Well, we knew it was coming. With all of the social justice groups and hive mind mentality that drives them, it was only a matter of time before one of the most purposely offensive genres in heavy metal became wiped out of existence. Of course, I’m talking about black metal. For a genre that leaped out of England with pseudo-Satanic acts like Venom and spread itself into Norway where it was perfected into a hate-filled ball of ice, black metal has always had a very dark and offensive nature to it. But that’s the point. Black metal was a genre that celebrated some of the most horrific views in human existence and gave some extremely crazy and arguably unstable individuals a place to create, whether that was in or out of jail. Varg can attest to that much, and we can clearly see that he definitely isn’t the most stable of human beings to walk the planet earth. Mayhem of course had their fun as well, with several church burnings and the suicide incident, not to mention several other things that we all should know by now. In other words, none of this is new and it is all attributed to black metal.
Problem is these guys have for many decades, used imagery that the new generation doesn’t find appropriate and I don’t feel that some of these bands will ever water this imagery down to appeal to the new culture. In fact, I think some will come to realize that the early days of the genre are pretty much dead and that the fat lady has sung. Personally, I think she sang long ago. Not that there haven’t been any worthwhile albums to come out of the genre as of late, but we’ve seen a tremendous amount of road repaving due to the ridiculous influx of acts unleashed upon us over the last decade. Unfortunately among that influx have been a great deal of attacks on the old guard. Marduk, Inquisition, Watain and several other acts are just getting hammered by Metal Sucks lately and while I understand why people are responding the way that they did, I am surprised that they wouldn’t have expected any of this from some of the people in these types of acts. Not all of them of course, but some of these individuals would admit to very extreme views during interviews and it’s always been that way. Again, this is what we’ve always expected.
As you know, Metal Sucks is the tabloid rag of Ben Umanov’s Blast Beat Network, of which I highly disdain and wish were gutted. Though this is not because of their whistleblowing, but because they don’t practice what they preach and are only doing these articles to spark outrage which elicits clicks and views. It’s the Fox News formula and worked well in the nursing home that I worked in for several years. Fox News was great at sensationalism, which equalled out to high profits for the Murdoch family (which also own Vice by the way, just in case you were unaware). This sensationalism is in fact doing the same thing that roiled up the old folks, which in turn made them mouthpieces for everything that Fox said. However, there is a silver lining to this dark cloud and that is the defense of several black metal fans coming out of the woodwork to say that yes, this music is offensive and yes, these people do hold some very extreme views. Though at the same time this is what they also expect and enjoy from the music. They added that those people who do not like the music can find enjoyment elsewhere. This is literally the same argument that feminists will make about anime breasts, and the same fan response to boot – “if you don’t like large breasted anime women, you are free to look elsewhere.”
That being said, would we expect that those fans who listen to black metal or enjoy large breasted anime girls (like myself, though I’m staring to see oppai anime as more comical now than anything else) are misogynists, rapists and/or nazis? No, probably not. Though I’m sure there is more than one confused social justice type out there who has never heard the heavy metal genre in their life (and yes, I have had a young woman who I work with ask me “what kind of music is that?” when I was playing a Testament record from my mobile) and has such a low attention span that he or she believes this to be the case. And keep in mind that most of these people are not even fans. If they were born twenty years earlier, they’d be demonizing it over religious reasons. Which brings me to the whole comparison between social justice and the religious right. Both seek to ban or censor materials based on what they consider to be virtuous moral value. Whether it be the Bible or their very own set standards that they feel everyone should live by, that doesn’t stop these types of people from demonizing everything that they feel compromises their views.
Instead of turning off the TV, they keep looking for something to degrade in a program or advertisement. Instead of turning off the music that they don’t like, they find reasons as to why it’s listeners might be evil. That evil could either be the age-old “possessed by demons” or several new terms of degradation, like “misogynists, rapists, murderers, pedophiles, nazis” you name it. If you can call someone a term and it dehumanizes them, then that’s what they’ll use. They want you to feel less than human, like one of Satan’s own. Unfortunately, there are people who live so much for this and feel that they are such “heroes and messiahs” that they literally get up every morning immediately fixated on finding problems with media and how it can be tweaked to suit their standards of immeasurable social perfection. Eventually, ostracizing so much of this material will backfire in their faces however, just as we had with the massive thrash, death and black metal scenes that came out of intolerance for the stupidity of the religious right at the time. One could say that acts like Slayer and Deicide might have their careers to thank for it. Certainly, Glen Benton. But I digress.
But we’re missing something. Yeah, that’s right. There was one band out there who wasn’t afraid to piss off anyone. They killed everyone that you could think of on the stage and defiled countless social pariahs over the years. Of course, I’m talking about GWAR. Even though the Scumdogs are still going, and arguably going strong under Bishop; I would love to hear Brockie’s thoughts on this age that we’ve walked into. What would GWAR do with these Social Justice types? Would it have been a sort of sequel to America Must Be Destroyed, where they took out the religious right? Would these people be the bastard spawn of the villains in that album? But honestly, GWAR have become such a product and less of a statement, that I think we need a new band with the same kind of edge. Honestly, I think a bunch of mutated Nazi’s that looked liked Toxic Avenger ripoffs would be great. They could go on stage with rebel flags that have Swastikas in the center of them, then pretend to fuck little plastic models of babies or something. Just something the would really offend folks in the way that the religious right became offended by GWAR in the nineties. It’s an idea that sounds so ridiculous that it would almost have to work. You’d have people scurrying en masse to come see these guys play for better or worse, songs with titles quite similar to that of goregrind and pornogrind. Because you have to put that unchecked misogyny in there somewhere. Even Anal Cunt would be a great resource for that, given their treasure trove of offensive lyrics.
But when I suggest all that, you think – is this guy crazy? Well, that’s debatable. I had my mental exam last year and other than an anxiety diagnosis, I was considered relatively normal, albeit with above average intelligence. But in all honesty, when we talk about someone like G.G. Allin and GWAR who still managed to amass a lot of fans regardless of what kind of messages they were putting forth, it says that there is definitely a place for an act like this in the scene. If an obscure act like BabyMetal can become as popular as they are today, then this hypothetical “most hated and offensive act” in the current scene would also gain some level of notoriety. Because more people would get the joke, then those who wouldn’t. The people who complained, “Why would these people talk about rape and misogyny and praise fascist ideologies that hold back progressive society?” would be the same people who would have said in the nineties, “Why would someone create such a hideous work of Satan that spits on a merciful, loving God?” In a sense, it would show that things have a way of coming back around, which has me hopeful for a full-on disco revival.
But before The Grim Lord rolls on into Saturday Night Fever and begins to look up old disco suits online (don’t forget the mustache and fro) let’s talk about something completely different, but heavily related, as well as the cultural impact it had in a completely different country. Grab your pocky and put on your weeaboo hats, because we’re going to the land of the rising Sun…
Stay Tuned For Part II, where I will be discussing Detroit Metal City and it’s native cultural impact. What can we learn from Japan?