By Jason Menard
Nov. 8, 2006 — What’s the difference between Kevin Federline and, oh, say Saddam Hussein? Saddam’s got better approval rankings.
Really, can you think of one person that’s so universally reviled as the soon-to-be-former Mr. Britney Spears? Honestly? I mean, even those who can’t stand Britney and her music still have an uncontrollable gag reflex whenever Kevin’s smirk flashes before them.
And it’s not just the we’re-trying-too-hard-to-be-cool social commentators or bloggers that are piling on. Take, for example, this missive in an article appearing on Fox News regarding the fact that the divorce filing was probably timed in a way to reduce the overall length of time that Spears will have to pay support:
“Hence, Nov. 6 would have been Britney’s last chance to get out of paying a third year of alimony settlement to a basically talentless slacker who was a drain on her finances.”
To be charitable, they did say “basically talentless.”
Nixon had his supporters. Jerry Springer has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround thanks to his feel-good appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Hell, there are even people interested in picking up a copy of the Screech sex tape! Underage dalliances haven’t stalled R. Kelly and Rob Lowe’s careers. But K-Fed? He has billed himself as America’s Most Hated, but I think it’s safe to say that he’s arguably the world’s most hated man just for being himself.
Yep, it’s true. The latest poll results are in and even Borat’s more popular than Kevin in Kazakhstan. And that fatwa against Salman Rushdie? Now includes Federline and anyone who has bought his CD.
So why is he so hated? After all, he’s not the first guy to leave his girlfriend and two young children. Nor is he even the first obnoxious white wannabe-rapper to come across our paths (yes Mr. Ice, we still remember you.) But the passionate hatred for everything that is K-Fed is hard to explain.
Obviously, as shallow as it appears, his looks have a lot to do with it. The offensively named wife-beater shirts are never a good fashion statement. Nor is the Fisher Price “My First Facial Hair” scruff he wears. Off-kilter hats and pants so baggy the ass hangs to your ankles are ridiculous. But none of these are exclusive to the Wannabe Artist Formerly Married to Britney. No, there’s something more: it’s the weasely smirk.
You’ve seen it. Every interview, every photo, every image of Kevin features him wearing that half-lidded, tight-lipped smirk. The one that says, “I’m so much better than you.” And what’s worse is that it seems he truly believes it.
While the majority of the world toils away in relative obscurity, here comes this Kriss-Kross reject who has weaseled his way into a world of opportunity that we all know he didn’t deserve. The North American public has a huge threshold for those with little talent making it big — I mean is there any reason why Charlie Sheen makes so much money per episode? And is there anything in his background to set him apart from Federline? No, not really – but the majority of us don’t like to have our faces shoved in it.
That’s what Kevin does. That’s why he’s so vilified. He struts around the Earth, acting like the world owes him everything. And the worst part is that he actually seems to believe his own self-proclaimed hype. He’s a God in his own world and the trappings of success are his divine right.
But more integral to fostering a climate of global hatred is that Federline seems to be truly oblivious to the world around him. When thousands of people downloaded his PapaZao song, he took it as a validation of the world’s appetite for his music – not the “we’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you” phenomenon that it actually was.
Negative press, snarky comments? All people simply jealous of Kevin and his undisputable talent. No record company willing to put out his album (thereby forcing his wife to fund the creation of his own label)? Nothing more than The Man trying to hold his talent down.
Alas, the divorce filing officially signifies the beginning of the end for Kevin. Without the desire to appease his still potentially lucrative wife as a bargaining tool, Federline will find that the opportunities that have to date laid themselves at his feet dry up. Maybe there will be a bit part in a film – preferably something that sees him horrifically rendered limb from limb. Of course, the countdown is on for the inevitable Britney/Kevin sex tape to “accidentally” fall into the wrong hands – my money’s on six months (and I’ll take the under). But that’s it. Maybe a stay in the Surreal House, but nothing more.
He’ll fade from our collective memory, and in a few years we’ll all look back and wonder what it was about him that made such an insignificant member of the human race the target for so much hatred and derision.
And we’ll just say: that’s K-Fed.
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