I'm rather embarrassed that we need to have this conversation. Alas, it seems that to our collective chagrin and my unfortunate lack of surprise, this topic needs to be addressed and understood. If your attention span is as short as I fear it is, I'll summarize what you really need to know in one sentence.
Heavy Metal lyrics, regardless of subgenre, do not represent a how-to manual and if you're too stupid to get it, please excuse yourself from the hall so that the rest of us may continue to enjoy ourselves.
|That's right. Fuck right off. No Rainbow Bridge to Valhalla for you.|
Now to elaborate why this has to be said. Yet again, America ran up the score on what we do best, which is kill our fellow citizens. Within the last 2 or 3 weeks, we've had angry white dudes shoot up Gilroy, California (3 dead), El Paso, Texas (22 dead?), and Dayton, Ohio (9 dead.) At this point, with just under 40 years of time spent on this planet and as a citizen of this country, I feel confident and justified in saying that other white men, especially conservative white men, scare me more than any other collective group of people. I mean, really, what's a Arab gonna do to me besides make some really good hummus and falafel? Hispanics? Tacos, Pupusas, and fat-bottomed women. White people mostly can't cook and most white broads got no ass. Maybe that's why white dudes are angry? I guess having wife'd a South American is why I don't suffer from these afflictions of "fucking dumbass."
|Where conservative Americans see a danger to democracy, I see deliciousness.|
But what's inspiring this online rant is that last of the 3 most recent massacres. The shithead that decided to kill 9 people just trying to have a good time on a Saturday night is named Connor Betts. The only thing you should remember about him was that he was a piece of shit and I'm glad he's dead. I hope he's buried in an unmarked grave, because fuck him. He's a trash person.
|The guy under this hood was a loser and we're better off without him.|
However, during his utterly worthless, pointless, and meaningless existence, he self identified as several things. Anime fan. Antifa supporter. A fan of male pronouns. And quite inconveniently, as a metalhead. But not just any kind of metalhead; the kind who formed shitty pornogrind bands. Just like nearly everyone else who plays in a metal band in Ohio, going back to at least the late 90's/early 2000's. Because of this, now we have to deal with unwanted attention.
Here's the truth about metal, especially "extreme metal": there's a lot of "problematic" subject matter in the imagery and lyrics of the bands. It makes sense; aurally, metal is violent, aggressive, hard and fast music. Singing pleasantly about flowers and cupcakes really wouldn't fit the aesthetic. We can go on and on about other forms of media that also have problematic content, but that's not really necessary. Because I think what I'm about to say transcends music and can be applied to any sort of media one consumes.
In order to appreciate a subgenre like pornogrind or some of the grislier artists in death metal, it requires two things; an admittedly depraved, dark sense of sarcastic humor, and the maturity to separate fiction from reality. If you're going to listen to artists like Gut or Cock and Ball Torture or some of the more obscene death metal artists like Lividity or Waco Jesus, you have to be able to understand that these bands are not advocating sick or perverse behavior. It's shock value, it's extremity for the sake of extremity, and it's meant to be taken with several grains of salt. The punchline of the joke is that these bands are singing about utterly gross, sickening, ridiculously over the top things and the act of doing so is the point of humor. They're not promoting a particular truth or ideology. Prostitute Disfigurement is not telling you that you should kidnap, rape, murder, and dissect the dead bodies of hookers; they're creating horrific imagery that fits the aesthetic of the very extreme style of death metal that they perform.
|I thought better of actually posting an album cover.|
Let me spell it out more explicitly; if you do think these bands represent anything other than a slightly and admittedly disturbing choice of entertainment, you've got problems. Serious problems. You need help. Further, I'd say it's the responsibility of those around you to raise alarms, red flags, and if necessary report you to the appropriate authorities if you appear to be a danger to anyone else.
Side rant: Just to elaborate a bit further on these styles of heavy music; most of the musicians performing in gore heavy death metal or pornogrind are terrible. And the shelf life even for good bands that perform this style of death metal can be limited. Yeah, the new Prostitute Disfigurement album rips really hard, but for comparison, hearing (Cleveland, Ohio's own) Regurgitation recycle the same porn inspired stage banter at MDF in May of this year was kinda....sad. Like they hadn't evolved or found anything else to bring to the table since they originally released "Tales of Necrophilia" before I was old enough to drink. It felt stale, and sorta embarrassing in a cringe way. /endrant
|I guess you could say that some of those Ohio bands from the early 2000's didn't age as well as hoped.|
I highly doubt Connor Betts' association with extreme music is what drove him to kill. It's also highly improbable that his profession of "leftist" politics is what led him to kill; kinda weird having major issues with women (I hated high school and most of my classmates, but I didn't keep a "kill list" or a "rape list"; I just dropped out ASAP) but being willing to vote for Elizabeth Warren for president. He did seem to have a lot of psychological issues, and an unhealthy fascination with guns. These are factors that as an armchair psychiatrist I'd believe seem to be more likely causes. With that said, shitheads like Connor Betts don't belong among our collective scene. Whether we want it or not, its our responsibility to identify and exclude these assholes from our scene, or else they'll be the cancer that kills it.