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:

F

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!



19 comments:

  1. fuck you faggot...write a post about how you cry yourself to sleep over how mean your readers were when mitch fag lucker died...fucking wimp

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    1. I'm Anonymous and i'm a faggot. Disregard me.

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  2. Is that Bootsy Collins in the background of the 8-string picture?

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  3. Honestly I'd be interested to hear what he has to say about the "industry" because frankly, it's not that special. The managers might have gone to business school, though many haven't, the promoters are college radio DJs who graduated and got hired by the companies they worked with, and most metal bands don't even analyse data from their fanbases and main demographics in making marketing and management decisions. That, of course, is a generalization, but really... What do you even teach about it?

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  4. I just dropped out of college after majoring in Jazz Drum Set/Performance. Its good to play for large audiences while in school, but... nobody "gets" it. They learn all the scales and shit so it doesn't sound like complete shit, but you can't teach emotion (THE ART OF SHREDDING erhm hrmm...). Chuck Schuldiner influences me and I don't even fucking play guitar; he's self taught.. Fuck college, learn something on your own you lazy sheep mother fuckers.

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  5. Maybe Fenriz should teach this course instead. Surely he has better credentials than Dr Fauxhawk up there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk30A13PnfY

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  6. the seeming and the meaning5/22/2013 12:44 AM

    skippity boo bop fuck you \m/

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  7. Just watch everything made by Sam Dunn.

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  8. When the Fuck are you gonna fight Morbid Angel?! I need to know if their fighting skills rank as a 1 or a 2.

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  9. Heavy metal as a course itself... retarded beyond comprehension. I just hope that this bullshit doesn't catch on. I'm totally for people teaching eachother about metal, even in a formal atmosphere like college or university as say a part of another music course of some sort. But make sure the teacher isn't some ex-gas station employee who likes br00tal music that he can do his fairy dance with. Angela Gossow ("Keep it metal! Boyish choruses are for emo kids!") and Fenriz would be the best, hell, Fenriz already has the black metal chapter down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9-5urh814s

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  10. Maybe this is part of a government plot to finally make metal "un-cool"?

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    1. That's it! That has to be it!

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  11. Although the tone of the article and content of the comments suggests this is not a community who cares about the advancement of the liberal arts, natural and social sciences, etc, it would seem wrong to not comment on your bizarre take on the utility of a college education. Not everything you learn is preparing you for a trade---if that's what you want, be a plumer or a carpenter or a musician or any of a long list of trades that are skill based. Liberal arts education is training, first and foremost, in how to think. The content is secondary to the method, unless your aim is to make a scholarly contribution to the advancement of a field of study. In the case of heavy metal as a topic of study, do you not acknowledge the relation between the birth of new genres and historical context? Don't you wonder why people express themselves through music in this way, and not others? Isn't it interesting how people take comfort in belonging to a subculture that, as a group, might be further from center? These questions can be studied through literature, or anthropology, or sociology, or psychology, but why not also consider the rapidly changing face of the metal scene as a unique window into how societies and humans "work"?

    You are asking "what will this class allow me to go out and do?". For the average student, probably the same things as a class in East Asian literature, or any other liberal arts course. And I maintain that classes of this kind are important---the problem is most people are too stubborn or closed minded to really benefit from their college education. Just because most people waste their time and don't take advantage of the opportunities presented to them in college is not an indictment of the institution. It's an indictment of the people who blindly sit in the back of the class and wonder "when am I ever going to use this?" when, in fact, everything that they do and every problem they analyze and decompose and ultimately solve is meaningful growth.

    Sorry... I just feel the view of college and liberal education expressed in your post is problematic. It's perpetuating the attitude that college needs to be, above all else, directly and practically applicable to some job. This is not why Universities exist, so if that's what you are looking for you should look elsewhere. There are smaller colleges that aren't research universities or liberal arts colleges that will be a better fit. (And you comment about hiring philosophers is laughably off point. Philosophers contribute invaluably to the advancement of science in all fields---it's like asking ``who hires theoretical physicists, or mathematicians who specialize in number theory, or cognitive psychologists?''. In essence, your question is ``why would anyone care about learning more about the world we live in, and our manner of existence in it?''... and that's just ignorant.)

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    1. I was originally going to write you off as just some overintellectual superdouche, but no, people such as you are truly as ignorant as anybody else, and deserve to rightly be put into your place.

      Evaluate how supremely classist your remarks are. Please. I am speaking from a realistic standpoint, not from the stance of someone who clearly has no concern for people throwing thousands upon thousands of dollars into the sake of "learning more about the world we live in". Do you really think you're making a valid statement that applies to all people of various socioeconomic backgrounds? Your comments just seem to romanticize the worth of education as intellectual stimulus and not much more. Millions of young people are facing down the barrel of a loaded debt pile, because college loans are essentially a promise to loan companies; stating that with the degree that you will earn yourself with this borrowed money, you can get a high-paying job and easily pay these loans back. This is the stark reality for most young students who have to pay for higher education. College isn't free, and it isn't forever. How most young people spend those 4 years defines how they will be able to spend the rest of their lives.

      What you are implying is that those of us who can't afford a higher, more intellectually rounded education, or can't afford to waste years of college failing to fulfill the promise that we will be able to pay off our loans with solid, career-relevant education, don't deserve to be as smart as you are. It's a perfectly lovely notion that someone with a Master's degree in Philosophy or something similar is likely capable of contributing to major advancements in all fields of science, but that's a "laughably" lofty expectation of most of the people who graduate universities with this sort of education.

      "This is not why Universities exist, so if that's what you are looking for you should look elsewhere" essentially tells me that everybody who goes to Harvard to become doctors, engineers or lawyers should GTFO of Harvard because that's not what Harvard is there for. Now who's take is "bizarre"? Thanks for playing.

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  12. Hun Chieftain6/12/2013 12:30 PM

    I know this is off topic but I have a suggestion for your violations: people who get up on stage at concerts not to stage-dive but to make an ass of themselves and thinking that they have the same right to get on stage as the metal gods who are performing...

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  13. Hey Brenocide, why do you have a picture of Snoop Lion? I didn't know you were a fan of him. So not metal at all because he fucking sucks.That should be a new violation: Metalheads with profile pics of rappers and pop stars aka our enemies. Fuck Snoop Lion and the all the other reggae shit.

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All readers that post under the name "Anonymous" and are too frail and weak to represent themselves properly with a title, shall be deemed false metal poseurs for the remainder of their pitiful existence.