What does it take to provoke in the metal scene today?

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In the 90’s black metal was provocative and outright dangerous, a number of church burnings can be attributed to it’s torch carriers (pun intended). But nowadays black metal bands don’t even dare to make music about Islam, no less torch mosques. It’s basically become yet another safe teenage revolt within the defined confines of the consumerist society.

And therefore NSBM plays a rather interesting role in this situation. You could say that it’s the final thing keeping black metal “pure” according to it’s traditional values: Aggression, hatred, violence, unacceptable taboos, controversial provocation, and putting yourself outside of society.

The Swedish book “Blood, Fire, Death” which details the development of the Scandinavian metal-scene dedicated a chapter to NSBM, and the following point was made – keep in mind Im quoting loosely here:  “You can sing about murder, rape, torture and all kinds of atrocities, and still be accepted by the music establishment. But as soon as you start heiling you can say goodbye to all future gigs.”

We saw it happen to punk. It went from being a genre in opposition to the establishment to becoming yet another product within the cogs of the establishment, comfortably sedated and finding it’s way to top charts, magazines and TV.

We saw it happen to death metal and later even black metal. It’s interesting how that degree of extremely violent lyrics and concepts can become assimilated into the market, like any other genre of music. The controversial aspects were transformed into consumption, rather than ideals. The content of the music became a kind of parody of itself, something meant solely to provoke. The bands don’t actually worship the devil, it’s just a symbol to upset.

However it should be noted that Watain is a band which is very serious in their Satan worship. And yet they’ve managed to get picked up by the music establishment, gotten mainstream and even won a Swedish Grammy.

This despite the fact that the singer encourages acts of terrorism in the name of Watain, celebrated a school shooting during a gig, and once said that he’d like to have a concert on 6 billion corpses. 2 out of these 3 statements took place before the grammy, and none of them are jokes.

And still the band gets described by mainstream music journalists as “interesting with something that’s the opposite to all the goodie-two-shoes presentable.” They’re saying this about a band that possesses bigger hatred than the nazis do.

But I suppose Watain’s salvation is the fact that when it all comes around they do believe in equality. They hate everyone, unlike nazis, and thus they somehow fall in line with the progressive leftist hegemony in Sweden. It’s okay to hate people, as long as you hate everyone. Because then at least you believe in equal human value. Even if that value is zero.

To sum it up: In the minds of the establishment, Watains hateful ideology is the charming spice in a dull everyday landscape of music, and not something you take seriously.

Unlike NSBM, which genuinely challenges the political system. And therein lies the interesting aspect of the genre. It is completely unassimilable. Can you imagine how the music industry would go about in transforming NSBM to the next big thing in the metal world? It’s unthinkable.

NSBM is more than just music. It is a political ideology. The absolutely worst, ugliest, most hideous ideology the Western world knows of. NSBM is forever doomed to lurk in the shadows, far from the acceptance of the mainstream establishment. They are pariah even amongst outcasts, and thus representatives for a true underground movement.

But at the same time, national socialism is just another pack-mentality. A sheepish ideology with the aim to make everyone the same. In that way it completely contradicts the fundamental values of black metal.

Nazism is not misanthropic, it loves white people. Nazism is not individualistic, it is collectivist to the highest degree, with a future dream of racially pure white-picket-fence societies where people live in accordance and stability. The theme is actually one of love, rather than the misanthropy which usually permeates black metal.

 

I was inspired to write this article after reading the book “Wolves Among Sheep”, a great read about the NSBM scene which doesn’t try to condemn or promote, but merely state things as how they are. Order it here if you’re interested.

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The Art of Expressing Yourself

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While this blogpost offers concrete advice for how to improve your expression skills, some people might need the philosophical insight required to actually have the balls to speak your mind. For that blog entry, click here. Otherwise, carry on.

In George Orwells novel 1984 which tells the tale of a police state society, the government hand out thinner and thinner dictionaries every year, because they want to control peoples thoughts by shrinking their vocabulary.

Having trouble formulating your thoughts is the point with political correctness, to create such a strong echo chamber consensus-culture that political dissidence becomes virtually impossible. Because eventually nobody can express themselves or even imagine what a different society would’ve looked like, since thoughts to a certain degree require words.

They try to push certain thoughts out of your head by labeling them “racist” so people won’t even want to think these thoughts, because who wants to be a racist? But this can be applied to all different kinds of taboos. Nowadays it’s “racist”, back in the day it used to be “heretic”.

Tip 1: Learn as many words as possible. Words give shape to thoughts. Elliot Hulse introduced me to this concept, which I hadn’t really reflected upon prior. Imagine what reality would look like if we didn’t have words? Imagine how communication with other human beings would be done?

Words are the most fundamental of all, and the more words you know the more you can give shape to what you’re thinking. So if you ever stumble across a word you don’t understand, google the definition and memorize it.

Also, feel free to reflect upon how many different ways there are to interpret one single word. For example: Equality. What does this mean?

It could mean the state of social existence where both sexes have equal opportunity, but aren’t equal in attributes. Or it could mean equal outcome, in which case we’re talking affirmative action so that every workplace has 50/50 men and women. Or it could mean that everyone should be just as good/bad at everything they do, so let’s hand out medals to both retards as well as brainacs in order to further the notion that nobody is better than anyone at anything. “We’re all equal!”

Reflecting upon the different ways to interpret words make you better at handling misunderstandings, and making yourself understood. When you sit and try to think of ways to misinterpret things you will realize how subjective reality is. If a word has a definition then there can be up to 5 different interpretations of that definition. So if you have a word, that word could mean 5 different things depending on who you’re talking to.

So you get a better understanding of what might be the wrong way to say something, and that makes you better at figuring out the right way to say something. And I don’t mean “right” in the sense of politically correct and unable to hurt anyone, but rather in terms of “best description”.

You also realize that it’s entirely possible to make anything sound logical, no matter how wrong or bizarre it is. Which is one reason I’ve never been able to buy radfem-theories about porn. Sure, you could see porn as “containing a message that humans are for sale”… Or you could realize that a perspective isn’t fact. But that’s a different topic.

Tip 2: Devote time to thinking. A lot of people don’t have time to reflect because they have jobs or are in school. Which might be the point of getting a job or going to school, but let’s not get conspiratory here.

On a near daily basis I take 1-2 hour long walks where I just ponder about all things possible, and that’s why Im pretty good at explaining my thoughts. Because I play around with them and spend a lot of time with them.

I constantly ponder, because I think it’s fun. It feels good to achieve insights and seeking understanding, exploring the mental plane is actually exciting. A human has the capacity to think all thoughts that have ever been thought and ever will be thought. That’s how huge the mental landscape is.

Every human should strive towards getting to know themselves, and reality, on the deepest level possible. Every corner of the mind should be explored no matter how dark it might be. A study in the journal Science showed that people would rather give themselves electric shocks than to be alone with their thoughts for just 15 minutes.

Being alone with your thoughts means facing yourself, and for some people that can be scary. Perhaps because they’re confronting the fact that nobody is perfect and that perfection is an illusion perpetrated by society in order to sell you meaningless shit. “Just buy this product and you’ll be closer to perfection than ever!”

People have always used the notion of imperfection to sell their own bullshit to others, whether we’re talking about the fashion industry, beauty products or religion: “You were born unclean and imperfect, just do like this and you’ll become good eventually.”

I do not have any shame in my body, because I do not believe in shame. I don’t see the point in feeling bad over thoughts and feelings. Shame is an obstacle for development. And whether they would admit it openly or not, every person has their sickness and imperfections.

It’s impossible not to make mistakes in life, and it is through mistakes that you find knowledge. Doing wrong leads you one step closer to understanding what is right. If I do wrong I simply make sure to learn from it. And if I keep doing wrong then perhaps I enjoy it, and shouldn’t view it as wrong to begin with?

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Tip 3: Write as often as you can about your reflections and ideas. Seeing your thoughts on paper does a lot. When you write you really have to think hard about what your opinion is and why. It’s a thought-stimulating process which also involves observation.

When you’ve written something down on paper you don’t need to keep it in your head anymore, now it’s on paper instead, and it’s like space is then freed in your head so you now have more mental resources to reflect around that thought and explore it out of different angles. Put simply, it allows more room for analyzation.

There’s so many occasions where I’ve discovered new thought-patterns by writing about my thoughts, because my mind is being stimulated in a particular way. Writing can provide insights that help you think more optimally. It is a tool to get to know yourself, because when you write about something you’re drawing out a clearer perception about your own perception.

And you shouldn’t feel any pressure. The purpose is not to show the text to someone so they can judge it, the purpose is only to explore for your own sake.

So allow yourself to ponder deeply on what you think and why. You’re not supposed to have answers right away, it can take a good while to figure out your own values. But remember to always question your own thoughts as much as you question others. If you notice that your opinions aren’t based on waterproof logic, then simply exchange them.

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Morality is like the meaning of life; It doesn’t exist in nature. It is created by man and a matter of personal perception, or personal taste if you will. If there weren’t a human species on the planet, there wouldn’t be a creature that could point at an event and say “That’s wrong!” or “That’s right!”

So, take this man-made construction and put it aside whenever you are reflecting upon things. Don’t be afraid of your own thoughts. Sometimes you have to cross the boundary in order to figure out where the boundary lies.

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Aristoteles said it’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a notion without accepting it. That means being able to ponder everything and understand just about anything, without personally agreeing with it. And it’s true. Understanding is not the same as acceptance. You can’t lose on understanding.

Understanding increases knowledge and perspective, and as your mind expands you will begin to see more possibilities. Suddenly anything could become stimulating simply because you can find an angle to make it stimulating. This increases quality of life.

Once you’ve really pondered why you think like you do, and you get it down in writing, some of the formulations will be stored in your mind. Some conclusions will sit like stone. And then it’ll be easier to explain your logic if you end up in a discussion with someone, instead of being speechless.

But also, keep in mind that you don’t know everything, and couldn’t possibly ever know everything. Every time you learn something new you realize that you don’t actually know much at all. You’ll always become surprised and mute by something the other person says in a discussion, because all individuals think in their own ways and you can’t predict other peoples thoughts.

If you ever find yourself in a discussion there’s no shame in saying: “Im speechless. You have provided a very different point of view, I’ve never heard that before, and I’d like to take some time to digest what you’ve said. I need to examine your notion from different angles to see how waterproof it is.”

That’s something you’re never going to hear in a political debate. Unfortunately in our shallow status-obsessed society every prick needs to come off as an expert in order to justify their existence as “credible godhead”. Even though it’s painfully obvious they have no idea what they’re talking about. Screw other peoples expectations and be humble instead, you’ll win more by doing that in the long run.

Anyway. One point with all my advice is that if you know what you’re talking about, then you’re more likely to express yourself in a discussion. And you won’t get to that level by automatic. You need to study, question and challenge yourself.

It’s also good to conversate with peers and see what they think of your thoughts, this can help you establish your own opinion in case something feels uncertain. And it’s also the case that the more you debate with others, the better you will become at it.