Last night I stumbled into the interweb equivalent of a brawl. In one corner: the incomparable ladies of Reign in Blonde (Elise and Julia) and their cool new columnist Angela Gossowski. In the other corner, an infestation of whackjobs calling themselves members of the “Undead Army.”
Chapter 1: The whole thing started innocently enough about a week ago when Elise broke the story that a sometimes member of Hollywood Undead (Daniel Murillo) had auditioned for the new season of American Idol and apparently has made it through to the “Hollywood round” of the competition. Elise didn’t say much about Hollywood Undead other than to describe them as “that shitty rap/rock band that performs in MASKS.”
Now, RIB has a devoted legion of followers, but only a handful of folks post comments with any regularity, and those comments are usually articulate, funny, and — well — civilized. Elise’s story drew 10 posted comments. A few of the regulars popped in, but then (ominously) three commenters appeared with web monikers ending in “HU4L,” which I eventually came to learn stands for “Hollywood Undead for Life.” And one of those comments included this bit of witty repartee:
“Your are a pathetic piece of shit. Im not even kidding you. 1. You dont know one goddamn thing about HU. or where they come from. 2. You need to shut the muthafuck up before someone shanks your bitch ass. 3. Yes I know its your opinion whether or not your like them, so KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.”
Uh, what?? (more after the jump, if you have a strong stomach . . .)
Chapter 2: A few days later, Elise put up a second post. She reacted to the HU4L comments by saying, in a nutshell: “[L]et’s all agree to disagree here. Listen to the music you want to listen to and move on with your day.” She also did refer to Hollywood Undead as “a band that the majority of the metal community perceives as comically awful.” I figured that would revive the shitstorm that was starting to brew in response to her first post — but only 3 comments popped up, and none from the HU4L lunatics.
Chapter 3: Yesterday, RIB‘s new columnist Angela Gossowski posted a long piece in which she described “taking the Hollywood Undead challenge.” Attempting to take the HU4L protests with at least some level of seriousness, she listened to 7 HU songs and wrote her impressions in detail about each one, summing up as follows: “The fact is, they are a shitty band. They are NOT GOOD. I’m sorry, but I can say with 100% confidence that this “band”, is FACTUALLY TERRIBLE.”
She urged the HU fans: “You want to listen to good music? You want some respect for the things you listen to? Try educating yourself. You like metal? Listen to a band with talent, with technical skill. Listen to a band like Mastodon.” And she threw down a challenge to the HU4L-ers: “You will continously get ZERO respect from the metal community unless you can sit down and back up just what this band is supposed to be all about.”
Well, that poked the hornet’s nest one too many times. As of the last time I checked this morning, Angela’s post had drawn 101 comments. A few RIB regulars (including me) had early on posted generally supportive comments, but that was followed by an avalanche of invective spew from the HU4L crowd. Not one of those comments actually responded to Angela’s challenge.
You really don’t want to read them all, like I did, unless of course you like swimming in cesspools. Here’s a representative sample:
“[T[his hate on Hollywood Undead and their fans is bull shit. They have more fans than you ever will, who will love them forever and not for the moment like this gay ass blog. So in the words of Charlie Scene ‘you need to slit your wrists, get pissed and go jump off a bridge.'”
“Your just a jealous cunt. So instead of telling us to shut up; why dont you. We dont give a motherfuck about message boards. we got our own shit fool.”
“holy crap you are the biggest fucking dumbass i have ever heard of. you’re lucky i dont know where you live cuz i would kick your ass”
“like seriously you have know idea what you’re talking about. shut the fuck up you douche bag”
“Don’t tell me that because I’m a 16 year old who listens to this music, I don’t know shit about shit because apparently you are the one who doesn’t know shit about shit! And there is actually substance in these songs, I wrote a paper on one of them and it’s meaning, which my english teacher absolutely loved, (ever think that maybe you’re not smart enough to see that?) and it is relatable to us.”
“you know what’s funny? i had a friend who killed herself, actually. who used to cut herself. who was fucking IN LOVE with mastodon and didn’t particularly like undead. haha. i fucking love uninformed bitches.”
I listened to a few Hollywood Undead songs months ago just to see what the hype was about. I thought it was pretty bad, and really didn’t give it a second thought. There’s lots of talentless bands in the world with a gimmick, and hordes of screaming teeny-bopper fans whose lives revolve around their heroes. Hey, that’s part of growing up, and it will pass, and I really don’t care much about that either.
And I definitely steer clear of web sites, blogs, and message boards that include the kind of mindless blather that the HU4L crowd seems programmed to generate. Only because I’m an adoring daily reader of RIB did I get this creepy glimpse into their world. Kind of like peeling back the tent flap on a carnival geek show, or tearing a hole in a piece of rotted siding and watching a swarm of termites fall out. Reminded me of the “teabaggers” who swarmed congressional town hall meetings last summer and proceeded to shout down anyone and everyone who was trying to say anything with a modicum of intelligence.
I suppose this could be some kind of case study in pop culture sociology that we might learn from, but it’s not any kind of learning I want.
What I want is for RIB to call in a pest control company and get their nice, cozy metal home back in livable condition. Ick.