Dec 152009


I don’t read The New York Times regularly. I’ll make a wild guess: I bet most visitors to this site don’t read it either. If you do, you need to rearrange your priorities. There are only so many hours in the day, and you’d be happier if you spent more time here at NO CLEAN SINGING, or any of the linked sites over to the right, and less on The New York Times. But though I don’t read that paper regularly, I’ve got friends who do, and three of them e-mailed me about an article that appeared there today entitled “Thank You Professor, That Was Putrid.”

The word that first came to mind after I read it was “bizarre.” The second word was “fucking pretentious.” The article describes a six-hour symposium on black metal held last Saturday afternoon at Public Assembly, a bar and nigthtclub in Brooklyn. The symposium, called “Hideous Gnosis,” was attended by an odd combination of pointy-headed academics (including two who traveled from England for the event), music critics, and at least one actual black metal musician, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the frontman and guitarist from Liturgy. (That can’t possibly be his real name, can it?  Gotta be a black metal stage-name.)

The academics presented papers with such mouth-watering titles as “The Counter-Reformation in Stone and Metal: Spiritual Substances,” “Anti-Cosmosis: Black Mahapralaya,” and “Perpetual Rot: Obsessive Cycles of Deterioration.” I can sum up my reaction like this: “Reading About Hideous Gnosis: Regurgitating in My Lap.” Continue reading »