When Will Mainstream Media Fail Us for the Last Time?



Do you ever stop and think about the recurring topics of most Heavy Metal and Hard Rock publications? Probably not too often, but I imagine that you've scrolled a website or two thinking, “I don't care about any of these bands” at some point. It's pretty well-known that Record Labels pay magazines and websites for their attention, it's all part of investing in an artist, but I'd like to know who is actually still interested in Guns 'N' Roses? I have to assume that these people are out there, but I assure you that I have not met them. I talk to music fans of all “walks of life” and not a single one, no matter the age group, gives a quarter of a shit about the purveyors of “Chinese Democracy”. That ship sailed quite some time ago. Why do certain sites insist on covering Emmure, just to tell us over and over again about their immature lyrics and repetitive music? We heard you the first 8 times you mentioned it this month and most of us were aware of it the first time we heard the band. What's next, an article about Limp Bizkit releasing a cassette? Who's reading this stuff, Eddie Trunk?

It seems that nostalgia is the culprit in the case of shambling, 80s Hard Rock corpses trudging across the headlines and let's face it, people do love to make fun of bad music; I myself am intensely guilty of this at times. However, it would be great if we finally got bored with the same jokes and tired, dinosaur bands and demanded something intriguing from our media. I don't think it's too much to ask considering the people who write these articles are supposed to be journalists. “Dog bites Man” still isn't a compelling headline and if you ask me “Top 5 All-Girl Moshpit Videos” isn't much of one either. The implication that seeing Women in a Moshpit is something to be marveled over like a rare meteor shower is preposterous; I see Women in the pit at every show I go to and no one makes a big deal out of it because it isn't one. Equality and such. I suppose this should be expected from a magazine that has a “Hottest Chicks in Metal” issue and no, having a “Hottest Guys in Metal” issue doesn't make it equal, it just makes it dumber.

Speaking of things in poor taste, after the toxicology report came back for late Gwar vocalist, Dave Brockie, one magazine felt it necessary to dig up an old interview that featured “Crack” in the headline while adding a “RIP” hashtag. Their defense was that Brockie would surely appreciate their “irreverent” humor in doing so, but all I could think was “Yeah, I'm sure his family are really laughing it up after seeing that headline.” Since these magazines and websites are what represents the Heavy Metal culture to the masses, no wonder the majority still view us as Beavis, Butthead, Wayne, Garth, Bill, Ted and that band from “Airheads”. A bunch of mouth-breathers who wander aimlessly, drooling and ogling women while chuckling “That dude's like... dead or something. Whoaaaaa.”

Perhaps I'm an idealist, but I don't think it's too much to ask for something intelligent from the music-reporting media. There are a few sites out there that feature really well-thought-out pieces on macabre art and various other facets of Heavy Metal culture, but for the most part, there's a lot of “Listen to this one band's song! ZOMG it's so bad!” and “These bands have Girls! Girls with Boobs!” Simply put, these kinds of articles are asinine and a detriment to any intelligent person who owns a few black T-shirts emblazoned with band logos. Thanks to this kind of “reporting” in addition to the drivel pumped out by rock radio, people like me generally avoid the question “what kind of Music do you listen to?” with the kind of elusiveness that would make a Politician nod with respect. If we don't, we're greeted with such enlightened views as “That's just a bunch of noise!” or my favorite, “Oh, you listen to all that 'Rah-Rah' stuff!” and are immediately written off as immature or moronic.

In the way that you “vote with your dollar” at the grocery store should be the same way we approach the problem of idiotic media. Jumping into the comments section full of piss, vinegar and one-liners doesn't do anything except bring more traffic and attention to the stuff you dislike. So I'm asking all of you who are tired of the same old thing from your news and entertainment sources to go find something new. Granted, not everyone is going to care enough to exert more effort than clicking the top link on a Google search, but I can assure you that with just the smallest bit of effort, you can find something unique that appeals to you. There is a wealth of independent media just dying to tell you all about something you've probably never heard of and yes, I'm including myself in that group, but what I'm doing isn't even the snowflake at the top of the tip of the iceberg. I would be willing to bet almost anything that there are people in your area with a passion for writing, talking and making videos all about any topic you can imagine. We spend so much time glued to our phones, laptops and home computers that there is really no excuse for just accepting whatever news and entertainment gets fed to us first. I urge you to seek out new and different outlets and start a dialog with the people who run them. In fact, that's a great way to get involved with your local music scene that doesn't even require you to leave home; ask me how I know!

We give media it's power with our attention spans. I say it's time we use the Internet to start controlling the media instead of it being the other way around and let's do it while this vast resource we have is still largely out of the hands of our government. We're already online for the majority of our free time anyway, why are we using that free time to gossip about celebrities and glorify sub-par entertainment? Everyone enjoys “Human Interest Stories”, but when was the last time you talked to a friend about what's going on in your community? There are plenty of stories in your own backyard and no, not everything you come across is going to be profound, but neither are tabloid headlines and they get way more attention. At least you can rest assured that what you're personally involved in will be real. You definitely can't say the same for what's being fed to you by publicists via mainstream media.

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