Here are the the deleted Irfan Khawaja posts on this thread for completness’ sake:
Wednesday, October 6—10:47am:
As a general rule, I’ve observed that one’s musical tastes reflect to a huge degree one’s values. Encounter any of your everyday lowlife thugs, and it’s a sure bet they’re not going home to listen to Tschaikovsky.
I hate to remind you of this, but the Nazi gas chambers did not do their work to the tune of AC/DC. They did it to the tune of Beethoven, Mozart and light operetta. I can cite chapter and verse of William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich if you like, but it’s true.
What I like most about heavy metal is its ruthless implacability. The sound and drive of heavy metal is a metaphorical analogue for a value-motivated life, one that stops at nothing to accomplish what it sets out to accomplish. Heavy metal is also the #1 cultural enemy of second-handedness. Its lyrics are testimony to that. The outrage expressed in heavy metal is an objectification for the genuine anger we ought to feel at the injustices around us. (Alas, in the milquetoast world we inhabit, how many do?) The exuberance of heavy metal is an expression of authentic, unrepressed joie de vivre—free of guilt and pain, etc., to use a familiar phrase. And then there is just the sheer excitement and occasionally, musical virtuosity.
Each of these things is expressed by some genre of music—implacability by the basso continuo in Baroque, exuberance in Viennese classical, etc., but heavy metal at its best manages to combine all of those features and present them in a powerful form.
I wouldn’t say that the best heavy metal can compete with its highest classical analogues for aesthetic merit (it certainly beats bad classical music), but I don’t see any good reasons for putting it down as an art form.
As for the various over-generalizations about the evils committed by crowds of headbangers, never forget who it was that put down the Communist attempt to re-instate Communist rule in Russia a decade ago. It was the headbangers, who did it to the tune of AC/DC and Metallica. There is a brilliant video on this, but I’m blanking out on the name.
Wednesday, October 6—10:55am:
This is the video, though I still don’t remember the name; the year referred to is 1991, and the “band” is AC/DC.
In August, the band was back to Europe for Donington and series of 20 Monsters Of Rock festivals across the continent in 18 cities. This included one free show at the Tushino Airfield in Moscow on September 28 that attracted an estimated 500,000 fans.
The Moscow concert was presented as a “celebration of democracy and freedom” stage as a gift to Russian youth for their resistance against the recent failed military coup. The show was televised in Russia, filmed for a documentary by music-video director Wayne Isham and recorded for a projected live album. The Russian concert was particularly significant in light of the fact that most Western rock music was outlawed in the USSR until the rise of glasnost. Although AC/DC had long been popular among Soviet youth, the band’s recordings could only be obtained on the black market.
(Edited by Irfan Khawaja on 10/06, 11:00am)
Wednesday, October 6—11:06am:
There’s a difference between a monster and a monstrosity.
Wednesday, October 6—11:33am:
I think it’s revealing that in the annals of heavy metal, there is a song called “Whole Lotta Love,” but no song called “All Out of Love.”
Wednesday, October 6—4:14pm:
Interesting observation … Though Dokken did sing “Alone Again (Without You …) But I guess the love was still there … but with all those phallic guitars (and even bigger basses!) there was no shortage of “love,” as opposed to the smaller violins of Air Supply …
Dokken! (Rhymes with “rockin’”, right?) That’s the first time anyone has mentioned “Dokken” to me in a full twenty years. I’m seriously pleased. […]
Yes, Joe, you’re quite right about the love.
Wednesday, October 6—8:28pm:
Will one of you lead me by the hand to grandeur and glory in any rock music?
My suggestions: Rush’s Moving Pictures (1981) and Signals (1982). Very moderate stuff suitable for a first-timer. A bit of grandeur, as well. Roll the Bones (1991) is also good along the same lines.
(Edited by Irfan Khawaja on 10/06, 8:30pm)
Thursday, October 7—10:30am:
Bro, I’m from Jersey. I grew up around hair metal bands.
I never left. Didn’t grow up, either.
Though you will never see me in spandex and teased out hair …
To quote a famous New Yorker: I like you just the way you are.
And any Objectivist who cannot find value in “Living on a Prayer” has no soul.
We’ll make them, I swear. If you remember the song, Tommy “used to work on the docks” until he was stopped by the initiated force of the union; but then he decides to “shrug,” playing his guitar (which was “in hock”) in a sort of metaphorical valley. Meanwhile, Gina “works the diner all day,” thus making productive work the central organizing value of her life, despite struggling against a parasitic culture. They swear their love for one another throughout the song. So Tommy is obviously an analogue for Galt (with shades of Leo from We the Living), while Gina is an analogue for Dagny Taggart (or possibly Kira). We’re talking about Objectivist heroes here, and anyone who can’t see that is just morally corrupt.
(Edited by Irfan Khawaja on 10/07, 10:34am)
Tuesday, October 12 - 3:13pm
If thy (original, legal) name offends thee, cast it off, for it is easier to enter the kingdom of heaven with a non-legally-recognized name than...I actually can’t figure out how to end this, but you get my drift. We each pay a fabulous price for our visions of paradise—and ditching an unwanted name is just part of the bargain.
My name, for whatever it’s worth, is pretty absurd in meaning. “Irfan” is a form of mystical knowledge of God. “Khawaja” means, roughly, “landlord.” But when I order pizza, for simplicity’s sake, I go by “Malcolm,” (after the rhythm guitarist for AC/DC). Alas, my heart sinks when I order pizza under a nice Anglo name like that, and the pizza people say: “Can you spell that?”
Maybe, in compliance with SOLO strictures, I should try “Mario.”
(Edited by Rodney Rawlings on 10/20, 10:33am)