For my questions regarding it, I will have to pick on Fieldmouse as he is the most visible example in this thread of my grievance: if you are absolutely convinced that there are only "5 or so" acts which are not simply excellent music but are merely not stupid, what effort is there to be expended at all? It seems criticizing metal in particular is fairly useless as it does not (or should not) serve as some linear stepping stone out the so-called cold waters in the gorge of nihilism; it is simply the context of this specific board and, I can safely assume, our pasts which makes it convenient. The criticism argument only works on greater planes; it is next to impossible to "leave" society, thus some criticism of it is necessary as we continue to experience it. However, "metal" can be left in the dust if one chooses. I can only assume there is some attachment, even for someone who has almost no real regard for the genre, driving you to continue to post here at the rate you do. Perhaps these are the death throes.
I feel in a similar place regarding the moving-on curve you described kontinual, and I must also accept your criticisms as valid.
In some ways you answer your own question: why is effort to be expended at all? because of the handful of amazing powerful bands and the nourishment I received from they music they created. To separate the wheat from the chaff. This is a social space, perhaps my only function here is to promote intolerance of medicrity and open avenues to other areas of interest.
I fail to understand your assertion that criticising metal is useless. The most dangerous thing that can happen to an interest-defined social group is to loose a critical edge in their approach. Perhaps I misunderstand. Perhaps its redundant, but it's in response to redundant enthusiasm for the latest hogshit.
I also must defend my two pronged approach (intolerance and then starting a thread such as this one), which I've acknowledged at the start and emphasised in response to SRP: people are complex, and the cold turkey approach doesn't fit with me (nor anyone in my opinion). As you've said, identity is movement, not stasis; and my interest in a band like EW is totally superficial. But hey this is a metal board, and I thought this would be a discussion that might have some contention. I disagree with SRP in that I think people also need non-demanding times also. It's just a case of how well you can spend your down time, which certainly won't match your up time. This board is probably as down as I get; the rest of my time is spent reading, exercising, studying etc. What I mean to say is that despite a harsh attitude, people also need superficiality; but it's when the latter dominates that we have a problem. I'm willing to acknowledge that the superficiality component of others here is in current metal bands, but I'm concerned that it's taking a position of dominance.
If you read what I said about the Nihilism gorge, you'll see that I wasn't saying it's a linear development, if it was I would not listen to the negative aligned bands at all (EW, Godflesh, Slayer etc.) and would probably only listen to Burzum and Graveleand. I was saying that despite one's personal development, they must still contend with the world unchanged, which means that Streetcleaner is still a powerful negative statement, however much one may have lost any personal identification with it's negativity per se.
My intolerance of mediocre bands in no way is meant to imply non-attachment and contempt for metal as a whole, though it may soon give birth to such a view. But my attitude isn't one of precious defence of my preferred subculture. It's akin to Savitri Devi's Gold In the Furnace.
I have considered leaving this board recently, and view my presence here as something of an addiction. Metal is not an end; If you'd like me to stop saying that and leave this board with the opposite assumption, I'm happy to do so.
I think you're really implicitly articulating the truth that there's nothing left to talk about in terms of metal anymore. I've subconsciously accepted this myself, and thus my presence here is mere socialising. Perhaps I ought to be more decisive and leave proper. You've quite perceptively characterised my presence as in death throes.
I hope I've understood you more or less accurately.
PS: I chose EW because for me they're right on the fence regarding so many of these issues, and I thought they'd elicit discussion as such. Clearly for SRP they've fallen to one side, and for Flight_of_Zapan, another.