Posts Tagged communism

2014 In Review: Year of The Metal Subgenre

69_photoA near tsunami of new metal bands came to the forefront of the American music scene in 2014.  After Obama signed the controversial law in 2013 that outlawed country music, boy bands and songs by coke addicted former Mouseketeers, metal began to take off as the most popular form of musical expression in the land.

A wave of new bands brought in a flood of popular subgenres.  After all, how can you possibly catch the attention of an audience numbed into a near coma by a never-ending stream of cute kitten pictures on their computer without some sort of hook?

Years back, a number of metal bands figured out that by coming up with new subgenres you can effectively con the audience into the belief that they are experiencing something totally state-of-the-art.  This was a brilliant assessment, because truthfully, there are only so many ways you can cook an egg.  If you take the story out of metal, it’s mostly just a bunch of sweaty, badly dressed people making loud noises for a bunch of sweaty, badly dressed people who are apoplectically staring into The Nothing.

Honestly, how different is one three and a half minute thrash song from another?  Is technical death metal really all that unique in comparison to, say, regular old garden-variety death metal?  Thus, God created the subgenre and gave us a way to turn tiny, obscure distinctions into whole schools of thought and belief.  One man’s doom is another man’s sludge, as the old saying goes.  Or something.

When the next civilization digs through the rubble a thousand years from now and finds all the 2014 issues of Metal Maniacs it will be clear, this was The Year of The Metal Subgenre.  So, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the best new subgenres created in 2014 along with the band that best represents that style.

New Wave of Soviet Socialist Metal (NWOSSM or NWOCCCP)

When I think about 1980’s power metal, my mind often drifts to the Soviets.  Many people would argue that very little great creativity came out of Russia and its satellite states in the 80’s.  Clearly those people haven’t heard some of the early albums by Lenin’s Tomb or Khrushchev’s Shoe.  As young Russians look back on the glorious days of bureaucratic inefficiency that marked the end of the Soviet Empire, many of them have started playing the music that dominated that era.

Best Band:  Iron Curtain

Unblackened Yachtcore

This quirky fusion between the raw, earthy tones of Christian black metal and 1970 and 80’s soft rock caught fire in 2014.  Many music aficionados were looking for a way to reconcile their passion for the music of Michael McDonald and the songs of Darkthrone.  This cutting edge subgenre gave them the perfect combination.  Lyrically, it blends elegant prose from the New Testament with poignant stories about the dreams and inner longings of Yuppies.

Best Band:  Captain Trips and Tenille

Proto Originalist Doom

Who would have believed that doom metal could possibly be blended with the text of Supreme Court decisions written by Antonin Scalia in order to create a new style of music?  Dark, heavy, Sabbath inspired guitar riffs are used here to celebrate the spirit of unbridled judicial restraint and the idea that just about every thought that was formulated after 1787 is entirely worthless.

Best Band:  Woe vs. Wade

Post-Marxist Extremely Technical Progressive Rawlsian Eco Thrash (PMETPRET)

More of a social movement than a style of music, PMETPRET bands have attempted to use technical death metal as a tool of creating social justice and encouraging recycling.

Best Band: Fates Warming

Anatomical Glam Grindslam

Grindcore was a dying subgenre until it caught an infusion of hair metal earlier this year.  Something about the idea of putting together the catchy, party rock stylings of bands like Poison and Cinderella with the fierce brutality of early Carcass and The County Medical Examiners struck a chord with the American public.

Best Band:  Twisted Blister  

New York City Viking Hardcore (NYHVC)As most Americans know, a Viking gang crime wave hit New York City in early 2014.  Alienated young teens joined Viking gangs in droves and pillaged many of the stores and homes that were not guarded by people with assault rifles and high capacity magazines.  NYHVC has become a way of expressing their rage at our dysfunctional social order.

Best Band:  Freyahazard

Heideggerian Ontological Powerviolence (HOP) 

If you are like most Americans, you feel deeply offended that you grew up in a culture that has been thoroughly shaped by Cartesian Dualism.   You also probably wonder how you can best disclose being-in-the-world as a whole.  And you probably own at least the first four Spazz albums (the ones they did before they sold out).  It is not a coincidence that HOP music caught on overnight and became the top selling subgenre in metal in 2014.

Best Band:  Being-Toward-Death-Angel

Old School Hebraic Nu-Metal

The most surprising comeback in 2014 was the resurgence of Nu-Metal, only this time instead of “borrowing” style and imagery associated with African American culture these musicians began stealing traditional Jewish themes.

Best Band:  Limp Brizkit

Symphonic Free Market Hayekia’N’Roll

In an attempt to connect with younger, hipper Americans, The Heritage Foundation, in conjunction with the Koch Brothers, have spent over 30 billion dollars creating melodic death metal records in order to spread the message of free market intellectual titans like Milton Friedman and the guy who invented the chicken sandwich.

Best Band:  Children of Serfdom

 

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Free Market Anatomy

The Silent Majority

Right Lung, you work hard everyday to move oxygen into the blood stream.  I often find myself thinking that right lungs are the hardest working organs in the body.  What you do is a thankless job.   You are one of the good, hardworking organs.  Many of the other “piker” organs like the liver, the pancreas and the embarrassingly lazy appendix spend their days lollygagging around and benefiting from all the sweat and toil you put in.  They reap the same benefits as you for one tenth of the work.  Now I ask you, is that fair?

What do you get for all your labor….nothing.  Bossed around all day by the Brain.  Sure, the Brain sits up there enjoying the good life while you pump oxygen 24 hours a day without a break.  Only like 10 percent of the Brain even does anything, Lung.  But it feels entitled to tell you what to do?  Who gives it the right?  The Brain thinks it knows everything, but let it spend ten minutes trying to convert angiotensin I to angiotensin II.  Puh-lease!

The Brain wastes all this time consulting with different useless departments like the cerebellum, the parietal lobe and the frontal lobe all the while using the precious oxygen that you generously provide it with.  Sipping coffee and making policy decisions while you pump away.  Enforcing its sadistic code of anatomical correctness.  They redistribute your oxygen to every organ regardless of how hard they work and you get nothing but the short end of the trachea.  What is your reward for all of your effort?  Nothing but lectures on how you should produce more oxygen just because the body is running or underwater.  You go underappreciated while the other organs bask in the rewards of your effort.

Right Lung, I want you to know that there is another way to live.  I’m not sure if you are aware of this but the body is essentially a communistic system.  All the organs benefit equally, no matter how important their contribution is.  What is your incentive to work harder than say, the Left Lung?

As we all know, human nature clearly shows us that we can only be happy if we are pitted against each other in bloodthirsty competition for control of all of the vital resources of the body.  Cooperation between the organs has left the lazy viscera sitting pretty while the diligent, enterprising ones do all the work. Instead of allowing this madness to continue, I propose we move towards an “every organ for itself” system.

If one lung produces oxygen really well, I say why punish it for being good at its job?  It should be allowed to keep as much of the oxygen as it makes.  This way all of the weaker organs will die off and the strong ones will be left to create a better body, without free-riding, parasitic entrails.  Let’s face it, you will not be free until the body stops coddling the slothful and the shiftless.

A truly free market anatomy promises each organ will be judged on its merit as an individual and not held back from producing and consuming anything it wants.  When the body stops forcing all of the organs to work together in some socialistic form of “harmony” and begins to compensate organs for what they contribute and no more, then, and only then will we be free.

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Requiem For A Dumb Idea

Every once and a while the free market really gets it right.  Dippin’ Dots, the mothball shaped ice cream that took America by storm back in the 1990s, has finally, mercifully filed for bankruptcy.  The fact that 2,000 of these stands exist today is a shaming blight upon the wooly, pock marked face of consumer capitalism.  I am not much of a dancer, but I need to admit that I actually leaped out of my seat and did a fair Michael Flatley impression when I heard that this frozen pox was nearing eradication.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of having been around me when walking by a Dippin’ Dots stand has been subjected to a mile-a-minute tirade about how “the rat poison of the future should be grinded into the dust of the past” (as I told my wife on our second date).  I actually got in a shouting match with a Dippin’ Dots franchise owner in Poughkeepsie, New York that ended with me nearly getting maced by a mall cop.

What bares further investigation is surely not the uselessness of the product, for who among us can actually defend such swill, but my disposition on the matter.   With famine, war, pestilence and torture all more obvious candidates for my vitriol, what really rankles me is the existence of these pellets of shame.

To be fair, I can’t even be certain I’ve ever eaten the things.  They actually might be quite good.  There is just something about them that makes my internal organs weep.  I feel insulted by their very existence.

I’m certainly not harboring some deep dissatisfaction with the concept of frozen desserts.  I could ingest nothing but ice cream, Italian ices and Sno Cones from now until when my first social security check comes in and be perfectly content.  It’s not like I had to be hospitalized with an ice cream headache for three weeks or got hit by a Good Humor van when I was 11 and have some odd physical aversion to this sort of thing.  I practically sweat gelato.

After almost four decades of being offered a shameful array of stuff that I could not find a use for in a million lifetimes, I think this may be the Dot that broke the camels back.  How many Sham-Wows, how many Pillow Pets, how many steel-belted, titanium, rust-proofed, icy cold scams can a man endure before he reached the point of feeling genuine, hot-blooded scorn?  Every time one of these asinine businesses get started in the name of The American Dream, a little part of me dies.

If the little Chamber of Commerce member in your mind has started to spew rhetorical vomit about how having 67 thousand different brands of oatmeal is good for the economy and, thus, America, tell him that while this stuff may be good if your goal is to create a society who’s members all have amassed personal debt in excess of the Gross National Product of Peru it might not be the best use of their time and collective brain power.

I’m a communist, you say.  Fine!  At least Lenin never had to sit through toothpaste commercials.  If what passes for communism in America is being ill-disposed to living in a 24 hour a day flea market that has been approved by 9 out of 10 dentists, then sign me up.

Truthfully, my real anger is at the feeling of having to participate in the market at nearly all moments.  Sure, I could go sit up on a mountaintop and breathe fresh air all day, but most people’s lives put them face-to-face with The Never Ending Hustle.  In The Great Gatsby, the billboard of Dr. TJ Eckleburg was a façade that hid a part of the soulless, desolate valley of ashes.  The billboards of today merely serve the purpose of hiding more billboards.

I can’t get five steps away from my door without some hackneyed inducement to participate in the ever-glorious marketplace of individual freedom.  Sometimes they are gentle, sometimes they are rough, sometimes they play on my nerves, sometimes they tug on my heartstrings, but the pull is interminable.

Sure, I don’t have to buy whatever this or that company is selling, but I do have to make an effort to tune it out.  Constantly.  And while that effort is minimal, the collective weight of it has worn me down.  After all, you can be crushed under the weight of a hundred tons of feathers just as you can be crushed under a hundred tons of lead.

At some point along the line, a very real feeling of insurmountable weariness has crept into my mind.  Like when you are trying to fall asleep and different vague, unconnected noises continue to awaken you right when you have become completely calm.  Eventually, you can be annoyed into the belief that peace and calm are impossible.

I blame you Dippin’ Dots, because getting my arms around a problem this big and pervasive doesn’t seem feasible.  I’ve forgotten how to take to the streets and I don’t know the mailing address of my duly elected state representative.  I only know the language of futility and those types of words don’t move mountains.  I might not be able stop the endless flow of sugar-coated avarice that flows unabated though our collective veins but I sure know how to smile when the axe of the free market lands squarely on the neck of a hated foe.

Thanks to good old-fashioned American knowhow and the virtues of commerce, I can be assured that five even uglier heads will sprout up where there once was only one.  That problem, however, is for another day.  Tonight when I lay my head down on a pillow, I can rest easy knowing that at least one stupid idea is being vanquished from our world.  Sometimes, that’s enough.

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