Sen. Ben Sasse says “It’s Not. Funny” that someone keep signing him up for newsletters for the band Nickelback. But his public response to the signups might have the opposite effect from what he intended.
Nickelback is a Canadian rock band that was popular in the early 2000s, but experienced a change of fortune as listeners in later years decided they were unhip and weren’t really that pleasant to listen to.
Nickelback came to represent much of what music fans found overwrought and ridiculous about the “post-grunge” style popular at the time, which featured bands taking the more alternative grunge style and adapting it to be more commercially accessible.
In time, mocking Nickelback as unlistenable became a popular pastime in its own right. Especially on the Internet, people will trick others into listening to the band’s songs, looking at photos of frontman Chad Kroeger, or reading the lyrics.
Hating Nickelback is now popular to the point that major pollsters have used them as an example of something widely reviled alongside lice, root canals, and colonoscopies, and Congress.
In a statement to The Verge, Sasse said, “I’m not sure what Canada does but, in this country, cruel and unusual punishment is outlawed. This crossed a line.”