in this top 5.
Billy the Adult
5. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game – 1962
On March 2nd, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored an NBA record 100 points in the 169-147 win over the New York Knicks. However, there is no video or press at the game and is therefore subject to scrutiny by many angsty Knicks fans.
4. Iran-Contra Affair – 1985-1987
The United States government sold arms to Iran, who had an arms embargo. They did this in order to fund the Contras in the Nicaragua, which Congress had previously prohibited the government to do. It has also been alleged that the C.I.A had been involved in cocaine trafficking in the 80s to fund the Contras.
3. The Smoking Peanut – 2001
The name given to the Spongebob episode where Spongebob threw a peanut at Clamu “The largest oyster held in captivity”, distressing it, and causing a public crisis. After Patrick was falsely accused of stealing the pearl, it was discovered that Clamu’s distress was caused by Mr. Krab stealing Clamu’s pearl.
2. The World is Really Flat – 6th Century B.C
Recently, famous athletes and celebrities have come out and claimed that society has been duped, and that the earth is really flat. Despite the fact that traditional math can prove the earth is spherical, these tin foil hat truthers aren’t convinced.
1. Tunguska Event – 1908
In 1908, an explosion 1,000 greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima occurred in the atmosphere of the Siberian forest. The blast has been estimated to have knocked over an estimated 80 million trees over an area of 830 sq mi. Luckily, for humanity, the air burst happened in the middle of Siberia, and not in a metropolitan area. The most prominent theory behind the explosion is that it was caused by an asteroid exploding in the earth’s atmosphere which is called an air burst. But ancient astronaut theorists suggest that it was no meteorite, but perhaps an alien space crash?
5. Wade Boggs Drinking 107 beers in one flight
In one of my favorite big-league moves, Wade Boggs drinking an unruly amount of beer. No one knows how many. Boggs himself says 107 but the rumor mill is spinning out a lot of other numbers as well. Either way, Boggs definitely doesn’t know how many beers he drank on that cross-country flight. At the lowest count of 64 beers, the man was most definitely browning out hard, if not totally blackout. No matter how many Beer-lievers are out there no one will ever know the true answer.
4. French Revolution (for the US)
3. Russia investigation
2. Steroids in baseball (The Balco Era)
People finding out about all the players juicing up has tainted a lot of legacies. From Barry Bonds to A-Rod, everyone from that era was affected and it left a lot of question marks next to records. It especially changed the debate for people getting into the Hall of Fame.
1. Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter
5. Chappaquiddick Incident
As a man from Massachusetts, I thought I would start out with some local flavor. On Friday, July 18, 1969, US Senator Ted Kennedy, youngest brother of John and Bobby, accidentally drove his car off of the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island with Mary Jo Kopechne as a passenger. Kennedy swam away after an attempt at saving Kopechne but didn’t report the accident for 10 hours. Kopechne drowned and her body was discovered the next day by divers. Kennedy was subject to a lot of CONTROVERSY and would plead guilty to charges of leaving the scene of a crash causing personal injury, and got a two months suspended sentence. This would effect Kennedy’s descision to not run for president in ’72 and ’76.
4. Lost Colony of Roanoke
Another great one on deck. Founded by Sir Walter Raleigh at the request of Queen Elizabeth I in hopes to create a permanent settlement in North America, in 1587 Raleigh sent out a new group of 115 colonists to establish a colony on Chesapeake Bay and appointed John White as the leader of the expedition and governor of the new colony. They were instructed to make a stop at Roanoke to pick up passengers, but when they arrived the place was desolate. White and some others returned to England late the same year, but they couldn’t get back to Roanoke for three years because of the Anglo Spanish War, and White’s refusal to sail in Winter. When they did finally return in 1590, they found the place decimated with no clue what had occurred. The only clue was the word “CROATOAN” carved into a post of the fence around the village, and the letters C-R-O carved into a nearby tree (The Croatoans were a local Native American tribe). Some believe the surviving members of the Roanoke colony joined this tribe…
Sticking with the theme of entire settlements disappearing in the blink of an eye, let’s talk about Jonestown.First things first there are certainly differences between this and Roanoke, mainly that most people knew what went down in Jonestown. Jim Jones, the cult leader, started a church (Peoples Temple) in Indianapolis in 1955. After moving around quite a bit, Jones bought some land in Guyana and moved his cult down there to live secluded. You might know the story, you might not, but if you don’t do some intense research because it is FASCINATING, but essentially Jones convinced his followers to commit suicide in the name of a good cause, albeit with a Kool twist. (Get it?)
2. Zionist Occupation Government Conspiracy Theory
People have been hating on our Jewish friends for pretty much eternity, and maybe they needed something to point at to convince others that Jewish people are bad? Either way it’s interesting. In a fabricated text known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it told of a meeting between powerful Jewish people who planned on taking over the world. This is where the big conspiracy theory comes in, as people urge that the Protocols text was Jewish motivation and guidlines for succssfully controlling the world. I won’t go into detail because I don’t have much time and there is a lot of stuff in this to cover, but basically people belive that “Jewish Agents” are planted everywhere and are controlling most of everything and have been for a while. They point to the heads of Jewish banks (The Rothschild Family), Jewish people in politics, pretty much anything to try to get this point across, and I think it is just so hilariously outrageous I couldn’t leave it off this list.
1. Moon Landings
This one is just so fucking outrageous there was no way it wasn’t going to be my #1. People who disagree with the fact that the moon landings occurred point to the fact that the American flag is waving even though space is supposed to be a vacuum (The flag was waving because of exhaust from the lunar module), there isn’t even an American flag on the moon period (we have some great telescopes these days), and any other straw they can grasp at. They urge that the whole thing was a Cold War tactic to “beat the Russians” and that Kubrick/Spielberg/whoever really just filmed it in a studio somewhere. My thoughts on it are that any argument that they were fake is facile because think of how much it would take for such a big cover up? Like, there is just absolutely no chance that not one person involved in the cover up didn’t come forward willingly or just let a little something slip. Not one person involved came forward and said anything about it, and that to me is weird–there will always be a whistleblower.
Everyone knows the infamous scandal that ruined Nixon’s political career. It is so famous that almost any controversy is named after it. A politician in ruin? Check. A lasting legacy? Check. A perfect controversy.
Was he real or was he fake? Was he the Son of God, God himself, or merely a man? Nobody knows for sure what exactly happened, but God knows people have literally gone to war to prove their point. Most certainly a controversial figure.
3. OJ Simpson Trial
Imagine one of the most famous, successful, and adored retired athletes alive being arrested, charged, and tried for murder. It would rock your world. Exactly that happened in the mid 90s (two days before I was born, fun fact). And while we are innocent until proven guilty in this country, many believe he got away with murder. Super controversial.
Is it ok to betray your country? What if it is for the greater good (The Greater Good)? Snowden did exactly that by stealing millions of secrets from the NSA to show just how horrifyingly intrusive their internal surveillance was. Some praise him as a hero for bringing to light a horrible breach of privacy from the American government, while others have branded him a traitor. 100% a controversial figure.
Is this the most important, influencial, and significant controversy of all time? No, not even close. So why is it number 1 on my list? Cus Roger Goodell is a Fucking Asshat thats why. Thats all I’m going to say about that before I go on a very long, and very explicit rant about data collection, trial by public opinion, news driven by false information, and much much more.