Friday, 27 June 2014

Boycotting Bands? Bollocks!

There are usually only 2 things that will make my boycott a band. Either I think their music sucks, or I have serious personal beef with one or more of the members. And it would have to be SERIOUS for me to deprive myself of the pleasure of listening to good music! I would never boycott a band just because they had an ideology I disagreed with, especially as with most of the music I listen to, the lyrics are completely indecipherable. I do however listen to a few punk and traditional metal bands whose lyrics express sentiments I totally disagree with and it doesn’t stop me enjoying their music. If I got rid of all the records I have by bands whose ideologies (whether privately held or expressed in their lyrics) I disagreed with, my collection would be a fraction of its size!

There is a certain, rather vocal, faction in the metal scene who are all for boycotting any band who have even the most tenuous link to any fascist or Nazi ideologies. Whenever its suggested to them that their “no platform for fascists” stance might be a bit fascist itself, they tend to counter with the argument that if the fascists came to power they would repress all opposition, so they are protecting everyone’s right to free speech by removing said right from the Nazis. This argument seems to me to fall down though when you consider that there are plenty of other ideologies that have proved just as hostile to freedom of speech as Nazism. The Communists in Russia, China and Cambodia for example, set about silencing their enemies every bit as enthusiastically as Hitler. Even now, people are being killed daily in Muslim countries for speaking out against Sharia Law. The Christian Inquisition may be a thing of the past but lets not be under any illusions that a GENUINE Christian theocrat would be any more tolerant of opposing views than Hitler, Stalin or the Ayatollah.

Despite all this you almost never hear anyone in the Metal scene saying “no platform for Christians, Communists or Muslims – in fact you’re much more likely to hear those who do denounce those ideologies being condemned as fascists. This says to me that a lot of so called anti fascists are actually more motivated by self loathing (post colonial guilt?) than a genuine desire to see an end to bigotry, homophobia etc. Anyone with a genuine interest in preserving freedom of expression for all would be ready to condemn bigotry, censorship, patriarchy, homophobia etc WHEREVER it rears it’s head, not just when its being perpetrated by those who are right (wing) and white!

Satanic Poseurs

There seems to be a common misinterpretation that Anton LaVey made “rules that Satanists” have to follow. Certain self-styled “Satanists” in the metal community see a contradiction between these “rules” and the “be whatever you want to be” individuality of Satanism. This is ridiculous, if being a Satanist meant you could be whatever you want, do whatever you want etc, that would render the word “Satanist” completely meaningless. This in fact is what it was before Anton LaVey came on the scene, just an insulting term that Protestants and Catholics used to throw at each other, and Christians of all denominations used to throw at the Jews. What LaVey did was attach a meaning to the word Satanism, he recognised a current of heretical thought in the writings of such men as Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Redbeard, Jack London etc and labelled it Satanic. The 9 Statements, Eleven Rules and Satanic Sins contain the bare bones of the definition of what a Satanist is, a definition he fleshed out in the Satanic Bible and his other writings. If you see your own personality reflected back at you in those writings, you are a Satanist. If not, no big deal. What I find hard to understand is why so many people seem desperate to attach this label “Satanist” to themselves when they plainly don’t fit the definition. Do they view themselves as so dull they need that label to make them look interesting?

I am equally puzzled by the so called “theistic Satanism” prevalent in the metal scene. Let’s get one thing straight, the Holy Bible (HB) is the rule book of Christianity. If you take the HB to be a book of truth, ie if you believe in the literal existence of god and the devil, heaven and hell, and an immortal soul that is judged against the HB’s standards of good and evil, then you are a Christian. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to worship god and try to be “good” in the hope your soul will go to heaven, or if you worship the devil and try to be “evil” in the hope you’ll go to hell. The difference between the two is like the difference between two people playing the same Star Wars video game that allows you to play as either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. The game is the same, and in this case the name of the game is Christianity.

Theistic Idiocy

One of the criticisms I see frequently levelled at militant atheists is that no one can prove that there are no gods or goddesses and so the belief that there is no god is not grounded in hard evidence any more than the belief that there IS a god. If spiritual religions were merely centred around a belief in a creator figure (god, goddess or multiple combinations of the two) then that criticism would have some validity I think. However religions are based, not just on the belief in a creator figure’s existence, but also in the belief that that creator figure worries about what we individual humans do with our lives and controls our destinies. And that, to put it bluntly, is fucking absurd.

Just a basic knowledge of astronomy should make it obvious that any creature or creatures old enough and powerful enough to have created the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is not going to give a shit what we do with our genitals, what foods we eat or what we carry around or do on certain days of the week. We are talking about a universe who’s age is reckon in BILLIONS of years, and just thinking about the distances between stars makes my head spin! Consider that the speed of light is around 671 million miles an hour yet it takes light from the nearest star to us (Proxima Centauri) over four YEARS to reach us! Even if someone became World Dictator and initiated a nuclear war that lead to the total destruction of Planet Earth, on a cosmic scale it would be an event of such trivial significance that it wouldn’t even register on some universal creator’s radar, yet the majority of this planet’s population live their lives enslaved to man-made moral codes which they’ve been conned into believing are the dictates of the creator of the universe!

I think it is our very insignificance of the cosmic scale that has led to these beliefs surviving into the modern age. They provide a psychological comfort blanket in the face of the knowledge that in fact we are one of several billion microbes scurrying around for a mere speck of time (compared to the age of the planet) on an utterly insignificant ball of rock that orbits one of a near infinite number of yellow dwarf stars. Of course the same holds true with the belief in the immortal soul and the afterlife, which protects the theist from confronting the notions that once he is dead he is gone and that if he wants to be remembered after his death he has to leave something of worth behind, and that no one gives a shit what he does with his life except the people he comes into direct contact with or can influence.

I just find it hard to respect such backwards thinking though. Replacing a gap in ones knowledge with mystical mumbo jumbo is the act of the primitive mind. The advanced mind, the Isaac Newtons and Benjamin Franklins of this world, saw natural phenomena they didn’t  understand and said to themselves “its about time to figure that out” and they set about conducting experiments to try and work out what was causing it. And if they couldn’t  figure it out they put a question mark there – “we can’t work it out now but one day we will”. The primitive tribesman on the other hands sees a volcano erupting, doesn’t know what causes it and concludes “um fire god be angry” then gets down on his knees to pray and appease said fire god or pays the tribe ju ju man to do it for him. That’s it, case closed, no need for further investigation or experiment. Now, we understand much about the working of the human mind, we can measure brain activity, we know it is the result of chemical changes and electrical impulses etc and we can measure when that activity stops and the human being stops being alive and turns into a piece of decaying meat. But we don’t fully understand how that activity translates into what we call consciousness. But that is no reason to fill that gap in our knowledge with rubbish likes “souls” “spirits” or “reincarnation”. That puts  the religionist alongside the aforementioned tribesman, quivering on his knees trying to appease the mountain god! Fuck that, I’d rather stand alongside the Isaac Newtons and Benjamin Franklins! I am happy to respect someone’s opinion, even if I don’t agree with it, if they can put forward a reasoned and logical argument in favour of it. But beliefs based on insecurity, ignorance and backwards thinking? No, sorry, as far as I am concerned they are worthy only of mockery and derision.

Population Control

I’m sick and tired of hearing about how Britain’s population is rising faster than any other European countries, what measures the government is going to have to take to cope with the increasing population, how 24 hours a day running water might not be feasible in the South East in a few years’ time etc etc. If a doctor tells you that you’re going to have a heart attack within 10 years if you don’t change your lifestyle, you don’t start planning which hospital you’re going to go to when you have your heart attack do you? You take steps to AVOID having a heart attack! By the same token we should be taking steps to halt and reverse the population rise because this country (and London in particular) is grossly overcrowded compared to every other city I’ve been in.
Any politician serious about making life better for the British people (and that SHOULD be every politician’s main aim surely!) would put population control at the top of their agenda, the fact that no party seems to even mention it is one of the main reasons I don’t vote. And before anyone says it, there’s no need for a cull or any drastic measures like that, not that there’s any lack of suitable cullees but let’s not go down that road ;) People are being born and dying constantly, slow the birth rate down so it’s less than the death rate and the population will start to reduce immediately. 2 simple measures that could be put in place to do this are stopping financial encouragements to breed (extra benefits, family credits, council housing when you have a child you can’t afford etc) and stopping immigration. Of course to accomplish either we would have to free ourselves from the shackles of the EU first, but it’s a moot point anyway. No politician would have the balls to propose such measures, because they know the gutless bleeding heart public and their opinion makers in the self-hating liberal media would just condemn them as “fascists”. In other words, we’re fucked.