5 Celebrities Who Get More Hate Than They Deserve (Part 3)
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.
Related: Reminder: Stephen King Loved Cocaine
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.
Why All the Hate?
Deserved or not, few athletes have been at the center of the public's attention more in recent years than Tim Tebow. In college, that attention was mostly for his play on the field, and it was absolutely deserved. He was a machine at Florida, becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, among countless other achievements, including more than one national championship.
But the pro game is different from the college game, and when you hear people who would actually know say that, the main difference they cite is the speed of the game. Everyone and everything moves faster. You have to make decisions quicker and execute those decisions quicker, and even the slightest disadvantage in that department can be the difference between success and failure for your team.
So with that in mind, get ready to understand the fundamental difference between Tebow and a successful NFL quarterback.
That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Tebow doesn't throw the football correctly. Granted, he throws it better than damn near every person reading this, but that's not good enough for the NFL. That second or so longer that it takes him to throw a football gives opposing defenses all the time they need to react to his passes. Even in college, Tebow did the majority of his damage on running plays. He's just not a great quarterback.
Oh. He's also super-duper religious.
Approximately this much.
So, whether it's because he's the poster boy for religion in sports or because you think his shitty mechanics are a disgrace to the game, on both counts you kind of have a point. But there's something you must understand ...
Why He Doesn't Deserve It
It's not his fault. I mean that no matter what your beef with Tebow might be.
On the religion thing, if you do hate him for that, you might as well just hate sports altogether. Outside of the church itself, I'm not sure there's a more uptight, religious institution in the United States.
But you also can't hold Tebow's play against him, either. Having that guy in your lineup is instant publicity. It's no surprise that the two teams who've taken a chance on Tebow were being run (or still are) by head coaches who seem to really like attention (Josh McDaniels in Denver and Rex Ryan in New York). It's not his (or His) fault that they signed him. They just did, and after that, all Tebow could really do was play his best when called upon. In Denver, that was good enough to drag the Broncos kicking and screaming to an improbable playoff run. In New York, it's amounted to much less.
Whatever the case, at every step of the way, people in the NFL have known all about Tebow's faults on the field and have overlooked them. If you're angry at Tim Tebow for being on the field, you're angry at the wrong person.
Why All the Hate?
Is there a bigger villain in music than Justin Bieber? You could argue the case that people maybe hate the aforementioned Nickelback a bit more, but I can't imagine that's true. They're actually pretty similar, if you think about it. Both are from Canada, both make music exclusively for people who listen to the radio and watch MTV and both make music that seemingly everyone purchases but no one admits to enjoying.
The reason Justin Bieber wins the hate race, though, is youth. Thinking about Justin Bieber and the state of his career is a great way to lose yourself in nostalgic daydreams about all of the opportunities you weren't presented with during your formative years. If you'd had YouTube and a mom who didn't mind you beating on a drum kit in the house, maybe at the age of 18 you would have been a famous singer with a smoking hot famous girlfriend.
Who looks exactly like you
Nobody wants to feel that way, but that's exactly how Justin Bieber makes us feel. Also, his music is fucking awful. What's not to hate?
Why He Doesn't Deserve It
Alright, first of all, I don't think I need to remind anyone that, for the majority of the time we've been hurling threats and insults in his direction, Justin Bieber has legally been classified as a minor. He's still not even 19 years old yet. So, what, do you hate him because he seems like a cocky, conceited jerk? Fine, grab a random sampling of 19-year-olds and pepper them with a few questions and see if you still hate Bieber or if you just hate teens. It's probably the latter. This one just happens to be insanely popular.
As for the music, well, I'm not sure where you think pop music is coming from these days, but if you hate one, you have to hate them all. He's getting his soulless, emotionless, head-scratchingly popular tunes from the same Max Martins and Rodney Jerkinses of the world like all those other singers you hate. Why in the hell are we piling on his songs with such anger and fury?
Right, because Justin Bieber is what the kids are into. Beyond that, he's not a whole lot better or worse than any of his peers.
Oh, and if anyone is itching to point out how much of a hypocrite I am for defending Justin Bieber after having written articles like this one in the past, you'll probably want to save that gripe for the last name on this list.
Billie Joe Armstrong
Why All the Hate?
Right. Billie Joe Armstrong. You might recognize him as the lead singer of Green Day and someone I write about way too much. As a band, Green Day gets a lot of hell for being a "punk" band that isn't really "punk." Or at least that used to be the case. I don't think anyone actually feels that way anymore, but I still make the joke all the time because it riles people up in the comment section, and engagement is a wonderful thing when you're working on the Internet. Sorry, sheeple.
So if you take that out of the equation, which all but the staunchest of "punk" purists should have long ago, all you're left with are the recent acts and actions of Billie Joe Armstrong that I've taken such great lengths to mock and make fun of here on Cracked. So, you already know all about that stuff. If not, I invite you to read this and this before you proceed. And then come back and I'll tell you everything else I think about Billie Joe Armstrong.
Why He Doesn't Deserve It
So that was fun, right? An article about Billie Joe Armstrong having a whiny temper tantrum, and another about him maybe having an affair with some chick in a different band. I should probably show you that video again to remind you what band I'm talking about.
I said it before, and I'll say it again ... robot dong. Anyway, there have almost certainly been other Green Day/Billie Joe jokes in the past, but those two articles are what we'll discuss right now. More specifically, we'll discuss what they mean in relation to my personal opinion of Billie Joe Armstrong. And I'll start that discussion by posing a simple question. Who cares what I think?
For the record, I don't hate Billie Joe Armstrong and I don't hate Green Day any more than any person who writes a less than favorable review of a song or album or movie hates the subject of what they're writing about. Quite the contrary, if you go back and read that article about Green Day having a Yoko Ono in their midst, it's pretty obvious I'd been listening to that album a lot. They have three albums out right now, actually, and when taken into consideration as one complete package, it's probably my favorite Green Day album in years. Granted, they're not the most active band, so it's not like saying "in years" knocks a whole bunch of stuff off the list. But still, they are good albums, and in my honest opinion, I think Green Day is an excellent band. Billie Joe Armstrong writes some tremendous songs, and his band has been around as long as they have because of that and nothing else.
If it seems like I've been unfairly singling him out as the worst thing in music of late, it's only because I have a job to do.