From a different planet

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January 5, 2010 –
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Letters, we get letters:

Dear Dark Legions Archive,

Sometimes I feel like I am from a different planet. The people around me like mundane and boring music, but if there’s something quirky about it like being from Kuala Lampur or having a flute, they think it’s genius. I listen to it and realize there is nothing being communicated. The musicians are making music, and they’re doing an OK job, but it doesn’t convey any experience or emotion. It’s just there and the only way to appreciate it is by the techniques they use, the quirks it has, or how blasphemous it is. I seem to be the only one who sees this. I will be in a crowd of people who are headbanging to something so stupid it’s painful. They think the best part of death metal is the breakdown. They also fervently believe that Ulver’s “Nattens Madrigal” was actually recorded in a forest, probably one with lots of electric outlets. I don’t think they’re stupid, but they seem to be oblivious. Help — what do I do?

Signed,
Metal UFO
Portland, OR

We live in an age where image is more important than reality. Because we are all equal, we can only get ahead by convincing other people to use their equality to support our more-than-equal-ness. So being able to sell things to people, or make them like you, is really more important than doing anything productive. This is why our jobs are boring and our currently is losing altitude faster than Flight 93. As part of this, people listen to music in the same way they shop — to buy things that make them look good to others. So the short answer is that they’re not really paying attention to the music. Even if they were, they listen to it on their iPods while doing a million other things, including watching TV and IMing, so it’s not clear they have the mental focus to even know if they like it or not. But no mind: they don’t care if they like it. What they care about is that their friends like it, and think they’re hardass (kvlt) or educated (prog). It’s all about status climbing. Your solution is to be very selective about what you listen to and stop going to concerts with people who still believe in this dying civilization. Good luck, because realists are the ultimately minority, making up less than 2% of the population, and few of them have any time for metal, rock or pop culture at all.

No comments

  • Cargast

    Yeah, we’re Nihilists, aren’t we? We can’t believe any of this, since we believe in nothing!

    amirite?

    Seriously, though, I wish hypocrisy didn’t exist. It would make for far fewer annoyances.

  • um

    @…: Realizing through experience how the world works isn’t something you can really write a PhD thesis about, ya know?

    In other words: wat.

  • Nigger Cumlord

    And by ‘everyone’ I mean, those who visit this website, and by those who ‘agree or disagree based on what they know about metal and life’, I mean those who visit this website. Normally I wouldn’t point this out, but the English language has a way of being misunderstood easily, especially by those who do not understand it very well.

  • Nigger Cumlord

    They are not conclusions, they are astute observations that have no place in research, but in logic on a more social level. For some reason, people come and see this website as something that gives

  • Anti-modernist

    The sad thing is that people take music for granted and use it as a commodity. They usually consume it for every other reason except for the music itself. The music to those people is secondary, a by-product if you will. Its an hipster like behavior, which is sadly accepted and even forced upon our image centered modern society.

  • d-d-d-d-d-d-d-damn

    Metal UFO is correct. There are many people in Oregon (I live close to Salem) who just want to be trendy and seem eccentric. They seem to be the ones who listen to ______ because they have an electric violin *Gasp* look how sophisticatedly different they are! Now I can wear a Fedora and be artsy! We can sit back and go…huh.

  • Internatio

    You live in a dream world. Equality is not the dominant factor of today’s reality, it is only in rethoric (and even there it is fading), but stopping at the rethoric is a bad way to understand reality. The world is based on inequality before the laws and inequality of incomes, and 98 percents of world population are understanding that very well : inequality between nationals and migrants, inequality between rich and poor nations and people…

    This is this "win or die" competition which turns artists and publishers into people who go for the easy target (fear of ending in the streets) and listeners into people more interested in the aura they gain from a band rather than in what the music actually is (because the whole rest of life is organised in such a competition, so they apply it inconsciously to art too).

    The real task of mankind if you actually want a world where individuals can develop their specific qualities is to achieve the real equality BEFORE THE LAW (including in money, which is just a right on a share of the wealth created), then the actual inequalites in individual qualities will be able to be tested without a biais.

    As for the actual self-conscious hipsters, I think all of them are in the highest echelons of capitalism’s payroll, so ending capitalism will get us rid of them too.

    OF course, you might say that this costs too much to guarantee equality to suckers and go on to all sorts of social darwinism (which has nothing to do with Darwin to begin with), but that’s false because 1) there’s no link between various qualities (think Stephen Hawking : according to Middle age standards he should have been thrown with the bathwater…). 2)equality is cheaper to organise (think stamps : in the XIX century it was discovered that calculating the exact price for each letter was more exepensive than applying the same price no matter the destination).

  • Xr

    Thank you Mr Internatio for your contribution. It starts with an interesting rumble, but ends with farted question mark.

    Rambling about the equality problem (which actually happens to be both a rhetorical, but then also, subsequently, a cognitive problem, which then translates in actual enforced ‘law’ – call it a doctrine) isn’t perhaps helping what motivated Metal UFO’s – representative – letter. It is quite more interesting to ponder the plaguing indifference which arises from that root that spawns and blooms into modern societies fond notions of equality, ‘individualism’ and that abundant inanity and oblivion which unrests our poor patashnik.

  • internatio

    … so with regard to Mr. Metal UFO’s question :

    "though your realisation of the vanity of your buddies’ musical tastes might make you feel like you’ve become part of an elite representing (in the words of the Anus) "less than 2 percents of the population", don’t go too far on that path. There are much more people than that who can see the truth or at least a significant part of it, their problem is more how to express it, and what stance take on it.
    But more importantly, don’t blame it on equality as such, even the rethorical equality, blame it on the poor way the ruling elite is organising this dying world. While the answer has many good points, it is redacted in such a way that one could deduce that accepting or supporting all sorts of real life inequalities could be a solution to this "equality" problem (and I don’t think this is accidentally written so, given other material availlable on this site)."

    @Xr : I only meant actual laws written in codes and enforced by the police, ant those are dividing the people in many categories with very different rights, not because of what people deserve, but because the system can’t afford the best for everyone (which implies that critics of consumerism are really focusing on a very secondary matter).

    The "social" doctrines are not that important, really, and they don’t influence how actual laws are made given how the law-makers of today have completely different interests from the vast majority of the population.

    (I understand the artistic implication of this statement and accept it fully : to me slayer’s "world painted blood" is not only a return to form but is better than their early stuff because it has left behind the imagery to concentrate on the real.)

  • ldksa;ldk;las

    “(I understand the artistic implication of this statement and accept it fully : to me slayer

  • duuuuuuuuf

    Metal UFO: I just stopped going to shows and hanging around my local “scene” and moved out to the country. Now I’m seeking education, good work and a female companion, I couldn’t give a shit less whats going on in the Kindergarten With Beer! world of lousy shows with maybe one semi-good metal band that reminds you of older better bands. My mood has improved greatly since I stopped hanging out with the Heavy Metal Parking Lot crowd and hearing about so-n-so’s recent OD, suicide, being knocked up by a hit n run, jail sentence, just makes me laugh. I don’t need friends to enjoy metal with because I’ve never met anyone with the same tastes I have anyways. Maybe one day, but its not a top priority.

  • Adrian

    To the writers at Anus

    I don’t appreciate you bastards deleting my blog, my point was clear…

    SHIT BANDS LIKE KORN AND SLIPKNOT ARE WHAT’S BRINGING THE METAL SCENE DOWN…NOT BANDS LIKE DEATH OR EVEN CANNIBAL CORPSE…

    You spend your time bitching about Chuck of Death, but you forget the awesome records he made in the late 80′s? What the fuck has Korn done lately that just as good are better than Death? Who is the real fucking enemy?

    And I though you guys were smart, guess not…

  • fffffff

    “Who is the real fucking enemy?”

    No one. It’s an industry, and those who wish to sell records will sell records, and those who want to avoid trends will avoid trends. There is no “threat” to the “sanctity” of metal.

  • HATE

    @Adrian
    It is a fact that a fan with a Death/Cannibal Corpse shirt on has 2800% more probability than a fan with a M.Angel/Vader/Obituary shirt on to be fake and do it for the laughs and to begin actually hating Death Metal at some point
    while a “KORN AND SLIPKNOT” fan arguably was not be a metal fan to begin with, and they’re fine with that, fans of Death, CC and other over-hyped bands I’ve met are more “involved” but with a tendency to recognize&recommend only 3 Death Metal bands as any good and usually these are very poor ones, doing the opposite of what site recommends (promote only the best)

  • Adrian McCoy

    You guys are total retards…

    Death and Cannibal Corpse kick ass…Your closed minded asses wish you could make records as badass as them…

    Fuck mallcore and fuck anyone who supports that shit!!!

    FUCK YOU!!!