Once upon a time I was at my local cinema, patiently sitting through the advertisements that now come before the previews. After a reminder to drink Coca-Cola and a sneak preview of a TV drama that has probably since been canceled, five shadowy figures appeared on the screen, standing on a desolate hillside. They held instruments. It was a music video, or at least an advertisement meant to look like a music video. And in keeping with that motif, the video information – the name of the song, the band, etc. – appeared in white letters in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
It was song entitled “Citizen Solider.” It was a plug for the National Guard. The band performing? Alternative rock also-rans 3 Doors Down.
At that moment, I experienced a very small incident of contained zeitgeist. Everyone in the theater – and I mean everyone – collectively groaned. All types. All walks of life. Even a guy whose haircut indicted that he was either just back from Afghanistan, or about to ship out. All of them were very displeased to find out that the National Guard – a brave group of men and women who stand vigilant and ready to defend our great nation – couldn’t book a better band than the chuckleheads who sang “Kryptonite” in the year 2000.
Two years later, 3 Doors Down are scheduled to darken our campus on Oct 25. This time, they are coming in conjunction with the Better Life Foundation – a charity founded by the band which tries to better the lives of sick and impoverished kids. Admirable? Absolutely. But it also makes me think that 3 Doors Down is the remora fish of rock music. Perhaps they know how mediocre they really are and therefore attach themselves to worthy organizations and causes so that good-hearted people will accidentally listen to their newest album. “I know this music is awful,” they say. “But it’s for the children.”
Using a noble cause to raise awareness for your bad art is disgusting. I for one am not fooled by their insidious ruse. And you shouldn’t be either. Here are Five Things I Would Rather Do Than Watch 3 Doors Down Perform.
- Spend the ticket money on equal parts light bulbs and McDoubles. Crush the light bulbs into tiny glass shards. Place shards on McDoubles. Eat every last one.
- Go deaf.
- Spend an erotic weekend in Branson, MO with lead singer Brad Arnold’s great-grandma.
- Put the Ceti Eel in my ear, like in “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.”
- Watch a child go hungry.