The Kings of Leon Effect, Part III: Vincent’s Picks

imagesBy Vincent Kwan

Unlike the John Mayer effect, where I had to draw within myself to find the upside of things, the Kings of Leon Effect, where underrated things are now overrated, allows to exercise my naturally high levels of haterade. As always, disagree with me profusely in the comments:

1. Rush. A couple of my dearest friends are Rush fans, and it’ll pain them to read this, but there are few more sanctimonious fanbases than the one that exists for Geddy, Alex, and Neil. I kind of like Rush in that way you like something out of respect for it. But, if I’m being honest, I’ll throw on “Limelight” or “Tom Sawyer” only when I want that clichéd classic rock song feeling. Whenever I tell people I’m sort of eh about Rush, the conversation always plays out exactly like that Cheetos bit from Family Guy. NEIL PEART IS THE GREATEST, the chorus screams. WE RESPECT MUSICAL TALENT, WHY ELSE WOULD WE MENTION A DRUMMER FIRST? But beyond the initial Neil Peart hard-ons, the arguments are remarkably slim. Behind the clear technical skill , there’s an abundance of those “screeching halt” drum fills and lyrics you can only appreciate ironically, all jammed into overly-long tracks. If I had to guess, Rush fans are probably also the people constantly bemoaning how they “don’t make music like they used to anymore.” That’s something Rush fans and I can agree on: When listened to today, Rush is a markedly aged, not transcendental experience.

2. Sriracha. As a Vietnamese kid, it pains my heart to say this, but I think the Red Rooster has gotten overplayed. The condiment’s explosion in popularity over the past couple years has made it the object of abuse. My heart weeps whenever I see menus proudly proclaim their Sriracha usage, as if to prove a certain hipness or exoticness. Additionally, Sriracha should not be thought of as the hot sauce to rule all hot sauces; Frank’s Red Hot (Cameron’s favorite) and other of it’s ilk are far more appropriate when you want that hit of vinegar as much as spice. If not properly handled, Sriracha will go the way of ketchup, where whatever it is we’re eating is merely used as a  vessel to deliver the condiment to our mouths. There’s a time and place for everything under the sun, folks, and Sriracha is a prime example.

3. NFL (Fantasy) Draft Sleepers. When NFL punditry’s annual “sleeper” lists are proclaim the same 10-15 small school players as sleepers, are they really sleepers anymore? Is it really possible to have  a “consensus sleeper?” The same logic goes for your fantasy drafts. When you and your friends all do your research from the same few sites, you’re bound to get enamored with the same freakishly athletic, bench-riding tight end or some team’s third string running back who can make it big if only he picks up a few carries. As a result, unfortunate, regrettable things happen, like drafting James Casey or Robert Turbin, for instance.

4.  Reddit. As a aggregator of often great nerd-culture pieces, Reddit delivers a bunch of content you wouldn’t otherwise find (or at least not yet find) on more above-ground media sources. But spend enough time on Reddit and you’ll find parts of its community repulsive, but even worse, boring and homogenous. Aside from harboring all sorts of unsavory characters in the name of free speech, the overall mood of Reddit is one that’s not unlike a precocious high schooler, always eager to prove he’s (and lets be honest, “he” is definitely the right pronoun to use for Redditors) right by setting up and knocking down strawman arguments, usually concerning religion. I imagine if you set up a venn diagram of “People who describe themselves as libertarian” and “Redditors,” you’d have two circles spooning each other. The internet is supposed to be something that expands your worldview. Often, I find Reddit doing the opposite.

5. Your Hangover Breakfast Place. Everyone’s got one in every town, and everyone’s convinced theirs is the best. After a night of drinking, a plate of carbs and fat is usually going to taste great, regardless of the source. Don’t get me wrong, local diner/greasy spoon, I enjoy your wares as much as the next dumbass who decided that shots past midnight was a good idea. But, just realize, you’re not some underground, transcendent culinary experience. You’re no different than the rest of them.


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