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.


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  1. #1 by Universe Number Five on February 19, 2013 - 11:05 AM

    Exhibit C: Thrashing Under Pressure can be hazardous to your health. Or wealth. Probably both to some degree. And things.

  2. #3 by Left Hook from Right Field on February 19, 2013 - 11:35 AM

    I stopped like Exodus when Kirk Hammet left.

  3. #4 by Left Hook from Right Field on February 19, 2013 - 11:36 AM

    And only posers spells Kirk’s name correctly.

    • #5 by Keith Spillett on February 19, 2013 - 12:43 PM

      I stopped liking Exodus when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan.

  4. #6 by devin cutter on February 19, 2013 - 3:14 PM

    I like Exodus and Rob

  5. #8 by Dave on February 19, 2013 - 6:03 PM

    Daveome back to the blogosphere after a long hiatus.

    • #9 by Keith Spillett on February 19, 2013 - 6:17 PM

      It’s been a long and arduous journey. I have spent the last 4 months kidnapping llama’s in Tibet. Very rewarding on both a financial and spiritual level.

  6. #10 by Dave on February 19, 2013 - 6:03 PM

    That first word was supposed to be “welcome”

  7. #11 by victoriagrimalkin on February 19, 2013 - 6:25 PM

    I don’t know who he is, but it is great to read a blog from you again.

    • #12 by Dave on February 19, 2013 - 6:44 PM

      I think he was Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State. Oh wait, I’m mixing up my impeachments. He was Clinton’s.

      • #13 by Dave on February 19, 2013 - 6:47 PM

        Oh, you’re talking about Rob Dukes. I thought you meant Henry Kissenger. I don’t know who Rob Dukes is either. I think he’s in one of those heavy metaller bands that my grandkids like.

      • #14 by valleyofsteel on February 20, 2013 - 5:56 AM

        If I remember correctly, I think that was the guy from that one episode of The Patty Duke Show where they discovered they had a THIRD identical cousin. That episode never made it on air, but the script became something of a Hollywood legend. I’m pretty sure they loosely based The Dukes of Hazzard entire series around its plotline.

    • #15 by Keith Spillett on February 19, 2013 - 9:08 PM

      Thanks! I’ll be writing more again now that I have some focus and the Turkish prison in which I’m currently interned has WiFi.

  8. #16 by Andrew Lock Physiotherapy on February 19, 2013 - 7:17 PM

    Appreciated. I was just reading “Nova Express” last night, and now I realise I am still reading it today. I will always be reading it. You reminded me to never stop reading it. Pearls before iridescent and inflammable Gods. Thanx Andrew


  9. #18 by Ian Kinross on February 24, 2013 - 8:23 PM

    Keith, you are whacked, in a good way. I am not a heavy metal fan but enjoyed your column. In fact I think it expanded my mind. I want that 76 Dart with the Manowar lyrics on it. I will try to find that Costello song, and best of luck to the Dukes guy. The closest I have come to metal is the song Battlescar by my favourite band Max Webster (in tandem with Rush). But I never say never.

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