Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Heavy Metal Degree: At least it's not Philosophy

There's been sufficient buzz in the poseursphere recently about U.K-based academy, New College Nottingham offering a Heavy Metal Degree as one of their available majors to study. I've had multiple requests from readers to mercilessly tear into the concept of getting a degree in something like Heavy Metal, and I was originally tempted to do only such. My first reaction to such a notion, like everyone else's was "that's fucking dumb", and it is fucking dumb. What's the subject matter? What bands and genres will the professors consider relevant to metal music? Is NWOBHM even going to be it's own course? Why not offer Black Metal as it's own doctoral program? What sort of musical methods are they going to teach? Etc, etc. Judging only from the photograph of these cartoon characters they use to represent typical students in this field, my inner-elitist boils instantly to seething temperatures; my foot quivers at the ready for an ass to kick:


My original thought was that there's nobody in the entire world who "gets it" less than some silly turd paying tuition to be taught all about heavy metal in a formal setting. Rest assured everyone, you don't have to pay a red cent just to end up another misinformed poseur. Just ask all my anonymous commentators. With that said, I still find myself pretty torn on the whole subject. On the other side of the coin, the genre of Heavy Metal as a focus of study; especially if taught properly, is no less completely retarded than many of the other musical majors that will leave you jobless and up to your nose ring in debt for the rest of your stupid life. Think about it; Music Therapy is just one such major offered at many music academies around my country. A major where one can learn, appreciate, and study how to produce yoga balls music that can relax a fart out of someone.

...now breathe in deep, unlcench your sphincter, and release your  chi...

Hell, in the universe of realistic expectations, most recently earned music degrees are hanging up on the wall of some entitled Generation Y dipshit who didn't realize he/she had to actually work for a living. And it doesn't stop at music; there's a multitude of other completely useless and wasteful degrees one can acquire in all sorts of subjects: Art History, Latin, Film, Cultural Studies, Photography, Religion... I mean, when's the last time you hired a fucking philosopher? 

Not since you could pay him with a marble statue.
The biggest argument everyone has against this Heavy Metal degree is that it's a 'waste of time', or so thinks the Campaign for Real Education. Yet if we were to go and pull all the available college majors that can reasonably be considered a 'waste of time', then the best and brightest academies and universities of the world would shut down overnight. Tuition payments from the naive hipsters of the world trying to make a career out of fun, cool, statistically unrealistic jobs are what's keeping the campus' grass so offensively green. So with all the dumb bullshit you can waste your time and money doing in college, why shouldn't someone be able to major in heavy metal music? Heavy metal as a genre is an intriguing cultural phenomenon. A form of music that has managed to garner a world-wide fanbase of millions upon millions of people, without having any proper support or acceptance from mainstream media. It has a dense, colorful history, with a seemingly endless number of subgenres, variations and technical methods of playing. It honestly has just as much right to be included in a music school's curriculum as jazz or classical, if not more so. Especially jazz. Skippity boo bop, fuck you. 

I am however, not optimistic about what the qualifications of this Liam Maloy are -- the man who put the controversial course load together -- for teaching such a subject. If I were to go based on first impressions alone, things aren't weighing too heavily in his favor:

Nottingham's self-appointed Master of Metal Mayhem
So to sum it all up, I'm not really too strongly opposed to the concept of someone teaching heavy metal in schools. But I'm completely against what's going to be the inevitably piss-poor implementation of any such degree. Especially with Dr. Fauxhawk up there with his Rock n' Roll clown shirt at the helm of all this. I feel bad for any derpwad dim enough to think this stooge has the answer to your future career blowing up the stage as the next metal shredding all star. Or thinking that he has any real insight into the history and happenings of the genre. It sounds more like all he has to offer is some collegiate advice about the music industry, which he believes in regards to metal is "growing" and "crying out for this degree". Anyone of us who listens to metal music that doesn't involve wearing fingerless gloves, knows that is some next-level horse shit. In the case of quality metal music, the less "industry", the better.

Do you want to learn about metal? Listen to it. Aurally assault yourself with every associated album you can get your grubby mitts on from 1968 to present. Buy a guitar, look up tabs, check out lessons on YouTube if you can't afford real ones. You don't need some overpaid, chalky-fingered twat in a sweater to explain it to you at 8:30 in the morning. If, however, you live in the Nottingham area, and you had your eye on that degree in Philosophy or Yoga Farts, you might as well waste two of those years learning about something cooler. Even if that something is the extensive cultural impact Slipknot had at the dawn of the new millennium.

So feel free to sound off and tell me what you think about schools offering heavy metal degrees in the comments below. Or share some ideas for course names if you were to set up your own curriculum in the study of Metalology:

Also, special thanks to Ronnie Lopez for his recent generous donation! If you want to help keep TNM alive and ad-free, please consider a small donation. It's greatly appreciated!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jeff Hanneman of Fucking Slayer is Fucking Dead right now Holy Fuck

He's dead. He has fucking died.

He was breathing just yesterday and today as of this writing he is not. He is gonna have worms eating his eyes, and all of that by next week. Seriously. He is an ex-Slayer member way more than Dave Lombardo could ever hope to be.

A spider bite almost killed him two years ago, but not satisfied with almost being killed, Jeff Hanneman, guitarist of Slayer, is now thoroughly killed. Totally and completely actually killed due to liver failure. His band writes:

"Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed. Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 – 2013)"

While I won't speculate that his liver failure was directly caused by decades of binge drinking... it was probably caused by decades of binge drinking. I know that might be hurtful to imply if that isn't the case, but the guy has a fucking Heineken logo on his signature guitar. Figure it out.

If it turns out to be true, Jeff Hanneman drinking himself to death is not metal. But Jeff Hanneman drinking himself to death is also, pretty metal. RIP brother.