STOP THE HATE: The Second Phil Collins article
Wow, fifty articles! I had no idea I would be writing STOP THE HATE for so long. What started as a hobby has become a five day a week occupation for me, and I couldn’t be loving it more. These articles have given me something new to do with my writing, and I appreciate the thousands of you who have read them and commented. Thanks so much.
My most popular article by far was the Phil Collins one. Last I checked it received over 2200 hits, and was put in Best of Blog. When I did a three part review of Genesis albums, the section devoted to the Phil Collins years got far and away the most hits. There are a lot more fans out there of Mr. Collins than I thought.
So for my fiftieth blog, I thought I would go back to the subject so many of you seemed to respond to. After all, my original article was devoted to Phil’s loss of functioning in his fingers, and how so many trolls took advantage of his personal tragedy to launch cruel, sadistic attacks on him. But that’s only the beginning of the hatred launched against the Genesis frontman.
Phil is accused of being a neglectful father and a failure as a husband. No doubt he has some short comings, but he also has a great relationship now with all of his kids, including his adopted daughter. He may not be the worlds best dad, but how many rock stars can say they are? Phil is a three time divorcee. How many times has Mick Jagger been divorced, or Cher?
And you know what, the man has given to so many charities, how can we question his quality as a human being? Whether its working with others to bring awareness to issues, or donating large chunks of the proceeds from concerts to the homeless, or advocating for animal rights, or starting his own Little Dreams foundation, Phil has given till it hurts. Still people talk shit, and call into question what possible contribution this man could make to the world. He’s done more for humanity than most of us could ever dream.
So why the hate, I once again ask? Why do so many people call him names, make snide little comments about his music, and make him out to be some sort of joke? Maybe its that he was so omnipresent for so long. The man was a workaholic. He spent most of his life on the road or in the studio, not to get rich but because he loved playing music. Given the opportunity to do what we love for a living, how many of us wouldn’t do the same?
And sure, some of those older songs are kind of cheesy. But is “Sussudio” really any cheesier than “Rio” or “Addicted to Love”? It was the 80s! Everything was cheesy back then! Take a look back at you family photos from that decade...I dare you.
There is, of course, the famous attack on Phil from Matt and Trey on South Park. In an episode that ran not long after Phil won the Academy Award for best song over them, Matt and Trey decided to tear Phil down, portraying him as a PC monster whose jealous that a new band is stealing his spotlight. The fact that Phil is always seen holding his Oscar in the episode says more about Matt and Trey than it does about their target. It would seem they were the jealous one’s, bitter at losing out to someone they saw as below them. I’m a fan of South Park, but Matt and Trey took a once funny show and have turned it into their own personal crusade against anything they see as lame or less deserving than they. Had Phil not been nominated for an Oscar the same year as them, they probably would have never commented on him at all.
The fact is, Phil Collins simply isn’t cool. But in a world where Twilight is cool, and where Hannah Montana is considered the pinnacle of hip, would Phil really want anyone to think he’s cool any more? Besides, the guy is 60. How cool is your grandfather?
In closing, I once again proclaim myself a lifelong Phil Collins fan. I thank him for his music, for his contribution to so many charities, and for his devotion to his fans. And if you still think that Phil is nothing but a rich old guy who sucks at everything, let me leave you with this: to complete work on his latest album due out in September, the man actually taped the drum sticks to his hands. That’s right, he can’t use his hands and so he taped the sticks to them. This is for an album of Motown covers he knows won’t sell very well, he just wanted to make it and share it with us. Kind of like I do with this blog. Like many of you do with your blogs and videos. You pour your hearts and souls into these things, and you hope someone enjoys them. Maybe we all have a little Phil Collins in us after all.