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Social impact of heavy metal

Social impact of heavy metal
March 09, 2008, 11:25:39 AM
Although everyone in the media writes off heavy metal like they write off opinions from Osama bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, honest peace activists, Noam Chomsky and Siddhartha Guatama alike, I think it has a place in modern society's global culture and in fact represents a breath of fresh air in that.

In 1969, Tony Iommi saw a horror movie and wanted to make music that sounded like a horror movie. He wanted to do this because he was fed up with the hippies around him spouting simplistic non-solutions to enduring problems. They thought they could impose peace from without. He said war was within. This viewpoint was not popular. And so heavy metal was born.

It was fused early on with the prog rock of Jethro Tull and King Crimson, both of which had an archly cynical view of human futures. Humanity, they argued, was doomed because it refused to focus on its own degeneracy through its mindless pursuit of pleasure. In this, they echoed Aldous Huxley of the generation before. Of course, this viewpoint was not popular.

Heavy metal is a sonic reducer that takes the world of external, visual manipulations and cuts it down to some basic truths that transcend what humans think they want or need. It's about a world, interconnected, that has a process to it that resembles geology or biology, but not the neurotic sophistication of morality, bureaucracy or psychology.

It has made its mark.

It's now common to hear distortion in normal songs on the radio. Heavy metal themes have soaked into movies, art and tattoo art and comics, and even into mainstream newspapers which pun on classic heavy metal song titles. Any time in this society you want to symbolize someone who isn't following the kool-aid line to destiny, out comes the long-haired, gentle but socially alienated, headbanger.

Metal has even appeared in literature, often described as a fulfillment of the hippie movement by being its antithesis, like in Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. It is also shown as a steam escape valve for lower middle class aggression, as in Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full (satire of ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME?).

If I missed any, hopefully others can fill them in.

Quote
This music, because it glorifies intolerance and hate, and promotes suicide, contradicts all of the community values that people of good will, regardless of faith, ideology, race, economic or social position, share. Simply put, this music hurts us as a people.

Heavy metal Contributes to teen suicide


Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 15, 2010, 06:40:50 AM


Quote
This music, because it glorifies intolerance and hate, and promotes suicide, contradicts all of the community values that people of good will, regardless of faith, ideology, race, economic or social position, share. Simply put, this music hurts us as a people.

Heavy metal Contributes to teen suicide

"Dear sirs, my son was listening to Marilyn Manson's  Antichrist Superstar on his stereo
when he died..."

If you can't blame the family, at least don't call MM 'Heavy Metal'.

Caffeine

Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 15, 2010, 02:50:21 PM
A lot of people are too weak to introspect on themselves or personal environment and eliminate their issues accordingly....so they blame metal and horror/war movies.  Forget the part where there's no scientific evidence of subliminals changing cerebral aspects of a person, oh no, they don't need scientific evidence....they need idiotic assertions to support their opinions and fragility.  This shit clogs up (in the US at least) courts much more than people realize.  You'd think someone would have done something about it by now.....

It's funny, because my literature teacher wants us to write about this topic for an essay at this very moment.  Excellent timing OP.

Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 15, 2010, 08:48:05 PM
Heavy metal made poser-bashing cool, and without that, there may have never been any hipsters!

Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 18, 2010, 05:23:08 AM
Its kind of interesting to note that bands like Black Sabbath were a type of de-institutionalized music in contrast to the classical or ceremonial/religious music that's always had a place in schools/universities or churches.  I don't think you could necessarily call them pop music, but, if you note the type of media attention Black Sabbath gained when they came out, it really hasn't changed much when compared with the way the mass media of today fixates on extreme metal. 

Its almost like metal and other unorthodox types of music are treated as simply "dissident" by the mass media.  Of course, since the retarded fucking public relies so deeply on the media for answers to problems concerning their children and so forth, its not surprising to see so many people lumping metal or hardcore in with hippie-culture, simply because it shares a similarly unfounded origin.....at least, to the prevailing majority of obstinate low-lives denouncing it in accordance with their own musical doctrine. 

People still want to focus on all the wrong aspects of music simply because they themselves don't consider metal to be actual music.  To them, actual music is what they read in textbooks or in music appreciation class.  Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised to see most of the flock believing that music originated with Gregorian chants and so forth.  That's utter bullshit. 

Of course, the saddest part about it is that metal musicians and so on have begun to appease them and play into all the stereotypes that were present even back in the 70's when it came to the question of "metalheads."  If you've ever been brave enough to attempt to illustrate the connection between styles like black and death metal with classical music, you're probably well aware of this lame and impotent belief that most people have concerning heavier music, namely that its a childish fad. 

As far as I'm concerned, media/society's view is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to music, but when it comes to institutions like universities or churches, their views toward a specific brand of music seem to press further into peoples' minds simply because they have a moral high-ground when it comes to the general public.  If universities began to support extreme metal, for instance, I think you'd find more of those "metal = genius" articles from before, like it was suddenly some gigantic revelation that the music itself isn't necessarily "bad." 

"I mean, lets forget about all the reasonable and decent people that enjoy it in their private lives."

Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 18, 2010, 06:54:29 AM

Its kind of interesting to note that bands like Black Sabbath were a type of de-institutionalized music in contrast to the classical or ceremonial/religious music that's always had a place in schools/universities or churches.  I don't think you could necessarily call them pop music, but, if you note the type of media attention Black Sabbath gained when they came out, it really hasn't changed much when compared with the way the mass media of today fixates on extreme metal.  

Its almost like metal and other unorthodox types of music are treated as simply "dissident" by the mass media.  Of course, since the retarded fucking public relies so deeply on the media for answers to problems concerning their children and so forth, its not surprising to see so many people lumping metal or hardcore in with hippie-culture, simply because it shares a similarly unfounded origin.....at least, to the prevailing majority of obstinate low-lives denouncing it in accordance with their own musical doctrine.  

People still want to focus on all the wrong aspects of music simply because they themselves don't consider metal to be actual music.  To them, actual music is what they read in textbooks or in music appreciation class.  Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised to see most of the flock believing that music originated with Gregorian chants and so forth.  That's utter bullshit.  

Of course, the saddest part about it is that metal musicians and so on have begun to appease them and play into all the stereotypes that were present even back in the 70's when it came to the question of "metalheads."  If you've ever been brave enough to attempt to illustrate the connection between styles like black and death metal with classical music, you're probably well aware of this lame and impotent belief that most people have concerning heavier music, namely that its a childish fad.  

As far as I'm concerned, media/society's view is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to music, but when it comes to institutions like universities or churches, their views toward a specific brand of music seem to press further into peoples' minds simply because they have a moral high-ground when it comes to the general public.  If universities began to support extreme metal, for instance, I think you'd find more of those "metal = genius" articles from before, like it was suddenly some gigantic revelation that the music itself isn't necessarily "bad."  

"I mean, lets forget about all the reasonable and decent people that enjoy it in their private lives."

Don't worry about it so much.  For every fool who thinks liking metal makes you an idiot, there's a fool who thinks liking classical makes you a fag.  Universities support classical music because it is the education system's job to be unbiased, and this means focusing on art that has had the widest impact on society.  That's why when rock music is covered, it's often Elvis Presley and The Beatles, and perhaps some 60's protest songs.  All these are examples of music that changed countries and stirred the minds of millions; just because one type of music has a greater effect, though, it does not mean it is artistically superior to ones with lesser impact.  Again, I stress though, it is the education system's job to be unbiased, and that's why you will find few classes teaching about underground genres of modern times.

Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 18, 2010, 03:34:10 PM
The education system being unbiased is something of an Ideal Type in the Weberian sense of the term. One could say it is the education system's job to create individuals ready for generic employment who won't question the core values of the society they have been grown into.

Caffeine

Re: Social impact of heavy metal
August 18, 2010, 10:59:43 PM
One could say it is the education system's job to create individuals ready for generic employment who won't question the core values of the society they have been grown into.

Hey, that remains me of the advanced economics course I am currently taking in high school.