The Ginger Straw That Broke My Back: Jonny Craig is a Piece of Shit, Part 2
In 2009, I wrote a blog post that I had no idea would become the most-viewed thing I had written. It was called “Jonny Craig is a Piece of Shit.” Back then, I thought I was the only one who had shitty experiences with him in person. But it is consistently viewed to this day, do you know why? Because “why is Jonny Craig an asshole?” is a popular search term. Occasionally, someone will leave a comment on that post, too. Most of those comments are from ex-fans who want to share their own horror stories with me, but there are also the scathing ones from rabid supporters, telling me I’m pathetic, that he doesn’t owe me anything as a fan, and that I’m clearly butt-hurt.
Look. I’ve only been butt-hurt once in my entire life, and that was when I lost my footing on a pile of pumpkins at Trax Farm and wound up sitting on a stem. True fucking story for all of you pumpkin porn fanatics out there.
Anyway, the catalyst of that post was meeting him for the second time during the Dance Gavin Dance/Emarosa Squash the Beef tour. He was standing behind me at the bar in Mr. Small’s and literally all I wanted to do was tell him how much I enjoyed Emarosa and what an impact their music had on me emotionally, how it stimulated my creativity (back then, I had based some of my paintings off their lyrics), and how interwoven it had become with my life. I wasn’t trying to sit on his lap (let’s face it, I’m too fat, much ugly for him anyway) or make him sign shit. I wasn’t trying to pull him away from his alcohol for a photo session. I just wanted to say nice things to him for < 30 seconds, God forbid. It took every ounce of courage I could muster just to even say hello to him, after years of allowing his voice to be the personification of my dysfunctional friendship with my ex-BFF Christina.
But he just stood there and stared at me, making it clear that I was boring the shit out of him, so I mumbled, “Enjoy your stay in Pittsburgh” and walked away with my head down. It was humiliating and I know that he was making fun of me as soon as I walked away.
Because that’s what douchebags do.
When you put so much stock in a person like that, raising them up on some shaky pedestal, creating images of them in your mind, and then the reality of their personality shatters everything you had built up, it’s devastating. Maybe that sounds pathetic, but music has always been how I have coped with things. It enhances all of the good times and softens the bad. So now when the singer of a band that had made me feel so good has single-handedly made me feel AWFUL, well, it was a little emotionally traumatic.
It’s amazing how we deify these underserving people in the name of fandom.
He sounded like shit that night too. Drunk, stumbling, forgetting lyrics. It was my friend Alisha’s first time seeing Emarosa and her succinct review was: “They’re terrible!”
No, Jonny Craig is terrible.
I vowed to be done with him after that, and I was doing well until Emarosa released their next album in 2010 and I couldn’t resist. I still hated him. But I felt if I could separate my personal feelings for him from the music, I would be fine. Besides, wasn’t that what all of my detractors were telling me to do in certain harsh terms on my blog?
The problem is that as soon as I hear his dumb voice, I melt. It has nothing to do with him. I forget what a douchebag he is and all I can remember is how good it feels to be that into music. And it somehow kept me psychically connected to Christina, even when we were no longer speaking. It always goes back to that anyway.
Meanwhile, Henry was totally annoyed. He doesn’t get the whole “OMG JONNY CRAIG SINGS LIKE AN ANGEL!” argument, and it drove him nuts how I would turn into a 30-year-old fan girl at the mere mention of his stupid name. You know how I have pretty much based this entire blog on hassling Henry, right? I mean, unless this is your first time reading it. So if he hates Jonny Craig, then I am going to FUCKING BE OBSESSED with Jonny Craig.
My obsession can be broken down like this:
5% immaturity // 10% mental illness // 10% sincere love of his voice // 75% desire to drive Henry into an early grave.
(I triple-checked to make sure that added up, btw.)
And let’s face it: I thrive on being obnoxious.
I ran with it. Jonny Craig became my shtick. I made a Jonny Craig Christmas tree topper. I had my friend Maya make me a Jonny Craig doll. I hung up pictures of him around my office at work (if you go to the Law Firm and start questioning people on my floor who Jonny Craig is and they don’t know, then obviously I must never talk to that person, ever). This whole time, it was helping me cope with issues that Christina had left me with. I know, some people would just get therapy. But I’ll just sit over here and hug my Jonny Craig doll. Because projection is normal. Right?
The MacBook scam happened. The detox. The rehab. I was prepared for this to be the end of the Jonny Craig story, but then he started dating a girl who seemed to really change him, or at least, she was trying. And the crazy part was that she didn’t seem like a basic groupie. She seemed pretty intelligent, which one might argue about since she got involved with JC in the first place, but love is blind, you guys. I’m with Henry, aren’t I? Of course, I had to keep up my Crazy Jonny Craig Fangirl Persona and act like a nutcase when they got engaged (I think I might have even referred to her as Jonny’s penis-cozy in one of my faux-fits, what the fuck is wrong with me), but really–I hoped that she would save him.
Because as much of a loose cannon as he is, he really is a bright spot in a scene overflowing with generic, formulaic background noise.
All of these things I was willing to overlook because the music meant that much to me. I was so excited when Henry reluctantly agreed to drive five hours to Allentown last weekend so that I could see Jonny’s new band, Slaves. But then when I was going through his twitter feed to get screen shots of the nasty things he was saying about Emarosa (I wanted to have those as visual aids for my Emarosa blog post; can you stand how thorough I am?), I ended up seeing some terrible things.
Really awful things.
Jonny and his fiancée are currently going through a messy breakup, and he had a tweet that said if he saw her being raped, he wouldn’t stop to help.
He had another tweet saying that he never beat her when they were together but now he wishes he had. He deleted the original tweet but his retweet of this smart girl’s response still existed on Twitter:
This asshole seriously needs to have someone monitoring his social media accounts. Like, I don’t know, maybe his MOTHER?
“Really fucking nice guy, Erin,” Henry spat when I showed him.
(Even worse is that these asinine girls were tweeting things like, “Jonny Craig could have his hands around my neck and I would still love him.” Which of course he was retweeting because these are the things that make King Shit’s ego swell. Keep encouraging him, girls. Make your mamas proud.)
At this point, it was too late. We had already bought the tickets. Rented the car. Booked the hotel room. Whether we went to this show in Allentown or not, I had already inadvertently supported a misogynistic douchepig and it made me sick to my stomach. So sick that I had a mild panic attack standing outside of the venue that night and we almost didn’t go in. Henry had to take me back to the car so I could calm down.
Look, I don’t know his ex-fiancée, but as a woman, I can’t stand for shit like that and I will automatically have her back. This is the reason men run the fucking world, because they say shit like this and no one does anything. They’ll have tons of men cheering them on in between disgusting chugs of beer, wiping Hooters wing sauce off their lips with their unwashed football jerseys of rapist athletes.
There could be actual video footage of Jonny Craig beating a woman, and he will still have fans. I mean, Chris Brown still gets played on the radio, doesn’t he?
“I just feel like if I see him, I’m going to fucking punch him!” I kept saying over and over. I was so disgusted. I kind of wished that I had worn my Emarosa t-shirt, like I had joked about last week. I brought it with me and at the last minute, Henry agreed it was a bad idea because it wouldn’t be Jonny who noticed, it would be his legion of scantily-clad side broad hopefuls and I wasn’t trying to get clawed at by their nasty acrylics. Talk about a petri dish of I Don’t Wanna Know.
We went inside. I scowled at all of the meatheads in their Jonny Craig is My Homeboy shirts. I cringed at all the girls wearing barely nothing, knowing exactly why they left 89% of their clothes at home. I suddenly felt so protective of all these little girls.
Slaves took the stage and as expected, the crowd went nuts for Jonny. But for the first time ever, I felt nothing. I just stood there with my arms crossed, refusing to clap, refusing to do a single thing Jonny demanded. And then he dedicated the last song to his ex, Amanda. “Til death do us part, bitch!” he spat and everyone was like “Yay!” because that’s cool, right?
I looked at Henry and my eyes started to well up. I felt like such a traitor to women everywhere just by being there.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I said to Henry afterward. “I can’t keep supporting this asshole.” And I think that was the happiest I have ever seen Henry in the thirteen years we’ve been together.
Meanwhile, King Shit was standing a few feet away from us, going through the motions of showing his fans what a “changed person” he is by posing for pictures with them. Two moms (like, I know I’m a mom, but these were MOMS wearing mom jeans with their mom purses slung across their mom boobs) ran over to him, took his picture, and then ran back giggling to show their respective daughters, who didn’t look more than 15-years-old. The daughters predictably squealed and were dragged back over to him by their moms.
“I guess these old broads don’t know he loves demoralizing under-aged scene girls,” I yelled to Henry. Oh, it was sickening to watch. And then afterward, I saw someone’s picture with him on Instagram and the caption said something about how Jonny was rushing everyone along because there was “quite a horde” of fans waiting. I didn’t know “roughly fifteen people” constituted a “horde,” but OK.
I’m not going to lie: I’ve always looked at fans of Ronnie Radke and wondered, “How could these kids love a guy who is such an asshole?” And duh, hello. Look at me. Blindly supporting a dreg of society since 2008.
More than anything, I feel like I owe it to my 8-year-old son to wash my hands of this guy. What kind of an example would I be setting for him if not? He already knows the guy is a drug addict (but the piss test! it was clean! blah blah!) and just a flat out mean person, but I definitely don’t want him to think that it’s OK to make those kinds of violent comments about women, publicly no less, and still have girls falling over you. “Hey, this guy acts like a douchebag and my mom loves him, so…..”
So maybe, if you’re a Jonny Craig avenger reading this, some girl with low self-esteem anxiously awaiting your chance with him, some bro who thinks it’s cool to treat people like dirt, then you might think this is a lame reason to throw in the towel. And that’s fine. Because one person writing a blog post like this is not in any way going to hurt his career, don’t worry JC afficionados. But I have too much respect for myself and at the end of the day, it’s all about girl power. I won’t stand for comments glorifying domestic violence, whether they were empty threats or not—-doesn’t matter. This guy clearly needs help, and I wish his new bandmembers luck with all of the future statements they’re going to need to release, swearing that their singer “has changed” and “is clean.” Seriously, good luck with that, and I hope he doesn’t destroy your careers.
I think I’m going to tell my kid, when in doubt, to ask himself “What would Jonny Craig do?” And then do the opposite.
I understand this completely. Perhaps not on as deep a level (not until I read that Robert Smith secretly makes kitten snuff films or something), but I understand 100%. Because it’s impossible to separate the artist from the art. I also understand, knowing how important music is to you, how hard it must have been to reach this point. That’s what makes you brave. There’s no bravery in doing easy things. (Does this sound horribly cliche? I hope not)
Fuck Jonny Craig and every man who is like him. I’ve never listened to Emarosa, and after reading this, never want to.
Emarosa kicked him out in 2011 because they are smart men who care about their careers and making good music. Don’t hold this against them! They are a really amazing band and their new singer is wonderful.
Good for you sweetie :)
Wait…Robert Smith makes kitten snuff films?
Seriously, I’m a huge hockey fan and I usually go to great lengths to avoid meeting my heroes. Though I have to say Dustin Penner was totally nice to me when I met him.
I’m glad you’ve got your integrity in tact though I’m sorry you lost something that have you a lot of joy.
Same here! I know a lot of people wait outside the arena to meet the Penguins but I just can’t do that. Sometimes it’s best to keep these people at arms length.
Thank you for reading this!
I love this whole thing. But especially this: “Look. I’ve only been butt-hurt once in my entire life, and that was when I lost my footing on a pile of pumpkins at Trax Farm and wound up sitting on a stem. True fucking story for all of you pumpkin porn fanatics out there.”
Haha! I’m glad! ;)
First of all, I applaud your decision to take a stand for women. I know how much you love his music and how hard this must be, but the example you’re setting is a REALLY GOOD one so please don’t forget that!
Also, I understand if you don’t want to answer this but I was just wondering what happened with Christina because I remembered you mentioning awhile back that she was back in the picture?
No, it’s ok! I don’t mind answering questions, I just haven’t had it in me to write an entire post explaining it. The short story is we reconnected in 2012, quit talking again for half of that year, tried to be friends again, but then she did what she does best: completely cut me off last winter when things weren’t going her way. I’m used to this cowardly behavior and didn’t lose any sleep. ;) She & I just don’t work!
“This is the reason men run the fucking world, because they say shit like this and no one does anything.”
Yes, here is the truth that makes everybody uncomfortable. You’re doing something, though. And don’t think it’s some insignificant thing. It isn’t. I love you for this.
“Til death do us part, bitch!” he spat and everyone was like “Yay!” because that’s cool, right?
Yes, in fact. The world does think this is cool and perfectly alright.
“but I definitely don’t want him to think that it’s OK to make those kinds of violent comments about women, publicly no less, and still have girls falling over you.”
I love you times two.
Just someone saying that it’s not okay is a step in the right direction.
This post meant a lot to me personally. I cheer your decision a lot.
Fuck Jonny Craig, seriously. That’s such a fucked up thing to say; to *think*. I’m with you on this one completely.
“Look, I don’t know his ex-fiancée, but as a woman, I can’t stand for shit like that and I will automatically have her back. This is the reason men run the fucking world, because they say shit like this and no one does anything. They’ll have tons of men cheering them on in between disgusting chugs of beer, wiping Hooters wing sauce off their lips with their unwashed football jerseys of rapist athletes.”
Very smart thing to say; not just witty but very smart. I 100% support you as well. Our society loves to overlook the misogynistic actions made by public figures because of the way their “art” makes us feel or more importantly how much money it is making. If we don’t speak up for each other then who will?
I love you for writing this and am proud of you for moving on and growing from it.
Thank you for the support, Brandy! I know I’m just one, small voice, but at least it’s something. I was shocked (for a second, and then not at all) that no one seemed to be saying anything about it. It’s not like he doesn’t have a ton of followers on there, and usually a site like Absolute Punk will pick up on shit like that and post about it. It will never change. :(
I have only 2 things to say. This post is awesome. And Jonny can deny hitting my beautiful friend Amanda all he wants but he did it in PUBLIC in Portland in front of hundreds of people half of which probably saw him leaving a black eye on her gorgeous angelic face. I hate Jonny more than any human on this earth. He deserves nothing and it’s a damn shame that such an incredible voice is trapped in the body of the most ugly evil demon on the planet.
idk it’s a good enough article, in a way. Jonny has said some questionable shit, to say the least. but honestly Twitter is mostly hyperbole and Jonny shouldnt be held to a higher standard than anyone else. yea he’s in the spotlight but so are a lot of crazy famous train wrecks. it is what it is. also, he’s an addict. while that doesn’t excuse his actions, it explains them. he doesn’t necessarily deserve sympathy, that’s a little much, but he also doesn’t need strangers up his butt, writing over the top articles analyzing him and his relationship fallout (which is rarely a pretty scene for anyone, having an engagement turn sour publicly only magnifies that tenfold)
and honestly, it’s almost narcissistic
to assume he’s mocking you behind your back or “bored”. probably high. or trying to get high. not an excuse to be rude, obviously, but it DOES explain his actions. I would sincerely doubt he was intentionally being cold, much less mocking you as you walked away. to include that in the article is reeeeally reaching and while you don’t owe him anything he also doesn’t owe you kindness, especially if you interpret absent minded indifference so harshly and proceed to rake him over the coals in a public blog post for it.
tldr; Jonny should get his shit together but also should not be taken any
more seriously than any other kind of abrasive dude with access to a Twitter account
Wow, I had no idea he was still relevant enough to provoke such a lengthy comment from someone 2+ years later. Thanks for reading! (I certainly wouldn’t call this an article though, just a personal blog that has like 10 readers so don’t worry, literally no one cares about my opinion, lol.)
UHM if you choose to make your living in a public forum, relaying on fans to buy your shit then, yes, you fucking do owe them a kindness. Strangers up your ass is what you asked for. Want people to say nice things about JC? Take his douche away.
You sound like the kind of person who would stay in an abusive relationship. Get the fuck outta here, Tay. Ta.
Well…. I just read both your “blogs” about JC. And wow I fucking love you. You’re hilarious. Thanks for bringing me to the light. Cuz I sadly lived for his voice. :(
Hello! Thanks for dropping by. Every once in a while I see something in my twitter timeline about the latest shitty thing he’s done and it makes me sad that he still hasn’t gotten better.
You’re gonna be getting a good number of views on this one for a minute after Taylor Nicole Dean’s vid, even without her naming him directly
I totally agree with you. Met him one time and let me tell you…although he paid me some mind an we talked music, tattoos and shot the shit? He totally doesn’t respect his “fans” he sat there for a solid 15 minutes telling me how annoying shit gets, how many screaming young tweens he gets a day that come up to him who were in diapers when Emarosa released their first album drive him nuts.
I’ve also played with Ronnie Radke back in the ETF days on Warped in Camden. Total fuckin “faggot” most arrogant asshole I’ve ever met. I live right outside Philly btw and am your age. Dope af to know someone my age still listens to the scene