Last week I touched on writing about [and off] that which we have not personally experienced ourselves and that while we can, doing so can damage our credibility and rob us of what we may actually enjoy. Somewhere in that mess of words I mentioned that basing our opinions on the judgements of others [specifically when they’re negative] is not the greatest. The thing is, it happens all of the time.
An example I brought up in that last post was Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a show I had despised before ever watching an episode. Of course, my hatred for it was tailored by such gifs as this:
That sentiment was washed away by actually making my way through most of the first season, which allowed me to be aware of the fact that the Thompson family [no, they’re surname isn’t Boo Boo] was surprisingly not terrible. Ridiculously unhealthy, yes, but overall a far cry from dysfunctional.
Off the top of your head think about two of the most reviled musical artists in existence right now, people who are the targets of general widespread hatred. I’ll even give you a hint: they’re both Canadian. As far as I can tell Justin Bieber and Nickelback top the charts when it comes to people not just changing the station when they come on, but actually picking up the radio and throwing it out a window [the joke is that no one listens to the radio anymore].
I wanted to explore that a little more not just because I feel the need to defend my country’s honour, or because I was pretty big into the band between the ages of 1o and 13, but because of the following comment I found on reddit [in response to someone remarking on the public’s hatred of Taco Bell food]:
The assumption there being that people are hating on both not so much because they have a personal reason to, but because everyone else is. I mean, as long as Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse say so then why not, right?
With a lot of bandwagon hate I find that people are not quick to come up with answers as to why they strongly dislike said thing, but there’s always some kind of general go-to reason. With that in mind I took to Google to determine the crimes of these Canadian musicians.
Why Do People Hate Nickelback?
For the 12-time Juno Award-winning band I referred to the first two search results for “why do people hate nickelback”. Both are from Yahoo Answers, though one is from the general [American] site and the other from the Canadian.
Which is, let’s be perfectly fair, a terrible reason to cast so much bile in the direction of an artist. There are countless musical acts who churn out the same one-note [not literally, you know-] stuff year in and year out and they never once come close to the criticism Nickelback receives.
Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, who I think are pretty decent, straight-up states that “Rock and roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” which is . . . wow. Which is more critical of the genre and its fans than anything else. I’m going to leave that alone.
My point is, people think that Nickelback is bad because all their stuff sounds the same.
Why Do People Hate Justin Bieber?
If only I had written this post at this time last year things would be slightly different. At a certain point in time the reasons were apparent [and hilariously immature]: he looks like a little girl, he’s got faggy hair, his music sucks, his fanbase is weird/ridiculous/terrifying, all of the above and he’s popular.
That’s all surface level stuff that, sadly, continues to be true. I say “sadly” because they suck as rationale for hating someone, and because these days there are really, really, really thorough lists as to why he’s the scum of the earth. Here’s just one of them:
Which speaks for itself, I think. I shouldn’t have to add anything more to that; Justin Bieber is a man-child-child-man who behaves with little to no regard for other people, and that makes him worthy of derision.
Why Bother Falling Off?
The problem is that while both Justin Bieber and Nickelback are almost globally hated, their offences are comically imbalanced. Sure, some would say that creating the exact same sound album after album is worthy of a death sentence, but when compared to essentially prank dialing the paramedics?
Now you might be saying, “Evan, how dare you tell us who we can and can not hate! I think we hate you now, you and your stupid blog.” Here’s the deal, though, only you should decide who [or what] you dislike. The difference should be, going forward, that you actually think about why you hate.
Right now people are really hating on Jared Leto for his role as a transgender person in Dallas Buyers Club that won him an Oscar. Barring a few comments from him that err more on the side of uninformed than insensitive, they need to realize that he’s not really at fault here. Yes, he auditioned for the part, but he wasn’t in charge of casting for the film or part of The Academy, who chose the award winners. It’s just another example of people hating without thinking.
So yes, ultimately what I want people to do is think and hate for themselves. Feel free to loathe people for their actions or works of art based on their merit, but make sure that the decision is yours and yours alone. You shouldn’t have to hop on the bandwagon when you could just as easily ride alongside it.