Because I’m pretty sure the chip in your brain will kill you if you do

Chad, I’m happy for you. You must be very happy and that is great for you. Honestly, you are a human being and despite what my parole officer tells me, I do not wish harm upon you. You are famous, rich, and people kinda know who you are and that’s close to what you want. I doubt you’ll be able to get exactly what you want, but you’ve done extremely well thus far. Because down to your core you want to be a Rockstar. So bad.

Your songs say it all. You sound like how a Rockstar should sound, I guess. You’re so determined to become one that you stick with what works. Every single fucking time. That’s why people who don’t like to think like your music - it’s familiar. If you changed your game, you’d just piss off a few people, while the rest would simply forget you. So you’ve stuck with the mad-libs formulas of the pseudo-sexual lyric-based hard rock song and the miss-my-simple-life lyric-based hard rock ballad.

I may seem harsh, Chad, but I’m sure you’ll probably point out the many complexities of your songwriting, or something. It seems that whenever there's a lot of anti-Nickleback press flying around, Chad, you will lash back with the argument that 8 million fans can’t be wrong. You could be right. It’s not like 8 million people have ever done anything stupid. Insert Bush re-election joke here.

You are popular - the gelatinous mass known as the general public has accepted you. That’s why Nickleback played the Olympics' closing ceremonies. Don’t ever question it. I found it perfectly reasonable that a band with the broadest appeal played. You were the second best-selling foreign act in the US of the past decade, for fuck's sake. But just because I understood it doesn’t mean I liked it, not by a long shot. This wasn’t Canada - this in no way epitomizes the music coming out of Canada as a whole. This is just some product that everyone can associate with Canada.

Rather than allow the rage to build within me, I overcame it very easily. This is how I overcame the closing ceremonies: I realized that it’s not a showcase of Canadian music so much as it is a showcase of a general Canadian export. The only people watching who’d get offended or enraged by the likes of Nickelback (or any of the other bands) are those who know that there is better music brewing in Canada. Those who don’t know any better won’t care. That’s the thing: those who are passionate about the “issue” of Nickelback are those against the band, while the common fan of Nickleback is nothing more than a casual fan of music - the kind of guy who plays the one of the only five cd's in his truck as he drives to a Dennys and who doesn't give two shits about metaphors in their songs because they're hard to figure out.

And that, Chad, is why I can be happy for you. You’re successful and happy because people who could hardly care less about it enjoy your music. People who care about music don't like you. You’ll never form a proper legacy once physical distribution of music is properly curb-stomped into a faint memory (give it five years). No one will write about you as a great force within music history, not even Canadian histroy. No one will ever comment on your mark on music - whether it be an elegant watermark or the mere Coed Gym class jizz-stain (it's the latter!). You did nothing special and you were popular for it.

At most, you will be referenced in the future equivalent to pop-culture encyclopedias, because you did sell a lot of records. That is a feat considering the current state of the corporate music industry. And come on, you played at the closing ceremonies to one of Canada’s cultural touchstones. However, we’ll need reminding, because you weren’t the most interesting thing there. I honestly rank Neil Young playing the song he used to cast off Conan O’Brien and the inflatable beavers well above you. So once we’re reminded of your performance by our... Canadopedias, even those once passionate about it won’t care.

Sam MacDonald
// Opinions Editor

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