5 Vastly Overrated Cultural Icons

Sorry everyone, it’s time to get out your Butthurt Shields, cause what I’m about to write might hurt a little bit. Here are five idolized cultural icons that really were not that great.

1. Jim Morrison

Yeah yeah I know. The Doors made some decent music. But let’s be honest – that was in spite of Jim Morrison, not because of Jim Morrison. Hell, in interviews his former bandmates have even said that his drug use and incoherent lyrics hurt their artistic visions at times. I mean, it was probably mostly the acid speaking, but Jimmy wrote some fucking horrible lyrics. Case and point: the timeless “Riders on the Storm,” in which Morrison utters a Nickelback-esque rhyme (“there’s a killer on the road / his brain is squirmin’ like a toad”). And let’s be clear; Morrison’s horrendous rhyme schemes were the norm, not few and far between. As a lyricist, Morrison sucked. As a frontman? His alcoholism and drug addictions were sure edgy but they led to several shows being stopped early because Morrison was literally too fucked up to perform.

If you want to idolize him for his crazy drug-fueled lifestyle, that’s cool and all, but why not pick someone more talented – like, you know, Jimi Hendrix – to worship instead?

2. Andy Warhol

Cue up the angry hipsters. Sorry guys, but Andy Warhol gets about 10x as much adoration as he deserves. Yeah, good ol’ Andy was innovative, and he had a critically-acclaimed artistic career to be certain. But is he really deserving of cultural icon status? I think not. You know, unless you REALLY fucking love Campbell’s Soup.

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

3. Bob Marley

Not butthurt by either of the first two? This one should change that, since everyone and their mom LOOOOOVES BOB MARLEY SOOOOO MUCH! Jah Rastafari, Mon! No. Bob Marley was cool and all, and I’ma let him finish, but that whole love/peace/feelin’ good shit…didn’t John Lennon do it just a little bit better? And, oh yeah, Lennon was also an infinitely better musician. Let’s be real – a solid 90% of Marley’s “lyricism” was a conglomeration of oohs and ahs mixed with a grade-school vocabulary. Bob’s message was mostly honorable, don’t get me wrong, but let’s also address the fact that the overwhelming majority of Marley devotees love him because the dude smoked a TON of weed, not because he was a great musician. And hell, we live in 2014 now! Weed is legal in my state! It’s not even edgy anymore…so why is Marley a cultural icon these days?

Bob Marley performing at Dalymount Park, on 6 July 1980. Credit: Eddie Malin
Bob Marley performing at Dalymount Park, on 6 July 1980. Credit: Eddie Malin

4. Joe Namath

Okay, as a downright rabid sports fan, I couldn’t compile this list without including the flaming pile of crap that is Broadway Joe Namath. Joe rose to fame and cultural icon status in 1968 when he guaranteed a win for himself and the New York Jets over the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl – and delivered. Admirable. Impressive. Truly. This guarantee led to the ever-increasing legend of Broadway Joe – the actresses he banged, a short acting career, and a crippling fondness for alcohol – which somehow landed him in the NFL Hall of Fame.

That bears repeating: Joe Namath, somehow, is an NFL Hall of Famer. He is, without a doubt, or even any reasonable argument to the contrary, the worst quarterback ever enshrined in the NFL’s holy Hall. How bad was Broadway Joe? His career stats: 62 wins, 63 losses, 4 ties. 173 Touchdowns, 220 Interceptions. A career QB rating of 65.5…For those of you who aren’t football fans, those stats make Mark Fucking Sanchez look like a WORLD BEATER. Namath’s entire legacy is essentially ONE GAME. He has no business being a cultural icon…or NFL Hall of Famer.

5. Michael Jackson

Ah, good ol’ Michael Jackson. He finds himself on this list not for being an overrated musician, but for being a vastly overrated human being. MJ was actually quite innovative and talented…as far as music goes. However, do we really want to make a pan-sexual pedophile with a Peter Pan complex a symbol of America? I, for one, do not. Let MJ’s legacy go the way of his body – dead and gone. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originally appeared at Writtalin.

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