Let’s start our morning with some pop psychology! Specifically, the idea of “positive reinforcement”: when you do something like chores or homework or quitting your music career for an endless panoply of diversions, and you get rewarded with things like cash or hugs or Creative Emmys, you get the message to keep doing whatever just got you that reward. It’s our fault Justin Timberlake isn’t making music anymore. We’re practically telling him not to.
Oh, sure, one of Timberlake’s wins, for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, seems like it might sorta, kinda encourage him along that road–but he shared it with three other people, and “Justin Timberlake Monologue” is hardly a B-side, let alone a hit. The other award, Outstanding Guest Actor (read: SNL host) in a Comedy Series, was from the same show and bit redundant. We’re not saying Saturday Night Live can’t wake Justin’s dormant musicality; it’s done so in the past, albeit with bro-ish results. We’re just saying that maybe all these endless Oscars and Emmys bestowed upon him are having an effect. An effect that leads to Joe Jonases and Jay Seans charting. Think of the charts!