We all need to have a little chat about what two-faced bastards we all are. And I’m not talking about the time you told me how pretty I looked the day I wasn’t wearing any makeup and had a huge zit that was basically a dead twin hanging off my face. No, I’m talking about how we all get when we say the following words: “That used to be good, but it sucks now.”
This is so prevalent that I couldn’t even make it a Things Assholes Like. No, my friends, this affliction plagues all of us, and not unlike forest fires, only we can stop it.
With this week’s release of Observe & Report, I’ve been hearing this a lot: “I’m getting pretty sick of Seth Rogen.” You tend to hear this more from your Superiors, the ones who two years ago probably gave this glowing review of Knocked Up, “You know, I hate to say it, but I actually kind of liked that movie.” I have a hard enough time with them during this stage, because I have nothing to offer them but confusion. What do you mean you “hate to say it”? What’s with the “actually”? It was a good movie. You don’t have to justify your enjoyment of a film just because those you look down upon also liked it. But it’s not just these people who are turning on our affable be-Jewfroed friend, because that’s not shocking, just your fairly standard pretension release. They have to do it every few months or so or they get blocked up and all bloated with negativity. I hear they make vitamins for that kind of thing.
It’s a weird human nature quirk – we love deeply and unconditionally, we wish good things upon someone, and then as soon as those good things start coming to fruition, we grow tired and that’s when it’s time to show the former object of our affections that they are worthless and we kind of hate them. This is why I prefer dogs to people, in no small part because I’ve also basically just described cats.
Seth Rogen is the latest victim of this phenomenon. He starts out in beloved and quickly-canned television shows, then gets his breakout role in 40 Year Old Virgin, then everyone becomes obsessed with him and clamors for more, then the studios grant the world’s wishes, then he becomes ubiquitous and the world decides that he should die alone in a pit somewhere.
Maybe it’s not that extreme. But give it time. Just ask one Lindsay Lohan.
I don’t mean to compare Seth Rogen, someone I enjoy a great deal, with Lindsay Lohan, someone whose self-destruction I’ve enjoyed a great deal in a schadenfreudey sense, but it’s fitting because it’s the only way I can understand the anti-Rogen brigade. This is our shared common ground.
I liked Lohan well enough in the remake of The Parent Trap. She was a pretty not-terrible child star. Then she did a couple assy movies that I can’t be bothered to Google for titles, and then she did Mean Girls. <digression> Anyone who thinks she was in any way integral to that movie’s success is a moron. That movie is completely made by Tina Fey and every single other cast member besides Our Ginger Lady of the White Powder. </digression> Then she did what all child stars do and discovered cocaine and scandal and more cocaine and couldn’t get hired anymore, and now she’s famous for dragging a defenseless lesbian DJ into her trainwreck of a lifestyle and is now on full meltdownwatch. And I’m part of the problem.
This is someone I enjoyed, someone I hoped would have a successful career. And then during her performance in the most famous and the only loved movie in her oeuvre, all I could think was, “You don’t deserve this.” I can’t say for certain what made me turn so quickly, though I’m mostly sure it has nothing to do with my documented ginger-phobia. Ever since my turn, I’ve eagerly read the gossip sites for her every fuckup, relishing each one and hoping for more. I don’t enjoy the misfortune of others on a regular basis, and one would think my die-hard defense of Britney Spears would preclude me from getting all joyed up by this, but it’s just kind of what’s happening. I turned on her, and I turned on her in a big bad way.
To generally lesser extents, we’ve all done this same thing. Take the TV show we all love until it becomes a top rated show on its network and then suddenly no one can stop talking about how it’s no longer any good and it peaked two seasons ago (I’ll give you one hint, its name rhymes with The Office, but I could just as easily be referring to most shows on TV except for Friday Night Lights or any other show no one else watches). Or the band who stops being an indie secret when its song is played during a Zach Braff movie and sorority girls like them so they’re suddenly not as good as they used to be.
Is this an example of the innate inability to love any one thing for longer than a few years, or is that just the recent viewing of High Fidelity talking? People, we all need to open our hearts and love harder. Only then can we see that Seth Rogen is still just as funny, The Office is just as good, the latest The Shins album is actually their best and maybe if we just be nice and lovingly ignore the crazy red-headed bag of freckles and bones on the cover of Us Weekly, she’ll just go away.
Love out of spite is still love. The more you know.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.