We’ve all heard various sayings that decry revenge as being a worthless act that’s beneath any civilized human being. “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” said Gandhi. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves” said Confucius. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” said your parents probably at some point during your childhood.
But, whilst we can see their point with regards to overt acts of revenge, there’s something to be said for the healing power of passive-aggressive revenge. If you’re looking for ideas, look no further.
1o. British Royal Band Uses Star Wars to Insult Saudi Monarch
In 2007, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was due to visit the UK for a royal engagement with Queen Elizabeth II. However, as the leader of a country where torture is rife, human rights are routinely ignored, and governmental corruption is endemic, it’s fair to say that this was a controversial outing. On arriving to meet the Queen, it’s a long-established tradition that every monarch is greeted with a performance by the British Welsh Guards. However, despite not wanting to perform for such a character, they didn’t want to break years of protocol.
So instead, when the King arrived, they greeted him the most apropos song they could think of: the Imperial March, i.e. that song from Star Wars that was commonly used to herald the arrival of supremely evil tyrants such as Darth Vader. It’s not known whether the King understood what was being played to him, but it’s easy to spot the people in that video we linked who are trying their best to keep a straight face whilst royal protocol trashes a guy’s reputation in the eyes of the world.
9. Arnold Schwarzenegger Makes a Sweary Poem
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a man of many talents: bodybuilder, actor, politician, and more recently a poet. In a 2010 letter vetoing a bill authored by Democratic assemblymen Tom Ammiano, readers noticed a hidden message from Schwarzenegger in the left-hand margin: the words “F**k You.” Coincidentally, several weeks beforehand, Ammiano had heckled The Governator, openly accusing him of lying about his policies during his time in office, all whilst the latter was giving a speech at a Democratic Party fundraiser. When the message was revealed, Arnold suggested that the whole thing was just a coincidence and that “when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen,” he said knowingly with a wink (probably).
8. Roland Emmerich Hits Back at Ebert and Siskel
Movie director Roald Emmerich was really suffering at the hands of the critics. Well, two critics: Gene Siskel and Robert Ebert. They hadn’t been too kind in their reviews of Universal Soldier, Stargate, and Independence Day, so Emmerich decided to give them a part in his next movie, Godzilla. Casting two actors who bear a remarkable similarity to the pair, he created the characters of Mayor Ebert, an argumentative, meddling buffoon, and Gene, the mayor’s sycophantic lacky. However, despite Emmerich’s blind hatred of the pair, they made it out of the movie alive, leaving Ebert openly puzzled puzzled about why they hadn’t been eaten or squashed underfoot.
7. Lord Byron Buys a Bear
In 1805, Lord Byron was starting his first year at the prestigious Cambridge Trinity College and requested to the administration that he be able to bring his dog to live with him. On receiving the request, the college flat-out denied it, citing a rule which prohibited dogs on campus. As a result, Byron then went out and did what many of us would do when faced with such a petty, obstructive rule: buy a freakin’ bear.
On returning to the college, he was asked to kindly get the animal off the premises. Byron agreed to do so, as soon as the college showed him the rule which prohibited bears from living on-campus. As they couldn’t, the bear stayed with Byron all throughout his studies.
6. George Lucas Sells His Land to Charity
George Lucas is one of those people who need no introduction. After all, he’s responsible for a couple of famous films, some of which you might even have heard of, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and E.T. For 25 years, Lucas had been attempting to build a special effects workshop on his property in Marin County, California, which would revitalize the area and create hundreds of high-paying jobs. But, he was thwarted by his rich neighbors at every turn, all out of fear that such a development would bring ruinous traffic to the area and cause so much light pollution that “their dark starry nights would be destroyed” (actual quote, by the way.)
So, in 2012, Lucas dropped those plans. And then immediately announced that he’d sold the land to the Marin Community Foundation, all so they could finally build some much-needed low-income housing. Predictably, Lucas’ neighbors went crazy over that decision, but there was little they could do to stop it.
5. Michael Crichton Gets Personal
In 2004, author Michael Crichton published “State of Fear,” a science-fiction work about global warming and environmental terrorism. However, whilst it proved to be a bestseller amongst the general public, it was heavily criticized by the scientific community for distorting evidence for global warming. One such critic was Michael Crowley who, in an analysis of Crichton’s work, accused Crichton of being a negative influence on the discussion of global warming and contributing to an increasingly hostile attitude towards scientists who supported the idea of the phenomenon.
Crichton wasn’t entirely happy with this critique and made his displeasure quite obvious in his next work, confusingly titled “Next.” In several chapters, it features a character named Mick Crowley, who is on trial for successfully raping a two year-old child despite having a woefully small penis. We’d like to make it absolutely clear that’s a part of the book; we aren’t joking or making any of that up. You can even read the extract in question here.
4. House Gets Colorful Paint Job
The Westboro Baptist Church has rightfully earned the reputation of being a horrible organization populated by horrible people. Spearheaded by Fred Phelps, the church is vehemently homophobic, being responsible for the sadly-famous “God Hates Fags” signs which are proudly displayed by the group at funerals of military personnel, gay people, and just about anybody else who isn’t them. In 2013, however, the group must have received quite a shock when they turned up for their weekly gay-bashing rituals only to find the house across the street had been re-painted … into the colors of the LGBT flag.
This was the work of one man, Aaron Jackson. Whilst looking on Google Earth in March, he spotted the property for sale and decided to spend $83,000 establishing a HQ for his anti-bullying organisation in possibly the world’s most ironic location. That might sound like a lot of money for some passive-aggressive payback, but since trolling bigots in a manner they can do absolutely nothing about is priceless, it’s money well-spent.
3. Bank of America Gets (Legally) Foreclosed
In 2011, Bank of America delivered a foreclosure notice on a family’s home for the heinous crime of defaulting on their mortgage. Only one problem: the family in question owned the house outright, as they’d bought it in cash. They didn’t even have a mortgage, let alone one with Bank of America. The matter was later taken to court, and ended with the family winning their case and Bank of America being ordered to pay them $2,534 restitution for their legal costs. Of course, BoA refused to pay the money, because it was founded by Satan.
So the family got creative. After consulting with their lawyers, the family appeared at the bank one day and – armed with a removal truck and a couple of sheriff’s deputies – foreclosed on it. As in, they were legally allowed to strip the bank bare (including of all the money in the tellers’ drawers). The bank manager was suddenly able to pay the family after all, presenting them with a check an hour later.
2. South Korea Blasts K-Pop at the North
It’s fair to say that the relationship between North Korea and South Korea is somewhat fragile. Over the years, they’ve engaged in numerous gun battles and psychological campaigns, despite being separated by one of the most-heavily armed borders in the world. In 2010, however, the situation was direr than ever. In March of that year, the North Koreans sank the ROKS Cheonan, a Navy ship belonging to the South. This was soon followed by an artillery attack on the island of Yeonpyeong, an island situated well within South Korea’s territory.
You can imagine that the South launched a blistering counter-attack. And they did. In June, they set up their own FM radio station, through which they blasted the North Koreans with the sickly-sweet sounds of Korean pop music, also referred to as K-Pop. Predictably, the North didn’t appreciate this lesson in musical history, and threatened all-out war unless the transmissions were turned off. They weren’t. We like to think that the South’s response to this was just to turn the dials all the way up to 11, and rock North Korea’s face so hard that they completely forget to follow through on their threat.
1. Gustav Klimt Bares Some Painted Flesh
Gustav Klimt is the master painter responsible for renowned works such as “The Kiss” and “Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” He specialized in drawings of the female form, AKA mass nudity. So it’s strange that, after being commissioned by the University of Vienna to paint human representations of Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and Medicine, each design was refused on the grounds that it was “pornographic.” Like the school didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.
Unwilling to appeal to the conservative masses any longer, he painted “Nuda Veritas” in response, which depicts a young, naked woman holding a mirror to the face of the viewer. Also, above this figure is a quote by Friedrich Schiller stating “If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please only a few. To please many is bad.” As with all great art, words are never enough to describe it, so here’s a link to it if you’re not in work or school.