Lately it has been all too easy to hate on celebrities. With social media spreading information like herpes to every corner of the world in an instant, staying up to date on whom we despise is as simple as refreshing the Facebook homepage. Today, for instance, I was reminded that we really can’t stand Brian Williams. Lying jerk! And Kanye, how arrogant! I can’t believe Justin Bieber is still around, or Jenny McCarthy, or Al Sharpton, or Sean Hannity! Why won’t these people go away?
Well, they will. Or at least the negative attention they’re getting will. American outrage lasts as long as our attention spans do: about a day. Do we still hate Chris Brown? Cause he was at the Grammy Awards just chilling and we kinda dig him on that new Nicki Minaj song, you know? The thing is, we love us some celebrities. They can do something wrong, we’ll get pissed, but then we get distracted by something else and we’ll forgive them immediately. We always do. Blind worship is spooky, folks, especially when it’s the apparent symptom of major societal amnesia. Here are 4 popular people that prove our memories are pretty terrible.
1. John Lennon
Oh man, this was really hard for me. The Beatles will forever be the defining musicians of the modern age, considering they changed how people think about pop music and how they got a song such as “Revolution 9” on what is widely considered one of the best albums ever. Even individually, they were all pretty awesome. Or so I thought. John was, for a long time, my favorite Beatle. Then I majored in Religion like every white dude you hate and George became the favorite. It was a big change for me, but stepping back from Lennonism allowed me to view my former favorite musician in a far more revealing light.
For someone who loved to talk and sing about peace, John Lennon sure enjoyed hitting people. He was well-known for starting brawls in Liverpool during his early years, and he almost killed a guy for implying he was gay (which is probably the best way to tell the world you’re comfortable with your sexuality). He also apparently enjoyed being a wife-beater and publicly admitted to his history of domestic violence, making you almost feel bad for Yoko. Cynthia, his first wife, probably got the worst of his raging and violent lunacy.
Julian, John’s first son, grew up without seeing much of his father and some think John blamed him for being forced to marry Cynthia. Unplanned pregnancy wasn’t looked too highly upon back then. When he was around for his kid, Lennon was usually loaded on whatever drug he could find and remained an emotionally abusive piece of shit. It wasn’t the best family life. Things got so bad that Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” for Julian, just to “make it better.” After Yoko had Sean, John’s second son, John decided he’d finally be a good dad and wrote the song “Beautiful Boy,” which makes no reference to his first child at all. Because fuck Julian.
Julian did end up with the better song, though, and he probably took solace in the fact that only one of his parents was batshit insane.
2. Ben Roethlisberger (or insert your favorite NFL player here)
I’m picking on Big Ben here because he’s a looming monstrosity of a quarterback and my college roommates conditioned me to laugh at him every time he ran. Stupid fat bastard. I don’t know much about football, but I don’t need to in order to recognize that a lot of these dudes are getting away with far too much. Ben has been facing some serious sexual assault allegations since 2009. What happened as a result? A six-game suspension that was later reduced to four. Shit, when I was a kid my parents wouldn’t let me play soccer for a whole season if I didn’t get good grades, never mind forcing myself on an unwilling girl. Screw it, GO STEELERS!
We see this all the time and we’re totally okay with it. Michael Vick trained innocent dogs to violently rip each other’s faces off, and we should’ve thought of an appropriate punishment like allowing Clay Matthews to eat him. Instead, Vick is back to sucking (a prerequisite for being a Jet), but at least he’s playing! Ray Rice will likely be back on the field even after falcon-punching a woman straight in the face. Luckily, the NFL was kind enough to give us condescending commercials with actors acting sad to make it all better. Rice, Vick, and Roethlisberger are still making millions after crimes that none of us could get away with, just because they can…run faster?
But surely the NFL will actually do something about the scandals we’re really pissed about, like Michael Sam being a queer and Tom Fucking Brady being unable to tell that the ball felt “a little weird.” Hells yeah, cuts and fines like the vengeance of God, baby! Can’t wait for next season!
3. Charles Bukowski
This was hard for me to accept. I am a serious fan of Bukowski’s work, especially his poetry. Tons of other people seem to feel the same way too, since you can’t Google “literary tattoos” without being bombarded with a million Bukowski quotes on the arms of wannabe SuicideGirls models. (Side note: he never said “find something you love and let it kill you,” idiots.) What’s funny is that half the people who get those tattoos probably don’t know too much about good ol’ Chinaski or his scummy ways. I’d probably do a little bit of research on a guy before I got one of his quotes permanently stabbed into my forearm, but hey, that’s just me.
Bukowski was an arrogant dick, which is weird considering he looked like Lon Chaney’s Wolfman impregnated a pepperoni pizza, and he was one hell of a womanizing, violent alcoholic. Some of his poems are simply him jerking himself off about how loads of young college girls wanted to bang him, how shitty every other writer in the universe was, or how he was the best bare-knuckled drunk fighter ever. When I was eighteen, this seemed soooo cool. Then I grew up and found this video of him trying to kick the shit out of his wife immediately after talking about what a nice guy he is. I then decided, “Yeah, Bukowski kinda sucked.” I still love the majority of his stuff, but I would hate to be anything like him. Reconsider that tat, lady, and cue that awful Modest Mouse song.
4. Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe is one of those people who should have disappeared in the 80s and never resurfaced. First, I don’t think he’s that talented. He played Boring Vanilla Dude #3 in St. Elmo’s Fire , the extent of his role in Parks and Rec was to make stupid faces, and I bet he just showed up on the set of Californication in a cloud of cocaine and did his own thing. Second, those “Hi, I’m annoying Rob Lowe and this is REALLY annoying Rob Lowe” commercials. Third, we all seem to have forgotten about that time he bailed on Melissa Gilbert after discovering she was pregnant with his child, which was later miscarried. Good guy.
Oh, and that time he had sex with a 16-year-old girl in Georgia when he was in his late 20s.
Alright, some of you who are paying attention are going to say, “Well the age of consent in Georgia is 16!” I don’t care. An almost 30-year-old movie star has no business sleeping with a 16-year-old and Georgia needs to get on that shit now. What, is the “I shouldn’t be touching kids” thing based solely on geography now? Next you’ll be telling me Roman Polanski did nothing wrong because the age of consent in Japan is 13 and the poor guy got a little mixed up with his directions. If you’re really stupid you’ll say “That was so long ago. People change.” Alright, so then can we leave poor old Bill Cosby alone now? Rob Lowe also made a sex tape out of the whole thing, so there’s that.
“Hi, I’m Rob ‘Narrowly Avoided A Felony’ Lowe.”
Granted, he did go to the same high school as Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr., and Sean Penn, so maybe I shouldn’t be blaming him. I’m assuming the school has since implemented a better D.A.R.E. program.