Proclaiming himself, “The Great Big Mouth” Taylor’s third book takes a critical and shameless look at the state of society.
You're Making Me Hate YouPublisher: Da Capo
Length: 241 pages
Author: Corey Taylor
Publication date: 2015-07
You’re Making Me Hate You, Corey Taylor’s latest book, hisses at you from the cover. For those of us who never knew the Slipknot frontman moonlighted as a celebrated author, it’s a pretty impressive departure. Proclaiming himself, “The Great Big Mouth” Taylor’s third book takes a critical and shameless look at the state of society.
“I’m beginning to think my main job is to piss people off with wifi” he writes of his ranting. Broken down into discussion topics like: the tech age, airports, bad drivers, poor consumerism, fashion, parenting, or essentially any situation where humans can be observed in their interaction with others, he toggles between personal rants and genuine concern for furthering our social existence and the treatment of others. The selling point here is his grouchy, comedic take on the human condition, but the real depth comes from Taylor’s keen awareness and humanity.
One section that’s particularly striking is where Taylor goes on about how we listen and interact in the media age. “Why are we so uncomfortable and awkward when we sit down with other humans? It’s very simple: real life has no memes, no headers, no tweet history, no bios, and no portfolios of pictures to pick through at your most convenient disposal. You have to actually talk to people.” He goes on to discuss human interaction before the Internet age, a period unknown to newer generations. It’s easy to dismiss old timers and their lack of cyber ability, waving away their criticism of a digital age, but here is a woeful reminder that maybe we should stop and listen to how much easier it was to connect before we had a million tools to do the work for us.
In “What the Fuck Is That Noise?” his age shows in his dismissal of the new music industry that’s evolved since CDs were the mainstay of music consumption. Taylor chastises people as music thieves for illegal downloading, while he simultaneously grants them understanding based upon what’s currently being fed to the masses. He brings up a good point; “There are really no homegrown heroes anymore.” There aren’t major artists universally bringing together music listeners like there used to be, and it’s hard to differentiate if that's because labels don’t have as much power or listeners have more access to different music. Taylor simply blames this on the lack of good, popular music.
But he hasn’t lost all faith in music, citing the rise of Spotify and YouTube as promising, he says the platforms are proof that the heart of music discovery isn’t dead yet. He summed up his thoughts on music by asking his audience if aliens came to Earth to sort through our rubble, “Do you want them to judge us by Bach or Bieber?”
Each themed chapter dives into its subject matter with divine detail, anyone with road rage will especially love his chapter “Driving Me Crazy” or “Flight of the Dumbkoffs”, where he breaks down the horrendous behavior of people he encounters at airports. As he goes through each tirade, it’s really impressive how much he understands about pop culture; he alludes to everything from Honey Boo Boo to Sex in the City, and even uses the phrase “Quite Coachella” to describe Ray Lamontagne’s fall from prestige since he wrote “Burn”.
While nobody can be the authority on people watching, in his detail Taylor comes very close. His chapter on parenting is both hysterical and unnerving because it focuses on some of the damaging behaviors in modern society, “The abuse is starting younger and younger, to the point at which they’ll need to start holding Bullying Seminars at Lamaze classes.”
His final chapter is an attempt to shine light on the fact that he's guilty of the aforementioned social crimes written throughout the book, but urges the reader to stay socially conscious. Despite his grouchy grandpa front, his inherent kindness and love for his wife and son is felt, sprinkled throughout his commentary, and at some points he even bares his mushiest thoughts, “Maybe love is essential to our longevity as a whole.”
How does the saying go, “If you’re not pissed off you’re not paying attention?” Taylor is certainly peeved. The chunks of chapters where he loses the reader, lost in FUCK’s and caps-locked ranting shows just how frustrated he is with the world he lives in. To say Taylor is hilarious is a stretch, but his power comes from his wicked smarts and observational skills he calls, “anthropological research”. You’re Making Me Hate You is a fun read and a reminder to pay attention to our own social contributions to the messes in this world. Oh, and to never, ever wear black leather pants on a Thursday.