Storytime With Uncle Pathogen: Why We Fight

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written by Matt
November 29, 2012 | Category: Editorial, Storytime With Uncle Pathogen

Once again we pass the digital mic to our curmudgeon at-large and drunkest Thane of Skyrim, Matt Pathogen.

Matt Pathogen

When I was but a wee lad of 16 growing up just east of the Bay Area, I was a pretty typical high school outcast: an awkward nerd, I had a hilarious bad haircut, no particularly coherent or cohesive sense of style, and all the social graces of a bag of slugs. My days were committed to sitting through errant harassment by the sports-oriented cliques of my high school, battling the most skilled pilots the Kilrathi could muster to stand against me in Wing Commander III, and being seized by anxiety attacks when girls talked to me. In other words, I was a prime candidate for becoming a fan of industrial music. As is oddly common to people who got into industrial around the same time as I, the big introduction I got was in the form of the revered Mortal Kombat Soundtrack. If you find this funny, you’re in good company, because so do I. However, when you were a teenager in the ‘90s and just didn’t dig the downward slope of grunge, the rise of neutral “alternative” rock like Everclear or the antics of proto-bling hip-hop, your work was cut out for you in terms of finding palatable music. For many of us, finding KMFDM, Sister Machine Gun, Bile and Gravity Kills on one CD was a gateway to a whole new world of aggressive music that really, really got us excited.

In the spirit of this discovery, when the local ragtag assortment of weird kids I hung out with announced their intentions to visit The City to see KMFDM, I was worked into a tizzy almost immediately. I’d never gone to San Francisco before! I was going on an adventure! I was going to see a show! IT WAS GOING TO BE SO COOL. And lo, cool is what it was. I drove up with a handful of people who graciously tolerated my extreme social awkwardness, hung out in the Haight Ashbury area and drank fancy coffee, and eventually ended up at the Warfield to see the show. Mind you, this was not just a KMFDM show: this was them at the height of their career, supporting the Symbols album that featured a heavy load of collaborations that translated into a stage full of luminaries. For an impressionable lad of meager years, the likes of Nivek Ogre, Raymond Watts and the entire KMFDM crew strutting across the stage in full gearhead regalia was awe-inspiring. Plus, far from my usual daily experience of low-level hostility and social ostracism, I actually felt right at home within the crowd of screaming fans, bedecked in Doc Martens, leather jackets, German tanker goggles and spikes. Oh, was I hooked.

Fourteen years later, when the Wax Trax! Retrospectacle was organized in Chicago to commemorate the achievements of that storied record label, I knew I had no excuse to not go. Having long since parted ways with KMFDM proper, several ex-members were taking the stage in a lineup quite close to that very show I’d gone to fourteen years ago, this time joined by bands such as Front 242 and a similarly reconstructed semi-RevCo. The show was magnificent, to be sure, but for me the most stirring moment of it was when a few die-hard Wax Trax! fans from the very early days of the label were brought onstage to tell their story. One of these speakers had been gay teenager growing up in the conservative South, scared to admit who he was to his peers and neighbors. This man escaped his emotionally oppressive homeland for a road trip to Chicago for a show one day, where he experienced a scenario I couldn’t help but relate to: after years of being made to feel unwelcome simply due to who he was, he experienced an openness and solidarity that made him reevaluate how he thought about himself and turned him into a lifelong industrial music fan.

Over the past few months, a great deal of soul-searching and argumentation has gone on in the industrial community. I’ve been happy to engage in a great deal of it myself. However, every so often during these rhetorical outbursts I’ve been asked why I even care this much. Well, let me tell you another story: a few months ago I saw one of my favorite bands in the world, Firewater, play in Chicago. The show was fantastic. The crowd was not. It was laden with frat boys and broski assholes that sexually harassed a large number of the female concertgoers around them, unapologetically and with an air of smirking entitlement that I had partially forgotten existed. One of a bunch of guys who had been harassing a group of girls next to them all night violently shoved a girl backwards when she declined his advances. Later, one of the girls from that beleaguered group was invited onstage, only (to the band’s horror) to be ground against by a drunken lout who’d also clambered up.

Firewater: A Little Revolution from Paul Griswold on Vimeo.

I felt awful for the two girls, because that probably happens a lot: they and their friends will go out to some show or club, looking to listen to some music and have a good time, and some mixed bag of assholes will come along and ruin it for them. I felt awful for the band, as they clearly weren’t happy with the sloppy mess that had resulted from them welcoming fans onto the stage with them. Ultimately, I felt awful because it’s the year 2012 and there is still an enormous and disturbing amount of people out there perfectly willing to debase others, to deny them their personhood, and to treat them purely as objects that exist to satisfy their own shallow, selfish desires.

One of the talking points that comes up during the long-running debate about the current social state of the industrial scene is that most of its events are conspicuously free of this kind of meathead bullshit. However, one of the things that this scene does a little too well is insist on isolating itself from the mainstream culture it rails against. This kind of cultural tunnel vision makes it difficult to identify when the nasty parts of the culture it claims to reject creep in. We as a group might pride ourselves on being radically inclusive, of welcoming the weirdos, the freaks, the outcasts and the ostracized, but there’s a side of that coin which often goes ignored: with that kind of radical inclusiveness, you’ve also left the doors open to people who will prey upon those weirdos, freaks, outcasts and ostracized folks you’re happy to let in. By sticking your head in the sand and assuming that the egalitarian state of the industrial scene will continue to exist without any care and handling on any of our parts, you blind yourself to the encroachment of the racism, sexism, classism, and any other ism that mainstream culture has to offer, rendering yourself unprepared to deal with this onslaught until it’s already on your doorstep, calling your gay friends faggots and your female friends dumb sluts.

This is the essence of why we fight: because we know that industrial culture can make a difference and be a safe place for people, and while it certainly can never be free of the hate, fear and oppression that our society at large deals in, it can at least strive to be considerably further towards the progressive end of the scale. For those of us who know what it feels like to actually have your life turned around for the better at least partially because you fell in love with industrial music and became loyal members of the industrial scene, yeah, it’s hard to remain emotionally neutral when you’re presented with imagery that’s substantively identical to Insane Clown Posse’s creative output and as devoid of intellectual merit or forethought. It’s hard to not take it personally when, upon objecting to this content, you are accused of being a member of an “old school elite,” or being a purveyor of “politically correct fascism,” or any other of a number of baseless accusations made by people for whom abstract thought is the enemy. So, instead of going on at length yet again about why these people are so wrong, I figured I’d lay it out as to why we’re not going anywhere.

Here’s the deal: we fight because we believe in something. That something is a scene where people don’t get shoved into little boxes with descriptions of their roles in it spelled out for them against their will. Feel free to call us the thought police; we’ve been called that, and worse, all our lives, because that’s just what we get called when people who only want to think about themselves are confronted with the stark reality that they and their yea-sayers aren’t the center of the universe. Feel free to complain that your right to free speech or free expression is being impeded upon when you’re criticized for your words, images and actions, because anybody with a lick of common sense understands that free speech doesn’t mean you’re immune to being called out when you say something stupid, disgusting or hateful, and perpetuating that idea only means you’re revealing the extent of your ignorance. Try whatever you want, but know that you’ll fail, because you’re fighting for the absence of content, the invalidation of meaning, and when you get right down to it, nihilism and apathy just aren’t particularly stirring battle cries.

I hope this spells out the answer to the question of why we seem to care so much. We care because we want the same opportunity for people to find themselves and become comfortable with who they are that the industrial community offered us. For the nerdy high schooler, the gay kid growing up in the South, the girl who just wants to have a fun time with her friends, and even for people who disagree with everything we stand for, we want the freedom to decide to what extent and for what purpose your involvement in the scene is on your own, not for it to be dictated to you by egomaniacs out to satisfy themselves at the expense of the humanity of others. We know that this freedom is attainable, because we tasted it and it was damn good, and we know that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We fight because that’s what it takes. Don’t expect us to go anywhere anytime soon.

40 Responses

  • Strigiform says:

    My first industrial show was the KMFDM symbols tour, too! I just turned 14 and my dad got me four tickets for my birthday. It was one of the most amazing things that I had ever experienced at the time. I didn’t even know Ogre was there until a year later when I got into Skinny Puppy and described all of the singers to the friends who introduced me to SP.

    I have also seen the crowds change as you have described. I am sure part of this was my own unlearning of oppressive behavior. But that first packed KMFDM show was undeniably different in attendance than the last Puppy show I was at where some dudebro punched another in the face and machoness was spilling out all over the floor. They even got their blood on me. And I even like getting blood on me for the right occasion, but not outbreaks of masculinity when I just drove 3.5 hours for a show.

    “We as a group might pride ourselves on being radically inclusive, of welcoming the weirdos, the freaks, the outcasts and the ostracized, but there’s a side of that coin which often goes ignored: with that kind of radical inclusiveness, you’ve also left the doors open to people who will prey upon those weirdos, freaks, outcasts and ostracized folks you’re happy to let in. By sticking your head in the sand and assuming that the egalitarian state of the industrial scene will continue to exist without any care and handling on any of our parts, you blind yourself to the encroachment of the racism, sexism, classism, and any other ism that mainstream culture has to offer, rendering yourself unprepared to deal with this onslaught until it’s already on your doorstep, calling your gay friends faggots and your female friends dumb sluts.”

    ^This

    GREAT ARTICLE. I will feature it on IAO in the next couple of days.

    • mr. pathogen says:

      Thanks Strig! Definitely glad to see so many people willing to maintain the discourse. It feels like less of an uphill battle every time it comes up.

  • Eric says:

    I would like to go on record as saying that Matt Pathogen is a dumb slut.

  • Jonny Dubs says:

    I’ll start by saying that not only did I enjoy the article, but the Mortal Kombat soundtrack being referenced brought a HUGE smile to my face. I was a huge Fear Factory fan, and actually found all of those bands you mentioned because I picked up the album back in that day.

    I find myself in a pickle, however, on this entire debate because of my own life experiences and history. Without much detail, I was treated horribly by my own mother and grandmother as a child and ended up growing up to have quite a bit of a resentment for women. I’m a generally nice person, but there is this hate and anger that I cannot surpass no matter how many people I talk to or what I do to creatively express myself. I have found a release, a way to remove this animosity and hate from my life in a way that is no danger to anyone, through some of the bands that have come into question.

    I’m not one of the broskis at the shows that you’ve referenced, although I was part of a fraternity in college and sometimes wear my letters to shows, and have actually been known to help girls get away from that kind of situation on many occasions. I’ve been in more rental relationships to help people than I have in real ones in my life, if you catch my drift, and I’m far more content to get up to the front of the stage, scream the lyrics along with the lead singers, and just enjoy the show without having to strut my stuff and attempt to appear as a tough guy.

    I will not deny, however, that this scene has changed since I was first introduced to it. I’ve seen everything that has been chronicled here thus far, and more, and it has often made me quite disappointed with the caliber of people who have been at some of the shows. At other times, however, I’ve seen sparks of the older days. I was at a show last night where, despite people being trashed and stumbling, there was no broski attitude and everyone was respectful of each others space while still going full force for the entire show. It was a breath of fresh air to me.

    So what’s the point of this wall of text? Simple, really. I both agree with you and disagree. I believe that Industrial music should always be progressive, striving towards a bigger and better sound that doesn’t take the easy way out. I think that we need to show that our scene loves our fans as much as the fans love our scene.

    I’m also saying that sometimes, a little hate is what gets people by. You can be critical of the message, I don’t want that to end since that’s how we improve, but I think a little bit of everything is needed in life. Next time you see that guy wearing a hoodie from a band that bashes women and singing the lyrics at the top of his lungs, he could be a meathead who just wants to seem tough. On the other hand, he could be someone who spent his childhood getting beaten every time he got a 96 on a test instead of a 100.

    (In retrospect, I realize my life events are a rarity in public discussion and the most noticable people are the assholes. I simply wanted to voice the opinion of someone who understands both your side of the viewpoint and who enjoys the music that has been in question lately. I’m someone that many artists have met in passing and those that remember me tend to refer to me as somewhat respectful, despite my tastes. Sorry for the wall of text.)

    • mr. pathogen says:

      I know we all have our own ways of coping with whatever experiences we had that brought us to this music, and I’m sorry that therapy and whatnot seems to have not made a difference for you. However, at least you’ve identified the aesthetic as escapism. Industrial has been filled with escapist fantasies (VAC’s multitude of albums about being a serial killer, for instance) for plenty of time, and as someone who watched God Bless America and laughed pretty much the whole way through, I can’t really hold people to blame for that. The problem arises when people take these fantasies and try to force the rest of the scene to conform to them. To paraphrase someone who remarked on the Coilhouse story not long ago, the imagery itself isn’t the problem; the problem is that the people perpetuating it aren’t willing to recognize what it says about what’s wrong with them.

  • Brad says:

    I’ve been heavily into industrial music for about 7 years, and I still feel like a socially awkward outsider half the time I go to an industrial club, especially if nobody else I know is there yet. I’m more defensive of the sound and philosophy of the art itself than I am of the social scene.

    • mr. pathogen says:

      Yeah, but the thing I’ve found is that the scene influences the music a lot more than the opposite when I got into it. So many musicians are focused solely on producing floor-fillers that it’s hard to argue that there isn’t much cross-pollenization going on, so if the scene’s attitude is kidnapped by some neanderthals who infect it with their own personal agendas, the scene is going to in turn infest the music with that attitude. Neither element can really stand apart from the other.

      • Brad says:

        Well there is definitely a polarization of the industrial scene(s) now, with some artists who claim to be industrial wanting to produce nothing but floor-fillers, and other artists who claim to be industrial wanting nothing to do with dance or pop music of any sort. It’s gotten to the point that there is practically no overlap between the kind of industrial music that I get excited about following, and the kind of music that is deemed appropriate to play in an industrial club. :\

        I guess you could spin that into your narrative by saying that some of the industrial artists I listen to choose to distance themselves the club scene because they want to distance themselves from the “bros”, but I don’t know if that is ever the case. Maybe they want to distance themselves from the goths.

      • Matthew says:

        I totally disagree with this. What kind of an artist would allow something as silly as scene drama get in the way of their art? Ridiculous. lol

        It’s the music that influences the scene. Not the other way around. If so, there’s something seriously wrong taking place. Unless of course you are simply churning out dance hits, but that is something, for me anyway, that has nothing to do with Industrial Music.

        Also, I don’t know what you mean by “cross-pollenization”. The “scene” is split in two, and very rarely does one acknowledge the other.

        • mr. pathogen says:

          I’d like to respond to this but I’m not actually sure what the point you’re trying to make is.

          • Matthew says:

            My point is that you’re wrong about these points:

            1) “Yeah, but the thing I’ve found is that the scene influences the music a lot more than the opposite when I got into it.”

            (The “scene” attitude does not influence the music, unless you’re talking about artists making music that people can dance to, because that is what seems to sell.)

            2) “So many musicians are focused solely on producing floor-fillers that it’s hard to argue that there isn’t much cross-pollenization going on.”

            (If you are referring to the two sides of the Industrial genre, then no, there is no cross-pollenization going on.)

            3) “…so if the scene’s attitude is kidnapped by some neanderthals who infect it with their own personal agendas, the scene is going to in turn infest the music with that attitude.”

            (To think that someone’s negative attitude can affect an entire genre of music, or following, is completely nonsensical. However, I will say that the “scene” is pretty lost in itself, at this moment in time. Thanks to scenesters. That Gotthavok guy put it perfectly on a few words: “imo this is what set industrial apart from EDM proper, it generally wasnt throwaway music. it had a point and it was talking about something other than sex, money and a good time without abandoning that good time, danceable feel. when the 2 separate that undermines both. it’s harder to connect to the deeper, undanceable material without being tempered by the danceable stuff while the lack of depth in floor-fillers makes them forgettable and easily replaced by the next guy, sorry mr. faderhead”)

            4) “Neither element can really stand apart from the other.”

            (Yes, it can. And it has for a very long time. )

          • Matthew says:

            Industrial became a laughing stock once it fused itself with Rave culture and Trance type sounds.

          • innoxia says:

            Just to echo what’s already been said: the industrial community as defined by the club/social scene and the industrial community as defined by the art form and its appreciators are apples and oranges. And that’s a good thing, imho. Being involved in any kind of club scene requires a huge amount of privilege from the outset (e.g. you need the economic means to do so, you need to be able-bodied, you need to feel safe enough to venture out at night, etc.), but the great thing about being a participant in the industrial community is that you can contribute something without ever being a part of a social group or club scene at all. I think most people can agree with the sentiment that banality and oppressive sentiment in the music we consume isn’t a good thing. But saying the club/social scene is no longer inclusive because of what is happening with the music belies the fact it was never inclusive in the first place. So yeah, two different issues entirely.

          • Gotthavok says:

            “Industrial became a laughing stock once it fused itself with Rave culture and Trance type sounds.”

            i disagree, the radical inclusiveness described above is really no different than cuddle puddles and candy sharing, and comes with some of the same dangers. ravers had drug dealers, “da bros” and ODs to deal with while we have racism, “da bros” and misogyny, most prominently. the fusion was natural.

            as for the sounds used, that’s really irrelevant. the content/context of the music determines its depth, for example BlakOpz is essentially hardstyle music (hard trance for those not in the know, in case there are any) but they discuss social issues relevant to today instead of “everybody on the dancefloor and partayyy!” which i would argue makes them more enduring than “war on the dancefloor”

          • mr. pathogen says:

            Look, folks, I understand viewing the history of industrial music through rose-colored glasses. I get the appeal of nostalgia, as well as the siren call of rejecting the current state of the industry, as it were. However, referring to shadowy and poorly-defined ideas like there being “two sides to the genre” or ignoring the mountains of evidence that, for better or worse, industrial music has become influenced by dancefloor aesthetics just makes you look out of touch. It also makes you look like you’ve signed on with the elitist trend that is so maligned by the club kids, and for once I actually don’t really disagree with their rejection of that attitude. When you form shoddy partisan lines between the people who are looking to hit the clubs and have a good time with their friends and the old school purists, you’re not really doing anything helpful. All you’re doing is helping make the two strains irreconcilable, losing an opportunity to engage people in a dialogue, and consigning yourself to the world of bitching about industrial on the internet.

            Trust me, it’s not actually all it’s cracked up to be.

          • Brad says:

            Pathogen: “Look, folks, I understand viewing the history of industrial music through rose-colored glasses. I get the appeal of nostalgia, as well as the siren call of rejecting the current state of the industry, as it were. However, referring to shadowy and poorly-defined ideas like there being “two sides to the genre” or ignoring the mountains of evidence that, for better or worse, industrial music has become influenced by dancefloor aesthetics just makes you look out of touch.”

            Hey, it’s not like we listen to old Throbbing Gristle records 24/7. There are a loads of current industrial artists out there whose music is never played in industrial clubs, and haven’t been around any longer than the acts that do fill dancefloors (who are often becoming nostalgia acts themselves). In the past year I’ve bought recent or recent-ish albums by acts like Âmes Sanglantes, Anenzephalia, Bad News, Gnawed, Haus Arafna, IRM, Nyodene D, Objekt/Urian, Prurient, Sektor 304, Sewer Goddess, Steel Hook Prostheses, S/V\R, Theologian, Thorofon, the Vomit Arsonist, Xiphoid Dementia… I feel like I’m making an effort to be in touch with *something,* and if it isn’t your industrial scene, then I guess there must be more than one industrial scene out there? ;)

            Pathogen: “It also makes you look like you’ve signed on with the elitist trend that is so maligned by the club kids, and for once I actually don’t really disagree with their rejection of that attitude. When you form shoddy partisan lines between the people who are looking to hit the clubs and have a good time with their friends and the old school purists, you’re not really doing anything helpful. All you’re doing is helping make the two strains irreconcilable, losing an opportunity to engage people in a dialogue, and consigning yourself to the world of bitching about industrial on the internet.”

            Aren’t you just as guilty of this by treating dancefloor industrial as the default form of current industrial, and suggesting that people are out of touch with the genre for not listening to it? What WOULD be a productive step towards a more reconcilable, less partisan industrial scene (if such a thing is even desirable)?

          • mr. pathogen says:

            “Aren’t you just as guilty of this by treating dancefloor industrial as the default form of current industrial, and suggesting that people are out of touch with the genre for not listening to it?”

            I’ve literally never made that argument and I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that I have.

          • mr. pathogen says:

            Anyway, what I’d recommend for people is to step back and accept that your own subjective opinions on the state and historicity of industrial music do not translate into immutable fact (especially arguments that industrial music lost its way when it became danceable; Cabaret Voltaire, please stand up, and I will punch anyone who besmirches Code), and that any authority you see as entitling you to be the arbiter of what is or is not industrial probably exists purely in your own head. The exact same sentiment goes for people who go on endlessly about how industrial needs to ditch the past to move into the future, because forgetting everything that made industrial stand out just to embrace fleeting financial success by riding the coattails of emergent pop trends just means you’re a quitter. So don’t make the mistake of thinking I land on either side, because I think aligning yourself with a “side” in this argument is a huge mistake and places an artificial limitation on industrial music’s evolution. It’s never going to mean the same thing to everyone who’s into it.

          • Brad says:

            Maybe not as a direct argument, but there’s something implicit in how most of these recent editorials on “The State of The Industrial Scene” or “Misogyny in The Industrial Scene” will really only focus on examples from one narrow interpretation of industrial, namely the dance club scene, as if that represented the whole thing and the rest wasn’t worth writing about. It’s a bit like the theory that our culture/language subconsciously views the default or archetypical “person” as an able-bodied heterosexual white man, come to think of it. :P

          • mr. pathogen says:

            I SEE U TROLLIN

            Anyway, nah, I’ve never felt that the club scene is indicative of the industrial community as a whole. In my possibly privileged experience, people who trend towards aggression against women in the industrial clubs I frequent find themselves taking a short trip out the door and onto their asses. However, what I meant when I mentioned the club scene influencing the music is best evinced by bands who have ditched all pretense of actual artistry in what they’re making in favor of club bangers, and some of the prolific industrial labels hedging their bets with a very controlled approach to the sound their signed bands have, namely a very club-oriented sound. Like it or not, they’re indicative of an emerging trend in industrial. Are they they only trend? Heck no! In fact I think some of the albums that have come out in the past year and have purposely shied away from the mindless doof-doof trend have created a trend of, for lack of a better term, “grown-ass EBM” that speaks to me in a way I haven’t heard since I was a young’in just getting into it.

            Also bear in mind that I take a pretty loose approach to defining what is or is not industrial; namely, I don’t think I’m in a position to decide it, so instead of rejecting something as “not industrial” because it doesn’t satisfy my definition of it, I just ignore it instead. Or not, maybe I actually like it despite my misgivings about the suitability of the categorization.

          • innoxia says:

            I personally have zero interest in arguing what is or is not industrial, or whether it is good or bad that club/dance music has had an influence (personally, I agree it would be ridiculous to deny there was an influence). Just questioning who is the “we” in “Why We Fight”.

          • Matthew says:

            Gotthavok:

            “i disagree, the radical inclusiveness described above is really no different than cuddle puddles and candy sharing, and comes with some of the same dangers. ravers had drug dealers, “da bros” and ODs to deal with while we have racism, “da bros” and misogyny, most prominently. the fusion was natural.”

            I found the “radical inclusiveness” you speak of to be quite silly, regarding this post. I know what I said. The fusion was NOT natural. Rave culture is all about escapism. Industrial culture is, or used to be, all about anti-escapism. And that is why the two should have never merged. Now, Club-Industrial is just another “get drunk and party because reality is too hard to look at” type thing, which is completely what it started out fighting against.

            “as for the sounds used, that’s really irrelevant. the content/context of the music determines its depth, for example BlakOpz is essentially hardstyle music (hard trance for those not in the know, in case there are any) but they discuss social issues relevant to today instead of “everybody on the dancefloor and partayyy!” which i would argue makes them more enduring than “war on the dancefloor””

            It’s not irrelevant at all. The sound creates the environment. The sound creates the context. They come hand in hand. Content gives you a raison d’etre, sound gives you a context. It’s like a film. Imagery, how the brain responds to it, the emotions that come of it.

            Mr. Matt Pathogen:

            I never said I was against dance-able Industrial music – I’ve got a 10×4 inch Skinny Puppy tattoo on my chest.

            And like Brad said, we don’t listen to pre-90s Industrial on repeat, and nothing else. There are tons of bands who carry the torch quite well, some dance-able, some not.

            I reject the “club-community” simply because it represents everything Industrial was never meant to be: Escapism. This can be easily understood with a little research.

            I would have much less of a problem with the “club-community” if events and festivals embraced both sides of the genre, but no, the “club-community” promoters like to pretend that only the dancefloor exists, and everything else is obscure noise, which I find terribly funny because when the innovators started creating this Industrial Revolution music, it’s critics/enemies gave it that very same label. Oppressive obscure noise.

          • Gotthavok says:

            “I found the “radical inclusiveness” you speak of to be quite silly, regarding this post. I know what I said. The fusion was NOT natural. Rave culture is all about escapism. Industrial culture is, or used to be, all about anti-escapism. And that is why the two should have never merged. Now, Club-Industrial is just another “get drunk and party because reality is too hard to look at” type thing, which is completely what it started out fighting against.”

            and goth/industrial/fetish nights NEVER featured a sense of escape from those that would judge the “freaks” for being who they were, no, never.

            escapism takes many forms, it’s part of maintaining sanity amongst other humans

          • Matthew says:

            “and goth/industrial/fetish nights NEVER featured a sense of escape from those that would judge the “freaks” for being who they were, no, never.

            escapism takes many forms, it’s part of maintaining sanity amongst other humans”

            I don’t go to those kinds of events. lol

            I go to the occasional 80s/Goth/New Wave night because I enjoy the music. The fetish scene in Montreal is… Well… Laughably pathetic, to say the least. And don’t get me started on the “Industrial scene” here. Someone booked Imperative Reaction (who I strongly dislike, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make) alongside Dubstep DJs. And yes, it was the promoter’s doing, not the bar/venue’s.

          • Matthew says:

            At the risk of sounding like a cheesehead, the true spirit of Industrial, it’s true purpose, has nothing to do with escapism.

            It has everything to do with facing what so many try to escape.

          • mr. pathogen says:

            One conclusion I’ve reached from spending so much time communicating (aka arguing) with people from all over the spectrum of industrial music is that, since industrial set out to collapse the notion of what music is as communicated to us by the recording industry, it never really wanted the job of detailing what music is not. I feel like the whole point was to challenge people to decide what they wanted from music on their own terms instead of accepting tidily-packaged definitions of what they were supposed to consume. Because of that I’m pretty inclined towards the idea that industrial music isn’t ever going to mean the same thing to every fan, and that’s suitable. I personally enjoy feeling just as comfortable bitching with Bruce and Alex about how stupid and mindless X band’s musical output is while Tympanik’s entire catalog plays in the background as when I’m out with my buddies at the local goth haunt, dancing around like an idiot to something goofy after one too many Irish carbombs. I think there’s plenty of room for people from all over the spectrum of interests.

      • Gotthavok says:

        it’s basic capitalism. after a certain point quality, enduring products give way to a high quantity of throwaway products to turn a profit. if the scene doesnt demand quality, thought-provoking material and instead demands lots of easy-to-digest material, then that is what will endure. this is why the various EDM scenes have always been so mercurial, dance-focused music is like dollarama, no one cares about the product after a short period of time so they get abandoned for the newest shiny bauble of music. it’s both immature production and consumption

        imo this is what set industrial apart from EDM proper, it generally wasnt throwaway music. it had a point and it was talking about something other than sex, money and a good time without abandoning that good time, danceable feel. when the 2 separate that undermines both. it’s harder to connect to the deeper, undanceable material without being tempered by the danceable stuff while the lack of depth in floor-fillers makes them forgettable and easily replaced by the next guy, sorry mr. faderhead

        • Strigiform says:

          Your intersectional analysis of capitalism and “throw-away industrial” simultaneously just made my heart beat faster…

          • Gotthavok says:

            was that a good thing or bad? im curious if i’m missing something or if i’m adding something of value to others.

          • Gotthavok says:

            nevermind, i just scrolled up

          • Strigiform says:

            Good good! Sorry, should have been more clear. I write over at industrialantioppression.blogspot.com and I think about capitalism too much. Nice to see others do, too. :-)

  • Faderhead says:

    As the posterboy for BroBM, I endorse this blog entry. And I’d like to add that it goes both ways cause as you rightly say “nihilism and apathy aren’t particularly stinging battlecries” and “free speech doesn’t mean you’re immune to being called out when you say something stupid”.

    • Strigiform says:

      @Faderhead, yes. Free speech means that the state cannot stop you from speaking or exp[ressing yourself (though it does anyways all of the time). It has nothing to do with non-government people saying “hey you know, misogyny sucks.”

      And the “free speech” folks who don’t know what free speech actually is are usually quick to silence any radical or anti-oppression opinions anyways.

      • mr. pathogen says:

        I wish people could just put the freedom of expression argument to rest. Nobody is stopping the guilty parties from doing anything, but nothing in the world says they’re under any protection from being made to feel like assholes when they revel in objectification.

        • mr. pathogen says:

          Also I feel comfortable going on record as saying that if you think that being publicly criticized for producing material nominally regarded as “art” that gleefully portrays objectification and brutalization of women is evidence that you’re being oppressed, you have absolutely no clue what the word means. Please go tell survivors of the Soviet gulags how hard your life is.

          • Strigiform says:

            Yes. In some ways it is interesting to watch people who have suffered less oppression (I would say none but can’t do it since I know that patriarchy and white supremacy and heteronormativity to indeed also negatively affect straight white cis gender men, too) learn what it is like to live in the shoes of someone bombarded with these things on a daily basis.

            Even my masculine privilege and tallness (yes, tallness) privilege lead me to forget sometimes what femme women have to deal with from dudes on the regular until that weird thing happens once a year where someone cat-calls me out of their car and I think “Oh yeah, I don’t have to deal with that, and other people have to deal with that every damned day.”

            I only hope some of them will learn from it. We all have learning to do.

    • mr. pathogen says:

      For the record, I still think brodustrial rolls off the tongue better.

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