Forgive the long post... I'm hoping it's worth the read but am sure it will just bore and/or annoy many
So, in another thread where what I saw as a humorous conversation was being criticized for it's literal content, I responded and suggested that, to me, metal and this trip and these boards were all about having good times and not ripping each other for our different musical tastes or ideas expressed in threads. I got a few PMs in response, some in agreement, some not, and thought that some of the ideas represented on both sides of the discussion were valid and it got me thinking. First, it got me just wanting to clarify my position as expressed in that thread but then I thought about it a bit more. Essentially, I can sort of sum up my stance with the text with which I replied to one PM:
I just hate to think of some decent folk who are gonna be on this trip, coming to these boards and not getting involved out of fear that their specific tastes might get ridiculed or because they see some of the comments and figure it's an elitist community filled with drama. It'd be so much more cool to continue the metal trend of demonstrating a strength of community and being open to the differences presented by others, as opposed to the conformist pop world we all despise so much.
One of the PMs suggested I was trying to tell people not to express their preferences and that it's the diversity of metal that makes it unique and that every different style will have people that worship it and hate others and vice versa so it was useless to try to keep people from bashing each other on this topic.
Well, I tend to agree in general principle. I just don't see that the diversity has to lead to the bashing. I'm probably being naive and idealistic to hope that we'd all be open-minded and tolerant but it is something I see in others, strive for myself and am hoping we can lean towards here. I mean, if you enjoy new Metallica or some glam metal or industrial stuff that's verging on what we might call true metal, but not quite (or far from it in some cases) and say so here, so long as you're not telling us it's better than the stuff we enjoy, where's the harm? If Joe Metal wears an Amon Amarth shirt to a Uli Jon Roth gig, does that mean he doesn't fit in or ya won't hoist a brew with him cuz you're not into the that particular band?
If someone posts a thread or a reply that's not well thought out or expresses something unpopular (maybe like this very thread haha), of course we're gonna reply in way that sets them straight. I'm just hoping we'll do better than all the trolls on all the forums out there who can't come up with anything better than FACEPALM or STFU you Moron! If we keep in mind that it might be coming from someone who's only been into metal for a few years or hasn't been exposed to as much for as long, maybe it could be seen as an opportunity to educate rather than sending them back to the dark side of pop punk fandom or worse.
Don't get me wrong. I know that on some threads we're discussing which bands will get on this amazing bill or who we'd like to see reunite etc... I'm not for a second suggesting that people should censor their thoughts or feelings about these topics or the suggestions made by others that go completely against their own views. That's what discussion boards and various threads are for after all. I'm just talking about straight up saying so n' so sucks or is the crappiest band ever when someone else just mentions them simply because they're not your thing. We all know how ridiculous it is to hear people say metal sucks when we know that, in truth, it's only true that they hate it and is a matter of opinion as opposed to fact. Maybe the same logic can be applied to the differences within metal as well? I know we're all grown ups here and, as metal fans, should already be pretty thick skinned when it comes to stuff like this. I guess I'm just posting this in the hopes that we might lean towards being more inclusive to all the metal fans that might make their way here as opposed to just those we totally click with.
There's gonna be 2000 of us hanging out together for 4 1/2 days and (again, just my opinion) it would really kick ass if we could all get to know each other here and really have the trip reflect the kind of metal kinship and community we all hear about all the time instead of maybe having half of us alienating the other half over petty differences. Pretty sure we'd all much rather have a blast together instead of letting egos or attitudes turn it into some kind of who's cooler contest or an I'm more metal than you competition.
I know, I should've just typed out, "Can't we all just get along?"... But work's quiet tonight so, ya get this instead