Arts and Culture

LeBron James and three other traitorous, delusional jerks we're happy to see lose

World renowned press conference showman LeBron James -- or LeBenedict James, as he is known in Ohio -- played in the final game of the NBA Championships two nights ago, while all of Cleveland, including his former teammates on the Cavaliers who weren't busy with their day jobs as fry cooks and taxi drivers, watched with bated breath, praying for schadenfreude.

Justice prevailed, and LeBron and the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks. And while the civilized world has been celebrating, LeBron can at least take solace in the fact that not only is he still tall and rich and successful, he's in classy company.

Here's three other traitorous, delusional jerks we're happy to see lose:

1. MacBeth

MacBeth is just a douchebag general hanging out in Scotland getting mad props for his recent victory over the combined armies of Norway and Ireland. He honestly isn't even that hard of a worker considering one drunk, angry Scottish guy could easily take on fifty people if the group was made up of skinny, freezing Norwegian black-metal nerds and half-starved Irish potato farmers (this was way before car bombs and soccer hooliganism). Then three old broads come along, tell him he's gonna be king soon, and bring up hella delusions of grandeur.

The Betrayal: After his wife, Lady, calls him a "sissy" enough times, MacBeth stabs the shit out of his drinking buddy, King Duncan of Scotland, proving that even Shakespeare couldn't always come up with cool names for his characters. He and his wife frame the king's servants for the regicide, because they hate poor people. Then, MacBeth murders two guards for not doing a very good job of guarding, proving he also hates guards. MacBeth declares himself king, but for a while, he feels shitty about it -- and the only thing worse than being an asshole is being the asshole that complains all the time about how no one likes him.

The Aftermath: To be fair, MacBeth gets over being a sissy pretty damn fast, and starts cappin' dudes left and right, all based on the prophecies of the three rhyming raving loonies that live in the Scottish forest. He sends assassins to kill his friend Bankroll, then to massacre the entire family of his prophecied enemy, MacDuff. Hell, MacBeth gets so scary that his evil wife kills herself in shame.

The Punishment: MacDuff collects his fuckin' head. College students read the play about his life and write long essays about his impotence and stupidity.

2. Fredo Corleone

Fredo had it made, man! He was the second in command of a giant crime organization, made millions of dollars, and was revered by men all over Nevada, where he was pimpin' at a level heretofore unknown, a Cosa Nostra Iceberg Slim. But some people aren't happy with what they got. Some people always want more.

The Betrayal:Fredo is approached by men representing Hymen Roth, a rival gangster who has achieved his power as a means to crush all the kids that made fun of his name on the playground. Fredo knows what that kind of internal pain was like, always being compared to a white cream sauce himself, and thus sells out his brother, Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part Two. Fredo breaks his brother's heart, man.

The Aftermath: The Godfather Part Two survives the assassination attempt by Roth's men and heads off to Havana to drink mojitos with his brother, but Fredo can't hold his liquor. He accidentally lets it slip that he'd been bumming around with one of Hymen's main henchmen, out in Vegas, and right then, Pacino knows. Fredo runs off into Cuba as the Cuban revolution begins, 'cause he's smart enough to know that Fidel Castro isn't nearly as scary as his brother.

The Punishment: Fredo is tracked down and convinced that all is forgiven. He heads home, goes fishing with a buddy, says a Hail Mary, and takes a slug to the back of his head while Michael Corleone watches from afar. Shoulda switched to the virgin Pina Colada, Fredo. Pacino knew.

3. Sisyphus

Like LeBron, Sisyphus had a really high opinion of himself, thinking he was on par with the Gods that sat atop Mount Olympus. He was the founder of Corinth, where Han Solo is from, his baby mama was nymph, and was famous the world over for being the most crafty man in a world filled with warriors that use their wit to take down giant cyclops monsters and stuff. It's like being considered the toughest MMA fighter in a world where MMA fighters spend their time putting blue whales in triangle chokes.

The Betrayal: Sisyphus convinces the Gods, particularly Zeus, that he is a trustworthy guy, and then starts spreading their secrets faster than Marathon can run. In exchange, he receives some personal favors, like a fresh and clean spring on the Acroplis of Corinth. Zeus gets so mad, though, that he orders the Greek Personification of Death to throw Sisyphus into a heavymetalalbumcover prison, but the craftysonofabitch manages to trap the Grim Reaper in it instead, putting him on par with Saviors of the Earth Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted "Theodore" Logan. Eventually Ares, realizing that he can't kill people if there is no death, intervenes, and turns the tables back over to the hooded skeleton.

The Aftermath: Sisyphus isn't done yet. He tells everybody he can about Zeus's private business (turning into a goose/rapist), and screws up the natural order somewhat, but still wants to conquer death as a final act of defiance against the Gods. And since the dude cares a lot more about winning than dignity, he has his wife drag his naked body into the town square and leave it there. Once dead and in the underworld, he convinces Persephone to let him go on a furlough to nag his wife about not giving him a proper burial. He floats himself up out of Hades, tells his wife she was shitty with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, and then never goes back. The dude was like the Jason Bourne of ancient Greece.

They finally send Hades himself to catch Sisyphus and bring him back, like that new A&E show where they deputize all the criminals into the U.S. Marshal service to hunt fugitives. (The U.S. Marshals do nothing but hunt fugitives. Why do they need help from a sexy assassin and a gambling addict? It's stupid and useless, like bringing in a mentalist to solve crimes alongside homicide detectives, or having a mystery writer solve crimes alongside the local police.)

The Punishment: Once he's caught and back in the underworld, Zeus sentences Sisyphus to having to push a giant boulder to the top of the hill. He doesn't tell Sisyphus, though, that the boulder always rolls back down right when it gets to the top, meaning he has to keep pushing it back up for eternity. One would assume that after even a thousand tries, Sisyphus (who was obviously plenty intelligent) would realize that this was an impossible task and set about drawing up plans for another escape. But so far, it hasn't happened.

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Tim Davids