• Axl Rosenberg


I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that high school was in no way, shape, or form the highlight of my existence. I don’t want to dwell too much on the “anguish” of being sixteen years old, but the stupid jocks who didn’t like that I had long hair, listened to metal, dressed differently from them, and was intelligent – the same kinds of people who later tried to co-opt metal and its culture with bands like Limp Suckit – called me “artsy” a lot. Which was pretty much code for “faggot,” the same way certain politicians will now use phrases like “New York elite” or “Greenwich Village thinking” as code for less savory phrases. Part of me was always kind of amused by the use of the word “artsy” as an insult – I guess “intellectual” was too many syllables for those dip shits – but part of me is always going to be sensitive to the use of the word “artsy” as a negative. Because people who use the word in a derogatory manner are basically saying “You are smart, and being smart is bad.”

Ladies and gentlemen, enter Hinder lead singer Austin Winkler.

We already knew that this waste of sperm and egg was a Nobel prize winning philosopher, but now I just want Winkler dead. See, Winkler recently criticized Axl Rose’s Chinese Democracy for being “too artsy.” I don’t give a fuck that he doesn’t like the album, and his other criticism of the record, that it’s “overproduced,” is certainly a valid one – but this isn’t about Chinese Democracy. This is about a major rock star actively encouraging his fans to be fucktards.

Because he just taught any fifteen year old asshole within earshot that being “artsy” – that is, appreciating anything artistic or esoteric – is a bad thing. And given that Hinder fans are already not the sharpest tools in the shed, I would think encouraging them to, you know, read a book or newspaper, watch a foreign film or documentary, or operate in some way outside their comfort zone would be a much better message to send. And for fuck’s sake, if he thinks that Axl Fucking Rose is too “artsy,” what must he think of artists like Pink Floyd and Brian Wilson, Tool and Neurosis, Harvey Milk and Pig Destroyer, The Red Chord and Genghis Tron – bands that have made legitimate efforts to forward the evolution of rock music and the way we think about rock music? If I played this rocket scientist a Mastodon album or an Opeth album, would his head just, y’know, explode? Is there nothing more to life than Aerosmith records and Dane Cook movies?

Of course, you could argue that Winkler wasn’t really thinking about all this when he used the word “artsy,” and I’d agree with you 110%. But that’s the problem. Thinking about the meaning of what he’s saying was too much work for Winkler, so instead, he just elevated himself to a Durstian level of idiocy.

So here’s my offer: first person to off this fuckwit or any member of his band wins pretty much anything they want. Please do it in the most public and humiliating venue possible. Let all the world know that the “artsy” people are not to be fucked with.


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