A followup to the much-hated Half a mind…
When people say they detest elitism, it’s easy to show them that this is not the case.
Slocrates: Tell me, Thrashmyasscus, why do you think elitism is wrong?
Thrashmyasscus: Clearly, it prioritizes some people above others.
Slocrates: But were you not opining that Justin Bieber sucked cock earlier?
Thrashmyasscus: Yes, but that’s Bieber. His music is beyond bad.
Slocrates: Ah! So we agree that some music is good, and some music is bad.
Thrashmyasscus: Yes, but —
Slocrates: And so we also fuckin’ agree that it’s just a matter of degree between hating Bieber because he’s a useless talentless faggot, and hating “Radikult” because it’s a moronic Marilyn Manson ripoff fifteen years too late?
Thrashmyasscus: Of course. Both of those are worthless.
Slocrates: So then it is only a matter of degree when I say that Necrophagist, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Pantera, Meshuggah and Craft are douchebag low-IQ trailer-dwelling shit, and that Demigod’s Slumber of Sullen Eyes is a work beyond compare?
Thrashmyasscus: That’s not the point. You’re comparing apples and oranges.
Slocrates: Fine, then. What about if I say that black metal from 1990-1994 produced many great bands, but that since 1994, black metal has produced very few?
Thrashmyasscus: Then I’d say you are being judgmental.
Slocrates: And yet when we pointed out that Cannibal Corpse was whale dreck, and Bieber was shit, and yet praised Demigod, you did not mind?
Thrashmyasscus: Slocrates, these are night and day differences. You’re splitting hairs.
Slocrates: To someone who disliked all metal, the differences might not appear so great.
Thrashmyasscus: Well, that’s true, but the point is that elitists are too discerning.
Slocrates: In your view, elitists are not wrong because they choose good music over bad, but because they raise the bar too much?
Thrashmyasscus: That’s not what I mean at all, — but I take your point. Music is subjective, Slocrates. You can’t judge it.
Slocrates: It seems we are having a different debate. If music is subjective, why are any bands at all popular?
Thrashmyasscus: It’s purely random.
Slocrates: And yet both of us agree that Justin Bieber is a cock-horfing turd of a musician. How do we know this?
Thrashmyasscus: The simplistic songs… the moronic lyrics… his wailing voice… I must rape…
Slocrates: As you say, it’s then a matter of degree. Much as from a distance a man and a dog appear closer in height, from a distance “Radikult” and “Chapel of Ghouls” appear closer in quality. Then what you think is wrong with the elitist is that he is too close to the music at hand.
Thrashmyasscus: Fuck you!
They have no idea why they detest elitism. At first, it just seems unfair; next, the standards are too high; finally, they accuse you of being an elitist so you sound cool to the kids at school. They will probably do this while holding an Opeth or Obscura record, which they will just have finished beating about the heads of their friend group, telling them how enlightened and musically proficient it is in contrast to whatever crap those morons are listening to.
I have a different supposition: they hate elitism because it says participation alone is not enough.
The participation alone people want to believe that all music is basically the same, and if you learn to play guitar and make some songs, then record them, you’re part of the club.
Elitists say “not so fast” and demand instead that you do all of the above, and also make quality music.
For an elitist, the focus is on the music; it’s on the end results. Who cares about the rest?
The problem with this of course is that it means participation is not enough. One has to get good. That requires that one have certain innate talents, and apply oneself.
Naturally, this isn’t popular with the Crowd. They’d rather hear that you can get out there with a guitar, record whatever sloppy and incoherent crap runs through your mind, and then be part of the club. Everyone else then owes it to you to support you, because you tried. Everyone is equal on the level of participation.
What irks such people is that to history, and any sane observers, participation is nothing. Achievement is all. And not all can achieve, and this upsets them to learn, because they came to metal to get away from the achievement-requiring standards of (life|school|social groups above 105 average IQ|the Dayton-Hudson Corporation employee handbook).
Metal is their escape, and you’re ruining it for them.
But if you don’t, they’ll ruin your metal by inundating the scene with low quality music.
When that happens, no one will find the good stuff, and good musicians will go elsewhere. Why work hard to make good music so a bunch of participation-is-everything fans can blow it off?
Participation is nothing; the end result is all.
If you were playing basketball, you wouldn’t want a guy on your team who thought “trying” to get the ball in the hoop was enough. No; you want the guy who gets it in there.
When someone fixes your roof, you don’t want some guy who “tries” to do it right. You want someone who succeeds.
Music is no different, and it’s a secret hidden in plain sight that this is true, because there are so many participants (who have nothing else in life but a job making sandwiches, a dingy apartment and a string of failed relationships) who want to force us all to believe that participation is equal to achievement.
It sounds like they have a mental health problem, doesn’t it?