Round them up and shoot them all.
Figuratively speaking, of course, but only because the literal alternative is too unrealistic. For now.
Are they men or are they gutter vermin, these self-proclaimed defenders of propriety and civilized behaviour? Ganging up in droves against someone with a different opinion, goading impressionable minds into joining their self-righteous, morally bankrupt crusade, and shaming them into agreeing with them by using every dishonourable ruse imaginable; seeing them in action is a reminder that we haven’t risen so far above our simian origins, contrary to all of our lofty pretensions. Have you ever sat in seclusion and observed from a distance a group of people talking and eating at a table? Watch how their mouths move and masticate, how one or two assume leadership and talk down everybody else; watch their subtle body signals, at times domineering, at times cowed, constantly involved in a primal power struggle to establish superiority and make others submit to their will.
You might say that I’m being overly misanthropic. I would agree, but not because I don’t understand social hierarchies and the ultimate law of nature. The above setting is repulsive to me because it is an accurate microcosm of how the larger world operates as well, hypocritically running counter to its much-vaunted claims to sophistication. There is a perpetual itch to “want” to convince another of your convictions; everything becomes a debate that is to be won at any cost, logic and scruples be damned. The bandwidth for simple expression and exchange of ideas on a level above caveman chatter grows narrow, and real individuality is drowned out, ironically, by those advocating individuality in the first place.
It’s only tiresome initially but then it becomes aggravating, like nails being raked across a blackboard. Take a look at what’s happening on the Goatcraft band page on Effacebook. For those not in the know, Goatcraft (reviewed here) is a piano-based neoclassical project that packs more balls and emotion than most metal bands doing the rounds today. The man behind the project posted a meme ridiculing the “metal journalist” Kim Kelly for her inciting, attention-whoring attitude over the recent Deiphago Punches Woman episode. In the concerned post, you can see hordes of so-called metalheads piling on to the Goatcraft main man, only because he, like many others, asks for both sides of the story to be presented in full clarity. It is not an unreasonable appeal but it is enough to set off reactive minds against him; not just against him as a person, but against his music as well, despite it having nothing to do with the pathetic saga.
How long can one abide by this? As a rule, most people grow weary of internet squabbles with age, but there is no denying that the web is a big part of our world today, shaping perceptions and affecting lives in very real ways. Like flea-ridden beggars these types come, asking to be “included”, saying that metal “belongs” to them also, yet all the while trying their damndest to change the very meaning of metal, both musically and ideologically.
That the internet is global gives the likes of Kim Kelly every opportunity to contaminate minds beyond geographical constraints. It might sound like hyperbole but it’s almost becoming a sacred duty and a human obligation for metalheads to speak up on behalf of free expression and thought, and defend projects like Goatcraft from this filth. Call them out and mock them, and give them a taste of the things they accuse metalheads of in desperation; it’s elite music, it’s OUR music, and you’re not welcome.