In their propensity for corpse paint and murder, bands like Bathory and Gorgoroth are the unlikely fulfillment of Romantic ideals: absolute inwardness turned outward
In a now infamous interview at 2010’s Scion Rock Fest, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the singer and guitarist of the Brooklyn-based Black Metal band Liturgy, explained why his band doesn’t “play grim music” or “wear corpse paint.” He said he was “sickened by reveling in negativity”: “There is a fundamental substratum of chaos that is very destructive [but] also a creative force … and I think the only way to deal with the void and the flux of chaos is to affirm it.” That is why Liturgy plays what he calls “transcendental black metal,” a posi-core anomaly in the otherwise wrathful subgenre of greater Black Metal.
“True” or traditional Black Metal—not what Hunt-Hendrix plays—is an operatically dissonant blend of screeching vocals, tremolo picking, and blast beats, played by musicians in spiked jewelry and the corpse paint Hunt-Hendrix disdains, with Hammer Horror-sounding stage-names along the lines of Count Grishnackh, Faust, and Nocturno Culto, typically espousing an antiphilosophy of misanthropic individualism. In the genre’s native Norway in the early-to-mid 1990s, Black Metal spawned a culture of criminal one-upmanship that left in its wake least three documented murders, several suicides, and a swathe of burned churches and grave desecrations.
But “beneath all the grim vibes of Black Metal,” Hunt-Hendrix insists, “there’s this kind of spiritual ecstasy.” The tremolo picking creates the effect of “a string orchestra.” The great “unacknowledged influence” of the genre? Nineteenth century Romanticism.
"This ongoing process of undermining the very fundamentals of our emancipatory achievements takes place at different levels. The debate about water boarding being torture or not should be dropped as an obvious nonsense: why, if not by causing pain and fear of death, does boarding make hardened terror suspects talk? As to the replacement of the word “torture” by “enhanced interrogation technique,” one should note that we are dealing here with an extension of the Politically Correct logic: in exactly the same way that “disabled” becomes “physically challenged,” “torture” becomes “enhanced interrogation technique” (and, why not, “rape” could become “enhanced seduction technique”). One should insist on this parallel between torture and rape: what if a film were to show a brutal rape in the same neutral way, claiming that one should avoid cheap moralism and start to think about rape in all its complexity? Our guts tell us that there is something terribly wrong here: I would like to live in a society where rape is simply considered unacceptable, so that anyone who argues for it appears an eccentric idiot, not in a society where one has to argue against it – and the same goes for torture: a sign of ethical progress is the fact that torture is “dogmatically” rejected as repulsive, without any need for argumentation. So what about the “realist” argument: torture was always going on, if anything even more in the (near) past, so is it not better to at least talking publicly about it? This, exactly, is the problem: if torture was always going on, why are those in power now telling us openly about it? There is only one answer: to normalise it, ie, to lower our ethical standards."
"Mississippi lives at the bottom of most economic rankings and child poverty is no different: 34.7 percent of Mississippi’s kids live in poverty while 19 percent face extreme poverty. Mississippi does excel at funelling kids into the criminal justice system; in 2012 the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Meridian county in Mississippi for jailing public school children for infractions as slight as being tardy or going to the bathroom without permission. The state’s safety net programs provide some of the paltriest benefits in the country. On average, poor families in the state that qualify for Transitional Assistance for Needy Families benefits get $140 a month, far lower than the national average. Meanwhile, more and more Mississippians might need to make use of poverty programs: a recent report alarmingly found that 61.9 percent of Mississippi residents are financially insecure, with little or no savings, a 4 percent jump from last year."
Listen No I mean really listen When I speak I mean to say I am Pay attention to me just touch me accept this Accept whatever needs to be accepted open up The words are a river is a phrase but unless you let go It will take you all of the lessons I had to learn to barely understand enough to write this
Listen No person ever will be the end of you Except for the you in that moment and the truth is we die always You will not be defined by what your family says about you and you will not be defined by The times you were hurt in school and abused by people who wouldn’t understand feelings the way you do
Listen Is just a word and some people will say that words are not actions but they’re wrong
You will learn that over and over as you go through your life perhaps even hurting people from time to time You will learn that as you make love to her on the hill in the center of the city you will move into a few months later You will learn that as you don’t say I love you to her afterwards because you will know that saying that is always sacred You will learn that no matter how hard you try you will never change other people’s minds unless they want to be changed already You will learn that there are flies On the bodies levitating in the air of the dead space that is your past
So one day you will buy a cosmic vacuum And you will try to suck everything out but you will keep it running on too high a volume and too fast And you will suck out things you didn’t want to forget Memories like her
So you will set the vacuum on reverse and it will spit some things back in And most of them will be the things you want but some won’t And this time you’ll go slower with it, and more careful You will learn how to dance with the paradox of human existence Where the surreal and the absurd is just as important as logical and realistic Except sometimes it’s not
Listen You will like this poem because you made it Because even though you die in every moment that is the only way to live you know And eventually that will bring you everything you want piece by piece and with it Some things you don’t but now you already know that’s the paradox
Listen Sometimes you will lose the thread and the only way to regain it will be to do something like a killing Because if you don’t kill yourself then you will rot yourself from the inside and believe me when I say the smell is horrible and it will make you cry and think the life’s not worth living But remember the time you touched me and closed your eyes and imagined all the people Inside the globe without the borders Just silently humming a scope without listening without listening There’s no homing device And if you don’t find a home in yourself then you’ll never find a home
Listen I am writing this because I know because I had to write myself and now I am writing this Listen because I know you can hear me sometimes That’s why you sometimes started laughing all of a sudden like you heard an invisible joke And you remember the only time you saw someone else do that was in that movie Donnie Darko You named your friend rat after it because it seemed important Well eventually you meet the director of that movie and you hand him something you wrote because now you’re making comics and other things And you have a really good conversation and sort of stay in touch and you make things that help other people feel less alone
Listen you made me feel less alone when I was with you Listen all the pain is something you turn into art and you don’t have to search for more pain unless you truly want it Listen your family and other people have these dynamics that repeat themselves like circles through generations Listen you’ll see more of those so watch carefully and learn how to unhinge them in yourself so you can let go but if you want to know how you have to really listen
When you’re laughing in space you know everything turns out all right I don’t do that lately that feeling is a different one still the same but instead of laughter it’s this sort of calmness Listen there will be so many beautiful boys and girls and men and women Listen you’re not fat anymore and even when you were you were a wonderful kid Listen listen to your gut you’re making a right choice school isn’t for everyone Listen when she cries and goes to other people it has nothing to do with you that’s her need Listen when you fall in love with someone else it’s because you have this amazing capacity to love more than one person Listen when you realize you want to be with multiple people just go with it the right people will always find you if you want them to Listen wear your colors proudly Listen to what you really really love don’t waste time on things other people tell you you should do unless you want to do them Listen watch what you eat and drink because your body is falling apart already and that all will just speed it up but it will also give you resilience and wisdom so in the end I don’t know
Listen I think you’re completely fine listen I believe in you listen I was thinking I wrote this to tell you something important but I think I wrote this to speak with you Listen sometimes you will doubt yourself, probably I still doubt myself now from time to time and I also read that our name signifies a lot of good things but also that we’re anxiety-prone and guess what that’s true Listen you can translate everything into art so don’t be afraid to make it or if you’re afraid just use that as a way to find direction and go straight towards the thing you fear unless it’s a speeding truck in which case stay away
Listen some girls are speeding trucks Listen some boys are speeding trucks Listen some men are speeding trucks Listen some women are speeding trucks
Listen you will grow up and learn enough to understand symbolism and how it operates and subtext and subconscious and unconscious So you’ll realize the trucks might be a symbol of something else as well and you will face that when it’s time
Listen a girl will come to town next week Listen a voice in my head said “It’s almost time” and I don’t know if or just wishful thinking What do we even wish for don’t worry eleven years later I still listen and don’t know sometimes
And that sentence was like this weird kick in your blood that the doctor said she could feel when measuring in your pulse Like a skipping vinyl record
Listen To your pulse because it’s mine You will realize that everything in this world is made to listen
Listen everything has ears and mouths And everything will fall apart But if you think that’s pessimism You’re just not listening enough
Listen so you understand you’re not alone Regardless of what the simulation around you says Regardless of the news and horrors and pain and anger
Listen and write it all down Listen and get it all out before it’s too late Listen tell your dad what you’re thinking Listen tell all your family secrets
Listen eleven years later I still sometimes don’t know how to end a poem so when you laughed just now you know the thing I did was to give you a chance to laugh at the thing you can’t quite pin down Listen hug and kiss Donnie for me you know rats usually live just three four years Listen take better care of him than you did Listen be kinder than you were Listen you’re a good kid
I know because I am you I carry you everywhere you might be dead but you never left