Some might see it as a bit masochistic, but I love reading the comments people leave on my columns. Sometimes I even reply. Hell, sometimes I just leave an angry comment myself if I spot something before everyone else.
There are a lot of reasons why I enjoy the comment section, but I'd read it even if I didn't, because it helps me write articles. For example, this article is built primarily from reader suggestions taken from the comments in this article. Did I miss the examples used in that sequel because I'm lazy and didn't do enough research? Of course not; it's because there are thousands of rap songs out there and I can't possibly hear them all. So when people suggest something that I might have missed, I'm more than happy to take it into consideration.
And that brings us to today. I wasn't planning to return to this idea a third time, but there are two names that I've come to regret leaving off of the previous two lists, so much so that I decided to go back to this well one more time. The problem is, I don't know who else I'm going to include. I haven't thought about it beyond those two names (for ease of use, they will be the first and last entries). For the other three, I'm going to scan the comment sections from the last two articles for suggestions and give you, the people who actually take the time to read my stuff and comment on it, a chance to have your opinion heard. How much fun will that be? Loads, let's get to it.
So, with no further delay, here are five more celebrities who get more hate than they deserve.
Why All the Hate?
People really hate Stephen King. One difference between him and a lot of people who've been on these lists so far, though, is that most of the hate directed at Stephen King has to do with his work. Nobody argues that Barry Bonds is bad at his job, for instance, but people say that about Stephen King all the time. For every masterpiece he's cranked out, someone can rattle off the names of five more stories or books that he's written that are absolute junk. He writes about the same things, he uses the same formulas, he gives too much backstory, his books are all hundreds of pages too long ... that kind of thing.
And honestly, a lot of those complaints are valid. Especially those gripes about his books being too long. I don't even want to crunch the numbers that would reveal all the magical and wonderful things I could have been doing with the free time that I spent reading about peripheral characters' relationships with their relatives in the unabridged edition of The Stand. So, trust me, I get that part. I just think that Stephen King's got a perfectly legitimate excuse for all of those "flaws."
Why He Doesn't Deserve It
Stephen King is insanely prolific. Here's a page listing all of his written work. You could read a novel in the time it would take you just to click each of those links. Given the rapid-fire output of his work, it should come as no surprise that Stephen King often strikes out. And since he loves baseball so goddamn much, let's stick with that analogy for a second and consider the career of Reggie Jackson.
Do you mean ... haunted Reggie Jackson?
On the list of players with the most home runs in Major League Baseball history, Reggie Jackson checks in at No. 13. Now, guess who, among all of the players in all of these years that big league baseball has been in operation, struck out the most times in his career? Right, Reggie Jackson. And that's a common thing. No. 3 on the list is Sammy Sosa. He's No. 8 on the all-time home run list. So what's my point? People who try a lot are going to fail a lot. Home run hitters strike out more often because they take more chances at the plate. They do that because they know that those times when they do connect are going to produce a lot of home runs.
Stephen King hits home runs. A lot of them. And he's been doing it for years. It so happens that, in the course of regularly knocking them out of the park, he swings and misses quite a lot also. What makes Stephen King more infuriating than most is that he takes this approach at the paragraph level instead of the book level. He's totally the kind of guy who's willing to roll the dice on whether or not you'll enjoy the 35-page tangent about music in the 1950s that he's decided will be right at home in the middle of your otherwise terrifying story. He can't just leave it out, because what if you would have liked it? That's the kind of internal nagging that could eat an especially prolific writer alive, but in Stephen King's case, we'd have to sit through a chapter about driving through Maine with a guy named Seth listening to Carl Yastrzemski's last game on the car radio before he actually gets eaten.
Stephen King's hundreds of extra words and sometimes absurd story ideas are the literary equivalent of all those terrifyingly bad "rap" songs Prince has recorded (which are now wholly unavailable in video form on the Internet, because Prince is weird, not stupid). They are the exact opposite of enjoyable, but Prince got away with it, because we all know the next thing he does could be one of those home runs we've come to expect from the guy. Stephen King isn't a whole lot different.
Why All the Hate?
Alright, readers, here you go getting your say in things. Be careful what you wish for, right? Anyway, you might remember that, in the first installment of this series, I actually went against the entire spirit of the endeavor and called out Nickelback as the officially recognized Worst Band in the World. I certainly didn't expect much in the way of reader outcry, and I didn't get any. Not much, anyway.
Do you know why that is? Because people really hate Nickelback. So much. It's just one of those things that it seems like all of us do. I honestly couldn't give you the name of more than five or 10 Nickelback songs. I just know that I don't like them. And until someone posted this in the comment section of one of these articles ...
I could have made the image wider, but then what would you squint at?
... I had no idea why. But now, I know exactly what the problem is and, I guess, it's not that big of a deal. I guess. Just keep reading.
Why They Don't Deserve It
First of all, I can't really address what's mentioned in that last comment/reply. I never found that interview. I did search for it, but got distracted by something else. I'm not sure that learning that Chad Kroeger is solely motivated by record sales would have changed my mind anyway. But what I did find was this insanely long interview that, surprisingly, helped me understand exactly what it is that I dislike so much about Nickelback. Here it is, in the lead singer's own words ...
The songs sound better if you take them in this way, also.
Man, Chad Kroeger, that bit at the end bemoaning the act of putting your hard-earned rock money in the hands of those bloodsucking hourly workers isn't making my job any easier here, but I digress. What's important is that first part. I absolutely get what I hate about Nickelback now, and I think it's the exact same thing you hate, too, whether you realize it or not. Everything about Nickelback sounds too perfect.
That's not a horrible thing, though. I have all sorts of albums on my iPod that have the exact same sound to them. The difference is, they're all by Kelly Clarkson and Justin Timberlake and shit. I expect things to sound perfect and clean from acts like that. I don't expect it from my "rock" bands, though. And if you identify yourself as a "rock" fan, speaking in the broadest categories possible, you probably don't either.
That interview, though, makes it clear that I'm the one at fault here for identifying Nickelback as a "rock" band and holding them to those standards. They aren't the worst rock band in the world, they just sound like they are.