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Metal, Protests and Politics…A Personal Insight (by "Metal Mark" Garcia).

Added 22 October 2020, 5:21 PM

Some publications of bands on their Facebook pages about politics appeared on my personal profile. I just checked some comments from the fans, and some of them made me worry: many fans trying to put the bands’ ideas down due their own political visions. Here in Brazil, some bands that use their lyrics to protest (as the super group REVOLTA) had to deal with offensive words from many Metalheads.

No, this article doesn’t mean to tell you what side you must take on political matters, but just want to make things clear. I’d like to state some words about me before starting to write: I’m 50, and I was raised on a conservative family. I began to hear Metal when I was only 13 years old, and it earned my hard times and conflicts with my family, especially my ultraconservative father. But I was conservative until some years ago, and since then, I started to rebuild my own ideas.

But looking back into the past, all those old lyrics of social protests gave me a deeper vision of what was going in the world. I became aware of the fear of a nuclear war in an early age; saw the rise of worries about the nature and all the pollution consequences; the protests for freedom of speech, against racism, against the death penalty, against the corrupt abuse of politicians, especially those with authoritarian features; and the abusive of Christian TV preachers. That’s what METALLICA, MEGADETH, SACRED REICH, SEPULTURA and many more, and from Hardcore front, DEAD KENNEDYS, RATTUS, DISCHARGE, G. B. H. and others, did back in the past; that’s my school, where I learned that this word isn’t beautiful, but sad, darkened, and ugly. But even with this pessimist insight, I learned that we all can help to change things.

I still remember my classes about the Enlightenment period and values. Even being a religious man (I’m a Catholic) I truly believe that reason must guide our decisions. This reason is the same one that fueled those band’s lyrics in the past, and still is empowering many others. Yes, behind the social causes and protests isn’t a left or right wing set of ideas, but the ones inherited from the Enlightenment. To be enlightened is to refuse the ignorance, the intolerance, and the main source of energy that fuels the machinery of lies and deceit that Metal bands speak about: hatred. On few words, is the act to leave Plato’s cave and see the world as it is.

In my interior, there were many clashes due the conservative values programmed (yes, the word is right) on my mind, and the Enlightenment’s ideas I came to love. Metal is one driving force on my life, and helped a lot in this matter, so I had to fight a way to stop the conflict, to stop the hate I felt, a consequence of this clash. Then I was awake, out of the cave, and finally, enlightened.

The two paragraphs above mean that I can see reality now. And looking the conflicts that I spoke above, the main idea I had was: what’s the problem with people today?

Yes, that’s the question. Of course you can believe in anything in political matters, but as a consequence of democracy, other people have the same rights. If a government is doing wrong, the protests must happen to show what people want. And a band protesting is a strong force to unite people. But what makes me think that the world is nuts is that Metalheads filled with hatred give support to oppressive governments, to homophobia, to racism, to the destruction of the global environment, and to denial of what Science says about some matters (the number of dead people due COVID-19 pandemic could be smaller if some idiots hear to scientists, and not to politicians). It’s something truly insane!

My point: it’s not a matter of become offended by what a band has to say, but if you feel that way, maybe the problem resides within you. Yes, because if one says to stop homophobia (just an example), why in the cursed blazes of Hell you can be against this idea? The number of LGBT killed on hate crimes throughout is something absurd! Their lives matter a lot, as the one from any conservative! Here in Brazil, the number of homicides cases of LGBT people is huge. The ignorance is so great that more than 70% LGBT people here work sex jobs! And I know what I’m saying about such hatred, because my older brother (and Godfather) was gay, and since my father knew that, he never spoke a word to my brother until his death (my father died when I was 21, and I never heard he speaking a good word of my brother). That’s the cost of your hatred!

Is that fair? Not only as an enlightened, but as a Christian, I ask again: is that fair? If you think “yes”, you’re not a conservative: you’re sick. Hatred isn’t a good thing, after all…

When a Metal band engage on social matters on its lyrics, it’s obvious that some personal feelings can be detected. As an example, female bands speaking against chauvinism culture means that they suffered (and still suffer) a lot. That’s what Rock is about, and the genre has these social/political lyrics since the 60’s. To me, it’s strange to see Rockers and Metalheads unable to deal with them, and as I said above: it’s strange to hear Metalheads on a conservative fanatic charge into Endarkenment. It’s a true run back into the chains and darkness of Plato’s cave.

And I ask the right for an answer: someone said that “we had enough of experts”, but I say that we, the people, had enough of politicians. And had more of you all than what is really needed for the world!

As final words, I’d like to state that I’m not a leftist. I see myself as a centrist, or even a liberal democrat. And I’m not saying that you must be left or right in political terms, or even to say that you can’t be a conservative. My words want to say that you can live in a world where others do not agree with you (and vice versa), and to throw all the hatred you have inside of you (that it was programmed in you, or that you breed on you) in the garbage can to be burnt and blow by the wind…

“For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason” (Umberto Eco).

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