Beth Mann's Blog

Beth's Urban Tales of Wonder and Decay

Beth Mann

Beth Mann
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
November 11
Hot Buttered Media
I'm a writer and creative consultant. I have years of experimental comedy and strange theater under my belt. I surf. I cook. I love wine, men and song. And puppies. I effin' love puppies.

Editor’s Pick
MAY 10, 2009 10:39AM

13 People who Ruined it for Everyone Else

Rate: 96 Flag

1. Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam started a movement of self-serious, white guy rock that has been dismal and morose and needlessly melodramatic. Because of Pearl Jam, we’ve been forced to listen to the likes of Creed, Puddle of Mudd, Staind, Three Doors Down and a slew of other slacken-face maudlinites.


2. John Wayne

John Wayne’s tough guy, all-American machismo set a "stoicism at all costs" tone for generations. Our fathers and grandfathers emulated him, starting a chain of emotionally constipated men who pride themselves in their ability to restrain, like good little cowboys.


3. Later Elton John

Later Elton John ruined it for ruined it for earlier Elton John. Later Robert Deniro ruined it for earlier Robert DeNiro and Later Al "Sir Screamsalot" Pacino ruined it for earlier Al Pacino.


4. People who say F#$k Too Much

Fuck is a fine, fine word. But it needs to be used judiciously, sparingly, not all willy-nilly. Use it only in times of extreme anger or hair-pulling sex or if you’re David Mamet.


5. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilara

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilara ruined it for sexiness worldwide. They taught a generation of women that being over-the-top tawdry was the only way to go. Their sell-out "sexiness" became amplified to a cartoonish, grotesque proportion, therefore negating its appeal. Madonna had way more going on.


6. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Speaking of cartoonish sexiness, when you’re bombarded by images of these two, it’s like eating too many cream-filled donuts. Enough already - they’re preternaturally gorgeous. I find it kind of disturbing, frankly. I think they may be aliens.


7. Mickey Mouse

Evil corporate mouse ruined it for the rest of his cool cartoon counterparts (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, The Peanuts gang, Pink Panther.)


8. The song “Stand by your Man”

While not a person, a person sang it and generations of women believed that undying loyalty in the face of blatant betrayal and massively unmet needs showcases their doormat-like stick-to-itiveness.


9. Oprah Winfrey

Her sanctimonious manner and mammoth-sized ego ruined it for the likes of talk show hosts everywhere. Oh for the simplicity and intelligence of Phil Donahue/ She also ruined it for a lot of simple housewives who used to have minds of their own. And maybe somehow indirectly spawned the likes of Tyra Banks, who makes me want to light my hair on fire.


10. Sarah McLachlin, et. al.

Ruined it for chick rock in a big way. After her, we had to listen to years of wimpy, weepy, and neutered chick bands with no backbone and no balls. I'm not saying they're all bad per se...they just perpetuated a certain "too softness." Listen to Tori Amos (who is no Kate Bush) then listen to Heart (videos below - and yes, I know Heart hit their sucky phase later on.)


11. Geico Lizard, Spuds McKenzie, et. al.

These corporate creatures ruin it for animals worldwide. As do all the people who say, “Our dog thinks he’s human.” “Our dog is like our baby.” No, your dog is an ANIMAL. Don't make them human. Don’t dress them up, don’t make them sell car insurance or hawk cheap beer. Let them be animals and stop your needy projecting.

In short, it’s not cute when animals talk – it’s weird and unnatural. (Except for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. That’s different...somehow. And Snoopy. Wait. Snoopy didn’t talk. Neither did the Pink Panther. See?)


12. Radio Morning Shows

Radio morning shows have ruined radio. (So has Clear Channel but that’s a whole other entry.) All radio morning shows suck, across the board. All of them except for Howard Stern in his heyday (think what you want about the man but he was ground breaker.) Morning shows have contributed to the destruction of the radio, which is a tragic thing. The spirit of the radio has been dying for a long, long time.


13. The Sopranos

The Sopranos have ruined it for New Jersey. Now a bunch of wannabes go around, smoking their cigars in their big, fat cars, thinking their sexist, indulgent and tasteless lifestyle is actually cool…and it’s not.


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Love the list and to it I might add, the first person that ever did a blog. Look what happened? He or she created a generation of people who do nothing but read about every horrid detail everyone else's horrid life and then turn around and do the same about their own. Now, we have no time to do anything else. I have to go now. There's another post waiting for me.
I didn't make your list? Whew.....~wiping brow~
Excellent list and I could not agree more about Oprah. I do admire her and actually listen to Maya Angelou and Gayle King on her radio station. However, hearing Oprah talk to guests on her "soul series" on the radio can be really scary. Kathy ? the D-List comedian says Oprah has a God complex and I think she is correct.
In agreement on all of these ( as I listen to some Taylor Swift with my 8 yr old, while my 6 yr old watches the Disney Channel, and my 10 yr. old pulls on his Cheetos Cheetha t-shirt). I do have to come to the defense of one morning radio show - I can't wake up w/o Morning Edition on NPR.
Tell it like it is, Sister!

Great intro, to an all time favorite. ;-) Seen them in the late seventies. I hate it when they play this on the oldies stations, though.
Totally with you on this, especially #10: these wimpy, watery women vocalists who sing like pre-pubescent children (at first I liked McLachlin, but no more, after what she's spawned).

I blame her (Sarah M) for that painful commercial for Paradise Island, Bahamas where the dip-shit vocalist sings about swimming with dolphins in a voice that makes me want to slam her into a locker.
Oooooohhh. You are so good and such a little wise ass.

You from Jersey, like downa shore or sumpin?
Catchy title. Interesting list. I thought Pearl Jam ruined it with the lip syncing in concert...but that was Milli Vanilli wasn't it?

Nevertheless, I'm a Creed fan. Rated.
You said it all and I especially agree about all the whiny #10's. I really admired Oprah for her success but, now that she has been in our faces for so long, I'm so over her and her holy than thou manner, just as you said. Love Heart, magnificent intro! Thanks!
This is such a well done post! You covered so much of it.

I've been afraid to say too much about people and their doggone pets, but you did it comprehensively and with far more articulateness than I could. Good grief, there's some crazy stuff going on over animals. I really can't stand when the animals get more justice than humans.

I also like Cartouche's addition. To get the accolades, just spill your guts. The more dramatic or sick, the better. At least it's forcing people to read, though.
OK, let's have an amnesty for a truly good country song. Take a look at the lyrics for "Stand By Your Man," and find the punchline - "For after all, he's just a man." This isn't the statement of a doormat, it's an acknowledgment of fallibility, and the human condition. There's only so much a songwriter can say in 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
Nice touch! The only one I don't fully agree with is John Wayne who I think more reflected expectations than set them. But what do I know. I'm just an old guy who went through the 60's, female liberated 70's, disco 80's, self-absorbed 90's and now the narcissistic 00's. It's a wonder that I don't worship at the Ophrah altar and you're right on target with her--it's almost like she is evil.
Great post on a Sunday morning.
Oh man John Wayne ! What about the walk ? If it wasn't for him being constipated we woudn't have that walk . "Come on Pilgrim" and I take issue with Britney Spears, her work in boosting the self -esteem of Psychopaths has been unsurpassed around the world .
Beth Mann rocks da house!!!
Spot on with most of those IMNSHO
If only M. Chariot had said "Beth Mann rocks da fucking house!!!" still, I agree 100%.

You could have added Kurt Cobain, IMHO, and all the legions he inspired who've made a Kult of Kurt and Courtney Love ... but that might just be a generational thing with me.
I am especially there with you on Pearl Jam, Elton John,whiny Sarah, and Stand By Your Man. When I tell my hip rocker daughter about the other Elton, she can't even believe it. I had to go find you tubes and play her the music. She was in shock. Sarah and her ilk make me want to shove scissors in my ears--give me give me give me Courtney Love. And Stand By Your Man should be used as evidence against Chris Brown. Ugh. Loved this!
YES! thanks for saying this OUT LOUD. Especially morning radio.


I think John Wayne was playing a type that was already created in the Depression, he just personified a response for the times. He was quite the subtle actor, something I don't think he gets credit for.

Am I the only person in the world who finds Jolie weird looking? She looks more like a barbie doll than a real person to me. She's a great actress, I just don't find her beautiful.
Oh behalf of a very quiet bunch of people here is Chicago where she sometimes lives---thank you for putting the Big O on the list.

I think she might be Satan.
Later Elton John and his pacemaker (from too much cocaine) and his ass**** rants is definitely a cocksucker. And I did not say fuck. Rated.
A bang-on post. Tweaks:

#7. I'd add Rocky and Bullwinkle and Fritz the Cat.

#9. Brava! Let's not forget Oprah's role in foisting Dr Phil off on the public psyche. May merit a point of his own. Eternal repercussions there.

But Phil Donahue, that's another kettle of fish. He had ideas and principles and politics that went beyond the Self. He seemed as though he actually wanted to hear what audience members had to say — and be near enough to let them have a Brush with Greatness.

If only he'd done away with those prancing pirouttes to bring the mike to them.

#10. Lucinda Williams is (ironically) an effective detox regimen for some of us.

#13. There are human beings who consciously imitate The Sopranos???

Very funny post!

Although I take issue with your assessment of Pearl Jam. Their first three albums are classics. Besides, by your logic we should also hold Led Zepplin accountable for cruddy 80s hair bands like Whitesnake and Winger.
a cogent and pithy analysis of the decline of western civilization--and damned funny too!
Great post Beth! And let's not forget that the FUCKING mouse RUINED central Florida for the rest of time! Talk about Satan...but I digress...
And...gag me...DO NOT even get me FUCKING started on women on the radio today....AGGGGGGHHHHH? Where are the Janis Joplin's of this generation? Or the Etta James? Or the Ella Fitzgeralds? I could go on and on.
Women of OS unite and raise your daughters to FUCKING rock the house!
rated for FUCKING excellence
(I used to get in trouble at PTA meetings a lot)
A very interesting list. I can't honestly comment on the bulk of it because I don't really watch daytime talk shows or listen to radio talk shows or "Indie" rock or bubblegum pop. Although the Spears, Aguilara comment was right on the money.

But...The thing I always found intersting about John Wayne was that he was always considered the great hero even though when the war broke out he got a deferment because he was married, and then got a divorce 6 months after V-J day. Some hero.

And...The thing about Mickey Mouse is that he was the first superstar animated character. No matter how hard anyone else tried they would always be held up in comparison. At the same time without Mickey there probably would not have been a Buggs or Tom and Jerry since Disney proved the profitability of cartoons. So to not like the Mouse is kind of a Catch 22.
I love this post. So fucking true.
I love the smell of a good rant in the morning.
I agree with a lot of your list but, I think you missed the line in "Stand By Your Man" where it goes "after all, he's just a man". It's the punchline to something that would be exactly what your complaint is without it. Also... don't blame Pearl Jam. Blame the crappy decisions the labels made signing talentless bands.
great post...but you forgot to mention Kaysong's My Sexiest Men Living, and James Poyner's Pitbulls in Spamalot....I don't think the weekend feed will ever be the same....
As for John Wayne, yes good actor. No to role model in my opinion. I find it surprising, for instance, that some men don't cry for years. I mean, it's the easiest way to dispel stress and pain. And somehow I'm blaming John Wayne for this.

As for Pearl Jam, sure they have a few good tunes. But they're no Zeppelin. Bands emulated Zeppelin because they had raw, sexual, rock and roll, bluesy strength. Pearl Jam...ugh, the music can just seem so full of itself. It just took the fun out of rock and roll.

And ocularnervosa, I hear what you're saying. Mickey came first. But since then, it's become this machine that's frightening and no longer inviting. If I saw some old Mickey Mouse, I'm sure I'd enjoy it (though Daffy is my personal fave of all cartoon characters - the wacky one, not the serious one.)
Great lits Beth and right on, especially John Wayne.

I've loved westerns since I found a trunk loaded with Zane Grey books in an abandoned house walking home from elementary school, somewhere around 1959 or 1960. I never miss a new western movie that's released, but I detest every John Wayne western made, but one, "The Shootist."

And I'm with you on the whiney singers. Music with fire in it, especially those that, as your You Tube does so well, build up to an explosion of sound For me it's rock from the late sixites, early seventies - Iron Butterly, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, The Stones, The Doors, The Supremes, Santana, CCR, Led Zeppelin.

Now there's rock

Thumbed for a great list
Great to hear Heart again. I saw them in the 1970s too and loved it. I agree about Lucinda Williams. She ROCKS!
Marvelous list, Beth. Whenever I think of Pearl Jam, I think of Todd Snider's "Talkin' Seattle Grunge Blues". I think he would agree with your assessment of that music scene.
and Sarah McLachlan & that damned SPCA commercial has ruined whatever tattered shreds of respect I had for her as well as my tolerance level for tear-jerker sentimentality
1) Who?

2) How dare you! He's an Icon.

3) He had his day and now is taking over in the charicature department for Liberace.

4) What are you fucking talking about. Hair pulling? My, my ....

5) Talk about useless. Would they could simply disappear.

6) Beautiful people are bad enough, but Neurotic, crazy, beautiful people?

7) Back off! He makes a great fucking Watch.

8) If I had enough idle cash, I'd have rented a panel van with speakers and followed Hillary Clinton around NH blaring that song and handing out home baked cookies during her presidential run.

9) She needs to go away, that over exposed, yo-yo dieting pain in the ass.

10) Chick rock is chick rock. Kind of like Rock-a-billy from the 70s/80s.

11) I'll take mascot animals over precocious kids any day. Except for the baby doing the e-trades. He's a riot.

12) Early Imus rocked until such time as his trophy wife got him hooked on organic food and he lost his edge after the Basketball snafu.

13) That's always been a case of art imitating life. They always existed, they just weren't validated before.
Yes, yes, spot on!
You said a mouthful, especially about Donahue and Oprah, God how I miss him. I saw him very artfully shut Ann Coulter up once, and he was not nice about it and that was a very good thing. I also enjoyed Howard Stern. He said he wanted to crush Clear Channel, which unfortunately he has not. And Daniel my brother, yes, old Elton John was the best. Great post. Cheers to your wonderful insight.
From what I have seen of your hair, it is very nice, so please don't light it on fire. It would not look good and, lets face it, the smell is quite a turn off, even for surfer dudes whose standards are usually on the lighter side of stringent.
Hmmm. I disagree with the white rock guys and your dis of Tori Amos. She's brilliant. The rest you got pretty right.
Mark Twain was once asked who he thot was bound for Hell, and he replied that he wasn't fit to judge the matter, but if the question was who was deserving, it was the inventor of the telephone. Imagine what he'd say about nattering nabobs chattering away incessantly, rudely, dangerously on their cell phones.
I agree with Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, half 9, 11, and 12.

I like Eddie Vedder and Sarah McLachlin, I've never seen the Sopranos, I don't care for Oprah's earnest schtick but find her harmless and too easy a target, and I don't think people say fuck enough.

I can't resist sending everybody to a post I wrote last fall about Phil Donahue (a crowd favorite, it seems) and his film A BODY OF WAR. It's the only post I ever promote, b/c I met Mr. Donahue and told him I'd write about his film on Open Salon. You'll find Vedder there, too, because he wrote the moving song featured in Donahue's film. That's why I like Vedder, btw. Thanks for the opportunity to plug!
Great list, however, there should be a disclaimer about Heart; old 70's Heart (I actually listened to "Dog and Butterfly" and "Little Queen" just this past week) is what you were talking about. Newer Heart (80's - 90's) may as well be Sarah McLachlan.
Kudos to the post about Oprah unleashing Dr. Phil on the world!
Brilliant. My particular self pitying white boy peeve is Andrew ("Oh what a lonely boy") Gold. Unfortunately there is a whole new generation of them, spearheaded by Snow Patrol.
Love the list. Certainly there are more that could be added but 13's a good number for a list like this.
I offer you my highest praise: I'm jealous I did not write this first! I actually agree with all 13 points, which is rare because I'm usually a devil's advocate. Rated.
LOL, good & funny list! My 13 about your 13:
#1- I actually like Eddie Vedder's voice, & some of Pearl Jam's music. I also like Puddle of Mudd-- "Come Clean" is a good album. I agree about all the other groups though.
#2- Heh, my stoic dad did emulate John Wayne! I wonder if that's why we had trouble getting along...
#3- Oh, Hell Yeah, 100%! So sad when a great songwriter & musician just collapses under the weight of his own ego.
#4- F***ing A, lol. I think that South Park episode with the profanity counter finally cured me.
#5- Yeah, Brit & XTina wore out their welcome with me too, years ago. "Slutty" is not a good or practical look for your young female fans (like my niece) to imitate.
#6- Brangelina photos are inescapable. Even if this couple moved (back) to Mars, people would follow them there & take pictures for the tabloids. And she really does need to quit with the tattoos already.
#7- Agreed, but he was my first wristwatch, lol. I'm a Bugs fan too.
#8- I'm often tired of that song. Best version of it is when the Blues Brothers sing it at Bob's Country Bunker in their movie.
#9- Although Oprah is everywhere, I am managing to avoid her. So far. I miss Phil Donahue too.
#10- Agreed. I got tired of whiny chick rock years ago too. I have a Fiona Apple album that I never listen to any more. But I gotta say that I do love Sarah McLachlan's song in the Toy Story 2 movie, "When She Loved Me". Turns me into a weepy chick every time I hear it (but not a whiny one!).
#11- Aha, you forgot about the Budweiser Frogs! Yeah, 100% agree with this one. Animals are NOT people, people!!!
#12- I miss Howard Stern sooo much. Back when I was commuting to work, his show always made me laugh. Everyone else's shows seemed so boring in comparison. Wish I could afford satellite radio so I can listen to Stern again...
#13- True. I stopped watching The Sopranos when they bumped Adriana off. Much as I liked Carmela & Janice, even they couldn't make up for all the sexist crap going on after that.
Thanks again for this list, Beth! : D
Speaking of No. 11, the animals being people theme, have you ever noticed how many picture books feature animals being people? I'm not talking about nature books or even books where there are people with their pets. I'm talking about books that feature regular families doing regular things--well, not regular things, but things they always do in children's books like look at trucks and hold hands with mommy in the department store or whatever--but with this glaring weirdo thing going on where they're all, like, hedgehogs or something. What the fuck is that about?
Loved the post, and reading the comments along to the rockin' guitar was pretty awesome.
I agree a lot about this list. As a kid, I watched Phil, then Oprah. I took a break from Oprah for years and when I saw her again, I noticed that her ego seemed to have grown quite a bit. And I agree that f**k loses its power if you are going to say it every other word...lots of good stuff on your list....
Yet another whiny commentary from some feminist elite that thinks she knows better than the rest. sigh... internet has enough of those.. do something original mmm k? To all those posters who want to comment on me.. I am not saying I do or do not agree.. just tired of reading dumb lists like these with arrogance written in all the words...
Everything you said was right cept' for John Wayne, he's an example for men everywhere
Of all the videos of Heart to choose, why THAT one? Try this one - the Wilson sisters ROCKING OUT, just the two of them - one on guitar and the other on mandolin:
Nice list. Allow me to add George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. The cash flow from Star Wars and Jaws convinced the major studios to stop making small, intelligent movies. From then on the majors concentrated on manufacturing the next blockbuster. Also a slam on Lucas for all those damn movie tie-in plastic figures and product extensions.
why does anyone care what Beth thinks? she's just 1 of an endless list of self-important nobodys
Excellent post Beth!

A few of these folks were victimized by and endless slew of pretenders, causing us to overdose on their originality. Others became victims of their own success, morphing into something sappily commercialized and unrecognizable. A few specific call outs:

The Duke – He was hardly the 1st in along line of tall dark and silent types; the antithesis of Jimmy Stewart.

Elton John – He jumped the shark somewhere between “Bennie & the Jets”, and his re-release of “Candle in the Wind”.

Mickey Mouse – Other than the sorcerer’s apprentice, I think Mickey is over rated. Bugs, The Pink Panther and Snoopy exude way more coolness.

Oprah – Her “Feel my Pain” style of talk show hosting has grown trite.

Sarah McLachlin et al – In small doses, we can deal with Sarah and her ilk. What’s missing is the hard edge counterbalance (i.e. Alanis Morissette). Avril Lavigne seemed promising, but hasn’t evolved beyond her Skater Boy shtick

Talking animal commercials – I say we trash them all, except for the beggin’ strips dog. “I’d open it myself, but I don’t have thumbs”, is hysterical.

Morning Radio – I agree with Mamoore; other than NPR, there’s not much out there.
Along the lines of #3, hasn't later Robert DeNiro has ruined it for earlier Robert DeNiro? And Heart does rock.
Pearl Jam is to blame for self-serious white guy rock? Come on.
You champion a guy who is playing to an audience sitting at his feet and backed up by a string section and choir.
I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Kansas.
The emotional stoicism of two generations of men is John Wayne's fault as if he was the first iconic American hero who didn't skip, weep, hold hands, or drink tea?
I would add pretentious Yankees to the list... wow whining about whiny people doesn't seem a bit counter productive?
Very funny, very clever.
Overall, a good list. However, I would trade a thousand stoic John Wayne's at this moment in history for one of these fleece-vest-wearing, faux silver-haired Anderson Cooper vaginas we have rising up as our generation of old men. I am old enough to remember their fathers, my own grandfather was born 1910 and left us in 1995. No, he was a talker. He never even used the words "I love you" with his own children. I don't recall him ever watching a Wayne movie. Still, this man exuded love for his entire family, and definitely for all the grandchildren. He took us fishing, bought us rifles (at age 10, gasp!!), took us to the shed to build stuff (dollhouses, tables, writing desks, everything), let us sit on his lap and drive the truck (at age 5, gasp!!). Contrast this with the bunch of soggy-pants women we have posing as old men now. Everyone I know of my generation (I am 31) talks about the complete ass-dragging lack of dignity in today's old men. Oh, sure, they're talkers, alright. Up on the latest fashions. But who is going to be a grandfather of the old sort for my children? Yes, these fellows are chatty, indeed. In fact, they are chattier than my own grandma. In short, they are very nearly women. Give me John Wayne any day. Anderson Cooper is so stylish, but a complete vag.
I agree with everything on your list except number one. Pearl Jam started grunge in Seattle before Kurt Cobain. He just hit it big a short bit earlier. All the other groups you named, YES and including the notoriously overrated Scott Weiland and Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver. PJ, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains were the real deal. And, PJ still is. They did the Evolution and led the Revolution. Sorry.
But, 12/13 is a great percentage, therefore RATED.
Oh my gosh, Sactogator....I forgot. Later "Bobby" DeNiro certainly ruined it for earlier Bobby. Same applies to Al "All I do is scream now" Pacino. And Vandoo, the list is a bit tongue in cheek. I don't really hold John Wayne responsible. I actually hold YOU responsible. AND Kansas.
Beth, very funny post. Being a Jersey lifer, I'm with you on the Sopranos thing.

But being a big Pearl Jam fan, I think one of your comments above contradicted your logic. If you think Pearl Jam is a Led Zeppelin wannabe, then isn't *Led Zeppelin* the one who ruined it for everyone? I mean ... Led Zeppelin gave us Whitesnake! Does Creed look that bad to you now? =)
I’m going to take a cue from Gwool if that’s cool.

1) I’m so sick of sad suburbia boys I could gouge my eyes out with their guy liner.

2) I must respectfully disagree. John Wayne is the hero figure of many men in my family. My dad and his brothers all love John Wayne and they are some of the kindest and most open men I have ever met in my life. He’s one of my heroes too but I tend to be an overly emotional wreck. Go figure.

3) Love him. Needs to stop.

4) Guilty. Excuse me, fucking guilty. It’s my favorite. My 2nd is c***sucker.

5) Pedophelia masturbatory material masquerading as teen entertainment.

6) I’m so GD sick of do-gooder celebrities. I’ll take that batshit f-up Lindsay any day.

7) Never liked him. My peeve is adults who wear Disney clothing. If you are over the age of 10 there is no excuse for having a cartoon mouse on your shirt/pants/jacket.

8) It was co-written by a man.

9) You mean she’s not God? I once bought a book that had her sticker on it (not because she told me to, I just happened to want to read it) and I was so ashamed I scratched it off before I even paid for it.

10) She used to be cool. Then again, so did Liz Phair. Remember in the ‘90’s when women songwriters could be scathing and ironic and sexual without being “sexy”? Now any chick who can rhyme “moon” and “spoon” calls herself a singer/songwriter.

11) The Bush’s Baked Beans dog is kind of awesome.

12) They should be set on fire. I can't stand talking of any kind in the morning. Unless Dean Martin was waking me up that is.

13) So right. The first time I heard someone say "fuggedaboutit" I thought they had a speech impediment. Then again they were Italian, so they kind of did. Bada bing!
Lord Almighty, I hear what you are saying. My grandfather was of a variety I see no longer. Real tough guy but big-hearted. Encouraged us to act wild, take chances, be big and strong.

I guess my point is: somewhere in history, we started emulating and exalting these emotionally repressed men a little too much. Or they simply reflected us, as another fine commentator pointed out.

It just seems strange to me. I'll ask some of my male friends the last time they cried and some of them reply in years! Somewhere along the line, men have been taught to "buck up" a little too much, so I'm arbitrarily blaming it on John Wayne.
Anyone who puts Creed and Pearl Jam in the same musical categories and uses Heart as an example of a good band has no business commenting on music.
Actually, if Kurt Cobain hadn't died of a heroin overdose, the Pearl Jam, et. al., style of rock would have run its course a decade ago. Now it's permanently "cool."

Can't somebody hang up on heroin who doesn't suck?
Thank for pissing on Kate Bush imitator Tori Amos - excellent call!
Yet another whiny commentary from some feminist elite that thinks she knows better than the rest. sigh... internet has enough of those.. do something original mmm k? To all those posters who want to comment on me.. I am not saying I do or do not agree.. just tired of reading dumb lists like these with arrogance written in all the words...

@Ron from Vancouver

Christ Almighty, talk about arrogance. Where's your list then? And if you're tired of reading "dumb lists" then why would you go into a post that is so obviously a list. Maybe you should go back to Vancouver and write your own list on all the cool ways to feign boredom.
You are incredibly clever, and I agree with you on most all of your list.

There, I said it! List! Fucking List! Fucking wonderful fucking list!

I can't attribute this to one person, but Angelina Jolie is a fine example of people who ruin it for everyone.


She looks as though she's been run through a printing press. Just about every bad decision she's made has been captured for life, including the Billy Bob decision.

My daughter received one of the "tramp stamp" tattoos in the small of her back. She didn't like it, so sought another BIGGER one to obliterate it. Laser removeal is nasty and expensive. And if she ever gives birth, she will possibly be denied an epidural.

Top marks to whoever popularized this "art form" in the first place.
I was agreeing with you right up to #10. Mostly because Sarah McLachlin has never pretended to be anything other than another wimpy singer-songwriter. The only thing she's guilty of is having a hit, and having a million other recording artist jump back on that bandwagon. You may as well blame the 60's for both her and Pearl Jam. It would make more sense.
I swear, Beth... I'm in the the middle of a "what's THAT all about" kind of piece and to get it just right I find myself repeatedly asking "what would Beth say?" I searched Amazon for the "How-to Write More like Beth Mann" but they're all out. Fuck, now whud my goan do?

Rated, naturally.
Sort of wish you hadn't stopped at 13. Met a woman once who was born outside the US and when she said "fuck" it was just the most charming thing you could imagine (she wasn't my girlfriend, by the way, so that's not why it was so charming). Might have been the tiny bit of an accent in her voice, might have been her overall demeanor.

I'd agree with you about Oprah for Dr. Phil the pill alone.
I love that you included that later Heart number. Glad to see those chicks still rock as well as when I was 5 feet from the stage in 1977! And at least Christina Aguilera seems to have outgrown her tawdriness.
hate! hate! hate! hate!

OS, internet home to the Playa Hater's Ball

what do 1-3, 5-7, and 9-13 have in common? They're all a hell of a lot richer than all of us! (or they've made people richer than all of us)

good call about the dogs though. Dogs ain't people. Animals are not humans.
Yeah, fark you, John Wayne. Until you came along men would go around holding hands and talking about their feelings.
Several good comments, and great job on this list!

But as a "total creep" guy, I certainly can't complain about Britney Spears being photographed in public not wearing any underwear. (Sorry, but I'm one of the few men who admits it publicly - don't think I'm the only one who feels that way.) But I understand that you would. Otherwise, good job!
I.C. London, I don't think you're one of the few men to admit it. I think I'd be pleasantly surprised by the men who said they didn't like those shots.

It's not because I'm a female that I don't like it, it's because, as I stated, there's this over-the-topness gratuity that stops seeming sexy to me. It seems more desperate, as if to say, "I'll do anything it takes to get more attention." And you're one of the spectators. You're just doing your job.

And Edgar, I don't hate any of these people. They just annoy me. This list is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. (I don't really think John Wayne created all the emotional ills of men, for instance. I think it was the rock band Kansas, truthfully.)

As for the fact that many of the people mentioned are wealthier, so what? They can't annoy me? You must really worship the money god. Is your point that people who make more money are somehow better or superior? Shite, we're all in trouble then! Perhaps I should I be a good little poor girl and be quiet.
I gotcha fuckin' "the Sopranos have ruined it for New Jersey"...

...right heah!
Welll, since we can't delete comments, let's at least rearrange that Quasimoto to make it somewhat readable, shall we? Sorry for the semi-double post, but since I'm a newbie, I have an excuse.

1. Pearl Jam's my favorite band, but oddly enough, I agree with the Spawn of Satan moaning here. Was there a worse rock band in the 90's apart from Creed? Third Eye Blind, maybe? Eve 6? Hanson? Close, but no cigar.

Nonetheless, I think even given the mopey tones of a few tracks on the first two albums that we're still comparing apples and oranges (what we nerds call a "category error"). It's the same as if you wrote, as some very well may have, that Pac was the ultimate source for the likes of Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy.

Besides, the bands you all mentioned have been relatively dead in the water for a while. Emo is still alive and well on Planet Earth, and I point the finger with a hearty j'accuse at Green Day and Sunny Day Real Estate for that mess (but not Weezer, like everyone else is wont to do).

2.-13. I don't think John Wayne forged a generation of robots out of our grandparents; World War II and the Great Depression did. And no, I'm not talking out of my ass. I heard (several times too many) the stories my grandfather told from those two horrific eras for men. Once you go through at least one of those, you're shellshocked for life. Try both. Wayne didn't forge a generation - a generation forged Wayne.

Pretty much agree with everything up until Tori (lol'd at the perhaps [?] unintentional "amplfied to a cartoonish, grotesque proportion" bit for Britney Spears) but come on, Tori Amos? There's another mistake. Tori taps a well of pain, however overdramatized it is. Sarah knows what chords to play and tone to sing to make people sad and donate money to animal shelters (we really ought to do a bit more of that anyway, come to think of it).

Love the Wilsons jamming it out to Zep - ironically, that track appears right in the center of the iconic soundtrack of the grunge movement you so decry ;)
Elvis ruined it for Elvis.

The second Darren Stevens ruined it for the first Darren Stevens.
I deleted you duplicated comment so you're good to go there. I really liked:

"I don't think John Wayne forged a generation of robots out of our grandparents; World War II and the Great Depression did. And no, I'm not talking out of my ass. I heard (several times too many) the stories my grandfather told from those two horrific eras for men. Once you go through at least one of those, you're shell shocked for life. Try both. Wayne didn't forge a generation - a generation forged Wayne."
People forget that "early Elton John" was, in fact, Bernie Taupin. Without Bernie's words, Elton wouldn't have made it past lounge singer.

I'm glad Led Zep ruined it for everyone else. Try to imagine a world without them. And you can put Pink Floyd right next to them. Both make all the others sound like girly-whiners: "But WHY did you guys have to be so GOOOOD????"

#5? Nah, they were just the latest in pre-packaged NOTHING. You could go back to New Kids for that, or maybe even earlier (Menudo?). BTW, I had the "$1M idea", but it came just a bit too late. I was going to market a line of condoms called "NO Kids on The Block", but by then, they were already heading downhill.

Tom Hanks & Morgan Freeman. Even their "bombs" are better than most people's best work.

All for now.
WOW BETH, really? Hitler, Nixon, people who don't do their research, uhum, maybe? I think it is so sad to list a band who has inspired millions; done amazing things financially and in the giving of their time for our Earth, country, and fellow humans; and writes amazing music that speaks about faith and our unity as humans as having "ruined anything". If you want to add value to a public forum - do your research before you write. Tsk.
Did you guys know that certain people sign up for accounts just to send you one bashing email and then post no more? I mean, how weird is that?

Someone like the commenter above. And pretty much most of the avatar-less people. I leave their comments up because it's a democracy here, in my opinion.

Speaking of the commenter above, the reason I didn't use Hitler or Nixon is because it's a silly, silly list I constructed based on randomness and this thing you might want to buy at your local drug store called "humor." Take 6 pills and call me in the morning.

And I don't HAVE to like Pearl Jam just because they've done good for the earth. That's ridiculous. I don't HAVE to like Mother Teresa, if I so desire. What bizarre rationale.

Besides, I said very little about them musically. I simply implied that I'd like to put a big, red nose on Eddie Vedder during one of his concerts, that's all. Or those sproingy eyeball glasses. To lighten things up a little.

I wanted to do it to Bono when he was getting all serious on my ass too.
Beth... did that guy just "Tsk" you? Seriously? Over Pearl Jam?


This list is funny. But comedy is like sex, everyone approaches it differently and they all think their way is best. So if some sad, suburban dad gets his Dockers in a bunch because you insulted his favorite "band" then he doesn't have to keep reading, now does he?

But if some anonymous dude is so moved by Pearl Jam--the store-brand vanilla extract of boring rock acts--that he felt compelled to insult you on your blog then he is living a very tiny life indeed. But then, does it really surprise you that rabid Pearl Jam fans have no sense of humor?

"...Writes amazing music that speaks about faith and our unity as humans..."?


White people.
ROTFL at Joseph's comment, esp. the last line.

Beth, get ahold of yourself and don't let the white people get you down.
Ha...thanks Joe and Lainey. What a nice way to end the day.

So true, so true.
Super post, Beth. Heart rocked. I got to see them in '76 or '77 and I saw them again about six years ago - the Wilson girls can still flat-out rock harder than a lot of guys in the biz!

I was also a huge early-Elton fan. Over-the-top huge fan, and when the late Elton emerged I was really let down because all the people who ever doubted themselves for putting me down for being an early Elton fan all of a sudden felt so smug about it all.

Pearl Jam never ruined it for me, though. I heard where they were coming from early on and turned away, thus sparing myself from having ever had to listen to any of the other bands you named in #1.
Leave Mickey Mouse out of this! (Nice post, by the way.)
how about that XX most interesting man in the world beer guy? everyday i drive by a billboard with his smug face and a quote "you only live once, make sure its enough." now everyone else who has something profound to say about living only one time is nullified because they got it from a cheap mexican beer advertisement.
Right on the money!!

Heart fought the many male bands mostly alone. What a frickin' voice.

OK, go crazy on me if you must... but I'm frightened.

A lot of things wrong and agree with most.

Many we created ourselves...or cartoons of ourselves or what how we like to see ourselves.
1. Blaming Pearl Jam for the knock-offs that followed is like blaming the Beatles for the Dave Clark Five. Can't agree with you on this, sorry, as they have put out too much stuff that I like.

2. The Duke was never my cup of tea. As far as strong silent types, I'll take Gary Cooper over him any day of the week. I never cottoned to his jingoistic machismo when there were any number of celluloid heroes with more noble records during WWII.

3. Though he showed a great knack for melody and hooks, early Elton John was still kind of hit and miss. For every Grey Seal or Burn Down the Mission, there was a Daniel or Your Song. But after the mid-'70s, it was all dreck.

4. Agreed. It's an f-bomb not a carpet bomb.

5. I concur though I think Madonna led them to it. She was never coy enough to be sexy to me and I never respected her "talent."

6. These two attention whores don't interest me in the slightest. He seems like an odiferous and vainglorious dandy and she's just out and out creepy. I think I'm the only male I know who finds her kind of repulsive.

7. Never gave a damn about Mickey or his Disney compadres. The Warner Brothers crew blew them away.

8. I don't care about it one way or another. Just another song I won't be caught listening to.

9. Incoming! "Oprah. Shut...the...FUCK...up...already!"

10. Candelabras don't make you important, just melodramatic...or you're Liberace.

11. In some ways, they're more human than Dick Cheney.

12. A thousand times, "yes." That's why God invented iPods.

13. Those "wannabes" are actually the punch line.
I'm signing up a new anonymous account just so I can rate this post a second time for your use of the word "sproingy" :)
you could count the number of oprah shows i've seen on one hand...but a couple of years ago she did a show where she visited a concentration camp..i saw the promo and decided to check it out...well, there were a few shots of a mound of shoes..a few pics of the people that suffered horribly there..and a zillion closeups of oprah crying or looking overwhelmed with grief

the message sent out?...firstly, oprah is the MOST caring, sensitive person in the world - EVER...and oh yeah..the holocaust really was kinda awful

and you're right about daffy..he's hands down the best cartoon character ever created and that's why lewis black shamelessly stole his entire act!
hi Beth! Love you!

("your mother on wheat" is the best tag ever)

Also! No avatar people who sign up just to be snotty and "tsk" you , seriously, over a HUMOR PIECE are cunts! It's true!

Have a nice day, funny lady!
occasionallyc, I do mean you, by the way.

"If you want to add value to a public forum...etc"..

Wotta cunt! And I am so looking forward to their hardhitting and socially valuable humor pieces.

I'll just go make some tea whilst I wait.
Beth Mann…

I strongly suggest that you un-screw your head from your shoulders and immediately repair whatever of bat shit wiring job you got going on in your brain.

I don’t ever recall Pearl Jam signing Creed to a recording contract or putting them on the radio or MTV? Did I miss something?

Perhaps you are new to this whole Rock’n’Roll dealio…but this kind of plastic imitation has been going on since the very beginning; This is hardly exclusive to Pearl Jam. Just ask Sonic Youth and The Pixies sometime about what they REALLY THINK about 99.9% of Inde-Rock.

Besides, there have been many GREAT BANDS influenced by Pearl Jam such as Ben Harper, My Morning Jacket, The Strokes, and Kings of Leon -just to name a few-

You must really hate Radiohead if you think Pearl Jam is takes itself too serious, or is too dismal, morose, or needlessly melodramatic

Anyways…This kind of half-bright logic will only get you into trouble and destroy your credibility. You wouldn’t want your friends and colleagues to start thinking that you are some kind of babbling wino or hopeless dope fiend would you?

For Christ’s Sake…Get control of yourself Beth... before its too late.
Dissin' Pearl Jam, Beth? Nice move. You really know how to rile 'em up, doncha :)
I see people are still trying to deconstruct your humor piece. By calling you unstable. I love the internet.
Ah, thanks for that (particularly the clips from Heart). I've always loved Ann & Nancy Wilson, and Nancy can rock an acoustic guitar like nobody else.

So, you realized that 13 is bad luck and a demon number, right? ;-D
Great! Very funny!
Beth, apparently you're not familiar with the term "player hater"

It generally refers to the taking down or insulting of those more famous/rich/popular/loved than one's self.

You are a player hater.
TV ruined it for everybody.

We've got generations of people who think Madonna is sexy, Howard Stern is smart, Bill O'Reilly is a commentator.

We've got generations of Americans who can't write, can't think, can't read, can't feel a serious emotion.

We need to pull the plug.
Your full of shit. How can you judge people when you haven,t done a goddamn thing to help humanity. Just on example. Brad and Jolie. They have been all over the world helping kids. Donated or raised millions for Aids, Darfur, Katrina victims, and who knows what else. What the Fuck have you ever done but criticize people that you couldn't even carry their water. John Wayne. Are you a fucking idiot or what?
Wow, Beth, I was just reading over the comments.

Sort of like walking barefoot through the park when suddenly *SQUISH* - dogshit.

Some folks need to invest in a sense of humor, ya know?
Hilarious. Perfect. Thumbs up.
Someone has a sense of humor. I just don't think tearing people apart on a whim is funny. If she can tell me what she has done to improve humanity, I 'will do the sorry bit. But trashing people that are doing things to help the disadvantaged and literally saving thousands of lives, while you make fun of them just isn't something I find amusing. Maybe if she made fun of Mother Theresa or something, then, what a belly laugh.
Well in sticking with this crazy logic, I guess It can be said that Bloggers are just like the rock band Creed. Nothing but piss poor imitators of the craft.

What's next, a list of your favorite flavored Caffee Latte?
or did Starbucks ruin coffee as well?
Not for the first time, you inspired me to respond, Beth. At the risk of hopeless self-aggrandizement, may I point to:
Beth, I loved this! Right on.
I know Heart hit a sucky phase, but Ann and Nancy ROCK!
Hey Scanner, chill the hell out. It's a humorous list from a blog called "Silly Lists of Nothingness" (nice plug, Beth.)

I didn't say that these people should die and burn in hell. I just made some pointed commentary about their work and their messages. I have every right to. You just did it to me without a moment's hesitation. With much more vile, mean-spirited and hateful energy.

And since when did volunteerism mean that I have to like people and their work? More of that bizarre rationale.

And Edgar, I'm not a playa hater or a player hater or anything other of your labels. I'm a good, lovin' lady...but you're starting to get on my nerves.
Beth, Disagree with you about Pearl Jam but I shall not lose a kidney over it. Oprah and Sarah Mggclaahclhine you're spot on. Oprah needs no comment, and you only need to listen to the soundtrack of an episode of "Gilmore Girls" to understand the horror of neutered chick rock.
Other than #4 I am totally in agreement. I don't think that the word gets used enough.
I used to love Heart but when Anne got chubby they kind of lost for me.
What about the friends from "Friends"? Surely you can't hit on pop culture without grooving on the ones that we love to hate the most? Rachel? Joey? Ross? WTF?
Persephone, Steve, Lonnie, Kevin, Skip and a slew of others, thanks for your kind words.

To the rest of you self-righteous, anonymous sorts, know that I have the choice to delete your comments. But I don't. Because I believe this is a public forum and you have the right.

With that said, I'm turning the comments off. Many of the last batch of comments were no longer helpful and some just plain weird. The healthy discussion ended a long time ago.

It's a tongue-in-cheek random, silly list. I'm sure Eddie Vedder will sleep fine tonite. Oprah will never know. And Mother Teresa is safe in the heavens.

Bottom line: some of you are seriously lacking in a sense of humor and being spiteful and silly. I'm guessing you have female issues, at the Heart of it (see the Heart tie-in? Smooth.)

Get Thee to a Funnery.

So lastly...Number 14? You lurkers and over-reactionary types ruined it for everyone else.

Thank you and good night.
Oh...and Pearl Jam still sux.
Witty and Funny. Rated!
Beth: I giggled through your entire list. Excellent. Really.

And Lainey...let's start a campaign to make our rallying cry: "Don't let the white people get you down!".
A New Jersey politician was once asked by a reporter, apropos of potential harm from the state's chemical industry, whether the state faced a choice between jobs and cancer.

His answer: "I don't see why we can't have both."
Re: the Sopranos: have mercy. I was born in Upper Montclair, where Dr. Melfi lived. Even after moving to Manhattan, my dad kept up a psychoanalytic practice there. I've often warmed myself with the thought that, if Dr. Melfi had been a real person, she and the old man would have been married, at least for a couple of years.
Having spent most of yesterday afternoon and ALL of last night being the designated adult at a ten year old's birthday party while the parents got ripped, I really needed a good laugh this morning. I was screaming!

#9. The O as in Omigod had me nodding in agreement: Her sanctimonious manner and mammoth-sized ego ruined it for the likes of talk show hosts everywhere. Oh for the simplicity and intelligence of Phil Donahue?"

I had firsthand experience of the colossal ego and unmitigated arrogance of someone who had to steal a personality (from Gayle), a format (from Donahue), and a husband if Michelle Obama doesn't watch her back. I was on the O's show and got dissed because she doesn't agree with me on weight issues. Maybe I should have sucked up since helps writers. Ever notice any black writers who aren't ALREADY famous on her show? Besides, when I was on her show she talked over me every time I mentioned my size actvist comic strip MS HIPPS (see my next post) and never once mentioned the book of poems I sent her titled "i never met a staple i could stomach." Ummm. If that book had been titled "I Hate My Fat Ass!" I might have been one of O's authors!

I love it when people are both funny and smart like so many OS writers. My favorite of the list of 13?"
Arrived here due to the Soprano piece on the front page. In regard to that portion of the post; I've lived in NJ for almost 50 years and see no change in the number of guys "smoking their cigars in their big, fat cars, thinking their sexist, indulgent and tasteless lifestyle is actually cool…".
Hey all. So strange to revisit these posts after all this time. I forgot what I wrote.

FrogtownDiva, nice to meet you.

And sg2292, its interesting - I don't really have that Jersey experience. Trust me, I have my own scary, nightmarish one.

Max, I always thought Dr. Melfi was the weak spot on that show. She seems like such a limp therapist! But since she's from your hood, I won't go any further!

To the rest of you new visitors, welcome! Making New Year's Eve snack. Popcorn. How fancy!
Happy New Year, Beth, and thanks. That's mighty white of you.

If you ask me (which, now that I think about it, you didn't), the Sopranos needed a limp spot. I mean, come on -- you've got ten or eleven people running around, chopping off each other's heads and sticking them in bowling bags. SOMEONE had to play the straight man, or woman.
I so agree with everyone on The List and all the reasons that they landed on The List. Great post.