RICHMOND, VA—Describing it as “his life’s calling,” local man Gary Lerner, 31, revealed Thursday that he is on a personal quest to enlighten the world about why things everybody enjoys are actually bad.
Lerner, whose stated mission is to explain to his fellow human beings why any appreciation of their favorite movies, music, television, and books is entirely misplaced, told reporters that whenever he hears a group of people unanimously praising something, the task of correcting them always falls upon him.
“If there is a thing that is universally cherished, then I have an obligation to help people understand why they’re wrong for liking it,” said Lerner, adding that while it’s tempting to let his friends simply enjoy a new song or TV show, he ultimately has a responsibility to point out its every flaw until it is utterly ruined for them. “I can’t, for example, stand by in good conscience while everyone talks about how much they love Exile On Main St.. Not when the guitar riffs don’t have nearly the inventiveness or clarity of the Rolling Stones’ earlier work and, let’s be honest, the lyrics are hardly among Jagger’s best.”
“At the end of the day, it isn’t right for the greater public to simply take pleasure in whatever they happen to like,” Lerner continued. “I can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.”
According to Lerner, rather than acknowledging that a film like The Dark Knight Rises is entertaining, the way a normal person might, he has a special duty to argue that it is, in fact, completely horrible. Describing the movie as “an overhyped snooze,” Lerner noted that director Christopher Nolan is a ponderous and only marginally talented filmmaker, and that no serious person could possibly enjoy the performance of Christian Bale, an actor Lerner described as “not nearly as good as people think he is.”
Among the many other widely beloved things that Lerner has reportedly made it his mission to invalidate are the original Star Wars trilogy, the Olympics, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, chocolate, the Beatles, Vincent van Gogh, central air-conditioning, and the Internet.
“People need to realize—and it is my objective to make them realize—that afternoons spent relaxing at the beach are completely overrated, as is summertime in general,” Lerner said. “And fall. All of the holidays, too—at least the major ones.”
“Same goes for smartphones, the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and most types of beer,” Lerner added. “It’s like, whatever makes people happy and puts a big ol’ dopey grin on their face, they just eat it right up. Well, I simply will not stand for it.”
Along with his campaign to disparage things everyone loves, Lerner confirmed that he also takes it upon himself to defend things everyone hates by lamenting how scandalously underrated they are.
“You know, Godfather III is actually not that bad,” Lerner said. “If you look at it in terms of the overarching story, it’s actually a really fitting end to the saga, because you finally get to see Michael feel remorse for the things he did in the first two movies. I’m not sure anybody else really got that.”
So far, sources confirmed, Lerner has had some success in his crusade, making his sister-in-law Jennifer feel stupid for saying she enjoys bike rides in the park and shaming his roommate Michael into agreeing that blue jeans really aren’t so great after all.
“The other day I mentioned how I’m looking forward to the next three-day weekend, and that really set Gary off,” said coworker Nick Powell, 28, adding that his officemates have learned that when Lerner is around they should avoid mentioning anything that brings them happiness. “He went on this long rant about how three days isn’t enough time to take a big trip and only makes it tougher to adjust back to a regular schedule when it’s over.”
“He had a point, I guess, but goddamn it,” Powell added. “I wanted to punch him right in his smug fucking face.”
When reached for comment, Lerner told reporters that ending a news story with a follow-up comment from a source was a “lame and hacky” journalistic technique.