Ummm hi.  Remember me?  Probably not, and fair enough.  I officially like two Idol contestants, I think Whole Foods workers can be (gasp!) elitist, and I’m convinced a time-traveling Joshua Jackson from 2035 has gained 30 pounds and rides my train every day.

My Facebook page has been abuzz the past two days with rabid debate over the “worst” bands.  Others may disagree, but I feel a discussion of this dubious distinction has to come with certain ground rules.  One, said band has to have had a degree of mainstream success – say, three top-40 hits.  Two, one must automatically exclude purely commercial experiments (Milli Vanilli, NKotB, even perhaps The Monkees).  Three, possibly also exclude bands that don’t take themselves seriously and are unapologetically making pop for pop’s sake (Color Me Badd, Ace of Base).  So perhaps the real anti-superlative here is “Worst ‘Rock’ Band That For Some Reason Doesn’t Know How Bad They Are.”

This launched into a debate between “worst” (Creed) and “overrated” (Zeppelin), which are in no way the same thing.  Overrated means more people (critics and listeners alike) like the act than should; “worst” means it is unfathomable that said group had three hits, not to mention a legion of fans.  Maybe The Stones are overrated; that doesn’t mean Sticky Fingers should have NEVER BEEN MADE.  At any rate, I think the early victors were Starship (I support), Air Supply (I don’t support; they were just the most successful soft-ass-rock band from their time), Nickelback (CLEAR. LY.)

And then this devolved into definitions of quality versus personal preference.  I will listen with pleasure to “Wannabe” or “Bye Bye Bye” or Mandy Moore’s “Candy” with TREMENDOUS enjoyment, as much as I know the lyrics are vapid, the music is overproduced, and the vocals are nothing special.  It doesn’t mean I’m not entertained.  On the flip side, I can’t take more than four minutes of Pink Floyd but I understand why they are important and significant.

So what does “worst” mean, really?  Is any act really undeserving of success if someone finds them entertaining?  If Rob Thomas bellows in the woods and one person appreciates it, is he allowed to continue irritating the masses?  Do I need to be more tolerant? After all, I want people not to judge Hanson based solely on “MmmBop,” so why do I judge Creed based on their handful of hits? Because they are f*cking terrible, is what I really want to say.