Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Rock Star's New Clothes

From the "author" responsible for books discussing the philosophical implications of Seinfeld and The Simpsons comes this tome:

Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery
Edited by: William Irwin (King's College)

Hit the lights and jump in the fire, you're about to enter the School of Rock! Today's lecture will be a crash course in brain surgery. This hard and fast lesson is taught by instructors who graduated from the old school - they actually paid $5.98 for The $5.98 EP. But back before these philosophy professors cut their hair, they were lieutenants in the Metal Militia.

* A provocative study of the 'thinking man's' metal band
* Maps out the connections between Aristotle, Nietzsche, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Metallica, to demonstrate the band's philosophical significance
* Uses themes in Metallica's work to illuminate topics such as freedom, truth, identity, existentialism, questions of life and death, metaphysics, epistemology, the mind-body problem, morality, justice, and what we owe one another
* Draws on Metallica's lyrical content, Lars Ulrich's relationship with Napster, as well as the documentary Some Kind of Monster
* Serves as a guide for thinking through the work of one of the greatest rock bands of all time
* Compiled by the editor of Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing and The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer

Pretty thought provoking, innit? Some of the chapter titles made me laugh out loud: Metallica, Nietzsche, and Marx: The Immorality of Morality and Metallica Drops a Load: What Do Bands and Fans Owe Each Other?. Spit take quality stuff.

However, despite his smarty pants opinion of the band, the "author" is obviously clueless to the reality that the overwhelming majority of Metallica's fan base are dudes like this:

(Pic courtesy of LAist)

Man, if I had a nickel for every time a Metallica fan has pontificated about Kierkegaard while shotgunning a Bud Tall or while combing his mullet.....

I also think the "author" only mentions Kierkegaard because he's Danish, just like Lars Ulrich. Dude, way too obvious! Besides, there's also the obvious parallel between the lyrics of James Hetfield and Danish fairy tale author Hans Christian Anderson... and, of course, Anderson wrote The Emperor's New Clothes.. which takes on a smarty pants meaning if you substitute "Rock Star" for "Emperor"... Discuss amongst yourselves.

On another note: Metallica will be eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year..... Egads.