Where The Metal Ends

In reply to Jerry Hauppa.

Music that is popular is dead in general due to commoditization, poseurs, the ivory tower, and the music industry’s collapsed spurred by their own awful business practices and the CD bubble. CDs were a massive cash influx as the first digital format but the major labels kept the price artificially high, killed the single, and tried to force consumers to buy popular music albums with one to three catchy but disposable hits and the rest boring filler to outright crap. As soon as consumers could easily hear the hitsasany times as they wanted until they hated them without paying, they did.

For metal, most of the bands that stayed in the underground, that is those who couldn’t get any record deal and release anything back when the industry was still kicking in the 90s, weren’t good enough to even write three good tracks. Now, the fundergrounders hold these guys up and the labels that sign them to sell a few thousand copies like Dark Descent, Nuclear War Now!, and Iron Bonehead as actually as good as the metal bands from back in the day as they are stupid.

Anyone with a working brain who likes metal can tell that Horrendous, Bolzer, Intolitarian and Blood Incantation suck animal penis compared to Destruction, Deicide, Demigod, Dismember, you name it. The brain dead audience raised on commercial jingles, videogames, and cartoon theme songs can’t tell the difference as they never really listened to music and just claim to “like” metal as metal used to be underground and cool and they like the aesthetics and imagery like Kim Kardashian does. This makes them posers and the few underground bands actually making exceptional music like Sammath, Gridlink, and Desecresy are pretty much just ignored compared to everyone who is Terrorizer/In Flames for Retards as they can’t tell the difference between Celtic Frost and the Mortal Kombat the movie soundtrack.

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“The Marching Morons,” by Cyril W. Kornbluth


One of our readers pointed out the similiarity between the movie Idiocracy and a short story by Cyril W. Kornbluth named “The Marching Morons” which appeared in Galaxy Science Fiction in April, 1951.

Like Idiocracy, the story involves a man who is put into stasis for centuries and wakes up in a new world where humanity has bred itself into oblivion. The Margaret Sanger style eugenics implications are even clearer in this story than in Idiocracy, told with both wit and compassion. Unlike the movie, this story addresses the question of how technology could persist, and comes up with the Nietzschean idea of an upper caste of intelligent people who have ended up enslaved to the masses of fools.

The story falls into the style which is convenient to call “honest” when we in fact mean realistic, with some aggression behind it in the telling of an important story that is mostly forgotten because of its political inconvenience. For Kornbluth, who was Jewish, to explore anything tinged with eugenics in the years after WWII was not only personally brave but ran the risk of great condemnation. Perhaps he was a victim of political correctness because it seems this story should have wider reach.

“The Marching Morons” is written in the older style of science fiction that readers of Ray Bradbury may be familiar with, which is not so much self-consciously “literary” content embedded in mass market writing but a compact, vivid style in which every detail is important but the big picture is not lost in the details. Kornbluth writes with what we might call passion but is more appropriately termed “urgency” in that this story takes place in a desperate time, and was written in a desperate time.

While the presence of this story in the heritage of Idiocracy seems obvious, it is also important to point to an earlier work which it would have been hard for any science fiction fan to miss: The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells. In this book, a Victorian scientist travels to the future. He finds the planet is now divided into two groups: the Morlocks, brutal and crude creatures that fear the light and control the planet from its surface, and Eloi, light and graceful creatures of intelligence which live below the surface in menial circumstances.

As the protagonist explores, he discovers that the Morlocks have descended from the working classes of his time and have through evolutionary pressures become essentially Orcs, thoughtless and violent but obsessive. They live by feeding on the Eloi, to whom Darwin has not been kind because when intelligence is no longer needed for survival, it becomes a burden and the thoughtless and violent dominate it.

Apparently Wells was influenced by E. Ray Lankester’s book Degeneration: A Chapter in Darwinism (1880) in which the author sets forth the idea that if a species gains a constant food supply, evolution pushes toward a suppression of form in a kind of marginal profit obtained by removing expensive features that are no longer necessary.

It may also serve as an answer to Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race, in which he posits an underground species of angelic human-like creatures known as Vril-ya will take over earth with superior intelligence. Much as Orwell answered Huxley, Wells answered Bulwer-Lytton, suggesting that instead of the utopian vision he portrays a Lankesterian degeneration of humanity lurked in the future, which is the theme held in common with both Idiocracy and “The Marching Morons.”


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