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Yes, I Made Those Jokes, and Yes, I Am Sorry

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Readers,

In 2011, while giving an interview to Noisecreep, I made what is clearly a disgusting and inappropriate joke:

Why did you decide to post under aliases?

A lot of people think it’s so we can do undercover investigative journalism and express our honest opinions without fear or reprisal, but that’s not true at all. It’s just that if the father of a fourteen year old girl you met at Avenged Sevenfold show is looking for you, and he thinks your name is “Axl Rosenberg,” it’s going to be a lot harder for him to track you down.

Later that same year, I made an identical joke right here on MetalSucks:

“If there’s one lesson that we try to impart to our beloved readers here at MetalSucks, it’s that you should always use a fake name when sleeping with underage girls so their fathers/the authorities can’t find you later.”

Although these comments were made in jest, I am mortified to be the one who made them, and I completely understand why people are upset that I did so.

I would like to apologize to anyone who was offended by my insensitivity. My intention was never to endorse sexual abuse of a minor; only to make people laugh. I do not mean that as an excuse. The joke is inexcusable. I only say it because I sincerely want any readers who felt otherwise to know that I meant them no harm.

As I said in my recent article about the different kinds of displays of Nazi imagery in metal, context is everything. The world has changed a lot since 2011; more to the point, I’ve changed a lot since 2011. This is not a subject about which I would choose to make light today. A big part of life is getting better at it. You amass experience. Hopefully, you spend time looking in the mirror and being honest with yourself about your faults. You learn that only one of the ten commandments really matters: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” And you try to atone for your sins by doing better in the future.

You grow. You change.

Vince and I were both 24-years-old when we started MetalSucks — old enough to know better, young enough to not take rules very seriously. If you go back through the history of MetalSucks, you will certainly find other jokes that were inarguably in poor taste. Jokes about women. Jokes about the mentally handicapped. Jokes about real-world violence. I am ashamed of all of them.

I strive every day to learn and become a better person. I would like to reiterate that I wouldn’t make any of these jokes today.

But I would also like to invite you to continue to explore, spread, and condemn these jokes. I find it neither tiresome nor time-consuming; I do not deny that I’ve got it coming. I sincerely believe that I am a better person today than I was seven years ago, and I hope that I’ll be a better person still another seven years from now. Mistakes and failures are part of life. But I do not shy away from my guilt. And I hope that we as a community can all continue to educate ourselves and evolve together.

Thank you.

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