I managed to piss of a few of you with my posts, which is good, because angry people think harder than numb ones. This brought up some good questions.
I don't know if "elitism" is the right word for what is practiced here. I think it's just common sense. If you have heard 100 CDs, you realize you don't want to spend time on the crappy ones, and after you've heard 10,000 CDs you probably get even more cynical. This isn't bad because it raises your standards.
If the metal artform presented a few high quality bands, it would be seen as high quality music for intelligent people, and would draw more intelligent people in, which would make the next generations even better. This is a "process" and not a material result, because it doesn't happen once, but continuously. Our society thinks poorly in terms of process.
If there is a reason for elitism, it's healthy natural selection to keep the genre alive. When some band is crap and I know it, I can say that, but someone who has heard 1/10 the CDs I have or is dumber than I am might not know it. The question is how to explain that to other people.
From Immolation (the user), I got this question:
I was recently involved in an email "battle" with someone I know, who insists that underground metal owes its existence to the hair metal crap of the 80s. Here are some excerpts:
Me: ‘Those bands are irrelevant to real metal/underground metal.’
He: define ‘real metal’? while you are at it, please enlighten the universe on irrelevance of those bands to any form of metal, underground or otherwise.
Me: “All this is just the usual namedropping that people do, and a lot of those bands have nothing to do with underground metal or old school metal musicwise”
He: I was illustrating a point, one obviously you’ve chosen not to acknowledge, as has anyone discounting importance of commercially successful metal bands in the formative years of the genre. the point was without those artists, most of the music
you love today would never have existed, nor would the majority of the bands you presently follow be able to peruse their musical aspirations. and there lies to solution to awake dormant metal/rock scene.
Me: If good metal bands gave a damn about the 'general populace' wouldn't they obviously be making a genre of music that is easy money and has something popular to say?’
He: a fairly obtuse observation. if musicians ever followed this equation, we would still be listening to some strange form of tribal music involving beating rocks together. you, like many on this board, think that people involved in music pick a genre at some point and say: ‘okay this is my ticket to millions’. that’s not how it works. while there is no denying influence from outside forces, overall musicians make the music they enjoy and subject matter that is relevant to them (que ‘shock-horror-gasp’ reaction). The general populace is likewise and most are generally are open minded to all types of music so long as they can understand it
I'd like to get him a good answer there and point out to the world how important this question is.
Next from the ol IM-bag here, there's a whine and question from Thamuz (the user)
I probably should have made it clearer: for the most part I certainly do not disagree with where you are coming from, just how you are communicating it.
My experiences in life thus far have taught me that communication is important. It is not just what you say but also how you say it.
If you are to come off as arrogant, selfish, pretentious and pigheaded then no one is really going to listen to you. That is not to say that you should tone it down to liberalistic pandering, but I think there is a better approach than the whole "I am better than 99% of people, you are all useless unless you do X and Y" tact. It is far too hyperbolic in the first place.
Also, be careful when you draw lines in the sand. Sometimes you segregate people who would be helpful to your cause.
I don't watch TV, read comics or listen to stand-up comedy but I spend my "down time" in various other ways. We all need a break from work & making a difference, I think the key is moderation and balance. Aristotle summed this up better than I can, read him instead.
The fact that ANUS has created an 'us vs them' dichotomy when in reality it is far more complicated than that is stopping it from achieving its objectives in my opinion.
I'll use myself as an example because I think it applies to a wide variety of people:
If you are accusing me of being useless because I happened to spend a night playing a few games with friends over a beer then why would I bother contributing to your project? In my case I have already contributed two articles to ANUS / Corrupt so you can easily see what you would be missing out on if I did not like the attitude of those who belong to this community (that is the so called future). If you don't like people, you refuse to work with them. There are always other options.
Of course you never attacked me personally, but the example is enlightening if you want to see it from a general perspective.
I just don't think that cutting yourself off from 99.5% of people is the right way to go. That's all. There is no excuse to spend time waiting for the morons to listen, but the 10-20% of people below the super-intelligent is who you have to educate and encourage if you want things to change. I am not super-intelligent or elite or however you would like to put it so I think I speak for a lot of people. Is bashing them senseless with your superiority talk going to achieve much? Being an arsehole will make you no allies.
Although he's a cum-guzzling metrosexual, I don't entirely disagree with him. What I do disagree with is dumbing down the message, because even idiots can spot insincerity eventually, and for us to become more like everyone else is to neutralize our message. What I agree with is that some of us myself included could be less abrasive. I will not however apologize for my demands of quality, but I may not call it elitism.
I think the message that would be most constructive is that you as a person can get more powerful and feel more self-esteem by rejecting crappy music because crap music makes you think you're only worth crappy music. You can educate yourself and rise above the masses by insisting on meaning, not filler.
Of course this will be lost on the genetically stupid, but everything except Cannibal Corpse is lost on them.