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”