Are you “untrue”?

german_pipe_smoker

We get a lot of comments here, but a frequent type — and they are nearly identical — is this:

This site has really gone to shit. Instead of doing articles about true underground metal, you’ve got all these stupid articles on tobacco, whiskey, SJWs and beer.

This is a variation on an old argument that splits the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy in half. If you recall, that fallacy takes this form:

Person 1: Christians do not spit on their enemies.
Person 2: The pope just hocked a loogie onto the Queen.
Person 1: He’s not a true Christian, just a pro forma one.

Sometimes fallacies are not fallacies per se but a description of a common trope of language used to deflect an argument. When used wrongly, they fail, such as slippery slope, which is a real argument but is frequently used by ham-handed idiots (“If we legalize heavy metal, people will turn to Nazism next!”). The No True Scotsman argument is a fallacy when used to enforce a broken category, but not when it points out the exception strengthens the rule. For example, most Christians will not spit on the Queen, and that pope might just be out of line.

In the case of metal, trueness exists. It refers to people who understand metal on its own terms, instead of re-purposing it for their own social needs like hipsters do, and uphold that worldview and values system which we might call a “culture.” On the other hand, some are quick to call “untrue” anything which does not fit a selective stereotype of metalheads as being only about music and a certain lifestyle. These types are not scene-policing, but bullying others into accepting lowest common denominator behavior.

Wearing denim vests with patches, drinking trendy beer and buying lots of metal albums is not what metal is about. It’s false signaling to allow useless people to join the community because doing those things is easy, where living and understanding metal — a form of art with its own outlook and philosophy, like most artistic movements — takes some effort internal to the human being. And that is what most refuse to do. They do not want to internalize learning and share themselves and limit their own reckless impulses. They would rather have a surface-level conformity that gains them entrance to the group, and to do that, they need to spit on anyone who thinks metal is more than credit card payments, goofy clothing and being drunk all the time.

I tend to reply to such people with these:

Feel free to send in articles or ideas.

So far, none have taken me up on this. How can results be so consistent? It’s in the psychology: their psychology is not about what they say it is about, which is articles about metal. Their psychology is in putting others down by claiming those others are untrue, only so that they can in turn claim they are true for these token conformist attributes. They will never contribute… because their contribution is angry, pointless criticism. They will never do more than that. You will find whole forums (NWN/FMP) full of such people. They are hipsters of another stripe.

They remind me of another type of person that I call “the California personality.” This type is very common among bloggers. They are equal parts self-promoting and defensive, with a totalitarian intolerance of anything that seems to them to be critical of them or their choices in life. The California personality will always tell you how amazing their life is, and how they’ve made choices that magically worked out in defiance of conventional wisdom. If people think it is unsafe to walk the Cass Corridor after dark, the California personality went there and not only was safe, but met a famous artist and partied till dawn drinking artisanal wine. If people think you shouldn’t build your house on a fault line, the California personality lives in the fault and has a precious, sunlight-kissed bungalow (which is highly energy efficient).

The California personality will fool you for some time. You will look at your own life, and wonder why you don’t get such great results. They, on the other hand, appear to be picked by the hand of God to succeed in everything. But over time, you start seeing cracks in their narrative. The great house actually has lots of leaks, which is why they’re selling it. The artist they met in the Cass Corridor held them hostage until dawn and drank all their artisanal wine. Their statements are not merely rose-colored, but outright lies. A California personality goes through life always justifying their decisions as successes, after the fact, when often they are simply chumps making poor choices but are good at making those choices seem appealing to others.

The same mentality infests the hipsters, tryhards, poseurs and “trve kvlt” types in metal. Their own lives are ruins, but they want to hide that by putting down your life. They contribute nothing, but want to pull down your contributions. Like lifestyle bloggers (especially the odious “mommy bloggers”) they want to show you their great-looking children, quirky recipes and fantastic decorating choices, but are hiding a vast inner despair as their marriages fail, careers stall, and total lack of ideas creates lack of personal direction. These people are not here to do anything, but to partake in the doing of others. It’s why they are best mocked and pushed aside as this article hopes to do.

31 thoughts on “Are you “untrue”?”

  1. Dualist says:

    What do you think about my comments, in general?

    I always write quite detailed comments but whenever I do, you then write an article that seems be a response to something I’ve said. Am I right in thinking this is the case?

    If so, surely you’d rather have people taking the time to write a proper argument instead of just ‘cool article!’?

    Either way, we seem to have very, very similar views on most things even if our fundamental beliefs may be slightly divergent, no?

    So, do you have a problem with my comments? If not, I would be very happy to contribute some articles to the site and I would also be happy to run the book club you suggested.

    1. Autophage says:

      I for one just want to let you know I enjoy your comments, for example in the last “Metal and SJWs are enemies” post you really did echo what I had in the back of my mind when I read the article, and it definitely did help contribute to the discussion, at least in my eyes. I might try to post here a bit more myself, though I fear I may not be as erudite as the rest of the people here.

  2. discodjango says:

    As I said before, I would like to contribute something and/or write more comments, but it is very difficult for me to translate my ‘German thoughts’ into English, and it takes a lot of time, too. In some cases it took me half an hour to complete three or four sentences for the commentary section. This is pretty exhausting, because it feels like my brain is twisting. So don’t be ‘disappointed’ when sometimes you find a simple “thank you” instead of an elaborate response.

    1. fenrir says:

      Stop thinking in German. your English is good enough that you should start to train yourself to think in English.

      1. discodjango says:

        That is very kind of you. I guess to some degree it’s already happening: sometimes I find myself in a situation where I try to find a German word, but an English one pops into my mind and it fits perfectly, haha! I write quite a lot in German – some of it is based on DMU and amerika.org. – about society, daily politics, music, books and films, and I share these writings with a few friends. I put a lot of effort into it, and it is satisfying to create a good text and explore the German language – as well as one’s own head – to get the best results. Maybe I will expand this in the future and try to create a small text in English.

        1. 1349 says:

          I write quite a lot in German – some of it is based on DMU and amerika.org.-…

          Wow, i have a similar situation. I write things some of which are based on amerika / DMU ideas, except that i don’t write too often and the language is Belarusian.

          Also, my inability to contribute anything decent to this site is the exact reason why i usually keep my mouth shut when there are things i dislike here.

          1. fenrir says:

            Damn! you guys should be sending some of your stuff to DMU, even I do and my written result often need a lot more revision than I would think yours does (at least, judging from the way you write in comments)

          2. discodjango says:

            Ah, okay! I hope you enjoy writing as much as I do. I am actually considering to reduce my working hours (which means giving up the position I hold now) so that I have more time for reading and writing (among other things). We Germans tend to give way too much time to our jobs, which is not a good thing. The will should be directed towards other things than ultimately pointless work.

  3. Viranesir says:

    Nice article! It is like a vortex hahah… Once a guy told me that he likes black metal and that he will go to a festival with his girlfriend to see true bm bands like Sunn O))) and Alcest and that he hated hipster bands. There I understood that this sense of trueness is like an infection that can infect anybody regardless of race, colour, creed. People who do not experience life through living make this world a shit place.

  4. trystero says:

    This reads like an overly defensive rant. Is it such an enormous expectation that a website called deathmetal.org – which claims a very high standard of understanding of metal music history and art – would post content related to such a topic? You tried blogs before with short ANUS reviews, news blurbs and interviews. Even now that is more valuable content than every article on deathmetal.org combined, with the exception of pre-ANUS articles. Why does this website have to update nearly every day? Considering there is little quality metal being produced, only filler content will be left to post, but only if there is a requirement of near-daily posts. It was a good idea to solicit articles from readers I think, even if you dont get any content.

    Cover a band like Innumerable Forms, or cover old demos/releases (and enough about this being not forward looking or something. Even relative mediocrity from the golden age of metal is better than acclaimed bands of recent vintage). Interview people who matter to making metal art, not hiv-positive university professors looking to push their ideologies (okay you got bit there and maybe figured it out, but it has become overbearing). I thought fenrir went kind of offtrack later on with the post volume but at least he kept the direction firmly pointed towards metal music, earlier posts were especially welcome.

    This website strikes me as a failed project. Where are the people? Its always a relatively small clique of people posting comments. If the point was to expand appeal, I dont see any results. ANUS is a name notorious in the metal web, whether for reasons of comic absurdity or serious criticism. The content became attractive in its very lofty standards more than anything else. What you tried to do is like taking a luxury product and then smoothing it out for the masses. Pretty ironic considering the kind of beer posts you do maligning the same thing.

    I am not talking shit about this website because I want to bring it down, we all stick around and read the content even if less often than before simply because there is at least the potential for new discovery, whether in music or discussion. Isnt doing a post like you just did an admission that there is a perception you are off track?

    1. Roger says:

      Not to mention the old grand ANUS reviews are NOWHERE to be found: either from DM.org or ANUS.com

      1. Those are present in /metal, as far as I know. If you spot any exceptions, let me know.

      2. trystero says:

        You can find them at deathmetal.org/bands but there is no link from anywhere I can see

    2. fenrir says:

      How about you contribute with your own review of Innumerable Forms?
      Talk, talk, talk, complain, and what are you doing?
      you do know this page works with contributions and volunteers, right?

      1. trystero says:

        The usual kind of stuff you expect when such a topic is broached. Every now and then some disciple absorbs this idea off Prozak. Tell me, why should I? Is that not akin to some band you review negatively telling you to come up with your own music? Its bullshit. Maybe I am not a good enough writer, maybe I am not interested in writing something like this, maybe I have shit to do, what does it matter? Does it make the criticism false, or invalid? Address what I said rather than jumping to such tactics.

        Perhaps the impression here is that this website gets too much criticism. I believe this is false, it doesnt get nearly enough. Instead an atmosphere of positive support is created even against the obvious truth.

        This is Prozaks website. People come here to read Prozak. It works off his back, no one else`s. Its a fantasy to think this website runs off contributions from anyone else. This isnt a fucking soup kitchen.

        I am a proud consumer. My feedback should be words of advice and possible encouragement. I dont want to do psychoanalysis but its pretty obvious what it implies when such a bristled response is received from the most minor of gripes.

    3. Buffalo Bill on a Tuesday says:

      I agree for the most part though the writers at Decibel should be exposed for the frauds they are. Paid reviews and fellating interviews in what has become an institution used to justify metal-themed media hording. University “metal professors” should be exposed for the fascistic thought police that they are as well. Even interviews with these types are welcome in my view since they seem to dig their own graves in attempting to dig the writer here one by exposing their own agendas.

      Even if this website intelligently rationalizes how SJWs are evil, the ones “combating” them in the real world are Black Witchery types. Just another extension of juggalo-ism. In the end, the music is still of a poor quality and the politics involved is just the PC internet era version of “Mortification = good, Burzum = bad and you’re a Nazi”. The only thing that will stop the emo-indie rock/metal dilemma is when everyone behind shit like Deafheaven and Metal Sucks overdose and drop dead.

      Think about how Darkthrone became a joke that uses NWOBHM and early 80’s punk subculture inspired sloganeering to appease vinyl hoarders while still selling a product. Neptune Towers is inspired music of a high quality without any pseudo-politics attached that will go unnoticed because of that. In the music industry stage which includes novelty labels like Dark Descent and NWN, metal is one and the same in purpose as other juggalo media such as Call of Duty video games (slam) and Adult Swim reruns (Ihsahn). Once that happens, creative minds tune out. Invention, innovation, and finally imitation. So it makes sense that this is the time Fenriz gets to enjoy life by making money off idiots (can’t blame him) while Vanilla Ice’s clone in Iowa tries his hand at popularity games by making an alleged death metal band on facebook because everything else is boring or requires effort (the mentality that propels nightclub DJs to “fame”) and fat guy from Krieg tells magazines how great he is for agreeing with their writers worldview.

      This website was bound to hit a brick wall if it only talked about music. Most Sadistic reviews are interchangeable because most albums are about as mediocre or worse. I’d argue when the writing on music is more creative than the music, then there isn’t much purpose in even considering the music.

    4. Ruby, The King of Gemstones says:

      “Is it such an enormous expectation that a website called deathmetal.org – which claims a very high standard of understanding of metal music history and art – would post content related to such a topic?”

      The other types of articles posted here do relate to the spirit of Metal, the connection isn’t in your face and you have to think about it a bit after you read them, but it’s there.

      Why does this website have to update nearly every day?

      Because there is alot going on out there, SJW’s attacking Metal. In the real world, you HAVE to DEFEND things, you can’t just stick your head in the sand and ignore things or else you will lose.

      “Even relative mediocrity from the golden age of metal is better than acclaimed bands of recent vintage).”

      Not really, unless there is something important to say about them, in which most of the time there isn’t.

      “Interview people who matter to making metal art, not hiv-positive university professors looking to push their ideologies (okay you got bit there and maybe figured it out, but it has become overbearing).”

      It’s good to interview those people because what they do and think has a possibility to effect Metal for good or bad. You have to keep your eyes on what’s going on and they are relevant to Metal.

      “I thought fenrir went kind of offtrack later on with the post volume but at least he kept the direction firmly pointed towards metal music, earlier posts were especially welcome.”

      That was an experiment to see what would happen, you have to do those sometimes.

      “This website strikes me as a failed project. Where are the people? Its always a relatively small clique of people posting comments.”

      You realize that comments are moderated for quality, right? You say that you want quality but then you say that there isn’t enough different people posting. So do you want quality or quantity?

      “If the point was to expand appeal, I dont see any results.”

      The comments are moderated, we can’t see how many people post compared to how many get through. I remember when the comments were unmoderated, most of them were rubbish. If people want to be heard, it’s better for them to bring themselves up to standard, that preserves the site.

      “ANUS is a name notorious in the metal web, whether for reasons of comic absurdity or serious criticism. The content became attractive in its very lofty standards more than anything else. What you tried to do is like taking a luxury product and then smoothing it out for the masses. Pretty ironic considering the kind of beer posts you do maligning the same thing.”

      It was an experiment, let them try different things to see what works, it’s their site after all. You have any ideas?

      “I am not talking shit about this website because I want to bring it down, we all stick around and read the content even if less often than before simply because there is at least the potential for new discovery, whether in music or discussion.”

      There is discussion going on, Metal is about more than just music and the site is going in that direction. If you say there is too much talk about SJW’s, Metal is about reality and in reality you have to defend things and to defend you need to know what is going on. As far as the lifestyle articles go, if you read them and think about them there is plenty there, and smoking and drinking are fun and enjoyable, so why not?

      “Isnt doing a post like you just did an admission that there is a perception you are off track?”

      No, it’s just clearing the air.

      1. Meek Metalhead says:

        “smoking and drinking are fun and enjoyable”

        A wise man would call such things self-destructive.

        No fun allowed.

  5. Flying Kites says:

    http://www.deathmetal.org/news/only-death-is-real-by-tom-g-warrior/

    Why do not the Lifestyle and Articles tabs, at the top, have pages with navigable links? How many articles are in there, where they be???

  6. Poser Patrol says:

    Mr. Stevens, you stand charged with one (1) count of being a false for writing a lukewarm review of Onward to Gologotha at the following URL: http://www.anus.com/tuc/tuc3/7.html

    How do you plead?

    1. Dualist says:

      That’s nothing mate:

      https://web.archive.org/web/19970403042748/http://www.anus.com/metal/deicide.html

      where he called Deicide’s Legion “an overly-technical and self-indulgent second album featuring mainly their own image of themselves as popular icons of evil.”

      I’ve also read a comment he made about enjoying listening to OPETH but I can’t remember how long ago, so I’ll have to have a good check on archive.org to find it!

      Maybe that’s why he only likes having people around who are a bit dumber than he is….

    2. Doug Killjoy says:

      Could be wrong but I think Brett was like 25 at the time of those reviews. Without the benefit of repeated listens, hindsight or simple maturity, he wasn’t too terribly far off the mark.

    3. Aromatic Flatulence says:

      An ispiration to us all.

      1. AK-47 says:

        I also thought this was pretty funny:

        “Suffocation is one of those bands that everyone name drops; but I have a hard time believing many people actually listen to them (the Pixies of death metal?). I suspect a few people keep their records on the shelf for the same reason others keep the phone number of that black dude they once smoked up with in college. “I’m not racist, I listen to Suffocation!” Beyond the dubious originality of their work (much of their style is derivative of Morpheus Descends and Baphomet), Suffocation have always suffered from the common flaw of most second tier bands; they’re fucking boring”.

        That’s from the Metal Archives reviewer Falconsbane, who is Brett Stevens I believe?

        1. Cult ov Bretticus says:

          Brett has many cultists who carve phallic totems of worship for the one and only true god, so who knows?

          Only those who know…

  7. Angry faggot says:

    The Opus of Get Off My Lawn

    by old man Brett

  8. thewaters says:

    I typically scroll through the articles looking for things written by Brett Stevens, whose opinion I still highly respect.

  9. Flying Kites says:

    You hate all human life, you must be a solipsist.

  10. Disremember says:

    All of us have been infected/haunted/converted/lobotomized/bottomized/mesmerized/ etc
    By the ghost of Spinoza Vijay Prozak …
    Aum…

Comments are closed.