Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Defence of Metal

Yesterday evening I attended a fireside with Austin. The speaker was Brother Ralph Degn. He started by introducing a song which was written by Frederic Chopin which he said was inspiring to the Polish folks at the time the Nazis were invading and motivated them to fight back.

Brother Degn said that music definitely has physical characteristics (tempo, melody, harmony, rhythm, etc) as well as spiritual characteristics. I totally agree with that. Music can inspire us to do good, and bad. That I too agree with. Then he gave a story of once when some whales up in the arctic were doomed when the surface was freezing over with the whales still underneath. He said that many ice breaking ships were sent up to create a path of safety for the whales to move south. Problem was they weren't able to lure the whales. The ships were confusing their communication system with their noise so they thought of playing music under the water to lure the whales.

Brother Degn said that Heavy Metal caused the whales to fight each other. Interesting. I'm not surprised. Metal music inspires me, not to fight others but while working out to push past the pain.

My argument is that a particular music genre is not necessarily bad, or even a particular song. Humans are not whales. We have a higher intelligence (well at least some of us). In support of Brother Degn's argument, the teens who massacred their fellow students at Columbine were Rammstein fans and were influenced by their music. (Reference). Granted Rammstein does have a few songs definitely don't inspire me. But in general there are times and seasons. I wouldn't listen to hymns to push through the pain in a good workout. I wouldn't listen to Three Days Grace on the way to the temple.

My wife Cathi would not appreciate 70% of my music collection. I strongly disagree that my music is bad in the sense that it inspires me to do bad things, have bad thoughts, or feel badly. If there is a song in my collection that uses profanity, has sexual connotations, is demeaning of deity I will delete it. I believe lyrics in music are important and if they're obviously intended to communicate bad things I will delete them. But metal music in itself isn't bad in my opinion. It is aggressive, but so was Brother Degn's polish song he played. And he played it in the chapel.

In conclusion, good judgement should be used in which music to listen to and just like Brother Degn said, "If it inspires bad thoughts or actions, get rid of it". I would also have to disagree with Jack Black, that "[Metal] comes from hell". That too is a generalization. I appreciate the metal that doesn't come from hell and simply brings out the aggressive dude in me, keeps me young and fit. I've never listened to music that has inspired me to do bad things. Even though I've found the lyrics ins some songs to have very poor taste and deleted it.

I am passionate about music. I love it. I make a point to share my love every day in my Song Of The Day blog.

PS - I heard the Mick Jagger story before. All I have to say about that, is that Mick Jagger is a total moron. I don't read much more into it than that. He's a simple minded man with a big head.

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