Welcome to the 2016 Dubious Achievement Awards 

Michigan’s most dubious

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Oh, Canada

One of the last signs that summer is officially ending is the annual Float Down that takes place in Port Huron. Hundreds of rowdy river rats float down the St. Clair River until they reach the beachy shores of Marysville. This year however, Mother Nature has different plans for the float down participants. While participants are shotgunning beers and riding on inflatable swans, winds gust so high on the river that hundreds of drunk floaters are blown over to Canada in what seems to be the biggest "F U" to homeland security ever. According to bystanders, the scene was complete chaos and those who skipped customs had to be bussed back to the U.S.A.

  • Illustration by Sean Bieri

Remote control

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she didn't necessarily intend on suing the state of Michigan over its water crisis. By law, the city had until March to file a notice of intent to sue to reserve its rights should it decide to pursue legal action later. That's when the ghost of emergency management reared its ugly head. Though Flint was no longer under emergency management, a state-appointed Receiver Transition Advisory Board still exerted partial control over the city. The board responded to the threat of a lawsuit by changing the rules, saying it needed to approve any litigation.

Bookies boycott

In September, video footage was released showing police in Tulsa, Okla., shooting Terence Crutcher — sadly, yet another example of police shooting an unarmed black man in recent years. "Get ready for the liberal media frenzy of BS," Mark Jerant, co-owner of Detroit's Bookies Bar & Grille, writes on Facebook. Despite the fact that the comments are posted using his personal account on a friend's page, screenshots soon go viral and people call for a boycott. Later, co-owner Jay Lambrecht took to Facebook to distance himself from his business partner's callous comments. "I am embarrassed and sorry, Bookies only has survived because of the community support of the last (14 years)," he wrote. "I have always been proud to have one of the most diverse bars in the city ... that's what makes Bookies a special place." Jerant later issued an apology for the "tone and tenor" of his comments.

Let's call him 'The Duke of Numbnuts' instead

With all of the hubbub in the media surrounding gender identity and some folks' desire to refer to themselves with non-binary pronouns, surely an enterprising young person might find it hilarious to take advantage of the situation? I mean, who wouldn't want to mess with policies enacted after much deliberation to foster "an environment of inclusivity," right? University of Michigan's newly announced pronoun policy does allow students to list chosen pronouns on their official bios, which are sent out to teachers. But one student, Grant Stroble, chose to list his pronoun as "His Majesty." We will let you guess whether Stroble is in fact a cisgendered, straight, Caucasian-American male who in reality bears an uncanny resemblance to Howdy Doody, or not.

Where's their suggestion box, at the Mystery Spot?

After giving preliminary approval to Nestlé Waters North America to pump many more millions of gallons a year out of Osceola Township, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality notifies the public of the deal and its right to comment on it. It just does it very, very quietly — in The DEQ Environmental Calendar, a biweekly publication not read by the general public. Environmentalists catch wind of the comment period with less than a week to go, and emails begin to pour in at the department. Under pressure, the department extends the deadline to March 3, 2017, and has received more than 13,000 comments so far.

  • Illustration by Sean Bieri

Clowning around

In September and October, "creepy clown" sightings spiked around the country, leading Insane Clown Posse to comment on the state of creepy clown affairs. They assure everyone that this was totally normal and nothing to worry about, but days later a late night clown sighting in Clinton Township have people on edge. Reports of clown sightings stopped trickling in sometime after Halloween, leading us to believe it was nothing but a grassroots hoax put on by individuals who just happened to have a clown suit lying around.

Culture shock

In September, Mojo in the Morning personality DJ Styles posted a blog that discussed which Michigan colleges had the sluttiest girls on campus. Naturally, the blog draws immediate negative attention — especially in light of ex-Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner's troublingly lenient punishment for sexual assault — and was taken down. But, before the whole nasty incident ended, Styles released a particularly vexing apology in which he claimed he was not aware of rape culture and that "maybe that's sad and a subject I should know more about." Yes, Styles is still a Mojo in the Morning employee.

Kate Upton's opinion matters

White America really loves to tell black America when it's appropriate to protest (spoiler alert: It's never), especially when NFL player Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest. Kate Upton, supermodel turned fiancé to Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, takes to social media to shame other NFL players who decided to join Kaepernick in the peaceful protest on Sept. 11. Upton thought it was unacceptable to protest during the anthem and the internet reacted accordingly by dragging her through the coal and calling her out on her privilege. Then Verlander tweets "All Lives Matter" a few weeks after, completely forgetting that he plays for a team in a city that is 82 percent black. Fun stuff.

A lead balloon

Snyder releases a proclamation declaring "Lead Poisoning Prevention Week," urging Michiganians to "become aware of the sources of lead poisoning and actions to prevent exposure." He even shares the message on his Twitter account, prompting hundreds of wags to share their reactions to a politician unaware that he's wading knee-deep in offensive irony.

Will Eminem's real daughter please stand up?

A teenager from Memphis, Tenn., goes on the Dr. Phil program to make a case for herself that Eminem is her actual birth father. We wish we were making this shit up, but sadly, we are not. The teen claims that she has photos of herself as a baby with a man resembling Eminem holding her, but her mother (who was also on the show) says that the man holding her is her uncle. Clearly she is facing some mental health issues and we hope that she got some help, but speaking to whackjob Dr. Phil is not the right professional to help you through your issues.

Off the wall

In November, days after the 2016 presidential election, a group of Royal Oak Middle School Students are videotaped chanting, "Build a wall" to the dismay of their Latino classmates. Later posted to social media, the video goes viral and even spawns a demonstration during a school basketball game. The school addressed the incident, promising that the student who instigated the chant was punished, but the true perpetrators — parents who spout this sort of division-creating rhetoric at home — got off scot-free.

The most dubious of them all

We've got to hand it to Snyder and his administration, who cleaned the floor at this year's Dubious Achievement Awards in their handling of the Flint crisis. But just when we thought the administration couldn't embarrass itself any further ... Snyder and co. pulled through. In November, a federal judge ordered the state to deliver bottled water to all homes that don't have a working water filter. The state quickly filed a motion to stay with the federal district court in Detroit, claiming that would cost $10.5 million a month. A federal appeals court refused the stay in December, saying the state's price tag was unfounded. Seemingly determined to earn yet another Doobie, the state filed a motion to appeal.

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