I just had a little surf around my iTunes collection and indeed, I found a Nickelback Song. It comes off a compilation disc distributed by the highly regarded UK Music Magazine “Q”. The name of the disc is “best tracks of 2002. Seems like pretty credible praise.
It is always fashionable to thrash something. Yet I cringe whenever someone makes a disparaging remark about Nickelback. In the faux sophisticated sphere of planet “creative professional” this happens a lot.
As Chad Kroeger must be tired of saying by now, you can all eff off. Sure I’m not a fan, but would you all please just think of something to hate that you actually hate? Going after a bunch of musicians who have slept in damp vans, starved and been shitkicked all over every small town in the land is just ignorant. They came out of the music business meat grinder to get a song on air and found success. They’re good Canadian boys. I will now stand and produce a short round of applause…there, that felt good.
Nickelback wasn’t manufactured. They wrote their own stuff, they’re not fashion models with a producer. They‘re honest. We don’t have to like their music but we really have no right to beat on them.
Nickelback hate is an example of what I have just decided to brand as UTR – Unimaginative Trendy Rejection. It’s OK to hate things, but not because the cool kids try to define themselves by hating something. We see a lot of this in hipster culture. Rejection of everything that isn’t completely alternative and brand new is no way to improve the world. In fact, those people seem like a much richer target to send our bile toward than the composers of When we Stand Together.
I say let’s put our hate energy into good things. Let’s hate gas companies that collude on pricing on a minute-by-minute basis. Let’s hate the Groupons that force-commoditize the efforts of small business people. Let’s hate people who steal. Let’s hate things worth hating. Why? Because anger is the energy for change. Point it in the proper direction and good comes of it. I will now post this classic example of positive hate that we loved a few years back.
So here’s what I beg of all of you. The next time you say you hate something ask yourself this, “Am I rejecting something that is truly negative and could use change? Or, am I just doing it to try to be cool?”