Brandishing signs saying “Better Pay, Shorter Solos” and “No Arpeggios, No Peace” musicians from The People For The Ethical Treatment of Power Metal Inspired Guitarists (PETPIG) clashed with the National Guard at Atlanta’s Prog Power festival on Thursday. Many of the guitarists are angry about the difficult working conditions they face trying to play so-called “power metal”.
“You have no idea what it’s like,” said Bjorn Amadeus Mozart, guitarist from the band Frodo Baggins, “we are exposed to hours of high-pitched male falsetto vocals, often have to play complicated 25 minute solos, dress in tight pants regardless of our weight and spend hours of our free time reading obscure Robert Jordan novels in order to come up with lyrics to appeal to our audience. We are tired of it.”
The big issue, according to PETPIG President and Samwise Gamgee guitarist Thor von Wagner, is pay. “We are expected to carry the band with our classically-influenced, innovative riffing techniques and, yet, when we get our paychecks they are often similar to that of bass players, who basically stand there and “look metal” without exerting much effort. You could hang a coat on a power metal bassist and they’d be just as useful.”
In spite of what seem to be a reasonable set of grievances, Georgia governor Nathan Deal has taken a strong stand against PETPIG, ordering the entire National Guard to Atlanta to stop the seven protestors from picketing in front of the event. Citing Georgia’s strict “no public assembly if it in any way interferes with commerce” policy, Deal approved the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the demonstration.
“The people won’t stand for a bunch of Sabaton listening hippie foreigners coming over here and causing a ruckus. We barely survived influx of peace freak ‘community organizers’ in the 1960s. It’s time we let them know that Woodstock is over!” screeched Deal into a megaphone from the steps of the Barrow County Elementary School to a bloodthirsty crowd of patriotic Americans.
Many members of the National Guard seemed confused by the sudden use of violence against protestors. However, others seemed to understand that this sort of display of fascist brutality is simply away for Deal to appeal to his party’s base in his attempt to be reelected governor in 2014. Still others relished the opportunity to engage in a rampage against people with long hair.
“I’ve always looked back on my father’s generation and thought they were the lucky ones. They got to fight the battle for freedom right here within our borders back in the days before America became a Kenyan communist dictatorship. Where is our Kent State? This is the sort of thing we need to do to take back our country from the power metal hippies who are currently taking people’s right to consume jumbo sodas in New York and preventing the children of Georgia from possessing the latest in military-grade weaponry!”