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Metal as protest music

Joseph Schafer, writing for the Invisible Oranges blog, on protest music used by the Occupy movement:

I have issues with Occupy using protest music from Rock n’ Roll’s pinnacle. That the golden age of American protest in the 1960s, iconic as they remain, weren’t precisely successful – one in nine young black men in America is incarcerated, the country remains in two lengthy wars of occupation that dwarf Vietnam in almost every respect, and gay marriage is still under fire. The hippies lost, and the civil rights movement scored a technical knockout at best. Worse, music from that era has been co-opted by the kind of big business Occupy is supposed to stand against. “Revolution” was in a commercial. Rolling Stone magazine is sold in Rite Aids alongside Entertainment Weekly and People. Nostalgia sells overpriced greatest hits collections.

People need stronger protest music; heavy metal is a good choice. Metal music, on an ideological level, seeks to destroy establishments and conventions (at least conventions outside the realm of metal) more often than not. Disobedience, civil or not, is a pillar of the faith. Metal and extreme music in general (as well as Hip-hop, though that’s been co-opted as well) is evidence of rock’s shortcomings.

I’m a metal fan myself. And metal does lend itself exceedingly well to such protests. It seems crazy to me that some of these songs are not being played.