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Oversimplification of heavy metal

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/05/how-heavy-metal-is-keeping-us-sane/8443/2/
"How Heavy Metal Is Keeping Us Sane: Dark and disturbing, the music is honest about human nature"
By James Parker

I do admire the audacity of equating heavy metal with Frazer's The Golden Bough. But the rest of the article is an embarrassingly overwritten (with hipster ironic pretentions) misunderstanding of heavy metal.

Oversimplification #1:
"Black Sabbath created heavy metal."

Oversimplification #2 (perhaps not an oversimplification per se. More of a...BUH???):
"heavy metal is cosmic protest music."

Oversimplification #3:
"The metalhead, quite counter to stereotype, is floridly pretentious."

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/714572.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
graymalkin13
Apr. 18th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
So embarrassingly overwritten that I couldn't read more than a paragraph of it. Skimmed the rest. So that's hipster ironic pretention, is it? Seems to have gone mainstream. (I thought hipsters were allergic to "mainstream," and vice versa, but clearly I still don't understand what a hipster is.) It's quite similar, or perhaps identical with only a few new cultural references, to the same old pretention that I can't stand.

"The metalhead, quite counter to stereotype, is floridly pretentious." Hee! Yeah, I was imagining metalheads laughing their asses off as somebody read this aloud to them.
firecat
Apr. 18th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
So that's hipster ironic pretention, is it?

Well I don't know. It just seemed like it was trying to be serious, "floridly pretentious," and ironic at the same time.
graymalkin13
Apr. 18th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's pretty "hipster," as far as I understand the term, which admittedly isn't very far.

I think these hipsters adopted their style from people like Greil Marcus, who wrote Lipstick Traces, a so-called "secret history of the 20th century," over 20 years ago. Very popular among pretentious youngsters back then. I tried to read that book several times because of the interesting title and the apparent focus on punk, but it's just impossible.

Old or new, hipsterism seems to be based on the premise, "I'm cooler than you because I know about this stuff already and I'm all jaded about it, whereas you are a wide-eyed n00b and a poseur to boot."

To which I answer, "Yeah, but did YOU have a Thingmaker in the '70s? I think not, SINCE YOU WEREN'T EVEN BORN YET, you dozy twit."
firecat
Apr. 19th, 2011 08:10 am (UTC)
THINGMAKER! I haven't thought about that for years. (And googling it, I see why you might have thought about it more recently. ;-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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