If you thought Dave Mustaine’s recent crazy missives against women, Africans, gays and Barack Obama were insane, just wait until you read these excerpts from a December 2008 memordandum released exclusively to MetalSucks. The memo was distributed to potential artists submitting new merchandise designs for Megadeth just after President Barack Obama was elected, but before he actually took office. The memo was given to MetalSucks by one such artist who, for obvious reasons, has asked to remain anonymous. But it’s 100% real. It’s also unedited — we’re cutting out the beginning and the end, which deal with unrelated nitty gritty details (e.g., how much new merch Megadeth is looking to manufacture) and some bits which aren’t relevant to this discussion (something about Spider-Man). But we haven’t actually changed a word.

Amongst the topics discussed are:

  • How Mustaine “does not want any gratuitous violence at all” on the merchandise, even though he was working on a new shirt design based on a painting featuring “a martyr floating dead in a lake with blood floating out of her body” and was in favor of possibly using the slogan “TIME TO KILL” on Megadeth merch.
  • How not only is Mustaine “a staunch republican [sic]. Or at least he is very anti Obama,” but wished to “portray the White House as weak” on Megadeth merch, “because he does not believe in the Obama administration.” One example given is of a sketch Mustaine apparently drew himself, entitled “US and THEM,” which portrayed “the US on one side with a solider protecting a woman and baby with his gun pointed at another soldier who is hiding behind a woman and a baby.” I’ve never heard the “Obama uses babies as human shields” argument before, but I guess that’s just ’cause a Canadian talk show host never asked him about it.

Dave is absolute in his decision to not have any “T&A” or objectification of women in his art.  He also does not want any satanic references or five point stars etc.  No 666 ‘s or anything cliché like is often found in metal art. He does not want any gratuitous violence at all. He feels “the best controversy is truth” and would like the new art to reflect  this in satirical ways if possible.  He wants the art to be aggressive and dangerous – he would be proud if a kid got asked to leave school because the Megadeth shirt he was wearing was too controversial.  There have been a lot of military references in the Megadeth art in the past and he is comfortable with going back to that but would like to see new angles on his ideas too.

His most recent piece that he is working on with his own artist John Lorenzi is called Blood in the Water.  It is a knock off of a painting that Dave saw in the Louvre last year.  The subject of the original painting is a martyr floating dead in a lake with blood floating out of her body and people on the shore with crosses praying and crying for her.  The moonlight is shining down on her and her halo in the water.  His artist has adapted it to show a scary skeleton guy in the water with blood and the moonlight shining down on him.  The New DVD coming out soon is titled Blood in the water and this will also be the art for that DVD.

Dave, it seems is a staunch republican.  Or at least he is very anti Obama.  He does not believe we should ever negotiate with our enemies and would possibly like a shirt that shows America as a strong nation with this ideal in play.   He does not believe we should pull out of the war and suggested a White House themed shirt that showed his thoughts on this.  Perhaps something scary and satirical. This piece might portray the White House as weak because he does not believe in the Obama administration.  He drew me a picture that I will fax to you of the US on one side with a solider protecting a woman and baby with his gun pointed at another soldier who is hiding behind a woman and a baby.  He called it US and THEM.

Another of his favorite sayings is WE ALWAYS WIN.  This might make a good shirt with the Americans coming out Triumphant over a war scene.

Another thought he offered was the duplicity of the phrase “Time to Kill”  He is fascinated that it can mean time to kill – as in kill someone or something. Or time to kill, as a way to pass some time. He asked that we have someone sketch out something that possibly shows how this phrase can be understood in both ways

He also suggested that we could show something like a High School sandbagged against …….

It’s not clear what was supposed to go after those ellipses, but I guess since Obama was already going to be responsible for killing babies, might as well try and persuade high school students to start a revolution or whatever.

Besides the hypocrisy of Mustaine condemning violence while designing violent images for his t-shirts, it’s important to keep in mind that at the time this was written, there was no such thing as the Obama administration yet. I sympathize with being upset about the politician you supported losing an election, but the fact that Mustaine was so gung-ho (literally) about taking down Obama before the man had even spent a day in The White House says to me that he was buying into the Right’s propaganda about how Obama was going to destroy this country. (Meanwhile, four years later, we’re not a Socialist dictatorship yet!)

Again, just to re-emphasize (even though I know some of you will never believe me no matter what): this isn’t about Mustaine holding different political views from myself or any other member of the MetalSucks staff — this is about how he expresses those views. I have friends who don’t share the same political beliefs as myself. I do not have any friends who think Obama is a foreign-born Muslim baby killer. Make sense?



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