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Topics - I disagree

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Metal / Norway to train diplomats in black metal
« on: June 09, 2011, 02:23:11 PM »
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The government of Norway has begun offering training for foreign diplomats in black metal, following a reported rise in global interest in the genre.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-06/09/norway-diplomats-black-metal

Not sure how to feel about this. While it's great that black metal has been deemed important enough for diplomats to learn about, and I'm not exactly sure what principles will be taught, I would hope they did their research, and not get all their info from Dimmu Borgir.

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Metal / American: The Bill Hicks Story
« on: April 02, 2011, 03:34:12 PM »
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Three years in the making, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story brings the tale of one of modern culture’s most iconic heroes to the big screen.

Much more than a comedian, Bill Hicks was and still is an inspiration to millions. His timeless comedy tackled the contradictions of America and modern life head on. But his unique gift was to tease apart the essence of religion, the dangers of unbridled government power and the double standards inherent in much of modern society, using nothing but his hilarious ideas and the uncompromising observational style that continues to resonate with successive generations.

Like many who have a strong sense of their place in history, Hicks left a large unseen legacy; his collection of video recordings and hundreds of photographs and these became the starting point for this feature-length animated documentary.

But why animation? Bill Hicks’ complex story had never been adequately told and this demanded pushing documentary storytelling in a new direction to boldly recreate the key unseen scenes of Bill’s life and, for the first time fully reveal the worlds that shaped his character and his comedy. Real locations, such as the bedroom window he snuck out of to perform with comedy partner Dwight Slade, the dark alleys of Houston where he nearly met his end, and the spellbinding theatre auditoriums where he played his most famous concerts; are all meticulously recreated in stunning three dimensional photorealism to provide a fresh new sense of the challenges the lone comedian faces and a real sense of what his journey was like.

Bill’s story is told by the 10 people who knew him best; his family and closest friends who recount the twists & turns of his life with a freshness that hasn’t faded in 15 years. From Kevin Booth, Bill’s talented lifelong friend to the Outlaw Comics who introduced Bill into their heady world of drugs & alcohol, to photographer David Johndrow who perceptively captures some of the most revelatory moments of Bill’s life, each speaker is a compelling narrator who still carries a piece of Bill with them and, woven together, they bring a palpable sense of Bill’s presence to the screen.

Their story provides the platform for Bill’s own voice and for the first time, his 17 years of material are combined in a powerful chronology with his offstage journey. With each of his routines now bedded in the context of his life, a fascinating insight into the growth and development of an artist is revealed, as Bill’s early character work found first a comedic aim and then a truly powerful voice when he beat addiction to enthrall and challenge audiences, often touring 300 nights a year.

Recreating Bill’s story has been a journey all of it’s own; traveling all across America to record extensive new interviews, watching hundreds of performances and developing the animation technique over thousands of hours to fully realize the cinematic vision required. With a little help and a few orbits of the sun, these raw materials – video clips, photographs & personal recollections – have now been put together to recreate a full sense of Bill’s life, ambitions and achievements and a lasting testament as to why he will remain one of the enduring cultural cornerstones of our age.

Official Trailer

Official Site

Official Release April 8, 2011

I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time. I thought Hicks was a genius. If anybody has a chance to see this movie, please post your thoughts and comments here. Thanks!

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Interzone / Pennsylvania school experiments with 'segregation'
« on: January 28, 2011, 04:59:04 PM »
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The initiative is a pilot program intended to capitalize on "enriching students' experiences through mentoring" and is derived from school research "that shows grouping black students by gender with a strong role model can help boost their academic achievement and self esteem," according to a statement from McCaskey East High School in Lancaster.

"Educators immediately noticed strong bonds being formed between all students and mentor teachers," the statement said.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/27/pennsylvania.segregation/index.html?hpt=Sbin

While the knee-jerk reaction may be negative, if it's improving student's self esteem and test scores, I don't see what the harm is. I don't think anybody is willing to go back to the days in America of "Whites Only" or "Blacks Only", but giving students a chance to associate with their own race and culture without always being forced to associate with ones they can't relate to, seems like a healthy thing to me.

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Metal / Reclaiming (Or Replacing) “The Goat”
« on: January 11, 2011, 03:24:08 AM »
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Over the past few years, we metallers have seen our special sigil—the goat horn—stripped of its significance (i.e., magical power) by clueless celebrities (Miley Cyrus gets it wrong first then gets it right second) and pop culture junkies looking add ‘edge’ to their persona. That ‘edge’ they seek is, or rather was, ours. True, I’ve seen movie and television stars in Maiden, Priest, and Baroness shirts, but it’s hard to tell if they, like us, revere those bands like gods or are meddling in mundane hipster irony. Probably the latter. Occasionally, the Earth parts and I feel ‘good’ about peeps in high places repping the darkest of metals—often willingly exposed by dB’s Closet Metalhead feature (see Jeanne Fury’s Cee Lo Green intie)—but usually my suspicions are confirmed. Dorks like Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Kid Rock show the maloik, as popularized by the late great Ronnie James Dio, for no other reason than to appear ‘dangerous’. Milk in cereal poses a greater threat.
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So, maybe it’s time we retire the maloik and the reverse maloik.

We’ll have to be intensely creative to come up with something new. Options are damned sparse. We’ll have to avoid sign language configurations—don’t want our new sigil to unintentionally translate to ‘cucumber’ or ‘fail’—and gang sign configurations—don’t want to be gunned down outside a club (hello, Harpo’s in Detroit) for hoisting our new digit designation—in our pursuit of a replacement for the oft-misused maloik. Whatever we come up with, just don’t let it be the Witchery ‘W’.

http://www.decibelmagazine.com/featured/reclaiming-or-replacing-the-goat/

Does this symbol formerly used by metal heroes lose or have any value when hollywood celebrities and hipsters misuse it as a petty means for teenage rebellion?  I don't know if I agree with Decibel that a new symbol needs to be devised as it is easy enough to reroute any symbol's meaning, but I can't help but feel that it's association with metal is being diminished with its use.  This leads me to question whether metal still needs this symbol?

Some metallers have been diverting to a more offensive symbol, that you are unlikely to see many celebrities and hipsters use in public, but I don't see this as becoming a substitute for saluting metal.

What do you think? Are the "horns" still relevant?

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