My take on elitism

This blog at times has been accused of promoting mediocre music. If such has been the case, then that would lie at cross purposes with the many vituperative posts previously published here, ranting against the rot plaguing the metal scene, in my country of birth and, by the looks of things, worldwide as well. For what right do I have of raging against the ills of the genre if I can’t be relied on for commenting on only the very best when it matters?

But for what it’s worth, I have never considered myself an authority on metal or musicology. I know my way around the guitar but I never became very good at it, like so many other things in life, and I use this abridged vocabulary along with my intuition and common sense to write about metal. I don’t subscribe to labels for promos and I try to maintain a negligible online footprint, so my exposure to current trends is extremely limited. I hear what I can, when I can, and if it connects with me on some level, I write about it. The decision I try to make while hearing and writing about a new album is whether the intent behind the music is sincere, and if the people behind that music seem familiar and in love with its tradition. I will be the first to admit that a good chunk of albums which I have written favorably about can’t hold a candle to the classics of yesteryear, but which new albums really can? As much of a curmudgeon as I at times find myself to be, I can’t for the life of me, today, see the point of pissing down the stump of worthless bands; or, worse yet, callously dismissing bands of blooming promise and honest motives. I understand that some might look upon this as a yeoman’s endeavor – and I have indulged in it myself on occasion – but I genuinely feel no interest anymore in saving some misguided cunt’s soul. Often mentioned around these parts, you don’t find the music, the music finds you: it is a rule of thumb which I have put great faith into, and as time goes by, I find it to be the only true, trustworthy measure of quality control.

To some, elitism is the endorsement of only the very best. To others, it might be the possession of an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre at large, be it chronologies and assorted trivia, or burgeoning record collections. I won’t frown upon either interpretation, because I have partook of such things to varying degrees for a long time myself. But what interests me far more and what constitutes my idea of elitism is whether I conduct myself in life in accordance with the ideals I have extracted from heavy metal. And in this regard, I don’t mind being arrogant enough to claim that I understand what heavy metal is “meant” to be. I have always maintained that the underground is a state of mind; despite modern living encroaching upon the very edges of our being with its garish hawking, the final choice of whether to let it in and be consumed by it still rests with us. By this I don’t imply disowning all but the most obscure of products like some seventeen-year old, gloomy-faced clown; but there is an internal flag that ought to be raised when you find yourself acting in ways entirely at odds with those ideals derived from heavy metal. What those ideals are is best left for the person concerned to judge for themselves, but if you truly believe that heavy metal is a safe haven for you from the world like you profess vehemently, then why the fuck would you compromise its sanctity for whatever transitory satisfaction you hope to achieve?

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6 Responses to My take on elitism

  1. death metal tournalent says:

    when are you continuing that death metal tournament???

  2. Pingback: Fetishizing elitism | Old Disgruntled Bastard

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