I understand that this is a music website and people tend to get fussy when things outside of their usual realm of comfort are introduced but everything that I have to say here will eventually relate to the music we create and love. Recently, the Supreme Court has been unusually active, going after previously established court verdicts, which something that I didn’t think I would be seeing in my lifetime. They’ve overturned Roe v. Wade, weakened EPA regulations on America’s most prized entities (that’s corporations for those of you playing at home) and have edged closer to allowing prayer back into school. And while this may seem like a few dozen steps backwards in American society it’s a great leap forward—forward into a theocratic nation.
There’s honestly a lot to unpack here and I know I’m not qualified to handle most of it, but considering I have a platform and a baby daughter I would be irresponsible if I didn’t. And before you speak up in the comments about how this is “SJW” “cuck” shit, just stop a second before you slam Caps Lock and realize this: You can fucking blow me. This isn’t about the identity politics you love to whine about. It’s a lot broader than that.
I’ll admit that I felt a lot of the initial backlash against Trump winning in 2016 was a bit overblown. The far left can present itself as a bunch of whining children who take a good concept and run it into the ground. That last sentence alone would then invalidate any other idea I put forth not only in this piece but everything I’ll ever write in the eyes of some of the very people I just wrote about. The left cannibalizes itself constantly, like a screaming ouroboros with a pink Die Antwoord haircut. But the further into it we went, I started seeing warning signs, a society so self-involved and motivated only by their team “winning” that they forgot what they were losing. I’d always understood that our country’s penchant for anti-intellectualism was deeply ingrained as a virtue. I’d gone to public school, after all, where I’d witnessed students maneuvered through their education based entirely on their abilities to win sporting events. I’d watch those same students get booted out of college because they couldn’t fucking read. That last sentence is not hyperbole. I can’t imagine too much has changed in the system in the last few decades.
But when you look at just how much the two ingredients of anti-intellectualism and “winning by any means necessary” have sour the land of milk and honey that our patriotic songs and traditions tell us is the United States, you’ll see that it’s alarmingly sped up the last decade. And it’s been aided by another poison: perceived morality, which is evolving into theocratic moralism. It’s the butter to the “win by any means necessary” bread, something shrewd leaders, corporations and politicians use to get into the heads of the proudly ignorant, mostly through old fables they twist and reinterpret for their own ends. This is how you get people who truly believe that children are being born then executed and that the only answer is prayer in school. I know that technically America is not a “Christian nation,” but you could fool me when you listen to politicians on both sides citing religious reasons for their actions. There are obvious concerns about the separation of church and state in this country, but that’s a facade. The two have been intertwined ever since Regan took office, and probably before.
The people who advocate prayer in school and claim to be “pro-life” also oppose government overreach. They don’t want those in power to tell them what they can and can’t do with their faith, their money, their lives. There’s a tremendous amount of irony considering they’re now the ones telling others what they can do with their bodies. I’ve seen a few out there say that this is what liberals get for forcing them to wear a mask. The idea that forced birth and/or jail time for an abortion and the inconvenience of having to wear a piece of cloth on your face when you go to the grocery store are remotely the same thing is asinine. But then again so is spending money on “Let’s Go Brandon” merchandise that’s printed in China.
Just say “Fuck Joe Biden” like the rest of us do. You look like a child using code words, so here’s your chance to utilize that First Amendment right that you don’t fully understand!
Let’s go into abortion. The overarching narrative on the right seems to be that women just get abortions willy-nilly, and this is filling up Purgatory with unbaptized babies while these strumpets are going around letting strangers bust a nut in them several times a day. There has been a lot of talk about responsibility, mostly telling women who they can or cannot fuck. No one ever says anything about the guys doing the fucking. No bumper stickers telling men not to bang indiscriminately. No memes about using condoms. Not even a helpful TikTok about the proper time to pull out. Instead, I just see constant ads for pills to make a broken dick work again.
I’m sure by this time we’ve all heard that Senate candidate speak about how a woman’s body fights back against a rapist’s sperm. We’ve all heard some kind of parable about how a rape or incest baby is God’s way of giving back after a bad situation. We’ve all witnessed how rape cases work and how the victim is almost always dragged through the mud during the proceedings. And I guarantee we all know somebody who has been raped, whether or not they tell us. You think a rape case is brutal? Imagine the cases where a woman is prosecuted because she had an abortion in a state where it’s illegal. Or when she’s sent to jail for having a miscarriage that she couldn’t prove wasn’t intentional. This list could go on and fucking on.
And if a woman wants an abortion just because she doesn’t want a kid? That’s fucking fine, too. It’s not your life to lead and it’s none of your business. “But I’ll be paying more welfare taxes” is a bullshit response. You’ll be paying more to help her feed her kid she was forced to deliver. And that kid’s going to have a fucked-up start to their life because of what they represent to their mother. These children will cause a further strain on an already overburdened system.
If you spend at least 30% of your Thanksgiving bitching about having to help people on social assistance, then you’re only serving to fuck yourself further by forcing more births. Especially if the mother dies during childbirth because she was high-risk yet legally forced to have the child. We could keep these scenarios going on and on. It’s not just people whom you find morally reprehensible who need access to these services, though that isn’t a convenient reality for whatever straw-man argument that’s floating around Fox in between segments where Tucker Carlson watches patriots get their ball sacks tanned.
And yes, I have a child, which means we didn’t have an abortion (just in case you needed help following along). But if my child’s mother’s health were ever at risk during the pregnancy? It was on the table. That’s where the right to choose comes to play. I was prepared to follow whatever decision she made.
The reality is whatever the reason a person wants/needs an abortion is their business alone, not mine, not yours. And it doesn’t affect your life at all. If someone hundreds of miles away (or right next door) wants to get an abortion, tell me exactly what that does to your life. Pregnancy is fucking hard, much more so if you don’t want it or are in danger from it. For a group of people to be so against government overreach you’re certainly fine with it when it suits your idea of morality.
In the past weeks, some metal fans spoke up about not killing babies or hurting children. And I’ve seen a lot of them supporting Inquisition, a band fronted by a man who plead guilty to child-pornography possession. What about the kids on his hard drive? Same as evangelicals and kids in foster care: Some people only speak up when it serves their own interests. But worse than that has been the apathy these verdicts have been greeted with. The ignorance of “well, this doesn’t affect me so it’s not important”—an all-American classic—might be more damaging than the people whose dicks get hard at the idea of more babies being born into shitty life scenarios.
I even saw someone casually mention being able to go get an abortion in Europe, like everyone just has the time and spare cash to globetrot. Very few people actually care and pay attention to shit until it’s right on their doorsteps. And considering punk and metal are founded in anti-establishmentism it’s fucking baffling that some tend to be so fine with whatever their leaders hand down to them. Especially in the more staunchly anti-religious segments of the culture. It’s not incredibly shocking coming from this culture, but it is disappointing.
I want to make it clear—if you’re pro-life I’m absolutely fine with that; that’s your right to have your beliefs and to live your life by them. If you object to abortion then, by all means, don’t have one. No one’s forcing you to. So why are you going to force someone else to have one? Just to “own the libs”? Grow up and go fuck yourself.
Which brings us to the return of prayer in school, another middle finger to the concept of “separation of church and state,” as interpreted in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, a vital part of the Bill of Rights for 200 fucking years. It’s a little more of a grey area than what I outlined above, simply because of its interpretations. If it means that kids will have prayer groups as an extracurricular activity, then that’s fine; it’s not something I would have wanted to take part in. But this was once a free country and some kids praying in the fucking school yard would not have impacted my life (save for a few easy jokes).
But this could lead into religion—or more accurately, “Evangelical Christianity”—slipping their fingers into our kids outside of church. It’s a half step towards science classes teaching students that evolution is a fraud and the weather is controlled by Jews. It’s going accelerate book banning and will turn the act of imagination into a punitive offense. Education in this country has already become a training camp for corporate interests and encourages willful ignorance and the death of curiosity. Add strict adherence to religion to this and you’re all but ensuring generations of mindless idiots working to increase profits for billionaires who don’t give a fuck about them while owning only one book.
But, hey, at least your kids will be able to openly pray the next time a classmate breaks down and opens fire.
And where does this end? This is a heavy metal website, so let’s look at that: With a theocracy, it’s not just women and minorities that are punished. Look at the lyrical and aesthetic content of the music you consume or create. Does it sit well within an evangelical notion of morality? You’re aware that some countries currently have blasphemy laws, right? Do you think that we’ll just skip over that part and only keep the parts you like? A theocracy is no friend to art, music, literature, or films outside its worldview. Especially if you’re critical of said worldview. Do you really think just because you’re excited that the left is upset that somehow these people won’t notice whatever blasphemous content your music/art/writing contains and eventually come after you? As much as “cancel culture” can nullify a lot of free discourse, this is simply the other side of that coin and when it lands, it’ll want you to shut the fuck up, too.
I know we’re all exhausted by politics after the last decade or two. And I’m so sick of fundraising emails from Nancy Pelosi that I’m considering contributing to the legal defense fund of the guy who shit in her office. Liberals, leftists and Democrats spend more time pointing the finger at each other over trivial nonsense and their innate ineffectiveness at anything beyond sharing a video of a late-night talk show host still calling Trump an asshole (I’m paraphrasing, probably).
Blaming each other for the state of the world allows for a better-organized opposition to insert themselves into power positions, aided by a public so numbed by their fucking iPhones and cable news that they don’t realize the people they’ve lifted up despise them as much as they despise anyone who isn’t their circle of powerful, ghoulish old men.
This isn’t just abortion—it’s women’s rights. It isn’t just prayer in schools—it’s policing thought. It’s about our daughters, partners, mothers, friends and even strangers. I’m aware that many think that “cancel culture” is already doing that, but at least there’s alternative avenues to getting your thoughts and ideas out, even if it’s not through the mainstream. Evangelical moralism—especially once militarized—will not allow for even that.
So, if you’re angry, fucking protest. Badger your elected officials to actually fight for something. I mean, Jesus Christ, the Democrats had decades where they could have codified Roe into law, but they’ve been too busy using it as talking points during elections and fundraisers. And if these assholes won’t listen then instead of clicking on every email from Chuck Schumer telling you that “this is the most serious email I’ve ever sent,” while pushing up his glasses every other word, then vote them out. It’ll do a lot more than putting an image on your Facebook profile picture and bragging about how you didn’t vote because “they’re all bad.” Inaction is a weakness that people on the side of evangelical moralism love to exploit, it’s like blood in the water. And by the time we, as a society, wake up to this fact the realization will dawn that we’re no longer “the land of the free.”
Further suggested reading