In Defense of Rob Dukes
I believe it was Henry Kissinger who once said, “There is no soup like the milk of human longing.” Or was it Lacan. I’m not sure. Irregardless of redundant words that don’t actually exist or simply restate words that could be a heck of a lot shorter, Kissinger meant what he said. If he did say it. Which he didn’t.
I’m reminded of a time before radar. A time where planes needed to fly below nothing to be hidden. They simply didn’t exist. A time where whales walked the earth and the band Earth performed in Wales. Or neither.
You wanted him to be Souza. You pretended as only the pretentious can. But he was not and you cried. Tears of horror. You lifted your copy of Fabulous Disasters towards the sky and you shook it. You demanded God reformulate Himself in your image for once so that He could understand the grave misfortune He had bestowed upon the world. You swore allegiance if He only would bring back the mighty Zetro.
First, there was denial. Then, anger. Then, bargaining. You listened to their cover of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” and started telling random strangers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anyone who would listen how it was an unappreciated classic. You walked into a supermarket wearing an outfit made out of Australian Herring. You began gargling diet soda and spitting it on children. You bought a ’76 Dodge Dart and painted the lyrics from Manowar’s “Bridge of Death” all over the doors. You joined People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals. You sent poems and toenail clippings to all the living members of the Bar-Kays.
You began attending lectures at Emory University about the history of the sciatic nerve. You moved to Norway. You became a vegan. You began accusing high-ranking government officials of being Freemasons. You disavowed the use of salt. You fell in love. You became convinced that people were out to get you.
You stopped reading this article. You began biting your cousin’s arm hair. You went to your window, opened it and began shouting all the lyrics from the first five Venom albums. You joined the Peace Corps. You learned to play bass. You became convinced that you had killed John F Kennedy in spite of the fact that you were born 12 years after the assassination took place. You started being mistaken in public for Marilu Henner. You tried a new type of shampoo. You spent 37 dollars and 29 cents on a used copy of an Atrophy album only to find that it had decayed. You ate all of the rolls. I know you did. I saw you. Don’t lie. You did. And now you are not admitting it. You are a dishonest person.
As Rick Pitino once said, “Paul Baloff isn’t walking through that door.” Or was it Hegel. I’m not sure. I think we can all agree on one thing, violent video games are the cause of nearly all of our current problems. That, and misogynistic, violent metal lyrics. And cell phone towers. And terrorism. And disco goregrind.
But, if I know one thing, it is this, Rob Dukes is a talented man who has brought stability and a brutal new sound to Exodus. Or maybe he didn’t. I dunno. But, if I know one thing, it is this, Rob Dukes is emblematic of how heavy metal fans have become ill-equipped to handle even the most minor of changes without turning into a bunch of fundamentalist whiners with the undying need to prove that they were “there” first, even if they don’t really care where “there” is. Or maybe not. I dunno. All I know is this, if it weren’t for Exodus, the children of Israel would never have left slavery through the strength of Yahweh. And that, at the end of the day, is all that is important.