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Friday, 26 November 2010

Being a mentalist

One of my favourite television programmes is Criminal Minds. For those of you not familiar with the wondrous American product, it's about a group of criminal profilers in the FBI who study human behaviour to solve crimes whilst all being painfully good looking and with an inexplicable ability to endanger themselves at the end of every series. The one beef I have with the phenomenal televisual treat is that they really fucking hate metal.

From Twisted Sister to Marilyn Manson, society (specifically those in the USA who watch Fox News) has blamed metal music for ritualistic killings, high school massacres, suicides; I'm surprised Limp Bizkit's Break Stuff hasn't been blamed for inciting the attack on the Twin Towers. We as the metal community have come to expect it. But watching season three of Criminal Minds was just extraordinary.

Case in point 1: A child in one episode has a penchant for violent video games (which are of course the other cause of all rapes and acts of grand larceny) and at aged 13, is suspected of getting an inappropriate hold of his 8-year-old female cousin. When surly profiler asks soon-to-be-found-out-paedo dad what his son does, he replies "I don't know; he just sits in his room listening to that 'metal' music all day", before throwing his hands up in despair. At 13, I was listening to a lot of punk and heavy rock, the likes of Therapy? and Faith No More and to my knowledge, never got my fiddle on with any younglings.

Case in point 2: Some nutter on a gun-toting rampage has his room searched by our voluptuous protagonists and hang on, what's that? A Metallica poster on the wall? And he's got long hair? Of COURSE he has! Because after all, if you haven't listened to Kill 'Em All and proceeded to stab your granny you simply ain't metulz. And the miscellaneous hardcore/power violence playing in the background when they capture him? Inspired.

There is aggression within metal, that's indisputable. The intensely heavy, crushing power of a Dimebag riff will set most metallers on a rampage BUT 99% of us keep it in the pit. We'll all had a massive tear up with a bloke three times our size in a circle pit, only to cast arms around each other and engage in a massively heteromosexual embrace as soon as the song ends. Personally, I'd be more likely to brutally murder a tramp with a staplegun if I was forced to listen to the Westlife back catalogue than if I had Slayer on the ol' earphones.

It's fair to say I wouldn't play any Cannibal Corpse if my three-year old niece was round but It's not because I think it would make her smash my face in with her In The Night Garden rucksack. I also wouldn't play 2Pac's Hit 'Em Up or Scooter's Move Your Ass. It's simply because I don't think she'd like it. I wouldn't let her look at the Tomb Of The Mutilated album cover but I also wouldn't let her watch Zoo Vets (operations and things, you see). I also wouldn't watch Hostel with my parents, This Is Spinal Tapp with my trendy Ralph Lauren-wearing mates or lesbian porn with the wife.

I would love, just once, to see a serial killer in a film dressed like Russell Brand with a bedroom covered in Lady Gaga posters. I've been listening to heavy music in some form or other for a couple of decades now, as have numerous friends of mine. None of us are fucked up, as much as we'd like to think we are to be cool, none of us have killed a prostitute and none of us masturbate into a bucket of our own shit before setting fire to pigeons. Quite simply, listening to metal isn't just for crazies.

So Criminal Minds, ease off us lot and go for the indie kids in season 6, yes?

I'm off to cry in the darkness.



Simon said...

Fan-fucking-tastic aweseom read again my dear man

Biodagar said...

Love it. Just curious that you wouldn't watch lesbian porn with your wife. Lots of chicks dig it!

I have a mate who proclaimed that him and his missus hate porn. Now, love your work, just never assume anything on anybody's behalf.

I figure I play metal regardless of who's around because 99.9% of the time, I have to put up with *their* shit that makes me go absolutely mental. If they can't handle a bit of extreme music, even briefly, then that isn't my problem.

But you're right. It's all about context. As always.

Multicam said...

Normally I have to put up with Radio 1 on in the office, day in, day out. The banality of that station is infinitely likely to cause me to go all D-FENS about Tonbridge and the surrounding area.

MADman said...

Thanks for the comments folks.

Me and a chap in the office have been considering playing Terror albums all afternoon to protest against the insistence on mainstream radio. I'll let you know how it pans out...

Biodagar - I probably would watch lesbian porn with the missus to be honest, my point is that it just wouldn't be "option 1" for a quiet Saturday night in...

LouizeSteele said...

Amazing. Your absolutely spot on!

Also Criminal Minds it EPIC! One of my fave shows EVER! x