The Alternative to the Alternative

If you refuse to accept every and all movements pushed by the left, you are considered a bigot and don’t deserve to have a say. Rock ‘n’ roll was and is supposed to be counterculture, but has become a part of mainstream society. The mainstream has morphed so much into degeneracy and acceptance for everything and everyone to the point that the line between right and wrong has been blurred.

Before I get into dissecting our culture, allow me to quickly explain the extremes of both left and right-wing ideologies:

The farthest you can go on the left leads to complete tyranny: authoritarianism. The farthest you can go towards the right leads to anarchy: libertarianism. Both extremes are equally detrimental to society.

Over time, both sides of the political spectrum have been moving more and more towards the left.

The problem with modern liberalism is that it now leans so far to the left, that  leftists have flat out lost their sense of reason. Everything is acceptable to them. The right is now closer to classical liberalism and centrism than the left.

Conservatism is becoming more and more appealing to people, because it’s the side that values the actual well-being of society. It’s the ideology of reason. It values facts over feelings.

I get why people want to be liberal. It’s because they genuinely care about others and wish everyone could live together peacefully.

Although a life of peace and the freedom to do absolutely whatever you choose would be ideal, let’s face it, it isn’t practical. People infringe on others rights and freedoms. There are genuinely hateful people out there. We need laws and guidelines to protect our rights.

The let’s all live in peace notion of liberalism has a nurturing, yet dangerously naive sentiment to it. Liberals tend to defend every group that is marginalized, even when certain groups cannot peacefully coexist.

Take the recent Christian church bombings in Egypt done in the name of Islam (http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/09/middleeast/egypt-church-explosion/). Wake up. There are people out there who do want to hurt you. This is the world we live in. It’s not liberal fantasy land where everything is perfect. Islam is something to be concerned about. Stop defending it with meaningless terms like Islamophobia.

Why is liberalism appealing to young people? It revolves around taboos and accepting everything and everyone. This do as you please attitude is why many teens and young adults engage in drugs, drinking, promiscuity for the sake of fitting in.

Dr. Brett Laursen explains the consequences of peer pressure in adolescents in this interview for the American Psychological Association (http://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/peer-pressure.aspx).

Socializing involves conforming to the ideas of those you surround yourself with. If you don’t conform, you’re considered an outcast by your peers. It’s so easy to cave into peer pressure and most do. It happens with adults and it’s happened in the metal industry.

It makes sense that metal musicians are liberals. Most metal heads listen to liberal bands, hang out with liberals and if they aren’t already, become liberals themselves. The majority of the bands that I listen to and that I am personally friends with have liberal-minded members in them. I don’t have to agree with their personal beliefs to appreciate and respect them and their music.

Social context aside, the music industry, like any other industry is filled with backstage politics. People kiss a ton of ass and stroke each other’s egos in order to further their careers. If you don’t conform to the way that everyone else thinks, you can potentially lose your job and get blacklisted.

That’s not what metal’s supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about freedom of expression and individualism.

The problem that metal faces today lies with the current Social Justice Warrior manifesto that has hijacked the genre and culture. I understand why this is: metal heads are the ultimate outcasts. They have long hair, tattoos, awkward piercings, beards, dress weirdly and listen to obnoxiously loud music. These traits and more make metal heads a marginalized group of people who feel the inherent yet unnecessary need to speak on behalf of and defend other marginalized groups.

There was a time where punk and metal bands were against the establishment. Now they’re a part of it. It wasn’t about conforming to mainstream values and saying the things that everyone wanted to hear…it was about standing out and being outrageous.

Artists weren’t afraid to speak their minds and have differing opinions from everyone else. In today’s scene, you either agree with everyone or keep your mouth shut.

You know why there aren’t any new memorable figures in rock bands today? Artists play it safe, because it’s become too offensive to be offensive.

New artists who are politically incorrect in any way risk ruining their careers before they even begin and established artists are afraid to speak up against political correctness in fear of facing persecution from their peers. Everyone remains quiet and just goes along with the mob mentality.

Metal isn’t a safe space. It’s heavy, it’s hard and it’s aggressive. In both the music and the attitude. Musicians shouldn’t have to worry about offending anybody. Metal is supposed to be obnoxious and offensive. If you’re too thin-skinned, then you shouldn’t be in this scene to begin with. 

Prominent metal artists share the same tired political and social views that the majority of big-name pop stars have. In terms of social and political beliefs, there’s really not much difference between the two worlds. One genre simply sounds heavier than the other.

Listen to what guys like Corey Taylor, Lars Ulrich, Robb Flynn and Randy Blythe say on a regular basis. They constantly talk about and push liberal rhetoric. All you see on these metal news sites are their opinions. Take this one quote about President Trump for instance:

“[The election] felt like someone died. [It] felt like a combination of the heartbreak and betrayal you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves you, and also a death. I feel that way every morning”.

You know who said those words?…Madonna. She made this statement shortly after Trump’s inauguration in an interview with Marilyn Minter (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/20/madonna-on-the-trump-inauguration-i-do-believe-that-trump-was-elected-for-a-reason.html).

A similar sentiment about President Trump is shared by Corey Taylor as he expressed in an interview with Rolling Stone: I’m damn sure not going to shut up about it. This is not what people fought and died and sacrificed everything for, and I’ll be damned if I let my country go down that road again” (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/slipknots-corey-taylor-talks-trump-were-going-to-shut-this-s–t-down-20160304).

For the most part, it seems as though the only reason to hate Trump is because everyone else does. I mean, none of these people were this passionate about hating Trump prior to him entering politics.

Here’s the thing about political parties: they aren’t supposed to be rooted for as if they’re sports teams. Politicians are public servants who are there to do their job for a few years and then they’re gone. The people should vote for whoever they believe to be best for the job at that time. End of story.

They shouldn’t be getting attached to any politicians as if they are heroes who will save the day. None of them will. Whether it was Trump or Hillary in office today, neither of them could have been able to solve all the world’s problems. It’s up to each and every one of us to do our part for society and make the best out of things.

But some people would rather watch the world burn…

The most obvious band of leftist musicians out there was Rage Against The Machine. A band that claims to support and fight for human rights, while simultaneously supporting the very ideology that takes away human rights: communism.

There’s nothing punk rock about being an anti-capitalist. Capitalism is the ultimate conduit towards liberty. More money equals more freedom and opportunities, not less. You realize how hypocritical all these anti-capitalists are when they willfully take money from their corporate sponsors without any complaints.

Just take a look at all the corporate sponsorship that supports metal festivals around the world. We’re able to enjoy all these experiences thanks to these sponsors, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, money helps the scene expand. Musicians need to stop acting as if money is the root of all evil. It isn’t. Greed and ignorance is.

I don’t have anywhere near the wealth a guy like Tom Morello has, but I’m more than grateful for all that I do have and appreciate living in the U.S. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

It’s easy to put the blame on everyone else, but ourselves. We need bad guys to put the blame on in order to keep us preoccupied. Case in point with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. In reality, the pipeline is a project that benefits many. It will create jobs and it provides a safer and more efficient way to transport oil across the U.S. without passing through Standing Rock Sioux land. It will pass through the very edge of it and be built underground, yet everyone seems to be convinced otherwise (https://daplpipelinefacts.com/).

Ask the average metal head about the environment and they’ll probably give you an answer resembling pop singer, Jason Mraz’ feelings about it and the pipeline: “I felt like someone with enormous privilege — specifically, white privilege — and then, of course, (there are) the gifts I’ve been given through music. I felt I had to use those to the benefit of others. The more I sat at home and did nothing, the worse my spirit felt. My music was guiding me to contribute and be of use” (http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/music/sd-me-music-standing-rock-20161202-story.html).

All these musicians who truly believe capitalism is evil need to stop taking advantage of it and put their money where their mouths are. Quit being musicians, give all your hard-earned money away to anyone you believe is a victim and move to a 3rd world country to end your pitiful white guilt.

If Jason really cared about people or the environment, he would realize that the pipeline happens to be the most environmentally-friendly way to transport oil in the U.S. I guess he prefers it being shipped overseas by boat where spillages are more likely to occur or being transported by tank trucks, that would burn even more fuels into the atmosphere. But environmentalist logic, right?

Let’s call it how it is, he like every other musician who supported this protest did so to gain attention to themselves and virtue signal others.

Yes, even Randy Blythe, front man for Lamb of God is guilty of this. If he truly cared about protesting, he would have kept to himself and gone about protesting peacefully. However, when Rolling Stone approached him to write an article about his experience for them, he jumped all over it. Cashed in on the opportunity while he could. True charity is never waved around like a flag, if it is, it isn’t charity…it’s narcissism.

Randy had this to say concerning the protest and the environment: “There are other questions, though; hard questions that we need to start asking ourselves, all of us,” Blythe said. “The most important one is this: Are we ready to stop screwing around and decide whether or not we are going to leave a world where human beings can survive in the future?” (http://loudwire.com/lamb-of-god-randy-blythe-standing-rock-protest-visit/).

Well Randy, that would be a thoughtful idea if the protesters hadn’t caused more pollution to Standing Rock than the pipeline itself ever will. Here’s a report from The Washington Times of protesters leaving heaps and heaps of garbage behind on the Sacred land of Standing Rock (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/5/massive-cleanup-underway-after-dakota-access-prote/).

Overreacting about Republican policies and virtue-signalling about the environment aside, there’s another Social Justice movement that has recently been brought to our attention in the metal world by Body Count front man, Ice-T…the Black Lives Matter movement.

In Body Count’s music videos for their new songs, No Lives Matter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlk7o5T56iw) & Black Hoodie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_0xYamFYYI), Ice-T proclaims that “black lives never mattered” in the former and that black people are being targeted and killed by crooked police officers on a regular basis in the latter song.

Pop icon Beyoncé expressed her anti-police opinions by saying: “We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished” (http://www.laineygossip.com/Beyonc%C3%A9-releases-statement-in-support-of-the-Black-Lives-Matter-movement-following-the-murders-of-Alton-Sterling-and-Philando-Castile/44356).

According to a 2015 database from The Washington Post, more white people have actually been killed by the police than black people. No one cares about this, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.  Every single one of those deaths is listed in this study. Don’t believe me? Look it up yourself (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/).

Of course black lives matter, but why are we emphasizing on the incidences where criminals were justly killed by cops over all the incidences of black on black crime? Shouldn’t that be the primary concern for Black Lives Matter? All the black lives lost because of gang violence?

It isn’t, because Black Lives Matter as a movement isn’t about protecting black lives, it’s about being outraged over problems that aren’t there, while ignoring the ones that are.

Take a look at the city of Chicago where 45 people were shot during Easter weekend alone (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7-shot-in-chicago-since-friday-afternoon/). Where’s the outcry? Where’s Black Lives Matter, and metal musicians like Ice-T and Corey Taylor to speak out against the internal problems within the black community itself?

It’s easy to virtue-signal and pretend as though we care, but in reality all these protests end up causing more damage than good.

I didn’t write this piece for the sole purpose of bashing my peers. I’m actually a big fan of the art created by all the metal musicians I criticized and I wouldn’t mind discussing these topics with any one of those guys. My point is, metal itself is no longer the alternative to mainstream culture. It’s part of the mainstream culture.

The world is an imperfect place, but we have created a system in the U.S. that works and allows us to live comfortably.

What’s so bad about wanting families to stick together? What’s the issue in encouraging people to get jobs and work for their money instead of receiving handouts? What’s so detrimental about encouraging pipelines that create jobs and boost our economy? What’s wrong with saying black-on-black gang violence must end? Why have we let our feelings overcome reason?

The metal scene needs to dump its softness and get back to being heavy in spirit and attitude. Whether I’m right or wrong, if you love me or hate me, let’s talk about the issues that matter. I want to challenge people’s ideas and get them talking. Allow free speech to flourish. Let’s give the world the alternative to the alternative.

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