Social Justice sells… But Who’s Buying? Not Metalheads.
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/
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.
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.