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Topics - Transcix

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Interzone / ANUS criticism
« on: August 07, 2011, 02:24:34 PM »
Metal reviews are useless. Political and ideological causes are wastes of time with no hope of success. The majority of metal music will always suck. And at the end of the day I really have no fucking clue what DLA or ANUS stand for. I'm often sarcastic, but on these four points I'm very serious. Thoughts, comments?

I recently came across this column from 2010 and thought it was very funny.

Metal / How loud is too loud?
« on: July 10, 2011, 03:07:37 PM »
I read on Metal Insider the column Headbangers’ Brawl 10/8: If It’s Too Loud Are You Too Old? How pathetic. Who the hell wants to read something like this? But anyways the shittiness of the writing isn't the point. The point is what it discusses, the ideal volume of music, which can be summed up in this excerpt:

I want to poke fun at how you’re losing your hearing at such an old age, but I’m really no one to joke about that. I’ve been to so many shows that I’m five shows away from being deafer than Pete Townsend, and I’m only 21!! But like you said Bram, any fan born from 1970 on has been brought up on metal. Thus, as dangerous as it is for your poor old ears, turning it up loud is a Metal must. If your not pissing off your next door neighbors, you ain’t listening to it right.

The other night my neighbors were playing their music too loud because I could hear it pretty loud in my apartment and I could really feel the base reverberate in my chest... except it wasn't my neighbors, it was a U2 concert over 20 blocks away! I've never been to a concert before in my life, but I was truly astounded at how loud it was because I knew all the spectators as well as the musicians were losing their hearing brutally.

In my book, how loud is too loud: It's too loud if you lose any hearing over it! This seems painfully obvious to me.

And on a related note, I'm sure the noise from the concert wouldn't have been tolerated if it was a black metal band instead of U2!

What do you think?

Interzone / Reasons to tolerate stupidity
« on: June 25, 2011, 09:37:01 PM »
There are many good reasons to tolerate stupidity in some circumstances. However, why should stupidity be tolerated on this forum?

Recently there's been lots of talk about the poor quality of some members on this forum, but generally the members in question haven't been called out by name. I'd like to propose a radical (or not) solution: speak up against the stupidity, stand up against it and refuse to tolerate it.

A problem has been identified: there's an excessive degree of poverty in the quality of this forum's member base. So why keep those members around? It seems members who are totally diametric to your views don't join this forum in the first place or don't remain here for long. Other members wear your philosophies and ideologies like a hipster wears clothes, and they take them off when they get home or go to bed. In terms of subversiveness, this hipster-esque type of divergence of views could be more detrimental to the forum's prevailing philosophies and ideologies than outright diametrically opposite views, because they blur the line between authentic and inauthentic and bring to the foreground that slippery slope which lies between ignorantly agreeing with something in general (and often in effect sabotaging it) versus having legitimate conviction for it based on a firm grasp of the underlying principles.

A level of protocol would need to be established by the forum administrators, in order to establish a permanent or even temporary acceptable degree to which a thread can be hijacked for the sake of calling out stupidity and standing up to it. Those who aren't wanted would get the idea more quickly and bluntly, more basis would be revealed to justify increased banning of unhelpful members, and perhaps most of all the true philosophies and ideologies of the forum can become more strongly solidified and can even take shape in the first place. An all-inclusive forum is ideal in theory, but in practice it almost never works. Absolute consensus never exists between a varied group of people on a discussion forum, so after careful deliberation a line would have to be draw by those in charge as to what kind of members should and shouldn't be retained. Perhaps a member does not have to subscribe fully to the forum's viewpoints, providing the way in which they argue against it is sufficiently productive (I would include myself in this category).

Mistakes may be made and certain members who aught not be banned may be, but at the end of the day should we not strip bear the marketplace of ideas in the spirit of survival of the fittest and maintain conviction that if you're really up to par then you can fucking elucidate as much by putting words together in things called sentences and successfully delivering your message? If an axiomatic standard for membership to the forum - as well as for hessiandom - is aptitude in the areas of intelligence and awareness, then I would submit that the struggle over truth is synonymous with the struggle to get yourself into a position to struggle over it. Why admit members to the forum who require your mercy to maintain their membership? This is a double-standard, for you show this mercy to some, while you don't give it to others who don't need it; like encouraging inferior traits in the human gene pool through excessive social assistance. The medium is the message - the forum and your membership on it is the medium, and what you say shouldn't (nor is presently) given a blank slate as if existing independently of your unbanned membership status.

There are various forums on the internet for various topics. What's this one for? What could possibly be the downsides to what I propose here?

Interview: Metal scholars Brian Hickam, Amber Clifford and Karl Spracklen on The Metal Discourser

In this article I interview scholars Brian Hickam, Amber Clifford and Karl Spracklen, all very well-respected in the field of metal music studies. We discuss a variety of subjects, including metal studies’ current state, its relationship to metal’s ‘mainstream’, and how it engages the meaning behind the music.

Notably, all three agreed that in the academic world metal music studies is significantly stigmatized and/or underdeveloped.

As far as DLA is concerned, Brian thinks highly of it:
"I’ve read many of the entries in the Dark Legions Archive over the years and I have much respect for that website’s contributors.  I’ve learned quite a bit from that website."

The Metal Discourser, or TMD for short, is an online forum and resource designed to help forward the domain of metal music in the marketplace of ideas. For the serious listener, scholar or musician alike, TMD facilitates scholarly research and discourse about metal as well as opens up high-level discourse to people who are interested in it or have things to contribute but aren't necessarily looking to get involved on a professional scholarly level.

A pleasure to browse leisurely as well as a valuable research tool, TMD's aggregator is by far the most comprehensive metal link archive. From news articles to videos to dissertations, each link is hand-picked and organized throughout over 100 possible categories and sub-categories in the aim of covering all substantive aspects of the metal domain such as sociology, religion, geographic location, business, etc, as well as more specific aspects such as metal's physiological effects on the human body, the advertising and marketing of the music, what it means to 'sell out', the phenomena of church burning, etc. This section of the website seeks to exploit the internet's yet-untapped massive potential as an information technology, with a focus on dramatically increasing the efficiency of storage and reference of metal-related content.

Interzone / Fruity proof of god's existence
« on: April 09, 2011, 06:50:03 PM »

(let's not overdo the phallus references)

Interzone / Japan triple-catastrophe
« on: March 16, 2011, 06:05:06 PM »
Yes I'm sure you like that I used the 'triple-catastrophe' media headline!

Anyways, this is obviously a huge event, so I figured a thread about it could be worth sharing. What do you think about what's happening in Japan?

Personally, something that interests me a bit about it is the meta-politics of talking about the whole issue, with regards to how taboo it is to in the slightest way make light of or otherwise transgress against Japan's present concerns. Personally I don't get offended by someone breaking this taboo, unless I think the person is doing it in a really asinine way, like if they're actually ignorant in the first place that there's a taboo about it, or unless the person is specifically trying to harm the feelings of others, not for any subversive counter-culture aim but just to take joy in the suffering of the people who take offense to his words.

Also I have to be impressed with how there's no looting or anything taking place, in obvious contrast to prior disasters like Katrina in the USA. I don't sympathize with many of the philosophical beliefs underpinning the Japanese culture, however I do recognize that although it's not my path it's still a valid path for those who have more right-leaning preferences or dispositions, and I can definitely appreciate the beauty of some of their culture's facets even though I wouldn't necessarily want to live in that culture myself. Heh, at the same time it's easy for a culture like Japan's to look good considering the other cultures in the world today that it could be compared to, so in this respect it's sort of a little breath of fresh air on a superficial level.

On a political level, I think it's unfortunate Japan's case may stall future development of nuclear energy in other counties. Japan's nuclear system is far more advanced that Chernobyl, but it's still pretty old and lacks many safety features included in newer systems.

Metal / In search of relativistic merit
« on: February 21, 2011, 10:33:58 PM »

This thread has been created out of another thread. That is to say, there was another thread, and the conversation in it branched off in two fairly separate directions, and the mods thought each direction deserved a thread of their own, so they separated the single thread into two different threads. I realize this may confuse some of you (since the mods don't indicate when they split threads like this). Do try to follow the plot, of this public service announcement.

The floor is currently open for placing bets on which mod split this thread: Scourge or Conservationist? Notice the new thread title they came up with: "In search of relativistic merit". Did Scourge make this thread, to exemplify a failed attempt at grappling higher truths in my ramblings? Or did Conservationist make this thread, to help examine and explore this thread's subject matter? In layman's terms, does Scourge disapprove of this thread, or does Conservationist approve of it?

Perhaps we should consider here the 'tetralemma':

1) Sourge disapproves
2) Conservationist approves
3) both
4) neither

What are #3 and #4? If we take this concept into 4-D (4 dimensions), we can see the other two options are 3) I put this question to you here, or 4) this public service announcement never existed and you're left to your own devices to wonder what the fuck is going on.

On the other hand, Nagarjuna points out the option that it could also potentially be 5) neither none of the previously-listed options nor all of them, or 6) both all of them as well as none of them, since every-'thing' exists in mutual contingency. Add some wicked Zen to the stuffy Buddhism and you see where this public service announcement comes from:

Perhaps Scourge and/or Conservationist titled this thread "In search of relativistic merit" in an honestly neutral way (who the fuck can tell if it's meant as an insult?), leaving it for you, the viewers to decide and discuss about the thread's subject matter. This is the way of the philosopher king, the philosopher king understands how to use the stuff like html, social media, photon torpedoes and censors, not to mention the public service announcement button that the ship's designer was such an idiot for installing two millimeters next to the red alert button (and the buttons are very small, but who cares how the ship is designed, all that matters is how you use it). Yes the philosopher king makes the machinery move all on its own, like the magical Tao behind the scenes, you think the computer voice is automated, you don't even give it a second thought, and nobody even sees the king.

You may now return to your regularly unscheduled broadcasting after this gross intrusion for which we do so apologize.


Looking at the Dark Legions Archive of bands, how many of these are truly worthy of praise?

OK, I mean this in the nicest possible way... do you really expect me to waste my time in this thread? We can't just dive right into album reviews, we need first to establish the parameters. For example, more superficial music can serve its purposes, even though it might be 'lesser', but how do we want to account for this? Now personally I listen to basically none of the bands you just listed, or the bands reviewed by DLA in general, so I'm hard-pressed to use that selection of bands you submitted as any point of reference. Also I think the relevancy of reviews in general should be questioned, personally I could care less about reviews, and relatedly I could also care less about looking at albums as a whole, I'm only interested in individual songs. It seems to me if you want to review albums as a whole, then you're packaging the good with the bad in order to focus in on more than just the creme of the crop, but on overall image and stuff that goes into an album between the songs themselves, as if the bands themselves bear any significance beyond the music they produce, as if they're on some sort of pedestal or worthy of 'following'. It's also not clear to me what constitutes "black metal" for the parameters of this thread, for example I would include some songs by Solefald, Samael, Transcending Bizarre?, Sigh, Ephel Duath, Peccatum, Obtained Enslavement, Nokturnal Mortum's later work like the song 'Hailed be the Heroes', Korovakill, Borknagar, etc, but in many cases it's more extreme or avantgarde black metal, or maybe a mix of black and death, or etc; I'm not clear what is the advantage of reviewing metal in blocks of sub-genres rather than more loosely as one whole. Yes, I'm probably the only one who would have such a weird response to your thread, and that fact pisses me off, I don't even fully know why I bother writing this, will it change a fucking thing? Look at the responses, people fucking love to give lists of their preferences, and hey so do I it's an expression of your personality among friends, but thread after thread after thread it becomes such a waste of space and time.

Metal / Hipster metal documentary?
« on: January 29, 2011, 08:15:24 PM »
I've sort of made a hipster metal documentary. You can check it out on Youtube, here.

Interzone / Defining the ANUS metal community
« on: January 13, 2011, 08:29:16 PM »
I would have PMed the admins, but since this topic seems to be one of conversation these days, I figure I'll make an open thread about it. I'm writing an article evaluating the state of profound discussion in the online metal scene today, and as part of that article I give an overview of the major players, including the ANUS metal community. I'd like my article to be as fair an objective as possible, therefore I'd like to run a draft of the part about the ANUS metal community by y'all to see if I can improve it (particularly the part about your anti-egalitarian ideology). Note that I avoid addressing the views of the main ANUS site (about nihilism/etc only, not metal) as neither am I sufficiently familiar with them nor are they really relevant (although if I was sufficiently familiar I might stick em in edge-wise to add some context).

EDIT: See later posts for an updated draft.

The most prominent website with a focus on profound metal discussion is affiliated with ANUS, a group that can obviously be identified as nihilist by its name—American Nihilist Underground Society (pun intended). The main ANUS website is about nihilism and has nothing to do with metal, but directly associated with it is Dark Legions Archive (DLA), a metal website that's been around since 1993. DLA's URL begins with www.anus.com, a name chosen in the spirit of social and moreover philosophical rebellion, and this aspect of the website has made DLA—or at least it's URL—more well-known throughout the online metal scene than would otherwise be the case, sometimes resulting in people getting the wrong impression about what DLA represents. DLA is particularly well-known for its in-depth articles section as well as its discussion forum. More recently, some of the folks at ANUS created a non-profit organization and webzine dedicated to promoting hessian values and culture (a "hessian" is someone who lives the metal lifestyle), the Hessian Studies Center, as well as a website focusing on death metal, DeathMetal.org. This one community of people, in varying degrees of collaboration with outside contributors, is at the helm of a significant portion of the profound metal discussion available to be had online.

ANUS's metal community is highly controversial however, and considering the extent of their influence upon profound online metal discussion the controversy surrounding them should be briefly discussed. The controversy is twofold. First, the ANUS metal community is often criticized as being pseudo-intellectual, arrogant and elitist. Admittedly they do use very big words in their articles, as well as and arguably more questionably in their album reviews—some feel the need to point out an album review isn't a philosophical treatise—however considering the imbalance in the online metal scene favoring superficial discussion over profound discussion it must be wondered if a more general aversion towards sophisticated conversation isn't at play here (a hypothesis which this author's personal experience supports). Part of the trouble probably lies in that the ANUS metal community tends strongly to synthesize their nihilistic philosophical perspective with their views on metal and as a result some metal listeners feel the ANUS metal community is co-opting metal for their own ends and forcing misplaced ideas onto their readers. It should be noted in all this that the ANUS metal community doesn't dispute the accusations of being elitist, but rather they tend to maintain a survival-of-the-fittest mentality and tend to view elitism simply in the clinical sense of acknowledging superiority where superiority exists.

Second, the ANUS metal community is often criticized as being racially and religiously prejudiced. In reality, the ANUS metal community maintains an anti-egalitarian view of different races, cultures and religions, generally favoring the white race and its traditional, conservative heritage of authentic pagan-esque experience revering nature as well as truth (as opposed to modern 'Nintendo' culture), and affirming a non-interventionist stance towards other nations and ethnic cultures so that each may evolve in relative isolation without amalgamation-induced homogenization. Although violence against other ethnic cultures isn't officially advocated, the majority of people would still refer to the ANUS metal community's ideology as prejudiced discrimination, and denigration and the promotion of violence against other ethnic cultures does take place to a certain degree within their (publicly viewable) discussion forum. The extent to which their ideology and philosophy influences the content of their articles about metal, however, is almost entirely limited to an infusion of nihilistic as well as transcendental idealist concepts. It should be noted that the ANUS metal community does endorse and actively engage in the internet art of trolling, in terms of subversion (not to mention enjoyability), and this antagonizes further criticism against them. It should also be noted that the existence of national socialist black metal, a black metal sub-genre often promoting violence against other ethnic cultures, runs somewhat parallel to ANUS metal ideology and is thus liable to be unintentionally conflated with it by critics.

The ANUS metal community is certainly a unique community in the online metal scene, and although delivering an ultimate verdict here may satisfy some readers, this article aims to remain fair, objective and neutral. What's unfortunate is that not only do many people who have very strong feelings about anti-egalitarian ideology decline to participate in profound metal discussion hosted by the ANUS metal community, the ANUS metal community also holds fairly tightly to a specific, nihilist-oriented philosophical and spiritual paradigm which may deter further people from participating in discussion, not to mention that certain paradigms which depart too widely from the ANUS metal community's paradigm risk being poorly tolerated by the community. On the other hand, where the ANUS metal community's thoughts on metal are concerned—discounting any surrounding ideologies—the ANUS metal community is certainly very harsh towards the current state of the domain of metal and holds it and the average metal listener to a far more rigorous standard than most other metal websites do, and such is arguably something sorely needed in the domain of metal today (online or offline); many would also credit the ANUS metal community just for the attempt of stimulating profound metal discussion, in a climate where such discussion is so lacking, regardless of whether or not they agree with the conclusions the ANUS metal community ultimately draws. In contemplating the acceptability of the ANUS metal communities views, also to be considered is the extent to which metal is often home to arguably extreme views (Satanism, etc) and arguably in appropriate themes (morbidity, violence, etc).

Metal / Frustrating metal websites
« on: January 12, 2011, 08:27:45 PM »
I'm writing up a piece about the state of the online metal scene, and I thought I'd share to humorous examples of frustrating metal websites. I'll just copy and paste it in here:

1) An example of a particularly frustrating website is World Metal Alliance, apparently "a global organization of heavy metal advocates" as the sub-title under its logo says. The WMA's front page explains what the website's about:

" Nearly two decades ago, thousands of metalheads joined together to oppose Tipper Gore and the PMRC. In the process they formed a fortress that still stands to this day... "better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster." The World Metal Alliance is a global organization of heavy metal fans and heavy metal musicians founded in 1992. It has never charged for membership or has filled anyone's inbox with annoying spam emails. The WMA's mission is the same today, as the day it was founded: "To protect, promote and preserve heavy metal music by informing and uniting the heavy metal subculture." During its first four years the World Metal Alliance operated using only printed media, conventional mail and word-of-mouth. Yet the WMA's message of strength through unity quickly spread, successfully gaining members from all 50 States and throughout the world. Eventually the organization would continue these efforts online in 2000, with even greater success. And although the methods of communication have changed, our mission has not. "

I'm very interested and encouraged to have discovered the WMA's website, but then I get to the last line: "And we think you'll find our primary goal for unification is what makes our heavy metal forum not only informative, but extremely more positive than every other heavy metal forum on the Internet." I don't fully understand that last line, until I search through the whole site and find it consists of absolutely nothing but a discussion forum, and a pretty inactive one at that. I fully support WMA's original mission of opposing the PMRC, but where's the "global organization of heavy metal advocates?" It's just a forum, and a lot of merchandise members can purchase. Also at the bottom of the front page it says in obnoxiously large letters (I'm talking a 72 point font) "You've got to belong to it." and then in smaller letters underneath it prompts you to click for a free membership. The website also provides a brief history of the WMA, including this little gem starting out with: "By 1994 the rising cost of postage and growing number of members made it financially impossible to continue to communicate by conventional mail and we were forced to discontinue the newsletter." The newsletter was their whole thing, so once it ended nothing else was left. Then it proceeds to speculate: "By 1996, four years after its formation, and 2 years after the last newsletter the flow of new members began to decrease. There are several theories for this decline including the rise of grunge and the lessening [PMRC] threat against metal." Oh, right, it must have been the grunge!...

2) Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LotFP) is a good example of something in my experience I call 'too good to be true'. It's the website of an apparently top-notch metal print magazine that's existed since 1998. The website describes the magazine thusly: "Its content is totally independent of record company supervision or interference (no advertising is accepted), and we like to think LotFP contains the most in-depth and critical heavy metal writing currently in print." Offered free of charge on the website are, among other things, some truly outstanding (and lengthy) articles, such as Impure Metal: How Underground Heavy Metal Became Mainstream Heavy Music or False Metal: The Financial and Farcical Return of Heavy Metal. The problem is, this announcement is the last breath of life I can find on the website: "Open for business again! Everything on the right side under the 'Latest...' headers are brand-new content as of the last couple of days. More, and more current, to come!" More, it seems, is not to come, and in true metal fashion nowhere on the website is posted any sort of explanation to help the curious reader save some minutes of his life searching for one. (It's amazing how many times a metal website shuts down without posting so much as a brief notice on its front page to let its readers know.) But wait! It seems it's not a total wash out, as apparently LotFP is still alive and well here... the trouble is the owner's turned it into a fantasy role-playing game accessories store, without a word about the switch, and they even kept the same name and logo! I understand now why the flame princess laments. Part of me wants to write the owner for clarifications, but a larger part of me doesn't care because no explanation could be sufficient.

Those are the two examples. Feel free to share your own stories about frustrating metal websites. Also, I only listen to metal personally, but do any of you who also listen to other musical genres know how it is with their online scenes? How do you think the online metal scene is in terms of quality compared to the online scenes of other musical genres?

Interzone / burn your own church candle
« on: December 21, 2010, 10:31:56 AM »

Interzone / Could we have a DLA chat room?
« on: December 12, 2010, 04:56:48 PM »
Is there any interest in this? I'm not in love with the medium of the chat room, but I'd still like one good chat room to go to if I feel like it, and so far I haven't found any. Maybe there's a niche here that could be filled by DLA, because the quality of chat rooms in general is pretty poor.

Alternatively could anyone recommend me a good metal/philosophy/etc chat?

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