Americans vote for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are concerned citizens who believe they can use the ballot box to change the direction our nation. In other cases, they do so because they feel an obligation to participate in the rituals of the democratic process. Not me. I vote every chance I get in order to amuse myself to no end by voting for my favorite metal artists.
It usually takes me a half an hour to vote. I go through the races I’ve followed closely and am able to intelligently evaluate, like Senatorial or Congressional elections, and try to pick the best person for the job. I know I’m being hustled here and am sure that nearly any candidate I pick is a shill for some multinational corporation, but I saw “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” one too many times and allow myself the illusion of “making a difference”. Once that nonsense is out of the way, I get to the fun stuff.
Often in elections, you are given the choice of candidates you have almost no hope of being able to evaluate. For example, how on earth can I possibly determine who would be the best Head of the State Department of Agriculture? I don’t know a thing about farming and wouldn’t have the foggiest notion of how to pick the most appropriate person for the job. I don’t even really know what they do. That’s when I start voting metal.
Georgia offers the write-in option in all races. Therefore, if you want to vote, like I did, for Venom’s gravel throated frontman Cronos to make the state’s agricultural policies, you can do just that! I felt bad about leaving the rest of the original Venom crew out so Abbadon and Mantas received my nod for seats on my local school board. For County Sheriff, I voted for Sodom’s Tom Angelripper. After all, shouldn’t the saw be the law?
I stand there typing in metal artists laughing maniacally. I have voted for Ronnie James Dio in every election going back to 1998 for positions ranging from Superintendent of Schools to Federal Judge. Confused people peer over at me and avert their eyes when I look back at them. They probably think I’m a madman. I’m merely a Surrealist-American doing his part to bring this nation one step closer to the golden age of weirdness that has come to be known as The Freak Future.
Usually, you have about 20 different judges to vote for. They often run unopposed, so unless they happened to give you a night in jail for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit or get caught in a brothel covered from head-to-toe in ox blood, you are going to vote for them. I see this as a great opportunity to pack the courts with metal luminaries ranging from Quorthon to Lemmy. I voted “Slayer” for a seat on the Bench. The whole band. I struggled mightily with the question of whether this would mean the original Slayer lineup or some of the later incarnations. Who would be the Court drummer Bostaph, Lombardo or Jon Dette?
Sometimes I get bored and switch to other weird possible candidates. One year when the ballot was particularly long, I began voting for excellent defensive shortstops. Mark Belanger, Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel, Rey Ordonez…on and on.
Mostly I stick to voting metal because this is America and I have been told I can vote for what I believe in. I have been fed an endless supply of bromides and hackneyed platitudes about what size the government is supposed to be or when a baby is truly alive or how a marriage should be defined or what this nation should stand for. Politics is about who gets what and how much of it. At the end of the day, I’m really just voting on whether Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Boeing are going to receive larger tax breaks based on the size of their contributions.
The horrible truth is that climate change is causing environmental catastrophes everywhere. We are engaged in an endless stream of costly, bloody foreign wars. Politicians are empty vessels who have become nearly indistinguishable from mattress salesmen. America is circling the proverbial drain and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. When someone asks me how I believe we should handle these problems, I look them square in the eyes and I tell them the only thing I can say that makes any sense to me anymore…
“Don’t blame me, I voted for Heavy Metal”
The high stakes game of recruiting between the top programs in the country for running back Clement “Babalu” Attlee came to an end early this morning when he announced his intent to join heavy metal band Venom. Attlee, the all-time leading rusher in California history, starred for four years at Richard L. Ramirez High School in Monterey Park. The school went 46-0 and won four state championships thanks to the speed and strength of Attlee, the nation’s Number 1 prospect.
Attlee was considered a three star prospect as a junior. However, in spite of his obvious ability, at 6’0 150 pounds, he was considered not physically developed enough to become a high-level college player. However, thanks to daily injections of aloe, B-12, botulism and black tar heroin coupled with a sadistic workout regiment, Attlee grew to 5’6 470 pounds during the summer without losing any of his trademark quickness.
Many experts were surprised at Attlee’s choice of Venom. After all, Venom hasn’t been a national powerhouse since the graduation of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Abbadon. In spite of producing quality performers like Anthony “Antton” Lant, Alastair “Big Al The Demolition Man” Barnes, Steve “War Maniac” White, and Clive “Jesus Christ” Archer, Venom have never been able to live up to the glory days when Mantas, Abbadon and the Red Light Fever defense ruled the gridiron and won five consecutive national championships.
Up until yesterday, it looked like Attlee would sign with either Georgia, Penn State, or Testament. However, he ruled out Georgia and Penn State because of the harsh winter weather and feared having to share snaps with All-American tailback Chuck Billy if he joined Testament. Earlier front-runners Slayer lost traction with Attlee after rumors of recruiting violations during the signing of drummer Dave Lombaro led many football analysts to believe the band might soon be put on NCAA probation.
During his signing day press conference, Attlee put four skulls on the press table (each labeled the name of one of his final four possible selections). He smashed the first three with hammers, then drank yak blood out of the one marked Venom, cueing the press that he had made his choice.
When asked about why he chose Venom, Atlee did not hesitate to name his number one reason. “I wanted to play for Cronos,” said Attlee as he wiped the blood and bone matter off of his face. “He’s been laying down some of the heaviest bass riffs and most guttural vocals since 1979. The guy is a legend. He’s also a good Christian man who spends a lot of his off-season washing the feet of the poor and building churches in war torn Borneo. Most importantly, a few years with Coach Cronos and I feel like I’ll be ready to be the best NFL prospect I could possibly be.”
For a short stretch of time in the early 1990s the most important rock band on the planet was Nirvana. Their 1991 album “Nevermind” shot to the top of the charts and forever changed the face of mainstream music. Many considered the album’s hit single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” an anthem for a generation. They followed that success with the multi-platinum selling 1993 album “In Utero”. Who would have believed that 30 years after the release of that fateful album, Nirvana would be forced to embark on a small club tour in order to help regenerate the lungs of drummer and war hero Dave Grohl?
Things started to go down hill quickly for the band after the success of “In Utero”. Singer Kurt Cobain struggled with substance abuse and made several failed suicide attempts in 1994. The band considered breaking up, but soldiered through the difficult times recording the much-heralded 1995 album “Venice Beach”. While “Venice Beach” was a major critical success, the albums slow pace and “post-grunge” use of only acoustic instruments failed to garner the commercial buzz of the prior two albums. With Cobain’s health and mental state deteriorating, the band took a year and a half long hiatus. Bassist Krist Novoselic and Grohl briefly worked on a demo for a side project called The Foo Fighters, while Cobain divorced from Courtney Love and traveled throughout India in the hopes of turning his life around.
Upon Cobain’s return to America in 1997, Novacelic and Grohl abandoned the Foo Fighters project and returned to the studio with Nirvana. The band attempted to move in a groundbreaking new direction with the 1998 release of “Lost in Olympia”, an album that integrated techno music, polka and bluegrass with Nirvana’s trademark grunge sound. The album was a complete disaster. Commonly acknowledged by fans and critics as The Worst Album of the 20th Century, “Lost in Olympia” barely sold 100,000 copies and became a joke within the industry.
Sensing their time had come and gone, the band again took time off from touring and worked on various projects. Grohl briefly toured with Canadian metal band Voivod before playing on Venom’s 2000 release “Resurrection”. Novoselic started a moderately successful alpaca ranch in Idaho. Cobain worked for four years on the script for a film adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s novel “The Bell Jar” which he never completed, only to see another version of the film written by Will Smith win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2005.
In 2004, reunion fever swept the music industry in the wake of Guns’N’Roses release of the genre defining rock album “Chinese Democracy”, which is to date the fourth highest selling album in the history of music behind only Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon” and Testament’s “Dark Roots of Earth”. Once popular bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Green Jell-O and Nirvana got back in the studio in hopes of capitalizing on the wave of retro-nostalgia. Unfortunately for Nirvana, success continued to elude them and their 2005 heavily “Nevermind” influenced album “Fuzz Knuckle” was considered dead on arrival, barely even receiving airplay on college radio.
Nirvana worked sparingly throughout the next eleven years, appearing briefly on a Limp Bizkit tribute album, writing a jingle for an Arby’s commercial, and opening for pop superstar Kylie Minogue on the Asian leg of her 2009 tour. They began several projects that never saw the light of day, including a depression-ridden Christmas album called “A Season in Hell”, but were never able to put out a complete record. Cobain briefly made news in 2013 with his high-profile six-month marriage to Cher, but quickly faded from the public eye after a nasty divorce. Cobain became a recluse, putting on 200 pounds and spending his days translating the works of Robert Frost into Arabic.
2016 wasn’t a very good year for most people and Nirvana was no exception. The Polish invasion of Europe and subsequent limited nuclear war with the United States caused terrible destruction and horror. Music was the last thing on most people’s minds. The band barely escaped death as Polish tanks rolled into downtown Tupelo, Mississippi in the winter of that year. With most of the East Coast either destroyed by nuclear weapons or overrun by Polish soldiers, Nirvana headed to one of the domed cities in Montana in order to survive.
While in Montana, the band joined with other Polish invasion survivors and formed a militia, which eventually retook all of the US mainland and most of Quebec. Grohl received a medal of distinguished service for his bravery during the Battle of Cleveland in 2019. However, it was during that battle that the Poles released the debilitating biological weapon that has eaten away at his lungs and left him battling for his life.
Life has returned to normal throughout most of America in 2023. Music is again a major part of American life. Cobain and Novoselic have worked tirelessly since the war ended two years ago to raise enough money to bionically regenerate Grohl’s lungs. With his daughter Francis Bean on drums, Nirvana began a 9-month tour of the cities in the Southwest and on the West Coast that are still functional. At a concert last week in Provo, Utah (the new Capital of The United States), Grohl briefly returned to the stage using a set of temporary plastic lungs. The band’s encore of “Come As You Are” sent the 100 or so spectators into fits of wild cheering and screaming. Just for a moment, it felt like 1991 again.