The year 2016 has seen it all: the death of a gorilla and the birth of an irredeemable meme; the resurgence of fascism and the rise of the alt-right; the election victory of Donald Trump and the complete deterioration of modern American politics. And yet, the year perseveres, collecting momentum and shattering our preconceived notions of how and to what effect we talk about Canadian hard rock bands.
And so it’s only natural Avril Lavigne, “Sk8er Boi” singer and former spouse of Nickelback lead signer Chad Kroeger, felt it neccesary to scold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this afternoon. The visceral takedown was issued on Twitter using none other than Apple’s Notes app — like so many pop culture luminaries of our era. The screenshot of text was in response to Zuckerberg’s tongue-in-cheek admission this week that his fake, not-yet-real home artificial intelligence assistant Jarvis is programmed never to play Nickelback.
“When you have a voice like yours, you may want to consider being more responsible with promoting bullying, especially given what’s going on in the world today,” Lavigne writes. It’s an understandable sentiment. Kroeger and Lavigne must be still be close, having been married for two years. And the constant, unending abuse Kroeger’s band endures has seemingly dipped past the zenith of acceptability.
Yes, we live in a time when it is no longer OK to make fun of Nickelback, not with President-elect Trump and Syria and all the other terrible things happening here on our increasingly warm and endangered hellscape of a planet. You may recall the police department of the Canadian town of Kensington recently threatening drunk drivers with Nickelback torture. The department’s post went viral and prompted an apology after the band’s spokesman said it was a joke too cruel even for Kroeger and crew’s ultra-thick skins. So not even the police can troll Nickelback, not anymore.
So remember: 2016 is terrible and its black hole of despair will suck the light out of our days for years to come, and you can’t even make fun of Nickelbag to console yourself. It’s not cool — Avril said so.