Caught a piece of VH1’s The 100 Most Metal Moments last night. Lots of fun, especially since most of the moments came out of the 80s when yours truly spent a lot more time than can really be recommended ensconced in his bedroom listening to gnarly tunage like Accept, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and Dio. Plus a whole lot of others whose names are mercifully lost in the mists of time. It was all about rocking. Rock rock rock.
It was also about the gnawing frustration of not having a girlfriend, which you tried to compensate for by hanging out with your similarly girlfriend-deficient friends talking about the girls in class and getting yourself into an unhealthy state, which all in all was a pretty pathetic coping mechanism. But if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Growing up in a small town in Sweden back then meant you had two major teams to which you could pledge allegiance: Metal or Synth. In my mostly blue-collar area, being Synth was a good way to get your ass kicked. Which was not my reason for being of the Metal persuasion–there was simply no other way to go. Synth guys were pussies. Couldn’t be one of them. Them getting their asses kicked on a regular basis was just The Order of Things. They were after all wimps. And in the logic of hormone-drenched young men, wimps should have their asses kicked. What else good are they?
One of the biggest monster acts that everybody loved and respected was Judas Priest. How could you not? Flying-V guitars, more leather than a whole platoon of huns, lyrics about riding motorcycles and breaking the law, hey, it’s on.
Rob Halford rode in on stage on a big goddamn Harley all decked out in leather and nails and wailed. He was a true Metal God.
Here’s where it gets interesting: The worst thing you could be back then was gay. Gayness was the worst thing possible. Remember those Synth guys? Gay! Gay! Gay! You use hair gel and refuse to wear a jean jacket, you must be gay. Us Metal dudes? Straighter than Mad Max barreling down a post-apocalypse freeway.
You all know where this is heading. Rob Halford came out and revealed that Judas Priest’s lyrics are full of semi-hidden gay topics. And those outfits … Kee-rist. It seems pretty darn obvious now, but back then there was absolutely no way in Hell somebody that cool could be gay. Unthinkable.
So here’s a toast to you, Rob, for creating some really great music and for coming out and showing a lot of cretinous teenage boys that sexual orientation is really incidental to who you are. Rock on.
Posted Thursday, 03 June, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.