Six weeks have passed already since I started to work for the Dutch Ministry of Defense. In these six weeks I’ve already seen many interesting things and I’ve been speaking to many interesting people. At the moment you might think: “Why write a column about this on a metal e-zine?” Well, you’ll just have to be patient my friend, and read on.
A couple of the things I’ve seen and learned here are:
- Standing next to the engine of a F-16 jet fighter while it’s being tested is a way more effective method to destroy your eardrums than going to some metal concert where the sound engineer forgot to bring his sound level meter.
- That same engine produces more fire in 3 seconds than Metallica does in 3 hours.
- A Staff-meeting is directed more tightly than an Iron Maiden show.
- The dinners here are more varied than Slayer’s gigs.
- In the army everyone wears the same clothes, but not with the idea to be different.
- Trying to get your clothes torn is quicker when you’re kicking a Germen Shepherd from a K9-unit than kicking the local, self-proclaimed ‘Lord of the Pit’.
- You can shoot your gun in the Small Caliber Weapon Simulator, so you don’t have to aim at ex-members of your favorite band.
- With bombing a whole village you perfectly cover the fact you only wanted to burn down the church
I definitely could go on and on with these kind of statements, but I guess you’ll get the point by now. If you look at the world in this way, there are tons of other things that are more ‘metal’ than metal itself. The question then remains: why do metalheads stick to this lifestyle and these traditions? Is it ‘cause they’re just too lazy to find some alternatives, are they just that easily satisfied or what is it…?
The point is that you’ve probably solved the problems in the Middle-East faster than that you answered that question correctly, without forgetting or insulting a single sub-genre. Some just think it’s cool to be a part of this worldwide metal community. Some have to be part of this community, ‘cause that’s the truest thing to do. Little boys want to be part of this community so they have something that doesn’t bully them at school and other smartasses think that there’s already enough being written about Britney’s kids and Lindsay’s girlfriend.
Personally, it just gives me the same feeling as the one that I get when I’m coming home after a period of absence. Whether I’ve been to a Drum ‘n’ Bass / Dubstep event, a soccer match of Ajax, Saw 183 or on a vacation to Thailand. It doesn’t matter where I go; it always feels good to be back.
All in all, metalheads could definitely make it easier, more exciting and/or more varied for themselves, but why should they? You wouldn’t shove your whole family aside just due to some small imperfections either, would you? The world isn’t perfect. Metal isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean that it’s less enjoyable. Just enjoy the beautiful moments that are given to you.
Live for this,