Nickelback are doing press, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Before claiming they’re not liked because they’re not “cool” like Arcade Fire (OK), they argued that it's actually mean old music critics who’ve made the group universally hated. Worse yet, frontman Chad Kroeger just started beef with Slipknot’s Corey Taylor to create the celebrity feud no person on this planet needed or deserved right now.
“Corey Taylor has said some really nasty things about me before in the press,” said Chad. “And he talks about how easy it is to write a hit song. Well, show me. Show me. Write one. I’ve yet to hear one.”
To which Corey responded, “I don’t know what the hell planet he’s living on. Apparently it’s planet Kroeger, and there must be good weed there, cause he’s an idiot.”
And angels wept.
The thing is, this beef is nonsense. It is, scientifically speaking, a Bullshit Beef™. But what’s more insulting than how it's wasting our time (which is ultimately our own fault for paying attention to it, so lesson learned) is that Chad has now ruined beefs for all Canadian artists for the foreseeable future. Because of his callous words, we will not be treated to Bieber waging war or Drake getting publicly worked up or Céline Dion challenging Shania to a sing-off (see: my dream come true).
Yes, I mean it. Now we all must suffer, because we will never experience any of the following completely fictional, sadly impossible, Canadian celebrity feuds.
Justin Bieber vs. The Weeknd
Remember when this was almost a thing we were supposed to care about? (I do.) But then, after neither party really engaged, we were left to imagine what could’ve made for some terrific Canadian melodrama. (See: incredible ballads about feelings.)
Now nothing will ever happen. Justin will never make a quip about The Weeknd’s music again. The Weeknd will only ever acknowledge Bieber with a knowing nod and respectful handshake. Selena will continue to not really care. Everyone will conduct their lives like ordinary adults until they’re both old enough to elaborate on the situation in an oral history of Canadian Top 40. And even then, it will be the most boring chapter of all.
Céline Dion vs. Shania Twain
To be clear, these women are not rivals. They have never said “I don’t know her” in reference to one another. Instead, they’ve coexisted peacefully, performing on VH1’s Divas Live back in the day, and disappointing us all by never collaborating beyond that.
But wouldn’t a harmless rivalry be glorious? Wouldn’t it be so much more interesting than, say, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift's? Wouldn’t it be great to hear Céline’s voice paired with a jam about country music, which Shania Twain would respond to with a cover of “My Heart Will Go On”? Imagine the videos. The sound bites. The way Drake would throw himself in the middle and beg them to please, please, please get along, he loves them so much. Imagine the public reconciliation. Imagine it all. Because lord knows it will now never, ever happen in real life.
Drake vs. Alanis Morissette
This doesn’t make a smidge of sense until you think about the way both artists have built careers on “go fuck yourself” anthems. So think about it: Could Drake stand up against a “You Oughta Know” targeting him? Would Alanis ... rap? Admittedly, it wasn’t until this very moment that any of you realized what a strange, wonderful gift this beef would be. Too bad. It’s never going to happen, because Chad Kroeger ruined it for everyone.
Shawn Mendes vs. Avril Lavigne
What if he was the “Sk8er Boi”? What if he had been making everything so complicated? What if she inspired “Stitches”? What if it came down to an iconic moment onstage, where they strummed their acoustic guitars until the audience wept? What if I just blew your mind? Well, that’s where this hypothetical will now exist, since this is a beef we will never see realized because a man named Chad made us, as a nation, all look foolish.
Alessia Cara vs. Carly Rae Jepsen
I’m just kidding, the idea of either of these artists fighting with anyone, let alone each other, seems almost offensive. So let’s make them a team instead.
Alessia Cara and Carly Rae Jepsen vs. Bryan Adams
It’s time to dethrone the king of the seasonal anthem. “Summer of ’69” is canceled, for this is the summer of “Cut to the Feeling.” But then, as emotions rise over the concept of Top 40 nostalgia, Alessia Cara will put a gentle hand on Carly’s arm. “It isn’t worth it,” she will say calmly, inspiring anyone within listening range. “We don’t need to do this [pause] ... here.”
With tears in his eyes, Bryan Adams will hand over his guitar. The three are inspired to create the ultimate summer single immediately. It's a touching moment, and the song is very catchy. Just kidding, because Nickelback made beefs uncool forever.
Chad Kroeger vs. Joni Mitchell
“What the hell are you doing, man?” she will ask. He says he doesn’t know. “That’s what I thought,” she answers. Every Canadian pop star walks into the room they’re both sitting in. “You let us all down,” they say as Chad avoids eye contact.
“Look at me,” Joni will say sternly. “Now look at them. I hope it was worth it. I don’t even know who the fuck Slipknot is.”