“Help!!! Pantera is Making My Son Dumber!”


Often at Tyranny of Tradition, we receive strange emails from people. From being asked which metal band performs the best on stage animal sacrifice to getting lectured on how we are not a true metal website because we have done an article about The Devil Wears Prada, we thought we had seen everything.  However, this is, by far, the best one that has ever graced our inbox. 

Dear Mr. Spillett,

I write to you today to seek your help with a problem relating to my youngest son, Todd.  I found a few articles from your website “The Tyranny of Tradition” while making a routine search of his computer and noticed that you are both a heavy metal fan and a parent.  This may seem like a strange request, but I’m concerned about Todd thought you might be in the position to give us some assistance.

Up until 6 months ago, Todd was a truly talented, wonderful young man.  He had a 4.0 grade point average and was in line for a lacrosse scholarship.  He was an esteemed 11th grader at the illustrious Chatsworth Academy, the finest, most competitive prep school in Northeast.  He was on his way to an Ivy League school and perhaps a successful career with a Park Avenue Law Firm or as the manager of a multi-million dollar hedge fund on Wall Street.

He was being invited to the best parties and making friends with some of the future leaders of this great nation.  There were even some hints that he might be accepted to Pi Epsilon Kappa, a secret society for the most elite members of the Chatsworth community.  Then, one horrible day, he picked up an album called “Vulgar Display of Power” by a band referred to as “Pantera”.

At first, Todd Sr. and I didn’t think it was that big a deal.  After all, both of us have gone through our rebellious phases.  Many of my closest friends don’t know this about me, but I went to a Bee Gees concert back in the 70s.  In spite of this, I’ve gone on to be the President of our Neighborhood Association in one of the most exclusive gated communities in Connecticut.  We just figured he would outgrow this dark and vile music quickly and get back to being the great American we all believe he can be.

Well, we were wrong.  Lately, he’s gotten rid of his collared shirts and neatly pressed khakis and been wearing these “Pantera” shirts and jeans out in public.  One of the shirts has a picture of a man being punched in the face, another has a picture of a drill going into a human head and one, which I have since thrown in the trash, had an unmentionable profanity in front of the word Hostile.

He’s been hanging out with a new crowd.  Many of them are loud, unshaven and look like they haven’t taken a shower in quite a long time.  Several of them look like they just robbed a 7-11. He seems less interested in his studies and even refused to go sailing with Todd Sr. in Kennebunkport last Saturday.

Honestly, we have no idea what to do.  If this continues, his earning potential will decrease dramatically.  He could end up one of those bums on skid row, in jail or even on his way to the electric chair.  He’s talked about getting a tattoo that says “RIP Dime” on his back….God knows what that is a code for!!!!  We think it might be part of an initiation to some heavy metal, biker gang or possibly part of a ritual from some satanic cult.

As his parent, we are worried that all of this “Pantera” music is simply making him dumber.  We have considered locking him in his room on weekends, forcing him to have electro-shock therapy and taking away his music listening privileges until he stops acting like an animal.  Todd Sr. even suggested hiring a group of barroom hooligans to slap some sense into him.

From some pictures we found of you online, you appear to be one of the cleaner and less dangerous of the metal thugs.  You are able to write in complete sentences and you don’t have rings in your face.  Because of the fact that you have children, we thought you might be able to identify with the concern we feel about Todd’s future.

We would love it if you wrote a letter or even talked to Todd (by phone) telling him about how listening to Pantera has destroyed your life and turned you into a degenerate.  If we tell him about the dangers of this sort of behavior, he’ll simply ignore us.  If one of you people tells him about how this perverted music has ruined your soul and chances for a happy, successful life, we think he might listen.  We’ll be glad to pay you for your time.


Trudy Carrington-Smythe


Worthington Estates Neighborhood Association

New Canaan, Connecticut

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  1. #1 by Karrey Bennett on October 16, 2013 - 12:10 PM

    OMFG’s is this for real? I as a mother of 3 in connecticut I am appaled at the sheer lack of common sence and idiocy in this womans letter. I grew up listening to Pantera, Morbid Angel, and everything in between and graduated 3rd in my class. My children love to listen to my music and each of them are bringing home A’s and they are 7.11.and12. We go out in band t-shirts and jeans all the time and thier father and I both have multiple tatoos and peircings. And 90% of the comments we receive are to complement our children. Why is it so hard for people to accept what some one looks like instead accepting them for who they are?

    • #2 by Neel Joshi on October 17, 2013 - 7:20 PM

      You and your husband are awesome parents.

  2. #3 by Richard Slosh Dyson on October 16, 2013 - 12:20 PM

    I’m shocked at the attitude and ignorance of this particular woman. I am a Metalhead and proud of it, I’m also a successful member of my community, I have a decent career, I served for 7 years in the military and have survived what life has thrown me for 50 years !!! To have this uneducated woman slander a form of music and not knowing anything about it or the people that make up the Heavy Metal scene is just plain unamerican, Don’t be the typical Rich stuck up c$@!t, Be informed. It’s people like yourself the screw up this nation every day !!!! Oh, “Metal Up You’re A@#@”

  3. #4 by mirkinfirkin on October 16, 2013 - 12:20 PM

    A suggestion: tell them that Pantera is actually Pandera, or alternately, you could tell them that Pantera owns and operates Panera, so there’s really nothing to worry about.

    You could also tell them that their son’s increasing stupidity is normal due to Global Gorming.

    Also, not to pick at nits, but I’ve met the Devil, and he does not wear Prada. Panda, yes, but not Prada.

  4. #5 by ~xtian on October 16, 2013 - 12:25 PM

    Reblogged this on Typing Loud, Knowing Nothing. and commented:
    This is why America is eating itself. It’s all Pantera’s fault.

  5. #6 by Fried Chicken And Metal on October 16, 2013 - 1:28 PM

    *Like*??? No way… I *LOVE* this!!!!!!

  6. #7 by thisoneguy on October 16, 2013 - 1:56 PM

    Pantera making people dumb? Sounds about right.

    Upon googling “worthington estates neighborhood association connecticut new canaan,” this post was the first item to come up, among about 3 or 4 results; i think we all should have learned about taking TToT seriously by now.

    On the offchance that this is real though, tell him to listen to Exhorder instead.

  7. #8 by Nate on October 16, 2013 - 2:43 PM

    RIP Dime. It means, rest in peace Dime, the greatest metal guitarist to ever grace the scene. I have many tattoos and and my face is peirced, but i graduated college and high school with perfect grades. So this bitch is stupid. The problem with her son is. Absolutely nothing. Welcome the dark side, where there is good music and cookies…\m/

  8. #9 by David on October 16, 2013 - 3:57 PM

    The poor kid! He could end up as a high school teacher somewhere in the southeast … ummm … sorry. He could and, of course, that’d be just fine. He’d be available to advise the parents of the next generation.

  9. #11 by John Nelson on October 16, 2013 - 4:54 PM

    Take the money. Or give her my number.

    • #12 by Keith Spillett on October 16, 2013 - 4:55 PM

      I’m thinking about it. I’m not sure I’m broke enough yet.

  10. #13 by K on October 16, 2013 - 5:49 PM

    I feel so bad for that kid. his parents are clearly yuppies.

  11. #14 by steve'o on October 16, 2013 - 6:51 PM

    I hate women like this! the fn bee gees pretty hardcore there. wtf smh .We as metal heads should show up on their doorstep to “talk” to her son.

  12. #15 by brekinapez on October 16, 2013 - 6:55 PM

    Seriously, people? Do you not know what site you’re on?

  13. #16 by Cheryl on October 16, 2013 - 7:20 PM

    This has to be a practical joke.

  14. #17 by Nick Y on October 17, 2013 - 2:25 AM


  15. #18 by Tyler Metalforlife Beatty on October 17, 2013 - 3:26 AM

    give mee the boys numer ill talk to him and tell him to keep listening to pantera hell ill even show up at his house in my pantera shirt that says f-ing hostile on it and tell him to come on out and we can go listen to panteraa and id tell his mom to eat fecal matter

  16. #19 by Neel Joshi on October 17, 2013 - 7:17 PM

    You’re joking, right? I’m 19, I listen to metal, and I’m got a 3;6 college GPA and I’m on my way to a very good career. That’s while I come to class listening to Suffocation, Dying Fetus,Testament, Illdisposed Dream Theater, Death, Darkthrone, Pantera, etc. Obviously, metal hasn’t turned me into a degenerate. In fact, before every test, I listen to “Highlander” by Lost Horizon and it gives me confidence. This woman needs to shut up and analyze her own shitty parenting skills before blaming something else because her kid turned out differently from what he wanted him to be.

  17. #20 by John Erickson on October 21, 2013 - 9:42 PM

    I say, lock Junior in a room with Neil Diamond playing non-stop for 96 hours. You’ll get one of three things – a truly dedicated metalhead, a kid so preppie he’ll iron and starch his own underwear, or a drooling idiot (also known as a DC inner circle politician).

  18. #21 by Rohit on December 7, 2013 - 3:21 AM

    Listening to Pantera actually does make you dumber. This is no joke.

  19. #22 by Venom on April 1, 2014 - 1:02 AM

    Maybe he just got smarter than his parents lol

  20. #23 by Harry Bulsac on August 14, 2014 - 2:22 PM

    I really feel sorry for this woman and as a parent myself, I can understand completely. FFS, Pantera??? When my kid got back home one day having blown his weekly allowance on a Lamb of God tee, I gave him a hard time and bullied him about listening to such a pansya** whiny, fake toughguy band like LoG that he actually, for the first time ever, went through my record collection. We spent the weekend drinking beer and jamming along to Deicide’s selt titled record, Morbid Angel’s “Abominations…”, Possessed’s “Seven Churches” etc. This lady should do the same. Fairly sure she’s embarrassed as hell about her kid listening to such a crap band.

  21. #24 by Charlie on August 16, 2014 - 5:29 PM

    If you think this is real, you’re an idiot.

  22. #25 by Vin on October 28, 2014 - 5:10 PM


  23. #27 by Bill on June 26, 2018 - 10:15 AM

    I do not think that music can make anyone dumb. Music is good for everyone (even Pantera). I am 13 and I listen to Pantera and i make straight A’s all the time. “RIP Dime” does not mean biker code or a satanic cult. It’s the remember the great life of Dimebag Darrell (Pantera’s Gutarist) who died too soon. Have you even listened to pantera? You should. Ever heard don’t judge a book by its cover. It goes for CD’s too. If he likes Pantera he should also listen to Metallica, Megadeth, Alice in chains, Anthrax, Rage Against The Machine, Rob Zombie, Marliyn Manson, Drowning Pool. But monitor what he does with the wierd crowd.

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