Today every hour brings some fresh hell in the form of another actor, director, comedian, or musician accused of sexual misconduct, a bracing recalibration of what constitutes a newsworthy scandal that’s left us all with little room in our overtaxed brains for just basking in the lukewarm heat of lower-wattage stories. Do you even recall what it was like? To read about some celebrity saying something slightly dumb or petty or risible in a purely minor-key fashion, then bandy about jocular responses that didn’t have to take into account anyone’s pain or systemic oppression? Remember when show business news was mostly just stupid? When we might have shared an inconsequential laugh at Billy Corgan defending Nickelback? Steal away with us now to those simpler times. It’s not hurting anyone, for once!
The Smashing Pumpkins frontman—who recently reclaimed the grown-man moniker William Patrick Corgan—shared some of that age-ripened wisdom on today’s foremost forum for it, The Joe Rogan Experience. In a far-ranging, two-hour discussion that doesn’t feature any terrible political opinions or uncomfortable personal revelations, thank God, Corgan touches on his childhood, his pro wrestling side career, and the general state of the music industry. But the single moment that can provide us brief, amusing distraction from mankind’s constant, self-immolating moral crisis came when Rogan made a Nickelback joke and then Corgan got a little huffy about it, prompting him to call the band’s Chad Kroeger “an incredible songwriter.”
He then had this to say:
“I don’t know enough about their world, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong if that’s who you want to be. Pop is predicated on satisfying. I’ve said many times pop is porn. It’s porn, they want to get you off. It’s just how they’re going to get you off. I’m not that concerned with getting you off, I’m just not.”
It seems it was only yesterday that Billy Corgan sticking up for the inherent genius of Nickelback via some weird porn metaphor would have been a nice story to spend the day growing fatted on, chortling lazily while pointing out how he’s also sort of implying his own music is about selfishly jacking off, back before that reminded us of other awful things. Still, what a light-hearted, complete non-controversy, akin to the thousand other times Billy Corgan has said contrarian shit about music around an album’s release, like that time he said he would piss all over Radiohead! Remember that? When nothing meant anything?
How merry it would be to just hole up here in this shallow cave of triviality and debate the long-overblown backlash against both Corgan and Nickelback! To while the hours away arguing on behalf of Corgan’s egalitarian philosophy of just allowing people to like what they like, for fuck’s sake, while others counter that, yeah, Nickelback’s music is like porn, in that the dialogue is terrible and full of strained, animal grunting, and you should steer clear of anyone who tells you they’re really, really into it.
What fun that would be! Can we just make camp here and stay for a while, where the biggest story of the day is Billy Corgan sticking up for Nickelback and nothing that actually matters can hurt us? Can we?