Washington Think Tank with W.: What is the next ideological frontier?
As citizens of the United States of the Toilet, you are all likely aware that leading this free bowl requires a strong hand and a clear mind. Your Commander in Chief Joe and all the others work hard to bring you the latest news, reviews, and cutting edge ideas. It has been my pleasure to tirelessly supply you with new questions week after week. However, sometimes even I must turn my gaze outward and seek input from outside sources. Even I must listen to the prophets beyond the tiles. Today, I have returned from a sojourn into the seedy underbelly of the social media underworld to bring you a pressing matter whispered of in the darkest corners of Facebook. It has come to my attention that many believe there is a dire flaw in our beloved genre. So I implore you, lend me your hearts and minds and turn your hands to the plow to solve this next riddle.
Today’s Question: What is the next ideological frontier?
In a recent Facebook conversation, one of the Toilet’s own proclaimed that metal must evolve ideologically in order to flourish. True, we are all familiar with our tried and true topics of gore, war, and Old Nick, but perhaps some subgenres in our favorite scene have stagnated. Perhaps we need some new blood, convictions, and fears injected into the canon. Toileteers, what new lyrical and thematic topics would you like to see explored in metal?
As a firm believer in leading by example, I know that I am not exempt from expressing my own desires for thematic growth. Therefore, after much deliberation, I’ve decided upon a particular overarching theme I’d like to see explored more in metal, as well as some recommendations for which bands may be skilled enough to tackle these ideas.
I’m a big fan of conspiracy theories. I’m drawn to the shadowy world of conspiracies not because I actually believe them but because I find them depressingly hilarious. Seriously, some of the best sane storytellers in the world couldn’t even dream of some of the mental gymnastics you find in the conspiracy theorist cult. Below I’ve outlined three conspiracy theories (and related mythologies) with some commentary on metal bands I’d like to see tackle each issue.
- There are some really nutty theories regarding the origin of Europeans, but one of the nuttiest is the Yakub myth espoused by the Nation of Islam (which is not at all the same as real Islam, by the way). They believe an evil cone-headed scientist named Yakub created white people on the island of Patmos 6,000 years ago to be a race of devils to destroy other races. That itself is pretty bizarre, but when you start mixing the Yakub myth with the conspiracies of the Nuwaubian Nation and the Fourth Angel’s Bowl people, you get a rather bizarre cocktail of insanity that’s only slightly stranger than the concept of Crack the Skye. Therefore, I think prog-era Mastodon could tackle this one. Alternatively, you could pass it to High on Fire, because De Vermis Mysteriis is equally batty.
- Grindcore is no stranger to political commentary. In fact, grind bands are just as likely to overtly comment on their socio-political ideas as they are to derive lyrics from an old medical dictionary. One of my favorite (by virtue of being totally scientifically unfounded) conspiracies is the anti-vaccination campaign responsible for causing the reemergence of Measles here in the United States. Who better to tell rich suburban white soccer moms who believe everything they read online or see on The View that they’re morons than Agoraphobic Nosebleed?
- The third social issue/conspiracy I’d like to see touched on would be the environmental politics of GMOs and the companies, like Monsanto, that produce them. There are a number of scientific studies on either side heralding GMOs as a panacea or decrying companies like Monsanto as the great American devil. It would be neat to see a band like Gojira or Wolves in the Throne Room tackle this issue from an environmental perspective.
So tell me, what themes would you like to see metal explore? How can the ideology evolve? Do we even need to have this conversation? Sound off below.
Don’t know what the Washington Think Tank is? This is a weekly column where your former President poses a pressing question and allows the top minds at the Toilet ov Hell to investigate his query.
(h/t to Utmo for the initial idea)