My father sent me two text messages during the Super Bowl halftime show yesterday. The first message, sent just as they were taking the stage, read "The BEPs suck." Then, a few minutes later, in case I hadn't taken his point clearly enough, he sent another text: "they really suck." My father was right.
Every society gets the pop culture it deserves, and The Black Eyed Peas are perhaps the most compelling argument yet that maybe the Soviet Union should have won the Cold War. It's hard to picture Nikita Khrushchev putting up with their particular flavor of mindless sunshiney party-hop for more than one album before exiling them to a Siberian gulag to break up rocks for the rest of their natural lives.
Basically, whenever I hear the Black Eyed Peas, I picture The Situation putting on deodorant, overflowing with optimism about his chances of borderline date-raping some poor girl at Karma before the night is over. If they were a little less bubbly, a little less ubiquitous, or a little less straight-up awful at making music, I'm sure they'd just fade into the background like a thousand shitty pop acts before them. But watching that Super Bowl Halftime Show was like Will.I.Am coming through the television to wipe dog poop on my couch in front of 100 million viewers. What made it so very horrible? Let's count the ways:
The Concept In General
Tron: Legacy barely earned back its money at the box office and was described by critics as "cold and empty," "vapid," and "brainless," so obviously, America was screaming for a Tron-themed Super Bowl Halftime Show! Essentially, the BEPs did the same thing with the concept design that they do for their songs, which is to use popular pre-existing material with such reckless abandon that the line between theft and direct reference is blurred beyond recognition, and people like me, who might otherwise complain, get a really bad headache and have to go to bed early.
But don't worry, they didn't just rip off Tron! They also took the time to crib from the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and I'm fairly sure Will.I.Am is trying to dress himself as Jude Law's sex robot from A.I. Fergie is dressed as Mel Gibson from The Road Warrior, and I didn't even know they had a long-haired Native American guy in the group who looks like the bad guy from The Crow or a mohawk guy who seems to specialize in giving thumbs-ups. Keep riding that gravy train, thumbs-up guy!
The Death (on the inside) of Slash
Seriously, Slash, what the fuck? I'm well on record with my dislike of Glee, but for Slash to think that there's a difference between allowing Glee to use his music (which he supposedly will not) and participating in this absolute butchering of "Sweet Child" is just ridiculous. Although Fergie is a great role model to ugly girls everywhere who someday dream of being the non-musical frontman for a popular music act, they should really take more care to limit the amount that she actually sings. And the worst part of all of this? Yesterday was Axl Rose's birthday. Happy birthday, Axl: your most popular song is now ruined forever.
I guess we should probably just accept that Halftime Shows are always terrible, and who cares anyway, because that's when real fans go throw up to make more room for beer and chicken wings, and besides, at least the Black-Eyed Peas only rape our eardrums, as opposed to Ben Roethlisberger, who lost, so it's all good, right?
God, I hate the Black Eyed Peas.