too much typing—since 2003


flush of steel

Okay, so here's part of an ad for this year's Ozzfest (I couldn't scan the whole thing: too huge), and I've just gotta say: huh?

As far as I can make out, a demon, smoking a fat cigar and enjoying a glass of...uh, wine or blood, has been interrupted in his hellish call of nature. And again, I say unto you: huh?

At one level, this is funny - but at the same time, it's funny primarily to twelve-year-olds, and you don't immediately notice the spiky Toilet of Hell (and no, I don't know why toilets have become a running theme here). I suppose it might be a parody on prevailing metal imagery.

But. You will notice the list of bands appearing at this year's shindig: in addition to the big-deal Black Sabbath reunion (okay, I do have a soft spot for the first half-dozen Sabbath records), we have Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, Rob Zombie, Shadows Fall, Black Dahlia Murder, The Haunted, Bury Your Dead, As I Lay Dying, "and much more!" The sharper among you will have detected the common thematic thread among these band names. I mean, it's one thing to be all death and torture and pain and gloom and darkness when, say, everyone else is a buncha flower-sniffing hippies rolling around naked in the rain - but twenty-five years later, isn't there just the slightest possibility that the whole D-O-O-M!! thing might be getting just the least bit worn out and cliched? No?

But most of these bands, particularly the more recent ones, don't seem terribly aware of the silliness of their names (the exceptions would be Rob Zombie, and possibly Iron Maiden, at least among acts I know something about). And so the parody is either a bit mean-spirited, aimed directly at the bands and their fans - or the apparent self-seriousness of the bands is itself a big ol' joke, which their fans may or may not be in on. But the problem there is: say a joke once, it might be funny. Repeat a few times, it's less funny. Repeat it 8,725 times for thirty years? Someone stomped the hell out of the funny a long, long time ago.

So, I just don't get it. It's sorta like the way all male country musicians are required by law to wear a cowboy hat - even though they might be from the renowned cattle-rearing districts of New Jersey. (Oh hell: now Tris is going to point out some statistics demonstrating that, in fact, cattle farming constitutes a thriving sector of the New Jersey economy...)

Anyway: smoking, drinking demon on the toilet.


Anonymous said...

I'm not Tris, but you know I've spent many happy days and some unhappy ones in South Jersey over the years, and I'm here to tell you about the Cowtown Rodeo, the oldest continously operating rodeo, and one of just three weekly rodeos in the country. It's right near Woodstown. New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

The above comment is from Janet. Forgot about that anonymity foolishness. And surely you have heard of Jersey cows?