I sort of used to listen to Megadeth. By sort of I mean I got a couple songs off somewhere, I don't know where from (Napster? someone's mix CD?)--it was good angry headbangy music for when I was in that kind of mood. Now I'm glad I don't.
Why? Because Megadeth is full of shit.
In 2007, Megadeth released an album called "United Abominations." That's hardly surprising in itself--metal bands have long employed deliberately offensive language, imagery, or album art to generate controversy and earn anti-establishment cred. Often it isn't even so much a set of definite political assertions as much as a ploy to piss people off. (Who really gives a shit, anyway, as long as the music is loud and tight and face-fuckingly hardcore?) That's what metal does, and I can kind of respect that. But the weird thing about "United Abominations" is that it actually does make a coherent political statement. It condemns the United Nations for, among other things, orchestrating 9/11, manufacturing WMD evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq, and plundering poor countries in the name of humanitarianism. In short...it's Bill O'Reilly.
Yes. This was 2007, when the Bush administration was coming under fire over Guantanamo and the waterboarding scandal, and popular support for the Iraq War was plunging, and there was evidence of the Bushies cutting funding for research that was turning up evidence for a link between global climate change and global warming--and Megadeth chose to attack the U.N.
as its Oppressive Authority Figure of choice. (Which, I remind you, Bush trampled all over to get his war in Iraq, when the U.N. tried to stop him--anyone who was following the papers back then knows that's why the left opposes the war in the first place.) The band sided with the radical right at a time when the radical right was employing every dirty trick in the book to squelch the opposition, and chose to attack instead what was possibly the only international check against one of the most authoritarian presidencies in American history. And it framed its position as an anti-establishment, anti-Orwellian screed against the Man.
This from a band that previously produced an album titled The System Has Failed
Now, of course, the U.N. has more pressing issues to deal with than the opinions of some has-been anarchist-turned-libertarian metalhead. Like, oh, preventing
terrorist attacks, shooting down bullshit WMD evidence from the CIA, and stopping First World powers and Third World warlords alike from plundering humanitarian aid. But Mark Goldberg, a U.N.-sponsored (but otherwise unaffilated) blogger who usually writes about things like AIDS prevention programs in Africa and peacekeeping in Haiti, was so offended that he had to write a line by line rebuttal
. This rebuttal is amazing. And not just because I agree.
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine responded
"Whether my facts are right or wrong, and whether you agree with me or not, I know I have (my fans') support most of the time and that is all that matters. I would rather feel right and be wrong with the semantics or facts in the song and have expressed my right to free speech, than to feel wrong and be right and sit back, like the rest of the cowards of the world, not saying anything."
Now doesn't that sound familiar? Goldberg thought so too
. He commented that there's a word for what Mustaine describes--and it's this one
Metalheads leaving comments on Megadeth's site are saying the usual left-wing fight-the-power catchphrases in support, like "it's a good thing there are alternative media sources telling us the TRUTH about the suits that control the WORLD!!!111" Alternative news sources? What, like Fox News? Or post-9-11 CNN? Omg so edgy. Seriously, even IndyMedia is not going to back up Mustaine on this one.
Big Brother is a friend of the people. Big Brother will stand with you against the oppressor, Emmanuel Goldstein. Big Brother will lynch anyone in a suit, regardless of whoever really controls the power.
Metal is dead, guys. Even if you ever honestly believed it represented the little guy, screaming out against the thousands of injustices a single monolithized oppressive entity doles out on a daily basis for the sole purpose of maintaining the status quo, this song proves that it no longer represents you. No, Megadeth hasn't sold out to the Man. It's much worse than that. Megadeth is
Of course, I'm just saying that because I'm obviously part of the global conspiracy to make America less awesome. I mean, here I am in New York and I have a U.N. flag hanging on my wall. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT HUH