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.
Worthington Estates Neighborhood Association
New Canaan, Connecticut