When Assholes Prosper

posted in: Various Musings | 0

I’ve kept my mouth (somewhat) shut for a very long time, but I can’t do it anymore.  I can’t even begin to tell you how incensed I get and how outraged I feel when I see people I perceive as “bad guys” getting ahead when they really don’t deserve it.  Don’t worry–I can hear my dad’s voice in my head reminding me that “life isn’t fair,” but I also cannot be the person who stands on the sidelines and doesn’t say a word against injustice.

Most of you know I’m a huge music fan, particularly of the metal/hard rock genre.  That means, of course, that I not only listen to the music but I often keep up with band news–especially if they’re my favorites.  Don’t worry.  I give a lot of them leeway.  For example, one of the bands in my top five has a lead singer who’s so egomaniacal that I’m surprised his inflated head allows him through normal doorways anymore.  But I forgive him and love him because his music speaks to me.  That said, I’m this close to unfollowing him on Instagram.  He’s too much!  But I want you to know that I get it–I understand that we’re dealing with egos here.  I give those egos some latitude…because I really do get it.

But there’s only so much freedom we should give these egos.  It’s one thing to post a picture of yourself and then kiss your bicep or your reflection in the mirror or pat yourself on the back because you’re so enamored of yourself; it’s entirely another to make others feel bad about themselves because you have removed yourself that much from the rest of us “common” people.  This particular artist might even feel the need to sue me for talking bad about him, so I’m not going to mention his name.  I would seriously have no doubt that he has staff who look up articles about him online so he can continue to feed his monstrous ego…but I’m only speculating.  I’m instead going to talk about real life incidents that I know about.

The first is one you’d never read about, but it’s one told to me by a friend.  A very close friend of mine used to be my boss when I taught writing at the local college and he and I discovered early on that we both loved the same music…so we’d talk CDs, concerts, new tunes–you name it.  No matter how our conversations began, they almost always ended with music.  Well, one of my favorite bands at the time had just released a new album.  My friend told me promptly that he would never buy their music again.  When I asked why, he told me about an incident that had happened at a concert a year or so before.  Yes, he had at one time loved this band enough to attend one of their shows.  Anyway, a bunch of teenage boys were enjoying the music and one of them had his middle fingers in the air.  My friend said he was being a typical kid and hadn’t meant it as an insult.  But the lead singer of the band–let’s call him God Wannabe since I refuse to call him by name–called the kid out and ripped him a new one.  My friend is not an alarmist and is quite good at reading people and he told me that God W was completely out of control and ridiculous and, at that point, my friend vowed to never buy any of the band’s stuff again–no music, no merch, nothing.  But they’re a good band, so he happily borrowed my CD.  At the time, I supported my friend, telling him I trusted his judgment and wouldn’t buy any of their music again either.  I’m glad to say I’ve stuck by that promise, but I was beginning to think it was a silly idea, that maybe God W had learned his lesson.

Well…no.  He’s still an asshole of huge proportion.  Recently, he made the news because he’s an egomaniacal asshole.  Earlier this year he and his band were playing a concert.  One of the concert goers was texting on her phone.  God W called her out on it, ranting and raving that she dared be on her phone rather than give him the adoration and attention he deserved.  It was later revealed that the woman’s daughter was texting her and, being a good mother, she was responding.  I personally don’t give a shit whom she was texting or what she was doing.  God W, by his actions, not only made her feel bad (when she shouldn’t have–and he subsequently apologized for it, but I’ll tell you in a while why that shit doesn’t matter to me), but he ruined the concert for everyone else attending.  First off…have you ever had a parent punish his kid while you were standing right there?  How did it make you feel?  Or did you ever have a couple fighting with you nearby?  I don’t know about you, but it makes me uncomfortable.  A kid getting chewed out by dad or a couple arguing in my earshot is none of my business and I don’t want to be privy to the details.  A concert holding thousands?  The lead singer on a mike chewing out a woman trying to find out how her kid’s doing?  Well…pretty impossible to turn your head and pretend you didn’t hear it.  She was, in a word, humiliated–and she couldn’t even explain herself while God W chewed her ass in front of thousands of people.

That’s secondary, though, to what really irks me.  If I’m a concert goer, I have given the band lots of cash.  Oodles of my hard-earned money because I wanted to see and hear them perform.  I did not pay to hear the stupid asshole lead singer rant and rave at a fan who wasn’t giving him the attention he thought he deserved.  He is ruining MY good time by being a ranting asshole.  I came to hear them play, not hear about how Mr. Ego’s feelings are hurt because not all eyes are on him.  But what about ME?  What about the thousands of other fans who ARE paying attention, hanging on every note, banging our heads and singing along?  By outing the one person not paying attention, God W has negated the rest of us.  Suddenly, our attention doesn’t matter; our money and adoration don’t matter because one person wasn’t properly worshipping.

Seriously.

I can’t support that kind of ego.  This guy…you can Google his name along with the word “rude” and you’re going to get over 50,000 results.  Articles, YouTube videos, you name it.  My friends, you’ve heard me say it before–I love music and I support the bands I listen to with my money.  This?  I can’t support.  I will not EVER give this man my money ever again.  Yeah, my twenty bucks for a CD now and again isn’t going to cut into his retirement fund but it’s the fucking principle.  I can sleep at night knowing I’m not contributing to his megalomania. He apologized to the fan via an interview and that’s great.  I’m glad he did.  But I don’t believe he was sincere.  I think he did it because it was a big deal–it made the news in a big way.  So, for now, I’m sitting on the sidelines just waiting, because megalomania has no cure, and I don’t buy it for a second.  If, in ten years, I hear he’s volunteering to help at the site of a devastating hurricane or sending money to help homeless families…and no longer acting like an asshole, then–maybe–I’ll begin supporting him again.  Till then, I’ll have to catch his songs on the radio.  Damn shame too, because his band is amazing.  But his ego overshadows it all and I can’t support that.  And it’s not the first time I’ve boycotted a band for bad behavior:  Once Upon a Time… (or Lies, the Internet, and Rabid Fans)

Peace out, friends.  \m/

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