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Department of Consistency, Checking In
Hi there. A lot of you guys know me as Joe Hill, author. But most of you don’t know about my other gig, as a full time officer with the National Department of Pop Culture Consistency (DePop - Boston Branch).
It has come to my attention that some of you like to jeer at Nickelback on various social media hubs, such as the very popular “MySpace,” “Readit,” “Twigger” and “FaceHooks.” Some of you like to tease and hate and walk around Chad Kroeger pointing your finger and laughing.
That’s fine. You have that right.
I just wanted to let you know, pursuant to the Pop Culture Interbreeding Act of 1982 (the best year in the history of film, coincidentally), subsection 42, subarticle 8675309, you may also have to give up a variety of other entertainments, distractions, diversions, etc.
For example, you will no longer be allowed to listen to Bob Seger. I’m sorry, I feel bad about that, because “Turn the Page” is a hell of a song, and so is “You’ll Accompany Me,” but Seger’s power chord heavy top 40 hits are too close to the values embodied by Nickelback’s more successful songs. Especially when you look at his lyrics, Seger’s focus on drinking, screwing, and getting even with the people who disrespected him (bosses, ex-girlfriends, etc.), is just too similar. Also anyone who says they’d rather hear “Old Time Rock n’ Roll” (again) instead of “Rockstar” is a fuckin’ liar.
You also no longer get to have Aerosmith, or Journey, or ZZ Top, or Bryan Adams (you get to keep Ryan Adams). My apologies. I have sympathy! But their fat power chords, hummable melodies, conventional blue collar subjects, and willingness to court immense popularity rule them out for you. Please delete “Wheel in the Sky,” “Same Ol’ Song And Dance,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Summer of ‘69” from your iTunes library.
Unfortunately, you are also no longer permitted to watch Rocky III. You don’t have the eye of the tiger; it’s off limits to you. You also can’t have Rambo II. Sorry about that.
You can’t own a Camaro or a Trans Am or a low-riding motorcycle (you can keep your Vespa though!). You can’t even go for rides in your sleazy cousin’s Chrysler Avenger.
You don’t get to watch A-Team reruns. You definitely don’t get to watch Airwolf reruns. Sorry. I am.
Further to PopCult-Interbreeding sub-42, sub-art 8675309, you may not possess or view music videos or movies featuring Tawny Kitaen.
You are not allowed to enjoy a plate of bacon-cheese fries, the top 40 hair metal hit of the fast food world.
You may not mix sodas when pouring a Big Gulp at the 7-11.
You are not permitted to play Asteroids or any Asteroids remake. You will be relieved to know you can still play Centipede.
I’m afraid there is no way to appeal these regulations and provisios. This is what you get for hating something just because it was easy. Because hating on Nickelback is. They’re the fart joke of the snark world… anyone can do that. You know you can take a big sloppy shit on Nickelback and offend no one and maybe score some cheap points. The fact that their musical values are in line with a lot of other long-lasting, popular acts (many of which you probably listen to without complaint) didn’t ever concern you.
You can however, choose to hate something higher on the curve of difficulty. You can hate Arcade Fire. That’s a challenge. You’re going to get some ugly looks and some fierce disagreement, but at the same time, you won’t have to give up very much to maintain pop culture consistency. You might have to start skipping Atom Egoyan films. That’s about it. You could shit on RUSH. You’ll get approval from some quarters, but also righteous anger from others, because their fans are legion. To maintain pop culture consistency you only have to give up hating your eardrums.
Or… maybe… just maybe… you could give up on publicly hating a band or an actor or an artist for entertainment value altogether, and find some other way to yuk it up. You know? The world is not exactly suffering from a hate deficit or a lack of public mockery. That doesn’t mean you have to suddenly like Nickelback. It just means you have to stop shooting the easy baskets.
Oh. Mhm. Maybe.
Okay, RUSH fans. I take it back. Truce.