Monday, July 23, 2012

Bad Is the New Good

The other day my daughter said, “Oh, mom, you’ve got to watch this You-Tube video!” So, she played it. I frowned. The singer sang in an off-key monotone about the order of the days of the week.

I said, “Um, I don’t like this. At all.”

Daughter said, “Yeah.”

Me, with a very confused look: “Why are we watching this?”

Daughter, laughing: “It used to be the most disliked music video on YouTube.”

Me, feeling sorry for the poor girl who recorded the song: “We’re watching this because it’s so bad?!”

Daughter: “Yeah. Apparently, she’s making a lot of money.”

Me: “Money? How is that possible?”

Daughter: “Not everyone hates it. And they buy it.”

Me, incredulous: and speechless...

Daughter: “Or people that hate it—buy it. There's a distinct possibility that she made it bad on purpose so she could get lots of attention for the song.”

So that’s where we’re at…being really bad at something is a way to be cool? And it’s a great way to make money. (This seems to be a trend lately...I could mention a certain book that’s very, very popular, which I’ve been told is horrid, but I won't because that would be giving it more publicity.)

And here I was trying to write well. Maybe I need to rethink that. Or not.


  1. Good grief. Reminds me of that guy on American Idol who sang that awful version of Ricky Martin's song and made a lot of $$ too. I'm obviously doing something wrong too.

  2. Aaargh! Let's hope bad isn't going to be the new good for long. :) let's stick with good.

  3. Language got screwy a long time ago, when "bad" started meaning "good", and being "phat" had nothing to do with body girth. But it's totally bizarre to see society reward the truly "bad" with "good" money and success.

  4. Hmm, I think I know what song you're talking about. It's crazy how people can make a buck these days/get "famous" by being bad and/or outrageous/annoying. :P

  5. It's strange how much "bad" things are enjoyed by people. Though a small part of me wants to try writing a horrible novel just as an experiment . . .

  6. It's so crazy, isn't it. Mediocrity is celebrated.