Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump is fed up with your hate. Not about his band, in particular, although I’m sure he’s not a big fan of that, either (they’re named after a Simpsons reference FOR YOU), but of Internet hatred in general, and how accustomed we are to. It’s more accepted to say you don’t like something than it is to admit you do, unless we’re talking about Kate Upton, in which case everyone agrees she’s the best.
Yesterday morning, Stump, whose band is about to release its first album in five years, the presumptuously titled Save Rock and Roll, published a long blog post on his website about “broadcasting our latest cultural disdain that we scantly notice anything we enjoy.” Meaning, he doesn’t like Nickelback, too, but who cares? Focus on what you love.
(My theory, at least for music: a) hate is easier, but also b) why would you listen to Kid Rock and Korn, some would argue, when Fugazi and the Clash are only a click away? It’s so much easier to hear whatever you want these days, as opposed to in the past, when the radio dictated your listening habits, that fury builds when people can buy the Minutemen albums, but don’t. Though to be fair, Nickelback is terrible.)
Here’s a brief excerpt of Stump’s impressively laid out argument.
How many people reading this are fans of Nickelback? How about Dane Cook? Now, I can safely assume that, unless this blog gets reposted on a site dedicated to those respective artists, those questions would be met with tumbleweeds and the distant sound of crickets. Like Creed or Limp Bizkit or the “Dude! You’re getting a Dell!” kid, they’ve become ubiquitously hate-able. I would not be exaggerating to state I’ve simply never heard someone admit to liking them.
Why is that? Now, I’m not saying I like them. Like you (fellow pop culture spectator) I am honor-bound by the unspoken law that, no matter what, I am not allowed to say anything positive about these artists. What have they really done wrong? Have they offended me? Not really. I’ve been more offended by Michael Richards famous rant or Sean Connery’s statements about hitting women. I still watch Seinfeld and James Bond movies. Hell, the misogynistic subtext of James Bond movies offend more of my sensibilities than anything Nickelback ever did and yet I don’t have any problem escaping to a world of fast cars and women with offensively suggestive names (Pussy Galore? Like…are we not even trying?) Somewhere in the world at this moment, some snooty contrarian is probably defending the paintings of Adolph Hitler. Yet for some reason, here I am crippled by a vague and probably unwarranted desire not to appear to be a fan of Nickelback and Dane Cook.
That’s sad. In this generation of blazing wi-fi and scathing tweets, I think it’s very easy to lose sight of anyone else’s opinion. We’re so busy broadcasting our latest cultural disdain that we scantly notice anything we enjoy. “Oh man, this Rebecca Black kid is terrible! Let’s laugh at her!” has become more culturally relevant than “I really love this new Bilal record.” I read an entire article examining why we as a society don’t like Anne Hathaway’s (in my un-necessary opinion, lovely) face. Well, criticizing art and the artists that make it is a lazier pass time than creating or appreciating it.
I’m not saying professional critics aren’t good at what they do. On the contrary; Some of my favorite writers are and have been. The problem is that now everyone has a blog. Everyone’s a critic. Hell, I have a blog. That I’m writing on right now. I have movie reviews posted on here somewhere. What gives me the right? The late Lester Bangs knew what he was talking about. Roger Ebert has written enough scripts to know when somebody sucked at writing one. They earned their stripes as have countless current critics (too many to list here and I think to name names would be a conflict of interest). These people are artists in their own right.
You can read the rest of the entry here, if only for the “he was pretty rad on that Louis C.K. show” part.