Writing – Fun With Offending People

It’s always interesting to see what sets people off about what you write. Almost invariably, my Cracked articles comments section becomes about politics in some way, shape, or form, usually somebody from one end of the spectrum or another who focuses on one joke in a non-political article and throws a hissy fit.

But nothing’s quite as fun as offending fans of some part of pop culture, because brother, are you ever in for it then.

Take my latest article for Spike. The number one entry on the list is Van Halen, since the article is about bands that become more successful when they fired their original frontmen, and once David Lee Roth left, Sammy Hagar signed on and led the band to four #1 albums. I made a point of noting that nobody remembers any songs off of those albums (let’s face it, Van Halen’s career for most people can be boiled down to “Hot for Teacher”), but, yeah, Hagar was the one who made the money.

I should note here that it’s pretty rare for a Spike article to get more than a couple of comments. But as of right now, I’m up to three insulting comments, mostly over the Van Halen entry, but also for making fun of New Order and Peter Gabriel (apparently because I don’t appreciate them, I somehow listen to Nickelback. Oh butthurt!)

It’s weird: the most vitriolic arguments I’ve gotten in or have inadvertently started are over subjects like who’s the best frontman or the best Transformer. Religion, politics, you name it, they don’t get nearly as hostile or full of violent threats. And I’m just as much of a snarky bastard there as I am here, or anywhere.

Interesting how much we value trivia.


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