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!

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