ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2008
Over the recent weeks people have been asking me how I deal with some of the ignorant and insipid things people either write or say about me. To be honest I had never given it too much thought because people have been gunning for me in one way or another since my days with the Evil Empire. For the most part I just let it go in one ear and out the other or the person commenting is so far beneath my radar I don’t even know about them.
When I first starting writing for actual publications I instantly rubbed people the wrong way mainly because I don’t deal with politics in the music scene and, always having been unpopular, the whole popularity contest is not my bag either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not swinging my dick here I mainly act that way because I have no other mechanism for writing. I aspire to the Black Flag ideal, which is to do it for you. That’s why I write, for me and that’s it.
In my estimation everybody and anybody who has made any kind of difference or tried to get across their true feelings has done so simply out of a need to do it and a thirst for truth that can’t be quenched. I write because when something touches me, good or bad, I have to bleed it out into my writing or it consumes me. I don’t write for the approval of the scene, to be liked or to be held up as some hero of the metal cause. I do it because there is so much dishonesty in music today, so much dick sucking in magazines and so much blatant do-for-me-I-do-for-you that it’s hard to really believe anybody.
You may not like my writing or me but you can’t say it’s not honest and people have to respect it, which they also hate. No matter what they write or say my accomplishments are my own and no words can take them away. In fact I find the more volatile people become over me or what I say the more I smile because I know they’re reading it, even if they don’t want to.
We all do what we do in the arts because there is no other choice but to do it, at least that’s why we should be pursuing it. After the Evil Empire I continued to write, for myself, for other publications, I even started a dreaded blog just to always be writing about something, anything. You can feel that with bands can’t you? When a band is doing it because they have to, something in that desperation creates beautiful art even if the music is ugly as all hell.
When bands try to figure out what will sell they usually end up sucking, even if they don’t sound like everybody else. I find a lot of people tend to think that only bands that sound similar are around just to cash in but I’ve heard plenty of experimental and underground bands who are just as wired towards pretension and mediocrity as some easily targeted Nu-Metal band. I also love debate, that’s part of the excitement of having an opinion is hearing how others will differ but I only enjoy it when it isn’t ignorant.
I love when people write things that differ from what I’m saying just as much as people who agree with me. The only time I disregard a post or an opinion is when it’s just there to be insulting. I find it funny because no matter how well thought out, how mean spirited or how sardonic they try to be it all comes out as “Iann Is A Doody Head”. In other words it all blends into childish ranting. I also don’t get upset with cowardice and that’s usually what I’m dealing with.
People who really want to disagree at the very least make a full attempt to confront me. Either that or they email me with an actual email address, something that divulges at least a glimpse of who they are. The rest hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to vent their frustrations. Two things are clear about those people: 1. They will never say it to your face and 2. They hate themselves because they don’t really contribute anything.
Everybody who puts themselves out there knows what I am talking about. Bands, writers, artists, everybody. You can’t make everybody happy, and without fail if you’re honest you will rub an entire sect of human beings the wrong way. The difference is that you’re out there, people know who you are, can pick you out on the street, you’re really doing it. This is where the rubber hits the road and you have to decide if you want to stick your head above the crowd or blend in with them. My only request is that if you blend then blend and if you want to stand up then really stand up, don’t go the easy route.
Don’t blend in with the crowd and hide within it and throw stones. That doesn’t do anything it doesn’t to move us along any real route. I have even gone so far as to delete strictly hate filled posts because to me it’s intellectual spam, nothing more. The only difference between some person who fires off insults in an email and an email ad for a pill that makes your dick bigger is that the ad is usually better written and contains proper grammar.
I guess I’m writing this for all the people who asked me how I put up with it, or why I do or why I don’t quit. I can’t quit, I couldn’t stop writing if I wanted to, it is as much a compulsion of mine as record collecting or comics or anything else that is the life’s blood. The music industry is fraught with genuine peril; sick malicious dogs that cater to bean counters and try to make music mean nothing so you’ll consume it without question. I just want to say, “Wait a minute, that’s bullshit” as often as I can. It’s what we all are working for, some kind of purity and honesty in a music world that has been drained of its soul largely by those who claim to love it. Without bands, writers, bloggers and other people fighting for that ideal then music will become what Lester Bangs always feared. An Industry Of Cool.