I thought I’d elicit some misconceptions that people have. Not to say the misconceptions don’t refer; but that they can easily and rightly be dismissed in a way that does not refute or reach the negatory conclusions we attempt to establish:

1. The drudgery and povery of Heavy Metal as a genre

i. Heavy metal concerns the occult: reply, not always, not necessarily a standard feature, either
ii. Black metal concerns satanism: hmm, I think this isn’t so true anymore…
iii. Heavy Metal is populist: reply; this is true of a lot of heavy metal, but not the kind I like (well…exception of Tarot, obviously)
iv. Heavy Metal is not a proper art form (technical and stylistic factors): can heavy metal be original beyond the NWOBHM? I think there are a lot of answers, most of them being “yes”, but dpeends on the band/genre
v. Heavy metal is all depressing: sometimes it’s not (namely, the bad kind of heavy metal)
vi. Heavy Metal objectifies women: this is a difficult one to tackle. Most of the older bands did; they concerned cockaygne ideals of hedonism and pleasure. While some bands try to be socially “progressive” about such issues; others are just neutral and ambivalent about sex (concerned with non-sexual, romantic, flirtatious, hedonic themes; namely, the good kind of heavy metal)
vii. Heavy Metal is part of the culture industry: that’s a hard one to answer…so I won’t even attempt it now

2. Christianity is bad
i. Christianity is dogmatic; well, dogmatic Christianity is
ii. Christianity doesn’t allow freethought; contraversial one I think this is…
iii. Christianity is anathema to being an intellectual; note, I didn’t say scientist, that’s a less contraversial claim. Christianity has led to the fruitiion of Modern (that’s Descartes onward) philosophy, physics/astronomy, music, and some forms of representational art
iv. Christianity is incompatible with [insert belief here]; what’s the belief? possible worlds? tolerance of sexual difference? teleology? modern science? I’d think that so long as one didn’t deny the importance of Jesus as salvation’s source, most things can be accomodated. The issue of whether religion can take positions in scientific/philosophical disputes is an interesting one…I shall write on this at some point.



5 thoughts on “misconceptions

  1. On the subject of Heavy Metal, it is certainly an art form. There can be no viable argument for advancing that it is not – although one might choose to argue that it was a poor/naive/impoverished (etc.) artform if you wanted to stick the boot in. (I don’t believe this myself, but…) I really don’t see that one can argue that any creative activity is not an art form – even playing with LEGO blocks is art of a kind! 🙂

    (As for depressing, the dominant emotion in metal seems to be anger, not sadness).

    On the subject of Christianity, I agree with you that it is hard to come up with something that is fundamentally incompatible with Christianity – Nietzschean anti-Christianity, perhaps? 😀

    As ever, one gets into problems when one judges a class solely by instances – Young Earth Creationism, for example, is incompatible with modern science, but that’s certainly a minority belief within the religion as a whole. Christianity is so diverse these days that talking collectively about it has become almost impossible; I think perhaps this would be a good thing, if only people actually stopped to notice! 🙂

    Best wishes!

  2. Your point is the most poignant that you made: “one gets into problems when one judges a class solely by instances”

    I did that for the point about heavy metal being sad.

    A lot of things can be said about metal that are opposing, but still part of the false consciousness that the public has about metal; a fallacy that I made.

    The misconception I put in was the following point; that I should identify as a question:

    how is ‘metal’ (as youth subculture) related to ‘goth’? (a somewhat subtle one)

    What I meant about “is it art?”-type questions is more of the following:

    “Is it good?”

    Some things are not helpful to be judged aesthetically; if we judged pornography to be the reaching of orgasmic gratification, then its hardly art; if we judge erotic content by how evokative it is; that becomes an aesthetic issue (Kant’s distinction between the agreeable {interested} and the beautiful {disinterested} comes into play)

  3. I think the issue of “is it art”/”is it good” is the pertinent viewpoint on this matter – the attempt to exclude things from art is usually the attempt to denigrate the quality of the thing in question.

    I really must read Critique of Judgement – I think I picked up a copy earlier this year.

    Best wishes!

  4. Yes Chris,

    Corollorary to your point is this question: is it trivial to aesthetically assess ANYTHING? (say, a shadow of a door, or the moustache of a man in the shop…)

    Triviality and worth all do worth in the revised question of “is it good?”


You can leave a reply or comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s