Is Heavy Metal the Inevitable By-product of Freedom of Speech?
Freedom of speech
Have you ever noticed that a lot of the most exciting and engaging and deliciously intriguing forms of metal come from either dictatorships or the Nordic regions of the world?
Now, a lot of people might be thinking that this is a nice piece of trivia that doesn’t really mean much of anything, but if you look past the surface, it actually speaks a lot. It really does. It says quite a bit. In fact, this is the telltale sign that heavy metal, for all its problems and its blemishes, is not going to go anywhere any time soon.
Heavy metal continues to be a musical force and a sociological fact in many areas of the world precisely because it is considered by many youths of many different cultures as essentially the last hold out or stronghold of freedom of speech.
You have to understand that many dictatorships crack down on freedom of speech. It’s very easy to see why. If people were given a free hand in saying whatever they want to say against the government, this might lead to people thinking certain banned thoughts that may somehow, some way, lead to the overthrow of the government.
Now, this is not some sort of far-fetched idea. This is definitely not theory or speculation because you only need to look at what happened to the Arab world during the period of the Arab spring to know that it only takes one person to think the “wrong” set of thoughts to, in turn, infect other people who in turn infect other people with the same thought, until you have a riot on your hands. We’re not just talking about one riot breaking out in some unforeseen forsaken part of a country, but these riots tend to replicate themselves.
The moment you devote any kind of media attention to them, they keep getting repeated until the whole country is up in arms. This is why a lot of countries actually crack down on speech. But the more they cut down, the metal scene gets stronger because it is considered a safe alternative to political protest.
It’s kind of like pushing on the side of a balloon. You don’t know which side of the balloon will swell up in reaction to your pushing action, but you can rest assured that there will be an impact to your action. After all, for every action, there will be an equal and opposite reaction.
Heavy metal music is that part of the balloon that swells up. People may not be free to speak their mind in certain parts of social life, but believe us, it will blow up in an explosion of creativity in the metal scene.
This is why we can say with a straight face that heavy metal is not just the byproduct of freedom of speech, but it is the inevitable result of such freedom or suppression of such freedom. Remember that freedom cannot be denied. It will eventually come to the surface-in one form or another. It cannot be coopted. It yeards to be free.