Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sleaze Rocks, Part II Evangelicals vs “Satanic Metal”

If the main stage was the PMRC hearings, the real action was the emergence of "moral majority" actors versus “Satanic” Heavy Metal.  To recall, the 1980s faced a series of sensational collective psychosis, Left and Right: reports of ritual, often Satanic child abuse and murder in childcare centers (where Janet Reno made her bones—any wonder Florida produced Death Metal?); reports of nationwide child-sex rings (e.g. Franklin Cover-Up) that reached to the highest elites; Dungeons and Dragons promoting Satanism and suicide; teen suicide. 

“Satanic” Heavy Metal is generally suggested to have begun with the British New Wave Metal acts, like Iron Maiden, and Venom, who did an outright Satanic act.  But by 1986, touring with Henry Rollin’s Black Flag outfit, the band was a sort of parody of itself.  King Diamond enjoyed a similar type of success doing gothic Metal with opera vocals, and Geraldo helped him ham it up with an interview where he declared he was a Satanist (neither the members of Venom nor King Diamond are “really” Satanists, it was just theater.)

While Venom had played itself out, it did spawn a genre and style, that did exist, but the real thing had already come and gone (Coven in the late ‘60s was outright Occult, and backward masking was used by The Beatles and the cult around alleged subliminal messages was massive—Charles Manson it’s prophet.) 

In the United States, San Francisco Metallers moved from Dungeon and Dragons to more grotesque imagery, but the Satanism was limited to imagery in bands like Slayer (originally, Dragonslayer—more Dungeons and Dragons.)
Both the evangelical community and the PMRC (and more then a few trial lawyers) accused musicians/producers/record companies of a technique called backwards masking, and promoted the theory of subliminal messaging (which was popular on the Right and Left.)  The more general accusation was that Heavy Metal promoted Satanism in the form of encouraging drug use, promiscuity and suicide

I have jumped ahead, and need to rewind back to the point about Dungeons and Dragons, a fantasy role playing game that was inspired by the works of JRR Tolkien, Ron E. Howard of Conan fame, and HL Lovecraft—one might conclude that D&D was ‘rightwing’ with such influences.

One might also conclude that if Satanic Heavy Metal "promoted" drug use, promiscuity, and suicide--well, that is what the Devil does, right?

To conclude, a strain of anti-Catholic Evangelical Protestantism allied with Tipper Gore made up the Left, and Sleaze & “Satan” were on the Right.

The 90s awaited.

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