An E-Mail Exchange About Politics Between a MetalSucks Reader and a MetalSucks Co-Founder
This all happened in the past few hours. The original screenshots appear at the bottom of the post so you can see they weren’t edited. You can click any of the below images to enlarge them. I’ve blotted out Chad’s last name and e-mail address for obvious reasons; I haven’t blotted out anything else (so you’ll excuse the repeated appearance of my and/or Vince’s real names). The reason I’m posting it will become self-explanatory as you read it. Major props to Chad for encouraging me to run it. The metal world needs more Chads.
From: Chad F.
To: Axl and Vince
Axl and Vince,
First, in the name of understanding the messenger in order to understand the message, I am politically independent, and despise both major parties and most of their members, including Clinton AND Trump.
Now to the matter at hand.
There is nothing wrong with expressing political opinions when given a platform to do so, but with that platform comes some responsibility! A large part of that responsibility is BEING INFORMED on the matter in which you are opining.
Allow me to be blunt: YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, educate yourself with the facts before opening your bonghole.
I actually intend for this to be helpful. I have been a reader for quite some time, and you, Axl, have made me laugh my ass off more than once with your strange wit. So take this to heart from someone who normally enjoys your articles.
STOP WRITING ABOUT POLITICS! YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELF AND YOUR WEBSTE LOOK INCREDIBLY STUPID.
I don’t know if you guys ever read the posts in your comments section, but perhaps you should. Many, many people share my opinion.
It’s very hard to take understand the message or the messenger when you’re screaming at us and calling us stupid.
I’ll bite, though. Which media outlets do you follow for news? Who keeps you “informed”? I am legitimately curious.
First, when someone types something in bold print, it is to emphasize a point. It is not screaming. Secondly, I said you are making yourself LOOK stupid. That is distinctly different from calling you stupid.
You are conveniently forgetting that I complimented you and your work in my initial email.
As for who I “follow” for my information, the answer is I don’t “follow” any of them. I watch or read as many sources as possible, parse the actual facts from the opinions (sadly the latter is far too prevalent), and therefore have an educated opinion on the issues.
Okay. Look at this from my perspective: I also watch and read as many sources as possible and attempt to parse facts. I admit I have a bias that keeps me away from certain “news outlets” (e.g., Breitbart, Alex Jones). I have friends who work in politics and I have no doubt they know more about it than I do, but I consider myself a well-informed adult. (Everything I’m saying also applies to Vince, by the way.) So when you say we’re ill-informed, I want to know what you’re watching/reading that I am not. At the very least, I would like to know which subject(s) you feel we’re uninformed about.
If you’re saying you think we shouldn’t write about politics, in other words, you need to present us with a stronger argument than “You’re uniformed, and that’s true because I say it is, and many other commenters on the site agree with me.” You can make an argument for anything based on “many commenters on the site agree with me” as your sole presentation of evidence. I could write almost anything on MetalSucks and get flooded with comments and e-mails agreeing with me and disagreeing with me.
Please understand that I am sincerely not trying to fight. I want to understand, and if you can convince me that there’s something I/we could be doing better, I want us to be doing that thing better. But “Stop writing about politics because you’re making yourself look stupid” is not a persuasive argument.
Ok. You make a couple of fair points here. Btw, I don’t consider this “fighting”. This is a hopefully intelligent dialogue between two people who disagree, and I sincerely appreciate the fact that you responded to my email. It means you do care about your readers’ perspective. I wish more would do so.
Perhaps uninformed is a strong word. I emailed after reading Vince’s article on Terry Butler, and some previous similar articles, but before I read “The Metalsucks Manifesto”. At least you guys aren’t pretending to be unbiased, unlike the mainstream media. I do however, believe that being biased is inherently being uninformed. What has happened in todays political and cultural climate is that neither side would ever even admit to agreeing with a SINGLE POINT that the other side makes. Obviously, no one is right (or wrong) all of the time. So this goes for politics as well.
The largest voting bloc in America is now independents, Axl. Most people agree with some of what the conservatives say and some of what the liberals say. Why do you think the approval rate for both major candidates was so low? Like it or not, Liberalism AND Conservatism are both extremism, and history has shown over and over the often violent results of taking that stance.
Many people seem to think that all Republicans are conservative and that all Democrats are liberals. This is not the case at all. Liberalism and Conservatism are the extreme fringes of both parties.
Taking an extremism stance is saying “I am right. All others are wrong”. There is a term for this. FASCISM. Fascism is the very height of ignorance. Therefore, I stand by my “uninformed” assertion. When I read some of yours and Vince’s political articles, there is a very strong element of “we’re right, you’re wrong”. THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS RHETORIC!
To sum up: If you look in the mirror and say “I am a Liberal” or “I am a Conservative”, then you are part of the problem.
You are correct to say that I needed to present you with a stronger argument than my initial one. In fact, that was rather silly of me! Well here it is: You should stop writing about politics because YOU ARE HELPING TO SOW FURTHER DIVISION IN A NATION THAT NEEDS TO HEAL. Metalhead’s have always been a diverse group. I have moshed and headbanged with many of different political beliefs. (Come to think of it, I grew up in Denver. I’ve probably moshed with YOU!) I listen to bands like Deicide or Malevolent Creation even though their lyrics appall me at times. I listen because I like THE MUSIC. That is what I wish Metalsucks would focus on. THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!
Axl, despite my strong words, I’m still going to logon to Metalsucks. I’m still going to read your articles, because as I mentioned before, I like most of your work. I would really, really like it if you would print this discussion on the site. Not because I want to see my name in print, I am not one of those; but because I think it would help us metalheads come together in unity. It might help to inspire some thoughtful discussion instead of endless finger pointing.
I appreciate your e-mail. I also think you make some valid points. For example, I agree that extremism, ultra-orthodoxy, etc., is generally a bad idea.
That being said, there are issues that I believe exist in a moral gray area, and there are issues that I think are more black and white. The issues on which we’re taking a stance largely fall into the latter category. Take climate change, for example. We can have a discussion about how to best combat global warming, but we can’t start from a place of “Global warming doesn’t exist.” It exists. I can’t even tell you how happy I would be to learn that the whole thing is indeed some sort of hoax/conspiracy, but all the evidence with which I’ve ever been presented says otherwise. So when I see a guy who has denied that global warming is real being appointed to head the EPA transition, yeah, I get a little panicky.
I would also argue that our current political situation is unique (to this country, at least). I agree with you, we should be united, not divided… but the man we just elected president THRIVES on creating division. We can’t wait to see what Trump does because we’ve seen what he does, and nothing he has done since being elected has suggested that he’s going to do anything different once in office. We can’t say “Maybe Trump will be different from previous racist despots” because historically speaking that never ever turns out to be the case… we’ve seen this movie before, we know how it ends if we don’t do something to change it. As people have been saying, “this is not normal,” and we can’t normalize it. We can’t sit here and say “Okay, we think building a wall and stopping Muslims from coming into the country is a bad idea, can we maybe just build a fence and keep Muslims in quarantine when they arrive?” You can’t compromise with policy built on hatred and xenophobia and, again, a plain denial of facts.
As I said in this editorial, we believe all art is political, and we believe that metal has deep roots in politics; consequently, we are going to continue to write about politics, as they pertain to the music we all love, for the foreseeable future. But I sincerely appreciate your reading the site, and like you, I think this whole chain has been great — “a hopefully intelligent dialogue between two people who disagree.” I am definitely going to post this exchange on the site. It would be great if the MetalSucks community could discuss these issues so rationally.