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Heavy Metal - The Next Scapegoat

80s Forum: Heavy Metal - The Next Scapegoat
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  1. #1
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    Heavy Metal - The Next Scapegoat

    Unless you’ve been away from a TV or computer screen for the past two days, then you’ve probably heard about what happened on Saturday, January 8 in Tucson, AZ. In an assassination attempt on Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (who is still in critical condition), 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner killed six individuals, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9 year old girl, while 12 others were shot. Many in the press have pointed blame to the gun-themed rhetoric causally held by ultra conservatives and tea party members. However, conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh recently gave his reasoning on why the press shouldn’t blame tea partiers for Loughner’s actions.

    What does this have to do with anything regarding metal? Well, among Limbaugh’s many points or arguments is that Loughner was a fan of heavy metal. “The guy listened to heavy metal, and some of that anarchist stuff. We’re dealing with an insane individual,” Limbaugh claimed. Apparently, it was discovered that Loughner is a hard rock/metal fan through his MySpace page, where he posted a comment about attending a concert of Fear Before (formerly known as Fear Before The March Of Flames).

    I won’t go into further detail about his other points, because a majority of them only add into the political feud that some would argue has led us to such disturbing altercations. However, I will take issue with the one point I mentioned above by saying this: really? So being a metal fan automatically implies that one has psychotic tendencies? This is the same absurdness that made metal fans scapegoats following the Columbine shootings. It is unfair to blame a whole audience of a genre for the hate-filled and horrific actions of one sick individual. Our love and appreciation for a style of music has been far too often used as a scapegoat for whenever a young individual does an unthinkable act. So no disrespect, Mr. Limbaugh, but not all metal fans are depraved individuals who only care about bringing pain onto others. The typical long-haired metalhead isn’t any more inclined to violence than you are.

    The events that transpired Saturday had nothing to do with metal, however within a few days, the metal community will most likely become a scapegoat for this one mans psychotic actions. Hopefully the news media won't jump to conclusions like they did with Columbine, Richard Ramirez (aka The Nightstalker) and others. As a long time fan of metal myself along with the thousand of metal fans I come in contact with each year are among the nicest and most intelligent people. Let's see if for once the media who looks to jump to conclusions rather than seek out the truth will spend the extra couple minutes to look at countless studies that show no correlation between metal and violence.

    On a side note, our best wishes go out to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones during this horrific event.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Re: Heavy Metal - The Next Scapegoat

    I could not agree more with your post, Diofan. It is truly unfortunate that the metal community (which is often marginalized and thought of as "the other") is the scapegoat in so many tragedies. The music one listens to does not influence them to do things...that comes from within. The metal/rock community is actually a very close knit one that doesn't tend to embrace violence. Of course there are always people who are going to be mean/violent/whatever. I keep thinking of the fire at The Station, the nightclub in Rhode Island, in 2002 or 2003 at the Great White concert. People really banded together after that to help the victims and raise money for their medical care and treatment. That really stuck with me. I also remember watching a tribute concert 5 years later on VH1 with bands like Tesla.

    There can be many reasons why a shooting like the one in Arizona happened. I don't claim to know them or even be able to comprehend them. But blaming it on music is simply irresponsible and inaccurate.

    I actually read a fascinating book called "Columbine" by Dave Cullen. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I am not saying it is easy to get through or that it is not a horrible subject matter, but he provides one of the most thorough accounts of the tragedy ever. In his book he shows that metal music was not even close to being an influence on the killers and the "jocks/goth" framework was created by the media. One of the killers was actually somewhat popular in school and not tormented by the jocks as the media stated. He literally was just a sociopath. The killers didn't even really listen to Marilyn Manson. The media simply identified Manson as weird and making music they didn't like or understand, so they connected him with the Columbine tragedy. Here is a link to a little bit about the book: http://www.davecullen.com/columbine.htm
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