header-Metal

Now, I’ve seen some pret­ty stu­pid things in my life­time.

For ex­am­ple, a fem­i­nist band en­ti­tled Crimson Tide, who scream about the pa­tri­archy in tra­di­tion­al Death Metal fash­ion whilst also hav­ing a woman do in­ter­pre­tive paint­ing with her men­stru­al flu­id, all at the same time on stage. Not ex­act­ly a tasty dish, that.

But in all my time, I have nev­er seen some­thing so ut­ter­ly inane as state­ments like this.

Metal is still dogged by the is­sues that arise from its deep-seated con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues, but thanks to an in­crease in con­ver­sa­tions about racism, pol­i­tics, and fem­i­nism, those on the right side of his­to­ry have gained sol­id ground.” – http://www.spin.com/articles/20-best-metal-albums-2014/

Very awesome — and very gay — Metal God Rob Halford
Very awe­some — and very gay — Metal God Rob Halford

Its deep-seated con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues? What val­ues, ex­act­ly? Not us­ing race as a fac­tor in any se­lec­tion process? Or is it tak­ing per­son­al re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for things? Something which the most in­ept teenag­er can, be­grudg­ing­ly, ad­mit that it’s in­te­gral to be­ing an ac­tu­al adult? Forgive me, be­cause I thought as a left lean­ing per­son, those val­ues are in­te­gral to be­ing a de­cent hu­man be­ing in gen­er­al! I’m sor­ry, but I don’t see met­al­heads con­gre­gat­ing to pe­ti­tion against abor­tion. I don’t see them com­ment on glob­al warm­ing and claim it’s a hoax, and I cer­tain­ly don’t see them scream­ing about “them queers over there, what with their butt­sex, it just ain’t god­ly!” Hell, even if a small mi­nor­i­ty did, they are wel­come to have a dif­fer­ent opin­ion, be­cause the Metal com­mu­ni­ty isn’t mired with au­thor­i­tar­i­ans. For christ sakes, we’re a counter-culture! We op­pose au­thor­i­ty with every breath. It’s not like our pre­cur­sors got on stage to be abra­sive and loud about how much of an awe­some job the gov­ern­ment was do­ing.

Let’s get on to racism, pol­i­tics and fem­i­nism, shall we? Metal is pret­ty di­verse, and it al­ways has been. Every sin­gle top­ic has al­ready been touched upon, time and time again. And it’s not be­cause of an in­crease in con­ver­sa­tions about them, it’s be­cause Metal is an out­let for any­body to es­pouse any view, and we have wel­comed any and all, in­clud­ing so­cial jus­tice, to take part in that. We al­ways have from day one.

Do you want pol­i­tics? Look for Megadeth and their song “Peace Sells…..but Who’s Buying?” A song mired in the need for po­lit­i­cal and so­cial change. Dave Mustaine of­ten uses po­lit­i­cal or so­cial is­sues as the tone for his songs, amongst oth­er things.

Racism? I’ve banged heads with Black peo­ple and oth­er peo­ple of col­or more times than I can count. Hell, the last time I saw Meshuggah in Montreal I was al­most tram­pled. The only cat that grabbed my fore­arm and picked up me was, you guessed it, a black woman, and any­body of any race would have done it had she not. That’s the cul­ture that sur­rounds Metal, you’re not black, you’re not White, you’re not Hispanic, you’re not Asian. You’re not a girl, you’re not a boy. Nobody cares what and who you are, or what you be­lieve, be­cause in the end you’re a met­al­head, and that is some­thing you scream with pride.

You’re there for the mu­sic, for the cul­ture that doesn’t give a fuck who you are, this is a mer­i­toc­ra­cy, and your mer­it re­sides in your knowl­edge and love of met­al. Sure, we ex­pect a mea­sure of knowl­edge from you, but we don’t care if you are ig­no­rant on some mat­ters; we’re there to ed­u­cate you, and we do not hate you.

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Anneke Van Giersbergen. Image via www.insideoutmusic.com

Feminism? Some of the most tal­ent­ed vo­cal­ists in Metal to­day are fe­male. How’s that for em­pow­er­ing! Christ, it’s like these peo­ple have nev­er heard about Anneke Van Giersbergen, Cherie Currie, Angela Gosslow, and Lita Ford! Do you want the whole list? Here you go.

And you know what, Social Justice? You’re wel­come too! I en­cour­age you to scream about priv­i­lege, I do. Blast the most sav­age, melod­ic stuff you can think of, but for heaven’s sake, do not de­mand oth­ers do. Do not de­mand our sub-culture to change based on your sen­si­bil­i­ties, be­cause that some­thing we don’t stand for. Everyone is ac­cept­ed, but no one de­mands of an­oth­er. That’s just dis­re­spect­ful.

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I yell at stu­pid peo­ple on the YouTube. Enjoy my pain, be­cause some­body has to.
Christopher King

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