Why do people care what Lachlan Markay thinks about Meg White?

When The White Stripes debuted “Seven Nation Army” in 2003, its intoxicating sound immediately helped define a generation. A huge part of that sound can be credited to drummer Meg White, who retired in 2010 and hasn’t really been heard from again.

This week a retired journalist gave a hot take about her drumming skills that set Twitter ablaze and awakened us slumbering millennial from our mid-life apathy. Now, he’s saying that he doesn’t even agree with what he said and asks Meg White, and the rest of the world, for forgiveness.

Lachlan’s regrettable Tweet about Meg White was in response to a Tweet from the National Review touting “Seven Nation Army” as possibly “the best song of this century thus far.”

Lachlan quote-tweeted this opinion with an acerbic takedown that he now disavows and claims he never agreed with. He deleted the Tweet and went private when he received overwhelming backlash.

He wrote: “The tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would have been with a half decent drummer. Yeah yeah I’ve heard all the ‘but it’s a carefully crafted sound mannnn!’ takes. I’m sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having shitty percussion.”

He unprivated his account and denounced this Tweet in a thread that called his take “just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.” He called all the hate that came his way “justified” and mused about why he was motivated to Tweet it in the first place.

He decided that he had got caught up in the online culture that rewards overly critical takes and divisive commentary with attention and clicks.

Below is what he said in full in response to this gaff:

“By now you’ve probably seen an ill-advised (and since-deleted) tweet I sent out yesterday about the White Stripes and Meg White. It was an over-the-top take on TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let’s face it, just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.

I’ve been thinking to myself as all this—again, completely justified—hate comes in over the last 24 hours: why did I actually write that? It’s not what I really think, and I like to think I’m not the asshole it made me out to be, or at least I try not to be.

I think the answer, in part, is that sort of vicious sniping is something that we—us online folks—tend to reward with eyes and clicks. And I think I got caught up in that implicit incentive structure with a needlessly inflammatory, downright mean, and most importantly false Take.”

Meg and Jack White initially told everyone they were siblings when they debuted The White Stripes, but in actuality they were a divorced couple when they came on the scene.

Jack and Meg married in 1998 and he took her name (Jack’s last name was Gillis.) He’s since developed a strong music career while Meg has kept to her privacy and become something of a mythical icon. She’s a deeply beloved icon, judging from the overwhelming amount of defense and support she’s received over the past two days. Hope she’s doing well.

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