We live in a world that preaches dumbing down: be equal, be safe and mediocre, pander to others by making everything very, very simple and similar to the other stuff they like.
If you can imagine a long line of sheep, chasing each other through the night, and as the night goes on and starlight flickers across them, you see in their faces the features of wolves…
But one thing that cracks me up: the notion of quality.
Most people, dumbed down by this society and perhaps by their genetic code, can understand quality of tangible substance. For example, a jazzy beat. Good guitar tone. High speed chaotic songs. Really sick vocals.
They can even identify that it’s harder to play than average, or that it has “different parts,” like a melodic slow part and then an acoustic part, then some high-speed guitar, etc.
What they can’t do is string any of this together.
To them, a band like Necrophagist that plays fast riffs in a random order, and whose songs literally signify nothing, is just as good as a band like Camel who carefully string together melodies to tell a tale — and make sure it’s a tale that draws us in, has emotional and intellectual substance, as well as a good rippin’ gut-hitting theme, like the battle for independence or to find a holy grail of some sort or another.
These people literally cannot tell the difference between random riffs bands (Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse) and well-architected, sensible patterns that tell a story (Massacra, Atheist, Incantation). To them it’s all the same, because the parts are the same.
It’s as if I build two structures out of plywood:
- A reproduction of the Palace at Versailles
- A standard suburban home
These people will walk up to them and say something like, “Well, that first one’s bigger, but they’re both made out of plywood. Over here, I’ve got a house I made from sugarcubes. That’s totally unique, dude!”
When we talk about modernity as a time of shallow thinkers…