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Rhetorics of fear, deployment of identity, and metal music cultures
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by Gregory Smith.
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b University of South Florida,
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Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to analyze the rhetorics of fear operating in public discourses surrounding metal music. This analysis focuses on how the public rhetorics deploy identity on listener populations through both the mediation and legislation of identities. Specifically, this mediation takes place using both symbols of fear and arguments constructed on potential threats. Texts for analysis in this study include film and television documentaries, newspaper articles, book-length critiques of and scholarship on heavy metal, and transcripts from the U.S. Senate Hearings on Record Labeling. "Heavy metal" and "metal music" are labels that categorize diverse styles of music. While there is no exemplar metal song that accounts for a definition of the genre, the terms have been consistently used in rhetorics of fear. These rhetorical movements produce and deploy deviant identities, depend on the construction of cultural crisis, and generate counter rhetorics of agency for individuals and subcultures. The study moves 1) chronologically through metal history, 2) geographically from the United States to Norway, and 3) contextually through media events that produce the public discourses of identity, crisis, and counter rhetorics. This study charts the rhetorical movements that have created fear within communities, leading to threats of legislation or criminalization of segments of the population.
Advisor: Elizabeth Bell, Ph.D.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Rhetorics of Fear, Deployment of Identity, and Metal Music Cultures by Gregory Vance Smith A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Communication College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Elizabeth Bell, Ph.D. Kimberly Golombisky, Ph.D. Michael LeVan, Ph.D. A. David Payne, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 10 2009 Ke ywords: institutional symbols, S atanic panic, deviance, Kenne th Burke, heavy metal, black metal Copyright 2009, Gregory Vance Smith
Acknowledgments I am grateful for the support of those whose involvement made the completion of this project possible. I would like to thank Elizabeth Bell who guided t his project through the deafening silence a thousand mile separation produces. Without her dedication, the project would have ended before it began. I am especially grateful to David Payne who acted as the anchor of my doctoral education by making a plac e in his office where I could sharpen my disciplinary grammar and experiment in varied areas of research. I would like to thank Michael LeVan for introducing me to a theoretical base that will allow me to take my scholarship and pedagogy in new directions And thanks to Kim Golombisky for the frequent conversations on classroom practices and the rhetorics of population control that continue to send some groups out into the rain. Thank you to my colleagues in the graduate program. You each brought qualit ies that created a unique growth experience. To Rachel Silverman, Emily Ryalls, and Laura Bergeron, thank you for your conversations, enthusiasm, and assistance. I would like to thank my peers outside of Communication who through their own unique qualiti es and attitudes expanded my grad school life beyond the competitive rat race. To Daniele and Nicole Pantano, thank you for F1 races and birthday parties. To Andrew Cochran, thank you for reminding me that nature, while sometimes deadly, offers the subli me.
Thank you to Shirley C. Smith and Katie Pearl Richardson for your support as I embarked on the path that has led here. And to my wife, Linda Levitt, thank you for sticking with me through our completion of six degrees without separation.
i T able of Contents Abstract iii Chapter One : Introduction 1 Justification for this Study 5 Literature Review 6 Categories: Social Dynamics and Systems 6 Musicology and Phenomenology: Music and the Artist 8 Rhetoric and Mediation: Language and Power 9 In Depth Journalism: The Meta Story 1 1 A Survey of the Literature 13 My Approach to Filling the Gaps 14 Id entity and Deviance 15 Crisis Discourses 17 Rhetorics of Fear 17 Purpose of the Study 19 Methodology 20 Chapters Outline 2 2 Chapter Two: Metal Discourse: Performance, Media, and Fans 2 5 Rock and Roll Rebel 2 5 Exemplars of Fear in Early Metal Di scourse 2 7 The Iron Mask: The Media and Metal Identity Production 3 0 Headbangers as Street Bangers: Metal Appearance as Weaponry 3 3 Devil Horns: Christian Deviancy in Metal Gestures and Costume 3 7 Following the Path to Hell: Met al as a Pathological Symptom and Cause 4 1 Connotations and Denotations: A Rhetoric of Fear through Malleable Symbols 4 4 Gangs and Serial Killers: T he New York Times Mediating Connotations of Deviance 4 7 Performing Expertise and Deviance through a Rhetoric of Fear 5 6 Conclusion 59 Chapte r Three: Conservative Rhetoric and Metal Identity 6 1 Chapter Preview 6 3
ii The PMRC and The Heavy Metal Monster 6 4 Young Minds and Strong Words 69 Rhetorical Warfare for Orientational Control in the Home 7 3 Hindsight and 20/20 : Heavy Metal, a Problem? 77 The Conservative Rhetoric of Fear 84 Chapter Four: The Convergence of Rhetorics of Fear 87 Chapter Preview 89 Saturday Night Live in Alabama 90 Construction of Metal and Satanism as a Social Problem 9 6 The Fallacy of the Obvious: The West Memphi s Three 98 Conclusion 108 Chapter Five: The Gargoyles of Mayhem: Revolutionary Critique of Norwegian Culture 11 4 Chapter Preview 11 4 The Classical Age of Norway and Revolutionary Black Metal 11 5 Creating a Grotesque Performance of Norway through M etal Symbols 1 18 Media, Performers, and Crime: Coproduction of a Rhetoric of Fear 12 4 12 4 Procreating Satan: Resurrecting the Church as an Agent of Suppression 12 5 Mystical Orientation, Role Pl ay Rules, and the Gargoyle of Nazi Vikings 1 28 Gargoyles of Nazism and Fairytales as Communism Collapsed 13 1 Conclusion 13 5 Chapter Six : Metal Fear, Identity, and Deviance 13 7 Implications for Studying the Rhetoric of Fear 14 0 A Communicati on Problem 14 3 Works Cited 1 48 151 About the A uthor End Page
iii Rhetorics of Fear, Deployment of Identity, and Metal Music Cultures Gregory Vance Smith ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to analyze the rhetorics of fear operating in public discourses surrounding metal music. This analysis focuses on how the public rhetorics deploy identity on listener populations through both the mediation and legislation of identities. Specifically, this mediation takes place using both symbols of fear and arguments constructed on potential threats. Texts for analysis in this study include film and television documentaries, newspaper articles, book length critiques of and scholarship on heavy metal, and transcripts from the U.S. Senate Hearings on Record Labeling. Heavy metal and metal music are labels that categorize diverse styles of music. While there is no exemplar metal song that accounts for a definition of the genre, the terms have been consistently used in rhetorics of fear. These rhetorical movements produce and deploy deviant identities, depend on the construction of cultural crisis, and generate counter rhetorics of agency for individuals and subcultures. The study moves 1) chronologically through metal history, 2) geographical ly from the United States to
iv Norway, and 3) contextually through media events that produce the public discourses of identity, crisis, and counter rhetorics. This study charts the rhetorical movements that have created fear within communities, leading to t hreats of legislation or criminalization of segments of the population.
1 Chapter One Introduction Heavy metal music, or metal music, is an international phenomenon that has spawned nearly four decades of diverse cultures. Stories in the media imbue the music, its creators, and the listeners with qualities that mark them as everything from out of control citizens to infant sacrificing Satanists. These stories amalgamate in the performance within the culture, creating a space where contested meanings and identities indirectly battle with the larger culture. Black Sabbath defined metal with a dark heavy sound created from distorted guitars, exaggerated bass, and forcefully strained vocals. The Birmingham, England group began as a blues band and devel oped a unique style that instigated the core elements of metal. At his last day working in the steel mill, guitarist Tony Iommi cut the end of his fingers off. Iommi then wore a homemade prosthetics and altered the construction of his guitar to be easier to play (Dunn). The resulting sound had a lower noticed the crowds drawn to see the horror films at the theater across the street from their rehearsal studio (Osbourn e). Because their audience was limited in comparison, they decided to experiment with a musical horror genre that first appeared in a song titled
2 production to heavy sound ing music with lyrics that had horror and science fiction themes. Everything from the sound, lyrics, covers, and stage settings was lifted from cultural symbols of fear. The 1970 Black Sabbath album exemplified the gestalt horror concept. The bi fold cover image established a fall scene with a black robed figure standing in front of an old mill surrounded with bare and color changed trees. Inside a still life poem is written in an inverted cross with the band information appearing in the cross and und er the poem. The cover bridges images of secular creative darkness with religious darkness with text: a faint sensual mist, that traces its way upwards to caress the chipped feet of only achievement was to die to [si c] lose ( Black Sabbath ). On stage, they displayed Christian crosses (sometimes burning), aligning their horror to vigilance wanes. After Sabbath, all metal would be publicly questioned as having a direct connection to Satan. From the beginning, Christian centric cultures have remained attentive to the potential of evil and metal to coexist as partners. A 1998 murder in Milan exemplif ies this coexistence. A young couple, Fabio and Chiara, disappeared in Milan after having spent the evening in a metal club. As a 2005
3 e forms of heavy metal music death metal and black metal, music obsessed with images of murder and Satanism and the role of the grotesque when, in 2004, one friend admits beat ing Fabio to death with a hammer and gnall). The concept of metal as a scapegoat for crimes that parents and communities do not understand has a long history of well publicized accusations and trials, and in each case, a rhetoric of fear engages the community, directing their ire toward the music and its performers. When the murderers accuse a larger movement for prompting them to commit ritual murder and suicide, the police respond with an official request to create a special unit of police, psychologists, of new religious sects, particularly a violent breed of home to other minority religions, and some experts are worried that the new police squad could target members of them as well even though, despite their perhaps strange beliefs, they For a 1990 article in Canadian Journal of Sociology Randy Lippert examined media, criminal, and academic indices and databases to determine if Satanism became a constructed social problem in Canada. The purpose of the study was to differentiate sm
4 actually exists. He determined that the American media played a large role in creating and defining Satanism, and that no evidence exists that any ritual crimes had ever taken place. Bagnall remarks on the fallacious rhetorical structure on which the media created experts, whether law enforcement or religious spokespeople, whose expertise could only be maintained through supporting the reality of the questions the media wanted answered. While Lippert does not describe his findings using a rhetorical l exicon, he points out instances where fallacies dictate the media coverage, crimes for example, are reported as a symptom of a problem without connection to a problem He also shows how metal music/Satanism and other popular culture/deviance pairings hav e bled into academic studies, using the example of psychiatric studies that looked at metal music and sociological approach to social constructionism shows how the U. S. media deploys problems, and then the problem becomes legitimate as the public acceptance grows. the g the preexisting drama of the music spoiled youth, a threat to civil liberties has developed in Italy. Murderers, victims, and their relatives are not the only agents in the dramatic coexistence of metal and Satanism. During times of local, national, and global crisis, the listeners are also implicated
5 in the drama. Listeners are either cast as agents that propagate the crisis or as a generic population at risk because of the crisis. In all case s, heavy metal listeners become subjects produced by and within the larger crisis. Justification for this Study Lippert points out in his study that after a constructed problem has gained public acceptance, the next stage is for the public to act to sol ve it. My study examines specific instances of public discourse that construct identity More importantly, it moves beyond the problem/solution frame of much metal research and scholarship to address the cultural philosophies that allow fallacies to appe ar in discourse, be accepted, and unquestioned as reality. It is important because discourse produces identities, and no studies have looked at its effect on metal cultures. The rhetorical strategies of this production and deployment harm individuals, an d most studies do not recognize the roles that social forces have on individuals and the subject populations. The rhetorical strategies of this production and deployment harm culture by framing acts and establishing scapegoats that limit cultural percepti on, hiding social weaknesses by disciplined identities.
6 Literature Review Over the course of my readings, I have discovered a wealth of academic works dedicated specifically to some aspect of heavy metal. Below I outline the most significant of these works to situate my own study in this scholarly conversation. Because of the varied disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields of the scholars, I have divided the review into sections outlined by similarities in research subjects. Categories includes those who, like sociologists and anthropologists, try to isolate and define types o f individuals, groups and their actions. Musicology and Phenomenology has scholarship that focuses on the production and performance of the music. Rhetoric and Mediation highlights scholars who analyze systems of cultural production and commodities. In Depth Journalism looks at authors who have done comprehensive studies of metal cultures without the objectives of academia. The review closes with a Categories: S ocial Dynamics and Systems The pioneer critic of subculture, Dick Hebdige writes in a style that evokes a certainty of connection inherent in a methodology controlled by theory. The visceral connection to codes of style within socio political contexts appe ars absolute in a way that, with any genre other than punk, would easily be refuted by a semi capable scholar. Hebdige connects the social unrest of the poor economy with a style that came to be explicitly London punk. e study of subcultures exists in the choosing of terms from which other scholars can operate a starting point. His choice of Marxist
7 terminology and critical lens forces other interpretive styles to prove the inadequacy of hegemony and other concepts. Bu t beyond the terminology, the contextual discourse proves very useful because of the significant power structures that influence oppositional meaning making within subculture groups. Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture remains t he primary source for most scholarship that deals with metal. It is a sociological study with a focus primarily on 1980s metal and the culture of its listeners. While Weinstein brings up many of the points that are covered in this project, she tries to f it them within neat categories that reduce both the music and the audience to generics. This suits her macro purpose, yet it introduces generalizations that do not hold true at local levels. The greatest attribute of the book remains the scope of the inf rastructure in which the commercial music was created, processed, and delivered. Sam Dunn, the director of approaches an overview of contemporary metal from an anthropological vantage point. He looks at the genres, the per formers, and the audiences in contemporary and historical eras. His study begins by tracing the origins of the genre from classical music and opera, to the blues and early hard rock, and the first bands considered metal. The formalist approach establishe s operatic sound construction is used to demonstrate orchestration as a role model for the technological developments of metal artists. The socio economic environments of early musicians is explored, and Dunn establishes all of the origins as spaces of stagnant economics and cultural changes through interviews with several origin artists (i.e., Black Sabbath, Motorhead) and
8 contemporary artists (i.e., Korn, Rage Against the Machine). Cultural issues are explored through documentation of a multi day metal festival in Germany, Satanic black metal in Norway, and interviews and concert footage in North America. Keith Kahn Harris takes a sociological look at historic and conte mporary Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge Among the few to look seriously at black metal, Kahn Harris also demonstrates the cultural production through the exchange of subcul tural capital in the fan created infrastructure. Musicology and P henomenology : Music and the Artist Harris M. Berger, Metal, Rock, and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience creates an ethnomusicological reading of small music sc enes in Ohio. The book, researched in 1993, uses concepts from anthropology, folklore, and phenomenology with a methodology of participant research and ethnographic work with specific performers and of specific venues. Although some analyses are dedicate d to the glam metal genre, the focus of the metal throughout the book relates directly to 1993 death metal and hardcore. Highlights include a description of the political divisions between the analyzed subgenres, a description of the musical styles, and p erformances of violence and aggression at the shows. Berger focuses on the differences of the rock and metal performers to establish the importance of context on perception and attention. The final section of the book focuses on explorations of race, cla ss, and economics on the community of performers and listeners. The author introduces the idea that elements of music are informed by the quality of the social order from which they
9 came, establishing different experiences among performers and audience in various social and cultural contexts. As he closes his study, Berger begins to criticize the views and perceptions of his subjects from an activist scholar position. Rhetor ic and Mediation: Language and P ower In Running with the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music Robert Walser demonstrates that metal operates as a set of musical genres suited to audiences of mixed genders often located in transitional economies where listeners are exposed to tropes of power and mystery outside o f those available to academic and political critics. The book opens with an exploration of the defining concept of power as a major trope in the culture, the origins in deindustrializing areas, and a critique of genre. This work enters the arena of public critical discourse and academic labyrinths and demonstrates that heavy metal operates in a complicated, dynamic economy that had previously been glimpsed but never charted. Yet in modern times, this problem is i n part one that chronically plagues those scholars who are interested in taking popular culture seriously: a desire to find explicit political agendas and intellectual complexity in at least some popular art, and a distrust of those dimensions of art that appeal to the senses, to physical pleasure. But pleasure frequently is the politics of music both the pleasure of affirmation and the pleasure of interference, the pleasure of marginalized people which has evaded channelization. (55 56)
10 Walser looks at the material presentations of signs and symbols in the stage finds images that others would characterize as a collection of historical symbols of power and religion that have no meaning in a post modern collection, but he documents that the symbols have current power because they operate within the contemporary tradition of fantasy, myth, and history. Walser writes, bricolage of Iron Maiden is surely not something to celebrate in itself, but it is important to see that the loss of monovocal, hegemonic history enables other constructions and Walser also finds sense in the contradictions of heavy metal symbols: violence that capitalism and government policy have naturalized, it also creat es communal attachments, enacts collective empowerment, and (171). A decade after the first wave of scholarship, academics looked more closely at metal without the faade of problem and solution driving the work. Although Joshua Gunn does not look specifically at the subject of heavy metal, Modern Occult Rhetoric does address the place of metal and its symbols within the cultural context of commodity systems during the period of time that a mediated iden tity was imposed on metal listeners meaning and value through secrecy. He illustrates the tendency to take symbols of the mainstream culture and infuse conflicting meanings.
11 contemporary texts demonstrates the application of the terms, symbols, and narratives to invoke a difference with a legitimacy for discrimination. In talking about an episode of Judging Amy s affiliation with a coven of witches acts as a 26). chart the mediated spread of a metal related concept. The essay traced the occurrence of terms and articles through criminological indices, newspaper archives, sociological, psychological and educational databases to trace Satanism as a topic or identifier that ca peaked. In his study, he marked that the existence of satanic crimes and issues came into existence (first appeared in reports and articles) after it had been mediated in the U.S. and how it gained credibility through claims makers who found their social positions enforced as experts: An examination of Satanism suggests how influential news media and so called experts, especially those from the US, are in constructing social pr oblems in Canada. It also reveals how social problems can emerge, grow, and become legitimated quite apart from conditions of objective reality (436) In Depth Journalism: The Meta S tory Popular writers were not held back by the testable hypothe sis or the thesis of academics. AP and Wired journalist Ian Christe offers an historical reading of metal that
12 illustrates that politics and mediation have significant effects on the consumption of the music. The tone of Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal is that of an educated fan looking back to construct the identity of what it means to be a consumer of the music. His readings may be superficial because of his purpose, but the points that he magnifies offer valid need for study. For instance, MTV pulls its most requested music (metal) from the afternoon block because the Parents Music Resource late night weekend block to which most of t he metal videos would be relegated. While mediation of the music, the actions show a normalizing of nonmetal and a focused subjugation of metal as a deviant style and cu lture. In Norway, the authors of Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground do a comprehensive analysis of the social and media creation of the Norwegian Black Metal (NBM) scene. Journalists Michael Moynihan and Didrik Sderlind re construct the mediated events that led to the shift of NBM as music for and by deviant youth. The NBM story is important because the Norwegian culture offers a closed context where the social rhetoric can be seen as a nearly hegemonic voice that borrows f rom the U. S. tales of satanic involvement. The authors give historical information, interviews, and insight into the national culture that may serve as a foundational context on which to build an argument with outside sources. By seeking information fro m the performers at the center of the public discourse and providing a timeline of journalistic entries into the dialog, they have charted a broad ethnographic study of the culture and the events.
13 A Survey of the Literature No study on metal is perfect be cause metal does not exist as a standardized body for study. For example, Berger creates constraints in his ethnographic study of metal cultures by approaching the scene of a few isolated metal venues. The anthropological approach establishes data releva nt to the place and time, yet it has the pretense of critique the metal genres for not creating political action to improve their lives, reinforcing the less sensational s tereotypes that metal listeners are burnouts without the ambition to better their lives or societies. On a more positive note, Gunn looks at symbols and culture not as distinct unchanging elements to be analyzed but as vibrant events that evolve over time and space. This removes the symbol, the music, and the culture from a determined pattern to analyze each in the relation to the other. Walser also begins to break down the stereotypes to explore the music and socially accepted music for what they are to the performers and fans. As a marker of scholarship, Running with the Devil opens the discourse from one of blame and disciplinary myopia to being a rich field where cultural domination collapsed to be reconstructed in a variety of hard and shiny effigies and mirrors. questionable realities that have the ability to damage the social fabric by creating t work is the key to understanding the rhetorical shift as a product of the social discourse.
14 Academic studies began by focusing on the assumed ill effects of metal. Ps ychological analyses looked for connections between deviance and the music, often establishing the music as a cause and not a symptom of behavior. Psychologists, sociologists, and communication scholars tried to find a connection between taste and behavio r, between influence and behavior, and between message and action as it related to the metal genre. Many of the s tudies began with a problem, for example violent behaviors, and sought to find a connection to the music. Junk science confused the rhetoric of popular discourse as an agent of affect, reinforcing concerns such as vandalism and drug use as the result of messages that were thought to permeate the genre. Even Berger seems compelled to break from his role as documenting observer to reframe his au dience as unwitting class pawns in a Marxist hierarchy (291 292). M y Approach to Filling the Gaps Metal scholarship has been hindered by limiting approaches, blinding methodologies and disciplinary motives, and studies built on fallacies. First, theories transcend to ideology, placing the subjects in a constituted reality in which they do not participate. Secondly, what is popular in public discourse frames the subjects and their scholarship has been directed to analyses that fit within the popular discourse of metal cultures. Going beyond the category building approaches that often stray into generalized indictments of reality, this dissertation maps the locations of particular mu sic styles and communities. This view must be realized to destroy rhetorical binaries when blame, threats, or deviance enter the public discourse about metal or any other population under
15 scrutiny. My methodology and theoretical base do not limit how I w ill construct an analysis, and they are designed to open multiple views of the culture, performance, and rhetoric of subjects under analysis. Beyond the subject and method, my purpose is unique in this branch of scholarship. The popular discourse becomes part of the analysis, and instead of limiting the analysis, it opens up more of the rhetoric to examination. Courts convict on the basis of the rhetorical possibilities, parents evoke legislation for the sake of fulfilling the binary, and communities spl it on the basis that members fit mediated profiles of deviance. My project complicates the possibilities. The key issues central to the work of this dissertation includes identity/deviancy, crisis discourses, and rhetorics of fear. Each chapter demo nstrates the processes by which deviant identities are produced and deployed, how crisis is rhetorically produced, how rhetorics of fear are specific transformations of culturally potent icons and symbols. Identity and D eviance The public discourses on me tal communities produce and deploy identities that mark them as degenerates or deviants who are opposed to the common good. As a representative anecdote for this operation, the Norwegian press linked black metal fans to the American fundamentalist version of Satanism with desecration of graves and blood phenomena understanding. Throu gh the use of rhetorical strategies and symbolic cultivation, institutions create and alter identities within an understood binary that closely History of Sexuality Foucault
16 remarked on the many av enues of control that institutions put into place to control incest as a deviance and practitioners as deviants (129 31). To control those with access to psychoanalysis, repression and its relief acted as a control. For those who did not have access, the ir conduct was regulated to the point that children could be removed from families with a questionable past. Through medicine and the state, the identity of a person who commits incest became criminal, and one who exhibited incestuous desires had to do so through private discourse with a psychiatrist, the only official relief. As the culture shifted, this element of sexual identity became entrenched in repression and limited to secretive discourse, but a new identity was created, the at risk child. The c hild had no control over the identity and did not play a part in its creation, but the identity was states that there is no binary of power of ruler/subject, power does flow through all levels of society, affecting productions of families, small groups, and institutions, imbuing dominations at their points of convergence (Foucault 94). While Freud may not have played a direct role in the criminalization of incestuous families fields of power, the conditions allowed for his ideas to be produced and reproduced, do not necessarily operate in resistance with the dominant norms and deviances unless they are in a position 13). Because the Norwegian Black Metal creators were located in Norway, the media
17 eirs, nor did it have an effect on their production of deviance. Because this deployment functioned outside of strict economic parameters, this shows an attempt to create classes where none exist, demonstrating a condition of post hegemony spurred entirel y by mediated communication. This is the functioning of deployment at its origin level where voices boundaries. Crisis Discourses During times of social, cultural, and polit ical crises, a rhetoric of fear functions to create scapegoats and place blame outside of the scope of the crisis. For the rhetoric to function effectively, the crisis must be a central issue within the culture and a foundation of symbolic recognition mus t exist within the community. The conservation of the American families with children at risk allowed for U.S. national rhetoric. A triple metal symbols at the center of r hetoric in both the media and trials. In Norway, a string of arsons targeting historic churches created the opportunity for rhetorics of fear to be incorporated into the public discourse by both the media and metal artists Rhetorics of Fear In each cult ure that has created a problem around metal cultures, rhetorics of fear take the place of analysis and critical understanding of the metal cultures. These rhetorics are built on the dramatistic framing of the social interactions, reconfiguring and
18 applyin g old symbols to reframe the public understanding of situations that lack understanding. The rhetorics are built on the binaries and inverted hierarchies present in institutional discourse. In Christianity, one binary is God and Satan, and a correspondin g hierarchy is God is to be emulated by man. If Satan becomes the focus, the inverted hierarchy to be more like Satan becomes a cornerstone in the rhetoric of fear. In most cases, symbols of Christianity have been reconfigured to impart an understanding of deviance in a co ncise good versus evil paradigm, but other institutions also produce this pattern. In the criminal justice system, citizen versus criminal operates as a binary, and a rhetoric that inverts the hierarchy to show the potential for develop ed criminality produces an identity of deviance. An example of the rhetoric of fear is metal has an effect on the growth of criminality in an individual or a population. The rhetoric of fear presents problems of deviance and issues identities of deviants through the rhetorics pattern of inverted hierarchies based on the culturally negative identification of institutional binaries. This pattern frames the norms of the culture at risk and identifies the deviance and deviants creating the risk. A rhetoric of fear predicts a motive with a purpose that inverts the hierarchal perfection of the culture. When a crisis occurs in the culture, the deviants identified in the pattern become perfect scapegoats because they carry the symbols identified as deviance and understood as an identity of the deviant. The rhetoric of fear also generates counter rhetorics, and m etal cultures are complicit in the conflagration of the symbols equated as deviant. Within the commercial environment of music production, images of sex uality, violence, and religion may be reworked to provide a new symbolic meanings or group specific commodities. While an inverted crucifix would have one meaning to the Church, it can have different meanings
19 to a Florida death metal band, a Norwegian bla ck metal band, or a British metal band. These meanings are neither translated nor accepted by the general population. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to analyze the rhetorics of fear operating in public discourses surrounding metal mu sic. This analysis focuses on how the public rhetorics deploy identity on listener populations through both the mediation and legislation of identities. Specifically, this mediation takes place using both symbols of fear and arguments constructed on pote ntial threats. Text s for analysis in this study include a wide variety of discourses offered in print media, film, and television. C The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Met al Years articles from the New York Times and Orlando Sentinel Shout at the Devil fear the texts Raising Kids in an X Rated Society the opening statements to the Senate Hearings on Record Labeling, Twisted and 20/20 Chapter 4 ude a recounting of personal e xperience s during the Satanic panic, segments compiled in Paradise Lost : The Child Murder s in Robin Hood Hills and an article from an Arkansas paper. Chapter 5 texts include Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of Satanic Metal Underground and Varg music. While there is no exemplar metal song that accounts for a definition of the genre,
20 the terms have been consistently used in rhetori cs of fear. The se rhetorical movements produce and deploy deviant identities, depend on the construction of cultural crisis, and generate counter rhetorics of agency for individuals and subcultures. The study moves 1) chronologically through metal histor y, 2) geographically from the United States to Norway, and 3) contextually through media events that produce the public discourses of identity, crisis, and counter rhetorics. This study charts the rhetorical movements that have created fear within communi ties, leading to threats of legislation or criminalization of segments of the population. Methodology My methodological tool is close textual analysis, a careful and critical reading of public discourse generated around heavy metal music and its comm unities. Textual analysis focuses on language but understands that the language operates within a narrative pattern that transcends a specific time. The text operates through the limitations of understanding through recognizable frames of interpretation and has an agency that brings into being a reality of context. This agency within the text derives from the power vested in the cultural transmission of signs and symbols and is wholly empowered by the cultural production of a norm regulating society. My understanding of textual analysis is informed by literary and cultural critics who attend to texts as powerful forms of communication. Kenneth Burke connected the grammar and rhetoric of cultural discourse to actions that individuals and groups took withi n a social system, specifically attributing the perceptions, the philosophies, of all involved as limitations that constructed blinded
21 understandings of reality and potential actions. His work with narrative and symbolic norms demonstrates the ability to understand breeches where symbols and perceptions develop new meanings. In Permanence and Change he notes that classical periods with significant standardization of perception and expectation have extreme symbolic morphs where those with a different perc This movement from the symbol to the production and interpretive differences shows how norms can be challenged by their unbelievable nature, creating multiple levels of perception and sets of norms in a time and a place. Michel Foucault charted how the construction of an analysis through the genealogy of a term could demonstrate the cultural importance of transmis sions of ideas and the development of social structures that enforced and reinforced determined perceptions and individual reactions within a morphing social context. His fundamental study on the concept and terminology in The History of Sexuality shows n orm creations, shifts, and acceptance in ways that impose identities that had neither personal acceptance of labels or of community application of the labels before the introduction and shift of culture. My methodology combines the elements of these trad itions to regard a text as production and as the performance of cultural rhetorics through words, actions, limitations, and the construction of physical space. Understanding the construction of ambiguities, through both the New Critic and Burkean lenses, one may find an entrance into a scene and to the rhetorical structure of the scene whether it exists as words on a page, distorted bass at a concert, or in the combination of clothes chosen for a day at the office.
22 Specifically, I analyze the genealogy o musical genre to a produced and deployed identity of deviance and threat through a rhetoric of fear cultivated in the public discourse of artists, journalists, special interest groups, and the mediated individuals. The primary methodology is a close textual reading of the competing public and subculture voices that have entered a public engagement. These include video documentation by metal opponents and metal artists, the lyrics and music of artists involved in ea ch genre discussion, and journalistic writing that has had mass circulation. Textual analysis will allow maps to be created of cultures and symbols in the dynamic conflicts of violence and meaning. Chapters Outline C hapter two is an analysis of the cons truction of metal identity through early texts and stories. Early media coverage and metal artist performance choices are discussed. Shout at the Devil and The Decline of Western Civilization Part II demonstrate the mediated identity of metal through the 1980s. The U. S. media spawned Satanic panic and its connection with metal through Fundamentalist Christian about the capital of Occu lt Rhetoric, I establish the primary cultural motivation behind Metal culture and music uses symbols and language that fit within institutional rhetorics of fear where binaries frame meanings and apply identities through the institutional orientations.
23 C hapter three focuses on the convergence of institutional rhetorics of fear that constructed a blanket of negative identities for metal fans. During this period, m edia attributions of criminal purpose to the performers while establishing the youth as controlled agents. Their public rhetoric formulated metal decadence versus home, God, and community. This conservative rhetoric of fear is based on a rhetorical construction of culture at risk for disintegration. When the experts addressed metal as a problem, they gave it the properties of a mental illness or a drug addiction, a deviant c ause with deviance as an effect. Build ing on the other chapters, chapter four scapegoats using the metal community to address sudden tragedies in which explanations are either absent or self incriminating. The subject fo cus of the chapter is the investigation, arrest, trial, and conviction in a triple murder case. Lacking evidence or clear motives, the symbols of metal culture are entered in a trial as evidence of supernatural purposes. In the orientation of the communi ty, the symbols of metal turned the bearers into scapegoats. C hapter five looks at the limited context in which Northern European metal developed and in which the Satanic panic spread from the U. S. to Norway. The chapter focuses on the development of t he Black Metal genre through an escalating appropriation and transformation of symbols. Through the mediation of crimes committed by artists from the scene, the rhetoric escalates on both sides as does the actions of the artists, media, and police. Symbo ls of the Church of Norway that have lost their presence in everyday lives are infused with binary meanings that become objects of action (church
24 burnings, grave desecrations), ushering in a rhetorical battle for culture. In the end, the performativity of earnestness in a hierarchy of extremes establishes the rhetoric of fear in a culture that exists through an institutional rhetoric of homogeneity, procreating Satan in an evaluation of Norwegian order that causes new categories to be created and a potentia l for the diversities of other institutional rhetorics. In particular, the piousness to anti Christianity led to a rhetoric of the colonized that resurrected the concept of an artificial heritage and a nonexistent enemy. In this rhetorical frame, the Naz i ideal of purity and myth reawaken, and the NBM rhetoric is appropriated for a new Nazi orientation. The final chapter recounts the development of primary ideas and shows them in play with one another. It details how an unpacking of cultural expectation s and beliefs will allow new questions to be asked during times of crisis and blame.
25 Chapter Two Metal Discourse: Performance, Media, and Fans (1980 1989) Rock and Roll Rebel al music was in church. While I never heard the music there, preachers invoked it in sermons about popular music genres that led to teenage pregnancy and drug addiction. A culmination came in one service where a specific teenage girl was publicly address ed as having redevoted her life to Christ and had given up the music and lifestyle that had caused her shame. As the service ended, she stared at the carpet as she walked down the aisle leading to the exit. At another church, the library carried the boo k The God of Rock by a conservative preacher who pulled out all of the stops to interpret lyrics and album covers as works of the devil (Haynes) The thesis of the book links rock music to sex, drugs, and violence. straight to the demonic. Feeling the pubescent urge to rebel, I used the book to choose musical groups to expand my experience beyond the small universe of traditional community and protestant mores. I embraced the fear rovoke and bought a cassette tape that showed him costumed as werewolf, Bark at the Moon Listening to Ozzy, I was barking at the moon
26 in my pseudo rebellion, but more importantly, I was taken outside of my rural environment by a voice that I gave power b y pressing play while asking to be challenged. I'll tell you no lies They say I worship the devil They must be stupid or blind Pressing the button, I expected to be open versus Them paradigm and defined it in a way that made absolute sense to a kid rebelling against an ultra conservative environment. I was one of Them. They live a life of fear and insecurity And all you do is pay for their prosperity The ministry of grace, that doesn't forgive Do what you will to try and make me conform Instead of hearing a message of Satan from a v odka swilling anti preacher, I saw a mirror of my own thoughts about the fire and brimstone culture that saw evil in everything and everyone. Still, having an Ozzy tape on my shelf meant something. Satanism in America it me ant that I might be a Satanist. According to my preacher, it was a sure sign that I was on a path to Hell. To my mother, it was dangerous enough to burn. When I asked why, no one could give me an answer
27 Exemplars of Fear in Early M etal Discourse This chapter analyses early texts of the discourse of metal that reached large segments of the general U. S. public, creating a frame in which identity of metal performers and listeners became topics of debate. I have chosen two works by M tley Cre as exemplars in early metal discourse for two reasons. First, Mtley Cre is Heavy Metal (1991) and Running with the Devil (1993). While neither Weinstein nor Walser analyz e the group or their works, they do establish the group as either exemplary of an aspect of metal or as one of the originators of style. As importantly for this paper, Walser points out that Mtley Cre and the other L. A. bands were at the center of the popular expansion of metal when heavy metal sales grew to 20% of all U.S. record sales in 1984. Shout at the Devil are important examples of the music video age for their popularity, visibility, and provocation. The album was released in 1983, when the Satanic panic was on the rise and music videos became widely available. MTV, the broadcast networks, and syndicated ve a quantitative view of the large listenership for Shout at the Devil Mtley Cre is criticized by the evangelicals, and has a persistent image among metal fans and those critical of metal into the early 1990s, as long as the band remained together. M tley Cre was one of the most popular and successful bands from the Sunset Strip, and U.S. metal became know for the glam bands from that scene.
28 The Decline of Western Civilization Part I I: The Metal Years one of the only examples of a media product focused entirely on the early metal scene and the fans. Hair metal from the 1980s is often confused for all metal in the public discourse, and this perception came largely from Spheeris and t he film about the L. A. metal scene. The types of metal musicians and fans became the stereotypes of jokes; not only did Spheeris produce the only documentary on metal and limit it to a particular scene, she also directed the movie. There is no scholarly debate on the mediation of metal, and unless a person has been a consumer of a large sample of the media and mediation of the Sunset Strip scene, there is no bigger picture than the view Spheeris mediated. The general scholarship of metal h musicological study Metal, Rock, and Jazz and Keith Kahn Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge subjects and theories are so specific to a community, time, or theoretical base that they have limited value in a discussion of the evolution of population identity or the rhetoric in the public discour se. Walser established metal in music history and introduced many possible points of study; it is from his review of the The chapter consists of a close textual reading using orientation, a perception of symbols that have been connotatively and formally charged. Orientation refers to trained incapacities which structure behavior in ways that limit perceptions beyond the expected pattern. According
29 basis of expectancy for character telescopes the past, present, and future. A sign, which is here now, may have got a significance out of the past that makes it a promise of the Permanence 14). Specifically, j orientation that match the expectancies and blind other interpretations through piety, making things fit within a system of belief (74 & 75). Institutional orientations are built on piety of the binaries that defi ne the institutions. Within orientations, some symbols of the text and the formal which requires an understanding within the context of the text ( Counter S tatement 163 65). Symbols of metal culture take symbols pious in institutional orientations to create planned incongruencies that allow the destruction and recreation of orientations ( Permanence 111). As an explicit example, the World Trade Center buildings fit with in certain orientations before their destruction in a terrorist attack, but the buildings became charged with that action in discourse following the attack. As shown by the terrorist actions from their perspective, the symbols can also be impieties which are attempts at creating new orientations (80). A rhetoric of fear questions the stability of the hierarchies that establish the order in an orientation. Newspaper coverage, artist interviews, and secondary sources demonstrate the competing discourse s in which symbols obtain incongruent meanings that lead to a and pathologi cal identity from the mainstream documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years and how the media perpetuated these symbolic
30 through Malleab Expertise and Devi ance through a Rhetoric of Fear Mtley Cr Shout at the Devil and how it reinforced the mediation of their negative identity. This chapter argues that metal symbols create identities framed by a rhetoric of fear through the orientational limitations of secular and religious authority. The Iron Mask: The Media and Metal Identity Production The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years captured the Los Angeles glam metal scene in 1987 after the scene had fully broken open to become the heart of mainstream metal. Release d nationally in 1988, the documentary has had an Heavy: The Story of Metal The film is directed by Penelope Spheeris and follows her 1980 documentary on the Los Angeles punk scene, Declin e of Western Civilization Spheeris has since directed the big screen adaptation of Saturday Night Live World The documentary featured interviews conducted by Spheeris with established hard rock and metal performers. Othe rs interviewed include groupies, fans, and image of the poster shows a male guitarist performing, his long hair and shadow covering his face. The performer holds the guitar and wears fringed black leather, acting as a decontextualized metal identity. Under the image, the subtitle of the film The Metal Years boldly exhibits the largest print on the image,
31 creating a frame for the performer as a cultural type. The national response was in line deviance, and dimwitt edness. In a review of the film, the Chicago Sun Times delivers an opinion that the metal culture exists as symbolic of negative cultural attributes. Heavy metal embodies adolescent fantasy, a fantasy that includes the crassest American dreams: wealth, w omen, power, fame and a life of ceaseless, irresponsible self gratification. Distorted in these rouged faces and bloated lives one can see reflected the fundamental ills of our culture greed, sexism, materialism as well as the indomitable individualis m that (Keough). The Atlanta Constitution which include dozens of Sunset Strip scenesters interviewed for the movie, are only in it for the money. And the fame. An d the sex. And the beer. Though not necessarily in that The Miami Herald chimes in with a language establishing the idea of debauchery. Two pudgy girls cheerfully admit that yes, group sex with band members themselves -often devastatingly -but asks the tough questions, too. ike (Adrianson)
32 The New York Times also reviewed the film with a disparaging eye on the performers and audience as stupid and dangerous to themselves and others. For all the amusingly fatuous remarks heard here and Miss S pheeris has a great ear for these the overriding dimness of most of the fans and musicians is frightening. The women are happy to be exploited, the men avid for new forms of self destruction, and no one can see an inch beyond tomorrow. (Maslin) Me oks e culture of Sunset Strip metal the primary American metal scene of the early 1980s, packaged for a broader audience. The film operates to connect metal symbols to deviance through ca reful editing of interviewed sequences. The documentary is shown in a quick series of interviews with local performers, established stars, fans, a nightclub owner, and a probation officer. Interview locations ranged for most of the established performers, but performers not yet established were shown on stage. Fans are shown in interviews in an area similar to chain photography studio sets where a small seating area keeps everyone in frame. Some interviewees are identified through text on the screen, and others are not identified or not consistently enough to understand who they are or what role they play in the culture. Interview segments are mostly edited, in ways that scenes outside of the interview add a context to the discourse. Some interview segm ents are extended, but many are little more than
33 support for segment of the scene or another voice in a thematic montage of comments. Because of the incomplete nature of each interview segment, a lack of consistently identifying who is being interviewed, and the quick cuts to other interviews and performances, the identities of the interviewees becomes blurred. Editing creates a story that is not told through the individual interviews, establishing metal performances and audiences as types of people exem plified through the featured segments. Spheeris asks questions from off camera, giving her questions the function of narration. The cinematography isolates the subjects during interviews, and scenes outside of interviews show activities ranging from stan ding outside of clubs, performers on stage, a group soaking in a hot tub, to a dance/stripping competition. The criminals, devil worshippers, and psychiatric cases all become fixtures in metal culture feeding into the political, religious, and cultural rh etorics of fear. Headbangers as Street Bangers: Metal Appearance as Weaponry The collage of interviews begins with performers and others talking about metal, establishing a definition for the music and culture. The expert chosen to tell where the music comes from is Darlyne Pettinicchio, probation officer. This authority figure appears later in the film explaining the deprogramming regime of metal fans used by an operation called Back in Control, punctuating that metal dress includes acting symbols th at must be removed in order to move the fans away from the criminal path. The symbols of metal are considered weapons and a uniform of criminality. Instead of offering multiple interpretations or uses of the symbols, Pettinicchio offers singularly functi onal purposes of metal regalia.
34 The documentary cuts from a close up of her sitting behind an office desk to teens being patted down by security guards and uniformed adults. Pettinicchio: One of the things that we have found which we call de metaling i s a program that actually gets the kid out of heavy metal. (The scene changes to show uniformed officers patting down teens in metal garb.) We have certain rules, removal of heavy metal albums or tapes, not allowing the child to dress in any style of heavy metal, which would mean taking these kinds of things away from him, (she reaches into a pile of metal garments and pulls out a glove with metal stars and hemispheres) not allowing him to wear the heavy metal t shirts that depict the band mem bers with pictures of monsters, or skeletons, or whatever graves on them.
35 (The scene flashes to security doing a pat down then back to her lifting a leather gauntlet with metal studs) This right here just covers the forearm and again is just used as garb and it basically talks about an image related to heavy metal which is one of power. (The scene cuts back to the pat down where behind his head. It returns to her picking up a metal gauntlet covered in rows of spikes) This also is worn over the forearm. And this was homemade, as you can tell it has just screws and nuts in it and a piece sheet metal. (Cuts back to legs being patted down then her pulling a spiked dog collar to her neck.) This rig ht here is a collar that is worn around the neck. And also it can prevent any kind of choke hold if you get involved
36 in a riot and the police are trying to contain the situation. (The scene cuts back to the pat downs and then to her lifting a lea ther bracelet with studs and putting it around her wrist) For youngsters on probation under probation supervision, this will constitute a weapon, and they are not allowed to wear this. Spheeris: Are you aware of anyone being hurt with those things? (cuts back to the pat down) Pettinicchio: Oh, yes! Pettinicchio offers no details, leaving the audience to accept this claim without evidence. Playing on the secular fears of out of control youth, the probation officer constructs a criminal identity whose symbols act as weapons as much as they offer an identity. To deprogram the youth, once the uniform and symbols have been removed, the negative influence ceases to exist. The rhetorical framing of the symbols as criminal weapons, influence, and unif orm uses fear to imbue the symbols and those who wear them as embodied criminals.
37 Devil Horns: Christian Deviancy in Metal Gestures and Costume class professional garb whi le sitting in a windowed office, Spheeris documents the most universal symbol of metal, the devil horns, a fist with pinkie and index fingers extended. The hand sign appears in music videos, concert footage, and in most other video materials used in this s tudy. While the symbol has appeared in contexts outside of metal, the original user of the symbol in contemporary music was Ronnie James Dio. Because he is not interviewed in the film, it is important to understand his creation of the symbol and the eff ect that he witnessed as it spread through the metal culture to understand the lack of meaning and intention used in concert footage. When Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath, he was replaced by frontman Dio. One index and middle fingers. To establish a different presence, Dio gestured with fists that have the pinky and index fingers extended. His consistent use of the gestures created recognition with the fans and eventual ly became a symbol of acceptance, acknowledgement, and reciprocity between the fans, expanding beyond the Black Sabbath and Dio shows to become a general symbol for metal. In Heavy: The S tory of Metal that his first exposure was through his grandmother who used it to protect from or give the evil eye. With an ironic English and
38 tried to create it within the confines of the band Black Sabbath, and the everything. leads to many possible interpretations of the meaning, and grandmother and metal culture as it is also displayed in association with fandom for the University of Texas Long horns and University of South Florida Bulls. While the symbol has no pure origin or direct connection to Satanism or other religious origin, the connection with metal did infuse the devil that Dio intended in Satanic panic interpretations. roduction, Pettinicchio applies an interpretation of Christian and inverted Christian meanings to the symbol. Many kids if you ask them they will say its means heavy metal. The three finger s down to represent the denial of the trinity. Also within this hand gesture, we have three sixes from the Book of Revelations in the Bible. (She points them out with one hand while making the gesture with the other hand.) re refuted by fans and performers in cuts after each of deviant sexuality. The interview segments often place the performers and fans in deviant positions through both editing and rhetorical framing. In the first 10 minutes of the film, Paul Stanley from KISS is interviewed while in bed, the camera offers an overhead
39 mirror perspective, and several women in lingerie lie with him, caressing him. His band mate Gene Simm ons is interviewed in a lingerie store looking over women wearing lingerie as they shop for more. The scenes are framed as candid interviews without a into the film, This is followed by a female metal artist saying that female performers can take advantag e of male fans, and Pettinicchio states that women are presented in a misogynist domination fantasy. Groupies tell the camera that their favorite pastime is sex, and male performers state they allow female fans to take care of them financially. Spheeris overtly up, hair, and stage clothing is tied to deviances of both secular and religious performances of ers to include in the documentary, and teens to interview produce a limited view of the teens in a dominant view of deviance. The groupies brag about the number of sexual encounters and group sex acts that they have participated in during the few months t hey had been in Los Angeles. One male teen in glammed hair and makeup is asked questions that provoke concerns of sexual confusion and poor familial relationships. In the questions and answers shown, youth with problems, or at least socially deviant issu es, become the bearers of the only metal fan identity shown. An imbalance of authority created by the scene selection and edits shuts down the dialogic possibilities. In one of the cut away sequences with Pettinicchio, a teen tells the camera about the
40 abs on the symbol charged with the Satanic and the Dionysian qualities of deviance. Even rs, he demonstrates a clear understanding that the protestors have interpreted and use the symbol for their purpose. Instead of establishing a dialog to create a shared meaning with the Christian opposition, the rhetoric also functions as a barrier to Chr istian empathy through the cereal misidentified as sacrilegious or at least dismissive. The elements that have charged the symbol are the same elements that frame t using animal, he clings to a kind of nave verbal realism that refuses to realize the full extent of the role played by symbolicity in his Language 5). For the dominant culture built on Christian qualities. Burke demonstrates using the idea of a tribal belief in a hex and a tribesman some reason those in authority have decreed his death by magic, and he promptly begins to waste away and die under the burden of this sheer gesture as a symbol of metal a s created by Dio, the dominant culture, or at least the Christian base within the culture, have a visceral reaction to the symbol as it is framed within their reality.
41 Following the Path to Hell: Metal as a Pathological Symptom and Cause The religious a nd the criminal include symbols that invoke fear for particular orientations, but the medical also has themes that provoke negative reactions from the public whether a psychotic killer leaves a dismembered body or an alcoholic bum reaches for change on a s treet corner. While several scenes from Decline mention, glorify, or renounce drugs and alcohol, they become a focal point for many of the established and would be performers, creating a pathology of substance abuse in the metal culture. The first fan in terviewed in the film is a teen male who states that he likes to get drunk and watch the headbangers make fools of themselves. Spheeris asks bands about their alcohol and drug use, and many volunteer substance abuse as a mark of their lifestyles. In the bottles and beer cans invoke a lifestyle of disintegration. One example stands out from the rest because it balances an alcoholic with a silent parent present in a scene where an opulent middleclass home is changed to the gutter in which a drunk has curled up to die. The scene takes place in a lit pool at night, and W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes literally pours fifths of vodka in his mouth. Dressed in his performance leathers, Holmes lays on a pool float near the edge of the pool with his mother sitting in a deck chair beside him. Her posture, facial expressions, and body language displa y discomfort and uncertainty as Spheeris, off camera, questions Holmes. As the interview progresses, Holmes becomes less and less coherent, and his mother becomes more fidgety in her seat when she is in the frame. The water both isolates and traps Holmes
42 as he turns up a fifth. Taken out of time and placed in a surreal context the viewer gets Spheeris: Do you think you might be covering up some pain? Spheeris: What would that be from I wonder. Holmes: Look here. Do you like this label? (He holds a bottle toward the camera) (Holmes kills off another fi fth.) Moving from a probing tone to one offering a leading question, Spheeris goes into a behaviors. The symbol of alcohol appears in the lyrics of songs like AC/ Roses Appetite for Destruction where lead singer Axl Rose holds a green beer bottle and guitarist Slash has a liquor bottle half hidden behind his top hat that sits on the floor in front of him. Neither alcohol nor drugs have a singular meaning throughout the rhetoric of metal artists and fans (the complexity will be further explored in chapter 3), yet n, a psychological pain that drives Holmes. His pain, masked through egregious drinking, becomes synonymous with the drug and alcohol use shown by the fans and other performers. Immediately following the sequence equating performers to prostitutes, the b and London is shown backstage drinking and talking about the artists who have been in the band but left to make it big in other groups. One of the band members says,
43 street nobody wants to know about us. So what happens is we have a big following out of town, we come back here they offer us fifty bucks to a bar tab. prostitution, and a conscious awareness of a deviant position in dominant culture. Holmes, as a success in the metal culture, is an example of decayed mental, social, and moral elements a leather clad symbol of the pathogenic metal culture. Spheeris asks ya The drug and alcohol use highlighted in the interviews tells the story of a culture imbued with sub stance abus e issues that cover up underlying problems. The story of the an identity tha t is never explained. In a long string of interview segments, would be stars cannot admit to not making it to commercial or cultural success. The prototypical metal kid moves to L.A. and plays music while he prostitutes himself to women for groceries or money for band promotion or she is used sexually and financially by performers. They engage in reckless substance abuse and deviant sex. They aspire to be successes, but whether they are or not, they will burn out and be incapable of remaining in society
44 This film created not just an identity for the performers but one of fans that extended beyond the Sunset Strip. In a recent interview for a VH1 television show, Rikki Rachtman, who appears in the film as the co owner of The Cathouse club and later b reflects on the scene The statement that appeared in the New York Times review extended outside of the Sunset new forms of self In the film, an authority figure and the interviewer present scenes that corre late the metal world to common fears in orientations where prisons, asylums, and hell are logical destinations for the youth who embrace the music and culture. The rhetoric that establishes the frame is built on symbols from the institutional rhetorics of crime, religion, and psychology. Decline establishes and maintains a rhetoric of decay to cast metal performers and fans with the identity of the criminal, the Satanist, and the insane. Connotations and Denotations: A Rhetoric of Fear through Malleable Symbols Even though the symbols of metal, like the devil horns, 666, and pentagrams have a strong association with metal, no one has done an in depth study to understand the symbols and their complexity in metal or in the public discourse. Weinstein wri tes d that the music is a tool of the Anti Christ. Satanism, along with suicide, sexual perversion and
45 Harris, the satanic symbols are part of subcultural capital and required for maintaining a cultural identity through the reflexivity inherent in the scene (121 127). While both statements can be justified in particular contexts, neither applies well to a diverse mainstream listenership, Weinstein poi nts out how the sacred and secular mix where, in her terms, suicide can be seen as deicide when one kills a self created in the image of God, sexual perversion compares to Sodom and Gomorrah, and violence against others and satanic symbols affiliates one w ith the anti Christ (261 and occultic rhetoric demonstrates that occult texts, by definition, hide their meaning from outsiders. These practices establish the format for their own misinterpretation by a general reade rship who are not indoctrinated in how to read the metaphors and irony. In caused outsiders to perceive that those affiliated with the occult did so to gain social position, wealth, or other s ecular goals. But when Anton LaVe y came on the scene with the Satanic Bible and film about the rituals in his objectivistic Church of Satan, the images from the film, including a nude woman on an altar, the pentagram, and costu med ritual of Christian inversions, became scenes that were taken out of context and placed in media presentations as a proof of evil, devil worship, crime, and abuse. Gunn analyses the satanic panic in the medi a to show how the scenes from LaVe ecame visual r worldviews through
46 systems of metaphors, symbols, and connotative associations. Burke further investigates what might happen when worldviews and cultural meanings undergo transition, when able associations, linkages, and meanings when pieties are assaulted or undermined by newer cultural formations. I will extend this analysis in more detail in Chapter 5. meanings of the occult rhetoric in providing collectivizing and shared symbols that signify identity, shared values, shared senses of alienation, and, perhaps, shared senses of purpose invites and exacerbates the likelihood of misinterpretation by the dominant medi a. Occult is, by definition, hidden and apart, and the separatism and oppositional character of these symbols is key to their workings to collectivize and communicate me taphors and senses of irony construct a shared context for initiated members, and context by comes to stand for stable meanings to all cultural members: A Nazi swastika has transcended all specific contexts and exists as a symbol fully charged for Westerners swastika as a symbol without invoking those associations and pieties. Similarly, fundamentalist Christians understand the symbols appropriated by metal culture from an orientation or worldview that connects all evil to Satan. When metal cultists use satanic symbols, those Christians are likely to associate satanic influence to a broad array of social problems, crimes, and general senses of disorder they experience. I shall argue that in such instances, it is possible show that the non fundamentalist and metal cultists
47 and artists have different uses for these symbols: these symbols ha ve been selected from the dominant culture because they are fossils and pious relics of a worldview they wish to challenge. To demonstrate this confusion of meanings, I will examine two cases where occult symbols became occultic, where the specific uses o f such symbols among metal artists and listeners were appropriated into the interpretations. First, I will look at a New York Times article that pairs metal with a series of social problems. Secondly, Mtley s use of the pentagram operates as a sym bol of deviance for a conservative population. Gangs and Serial Killers: The New York Times Mediating Connotations of Deviance First, connotations of problems were connected to satanic elements and music using preexisting social problems for their str ucture. Judith Cummings, a Los Angeles correspondent for the New York Times, exemplifies this approach in her 1986 article, Times, which reaches a broad national audien metal acquired the citational charge from loose association to examples that had been mediated through explicit narratives and understood structures. The article opens by defining the attributes of perceived social p roblems and then symbols of deviance are entered through testimony evidence by unnamed experts. Officials in California say gang membership is increasing among white, middle class suburban youths, and the officials say these gangs are
48 engaging in such cri minal acts as gang fights and robbery, and that some take part in Satanic rituals. By combining the unexpected socio economic background of the youth gang members the problem that is understandable to the majority of the U.S. population. With no direct evidence cited, the article moves to expert opinion using discursive decr easing parental supervision over children and the breakdown of traditional family level of symbols with connotations that link music, specifically rock, punk, and meta l, to extreme deviance. Some of the white gangs adhere to a white supremacist philosophy and [The gangs] are described in such overlapping variations as heavy metal, punk rock and ston er gangs. Some are distinguished by enthusiasm for Particularly troubling to some officials is evidence of devil worship among a few of the youths. The police attribute some incidents of gra ve robbery, desecration of human remains, vandalism of churches and ritualistic animal sacrifices to the gangs. The authorities say they have not been able so far to determine whether there is a link between the gang phenomenon and a suspect, Richard Rami rez, who was arrested last fall in a series of
49 In court appearances Mr. Ramirez has flashed the pentagram, or 666, sign of devil worship written on the palm of his hand. Once h e age girls appear at Mr. groupies who follow rock stars. Expert testimony creates the perception that a problem exists that can be defined by street crime, Nazism, and devil worship. Without any evidence provided beyond testimony, the New York Times added to the creation of a national perception of a problem that links youth, music, symbols, and acts of extreme violence. Both the pentagra m and 666 became a fixture of media. The connotation made between music and a serial killer further charged the symbols with meaning. Josh Gunn points out that much of the Satanic panic programming, specifically TV host ism, used decontextualized scenes from LaVe Satanis with voiceovers and onscreen text to construct proof of the stories concerned. Out of context of the Satanist community, symbols, such as the pentagram on the cover of the Satanic Bible h ad meaning applied to them. Through the mapping of this stock footage, the rhetoric or suasive the image, and at a more basic level, on the movement toward the sign value typical of c ommodity fetishism within a circulatory network. (Gunn 194) The symbols act as occultic markers establishing the perception of reality by their application to culturally understood stories. In light of the rumor panic of the late 1980s
50 and early signify highly connotative signifiers of ritual murder, child abuse, and other occult crimes (193). The pentagram no longer ac ts as a symbol through which ritual magic can be worked. The pentagram becomes a symbol that exists not as a representation but as object, a reality built from the connotations of the symbol. All of the meanings created in the context of television progr ams become part of the public discourse. The formal repetition of commodity exchange is a larger, structuring logic that is reflected in the thinness or formalization of Satanic texts, to a lesser degree in the reduction of The Satanic Bible to its cover [the black color, within the fragmentation of Satanis as stock footage. (Gunn 202) The mass use of the symbol creates the ability for the symbol to be adapted by anyon e for the purpose of his or her story through mediated connotations perceived as reality. The disconnect of experience and of meaning permeates the mediation and m eanings to the symbols and through connotation, the identities of metal fans. In the same way that Pettinicchio established the satanic meanings of metal symbols, the artists often use those symbols for an effect that does not reflect the beliefs of Chris tians, the horror of Hollywood films, criminal prospectus of a parole officer, or occult writings. This dissonance has a precedence in occult texts written for the insider, those written for a general audienc e, and the period after Anton LaVe y publishes t he Satanic Bible Through his analysis of occult rhetoric, Gunn found that the symbols and metaphor that
51 operate within the privileged rhetoric and grammar of occult texts allowed misinterpretations by the emergence of mass media and that mediated interpr etations infused the symbols and metaphors with meanings recognized by the general readership through a context of social clim bing and devil worship. Once LaVe y stripped the symbols of their metaphoric context, they have a rhetorical power to be what they represent instead of a representation. The pentagram is no longer a symbol to be interpreted, it is Satanism, ritual sacrifice, or an existential anti God. Metal may work with both the representational and the existential attributes of symbols, creating interpretations that allow mediated animosity or establish a fixed identity through symbol choice. Among the bands involved with this type of symbol use, Mtley Cre exhibits ential) symbol use for the privileged audience. Mtley Cre used pentagrams in videos, albums, concerts, and publicity photographs, but the symbol did not function as a masked knowledge or a visual metaphor for ritual thought. The album Shout at the Devi l and its associated mediation featured the pentagram and other symbols that created the identity of the band through a careful use of symbols for the purpose of contextualizing with the rhetoric of the symbols outside of their popular contexts: I had ideas for the album and the tour that had to do with the mass psychology of evil behind Nazism and with the Anton LaVey books on Satanism, which was really more a personal philosophy with a shocking title than an actual religion. I had grand ideas of creating a tour that
52 looked like a cross between a Nazi rally and a black church service, with Mtley Cre symbols instead of swastikas everywhere. (Strauss) Symbols like the pentagram and swast ika carry power, and while their use through history demonstrates the potential for complexity, an audience or observer would need a specific frame of reference for the complexity to exist. In regard to the swastika, Heller history of the Nazi era (1933 1945) is totally rewritten and the danger of that is ever present the swastika will remain forever the most write for a graphic designer working in a hegemonic culture, a culture that carries the reality of the swastika as the Nazi ideal or a manifestation of genocide. A swastika would only have a peaceful association for someone who understood it within a pattern of a celebration and lif e, primarily those in eastern religions that have before and after WWII had the symbol as a part of their own religious orientations. But even in the west, the symbol became a uniting force in the early stages of the Nazi regime, giving a specific segment of the German public a symbol charged with heritage and hope as much as the Stars and Stripes appeal for a segment of the U.S. population. Now the swastika has a more dramatic charge in Germany as it has been outlawed by the state and cannot be legally u sed. For a neo Nazi, what symbol could offer more power? In the same manner, Sixx looks to the existential power of the symbols to create a pattern terms, Sixx attem pts to operate through the manipulation of beliefs to discredit an ideology ( Counter S tatement 163). That Nazis are the enemy and Satan is evil are dominant beliefs in culture where the dominant ideologies are built on Christian and
53 American (nationalisti collection of symbols builds an identity through the collective assemblage. By prominently utilizing symbols of power, the lyrics, music, costume, and performance together create a pattern in which a new symbol exists specific to Mtley Cre for those who accept the constructed orientation, the indoctrinated fans and artists. For those looking in from the outside, the symbols fit within their own orientation with the tions unaltered. Beyond the limited numbers who could see a concert, music videos functioned to bring an awareness of new music to a large segment of American youth, as such, the video acts as a commercial exhibiting the commodities of the production. M first video from Shout at the Devil agent that marks the group with a mystical identity. The video setting resembles a Mad Max wasteland in which the band rounds up wild women and locks them in a cage. The women are a threat, and caging them is less about a play on dominance and more thematic to survival as the wasteland setting suggests. Another woman appears and takes on the role of a powerful enemy as she blasts through rock and sets the scene on fire than any individual band member. In the scene, pentagrams ap headband and decorate double bass drums, and when the liberating woman appears, Tommy Lee slams the drum and a computer generated pentagram flies across the stage and is absorbed by her shield. This prompts the band to track her down in pack fashion, and once the four of them surround her, they each lift one fist over their heads, creating
54 an explosion in which they and the woman disappear. In their absence is a flaming pentagram. Contextually, the pentagram appears in the momen t the group unites and subject of female characters victimizing males where the males reproduce the hegemonic The power of symbol becomes the power of the band, the Satanic connotations lost in performance through the archetypal brotherhood. Parts of the audience may not perceive the connotations, and most of the symbols are fossils until they have been brought into the metal performance. Walser noted that supernatural qualities of a pagan traditional belief, but instead of promoting a belief, the symbols operate independent of in metal, it is not In stark contrast to Mtley Cre, the band Slayer uses the pentagram and Satanic rhetoric for politica l irony playing both the LaVe y objectivist Satanism and the Christian version to attack organized religion as a subjugating institution as understood in Marxist theory. he lives album, Slayer became more direct in anti Reign in Blood
55 You go to the church, you kiss the cross You will be saved at any cost You have your own reality Christianity You spend your life just kissing ass licity, and packaging present symbols that make the context of the message unclear. This is especially relevant in the Nazi like images associated with the band. The danger of the irony to the uninitiated is that it is reconstituted through the understan ding and experience of the listener (Gunn 164 165). In a question asking about the connections of Slayer to Nazi and Satanist intentions in the media, guitarist Kerry King stated: I think in Europe it was bigger than everything, but they had to deal with Nazis in the flesh. But, I think they jumped on the bandwagon and said up. (Hess) Outside of the inte ntions of any of the metal artists or the understanding of the ills. As the mediation of the Satanic problem began, fundamentalist orientations connected social ills to S atan and infused the discourse with pronouncements of deviant and anti Christ identities. What had been fossil symbols in the general culture became charged with negative connotations to the point that the secular population did not look
56 for context. Med iated connotations transformed metal symbols into existential symbols of deviance. Regardless of the performance, the context, or the understanding of the intended audience, the symbols became more powerful as the mediation increased, mirroring the growth and spread of the satanic panic. At this point, the U. S. metal artists and audience lost their voice. Performing Expertise and Deviance through a Rhetoric of Fear A 1986 article by John Gholdston in The Orlando Sentinel relayed the interest heavy met al had gained on an Orlando Christian radio talk show. The article began with metal music by groups such as Mtley Cre, Iron Maiden, and Blac k Sabbath screeched over the airways of Christian radio stations. Lyrics advocated pronouncement stood as fact. Later that year, television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart d elivered a televised sermon to boycott the stores that sell metal music and magazines, drawing the attention of Wal mart who contacted him about his claims (Goldstein). Swaggart singled out pop magazines Hit Parader and Creem and the heavy metal band M tley Cre, as prime offenders, citing a story in Hit Parader that chronicled the sexual escapades of the Cre. However, Swaggart was unable to pinpoint any other precise examples of allegedly pornographic material in magazines or current songs. Throughou t 1986, Mtley Cre stood as a band accused of indecency and Satanism in several media outlets and through the claims of people like Swaggart who used their notoriety as a symbol of the generic deviancy attributed to the music. Mtley
57 Shout a t the Devil gained international media attention for the title of the album. On the British music program, The Tube comedian Alexie Sayles interviewed band members Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. inciting violence. Lee: (holds his hands up in a defensive posture and shakes them) Ooo ooo ooo. Sayles: Did you do it guys? Did ya? Shout a t the Devil Shout at the Devil was Sayles rocks his head and squints his eyes in a comedic gesture of disbelief. Lee: Nobody read the title right. By 1986, the mediation of metal had saturated the culture to a point that Mtley Cre could be connected to pornography, incest, devil worship, and violence without the claims requiring support. Evangelists like Swaggart could promote their position by finding the anti Christ at w ork in the recording industry. By calling for censorship or by telling people to boycott sellers of metal music and media, Swaggart and others reinforced the concept of threat in metal and further legitimized the symbolic meanings placed on the groups, mu sic, and fans.
58 The rhetoric of fear created an identity for anyone using the symbols of metal. To wear a jacket patch of Mtley Cre, one took on the same identity markers that the band carried. A band playing hard rock could adopt a metal costume styl e and be considered have an attitude associated with metal marked one as a threat whether they intended that or not. On the inverse, those who used the metal sym bols to construct a deviant identity for others became experts in those subjects. Walser notes that University of Denver professor Carl Raschke wrote a book attacking heavy metal as a cause of deviance, and although he manufactured evidence and made unsup portable claims, he received a positive review in the Chronicle of Higher Education an endorsement from the primary news source for university professionals. The rhetoric of fear follows the questions in on of deviance and a pronouncement of intention collide in a symbol that exists beyond the context of the artists or their works. The early mediation of metal created a rhetoric of fear based on the convergence of the Satanic panic and discourse about pro blems in youth cultures. As the rhetorics converged, a title like Shout at the Devil developed to become proof of an argument through the performativity of the title. As an existential symbol, otives of anti Christ affiliation. Because of this, no dialog can exist between the dominant culture and the metal cultures in shaping a shared meaning between the mutually exclusive orientations, and a positive identity, the expert, can be created throug h the construction of a rhetoric of fear that uses metal symbols to construct a threatening identity for others. For a metal
59 fan, the identity constructed through the convergent rhetorics takes their subculture symbols and reconstruct them as occultic mar kers that carry the existential charge of evil and deviance. To continue to use the symbols as the rhetoric of fear saturates the culture, whether the symbols are long hair or concert t shirts, the metal fan performs an identity of deviance, deviltry, and malleable construction of problem as the rhetoric of fear evolves. Conclusion During the 1980s, the symbols of metal became firmly entrenched in rhetorics of fear through the mediated discourses of institutional experts from evangelists to news repor ters. Metal music and performance freely appropriated symbols from institutional rhetorics. Pentagrams and inverted crosses could only be mediated to a larger public d eviance and decay that define their purpose and create orientational identities. Spheeris rhetorics of fear and had the ability to regurgitate those rhetorics to a genera l audience. By 1986, the symbols of metal had been interpreted through the criminal system, churches, and sanitariums evoking a particular identification that silenced the artists and fans whose orientations did not depend on the absolute hierarchies of t he binary system. To perform a metal identity placed a metal fan or performer in the rhetoric of fear, removing the details of their lives with an understood relationship to threats in the culture. While no common cultural system applied to the metal com munity, the institutional rhetorics created an identity complete with beliefs, values, and attitudes
60 drawn from symbolic meanings of the negative aspects of the institutional binaries. Metal entered the rhetoric of fear, positioning its players and fans in preordained roles to be judged as deviant. Metal culture and music uses symbols and language that fit within institutional rhetorics of fear where binaries frame meanings and apply identities through the institutional orientations. Experts from the institutions, like the parole officer, invoke the binaries of the system through mediated narratives that share the orientational frames of the dominant culture. The symbols used in metaphors and ironies by metal artists become literal representations in the media and the institutions. From local and national news reports to mainstream documentaries, the symbols of metal became connected to good/evil, and the mental healt representations and consequences of deviances as defined by institutions, accepted by the population, and reinvented by the media. The binaries of institutions define the identities of the institutions their purposes, and acts. An artist who reworks the symbols with new meanings for an insider audience risks being identified by the negative institutional binary because orientations have been shaped through the limited functions of institutions like th e church and criminal justice system. When symbols are stripped of the institutionalized meaning without a cultural precedent, they embody the reality they represent to those who perceive the symbols only in the context of a rhetoric of fear, the orientat ion of the institution.
61 Chapter Three Conservative Rhetoric and Metal Identity (1985 93 ) In 1991, a friend took me to a party populated mostly by members of a local metal s listened to music I never experienced again until I began researching this dissertation project. The music they played had strong atmospheric elements and probably would be considered death metal. While I was transfixed by the music, I had been shaken up by both the critique of my appearance and a rebuke for what I thought was metal. Despite our taste differences, I found elements of their music to like and they admitted to having listened to my favorite groups at earlier times in their lives. For the rest of the night, I was treated as an insider in their group. subgenres to study the branchi ng development of metal, but instead of demonstrating a definitive process, it marks points of contention and arguments about subgenres
62 categorized under titles, like early metal, that did not exist in a cultural context when the included groups performed. Dunn begins compiling his work decades after many of the groups included performed because there is neither an official or commonly understood definition of heavy metal. Only in the category New Wave of British Heavy Metal does debate instead of absolute defining terms. If fans, sociologists, and music historians are unable to agree on a definition, then critics of heavy metal in the middle 1980s were steadfast in th eir agreement on their definition of heavy metal. Weinstein begins her study of metal with a definition from rock critic Robert Duncan: Heavy metal: pimply, prole, putrid, unchic, unsophisticated, anti intellectual (but impossibly pretentious), dismal, a bysmal, terrible, horrible, and stupid music, barely music at all; death music, dead music, the beaten boogie, the dance of defeat and decay; the huh? sound, the duh sound, . music made by slack jawed, alpaca haired, bulbous inseamed imbeciles in jac kboots and leather and chrome for slack jawed, alpaca haired, downy mustachioed imbeciles in cheap, too large T shirts with pictures of comic book Armageddon ironed on the front. (Weinstein 1) xplicit violence and sex and Record Labeling definition outside of the conditions placed on it by the critics who denounced it.
63 Chapter Preview This chapter charts the production of heavy met al as a social problem from 1985 20/20 broadcast in 1987. The 1985 hearings construct a frame where children are at risk from music, and this view is upheld by both the Senators and the Parents Music Resour ce Center (PMRC). The view constructs a rhetorical frame of children and youth at risk and urges a change in constitutional policy sake. I term this view a conservative orientation because a r hetoric of fear is established for the stated purpose of protecting society from damage to its youth through music, a claim that requires a perception that without the threat, the youth are not at risk. ustrates that the satanic problem becomes socially constructed through mediation of claims. The 1985 PMRC testimony at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing operated as the watershed moment in defining heavy metal as a public problem. The hearings acted as the primary mediation to a mainstream audience that a problem existed. The Senate hearings brought parental mainstream public discourse, establishing performers and young fans as agents of deviance as an effect caused by corrupting music. This public discourse cemented the identity of metal fans as deviants from a conservative view of normalcy.
64 a scapegoat to problems associated to youth cultures in the Senate hearings that lead to regulations of music content and the labeling of music deemed objectionable by the conservative base in power at the time. First, the section tackles the rhetoric of the hearing, examining language of opening statements that demonstrate an orientational conflict between the conservative view and metal performance. the claims made about it when a small part of it was entered as evidence in the hearings. While the PMRC labels the song as violent, the video demonstrates a nonviolent handling of an abusive home, a threat to sight and 20/20 demonstrates the constructed problem as it was mediated 20/20 produced a segment on the metal problem that does not offer claims outside of those entered in the di presence as an expert witness. The PMRC and the Heavy Metal Monster In 1985, the PMRC attempted to create regulation in the music industry. According to Tipper Gore in her Senate test imony, the impulse for starting the PMRC ikki from the album Purple Rain
65 I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend I met her in a hotel lobby masturb ating with a magazine Offended by the reference to female masturbation in the lyrics Mrs. Gore became a alser 117). A small but immensely successful minority of performers have pioneered the "porn rock" phenomenon. A Judas Priest song about oral sex at gunpoint sold two million copies. So did Mtley Cre's album Shout at the Devil with lyrics like: "Not a woman, but a whore/I can taste the hate/Well, now I'm killing you/Watch your face turning blue." Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls," about female sexual arousal, was an even bigger hit on Top 40 radio stations. And Prince peddled more than ten million copi es of Purple Rain, which included a song about a young girl masturbating in a hotel lobby. (Gore) attention and political support for her cause (137 38). The PMRC founders were known government, including PMRC cofounder Susan Ba Senate Commerce Committee convened hearings at the insistence of Mrs. Baker and Mrs.
66 Gore to advance their belief that record albums shoul d be rated and restricted in the same placards for the TV cameras reading ROCK MUSIC DEST system based on the subjects of sex, violence, drugs and alcohol, and the oc cult (Christie 123). Of the fifteen exemplar songs presented by the PMRC, nine were by groups that fall into hard rock/metal categories. Deena Weinstein reasons that the symbolic elements of the music led to it being a proper target for a group. It is no accident that those who testified against heavy metal at United States Senate hearings in 1985 were representatives of parental interest groups (PMRC and PTA), fundamentalist ministers, and physician owners of psychiatric hospitals specializing in the treatment of adolescents. forward themes that adult society tries to repress, is an act of symbolic rebellion, another chapter in generational conflict. (Weinstein 43) The senate hearings led to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) si nging about devils and monsters is a form of witchcraft, a crazy red herring that put metal musicians on the defensive and sometimes the offensive
67 Abingdon Press, an imprint of the United Methodist Publishing House, published Tipper G Raising Kids in an X Rated Society In it, Gore illustrates multiple pleas for the protection in the conservative rhetoric of the day. The dilemma for society is how to preserve personal and family values in a nation of diverse tastes. Tensions exist in any free society. But the freedom we enjoy rests on a foundation of individual liberty and shared moral values. Even as the shifting structure of the family and other social changes disrupt old patterns, we must reassert our values through indivi dual and community action. People of all political persuasions conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike need to dedicate themselves once again to preserving the moral foundation of our society. By combining the concepts individual liberty with f amily values, Gore creates a static perception of an unchanging structure, a moral foundation, at risk of decay or change. notes that in the book Gore hangs her auth ority on being a parent, and she neglects to youth, enabling her to mobilize parental hysteria while avoiding the adult word censorship It is clear fr reproduction of values, that it is a threat because it celebrates and legitimates sources of identity and community that do not derive from parental models. For the PMRC, assuming the univers
68 provides an absolute norm that can be righteously defended. Gore (Walser 138) economic and cultural boundaries with the same results for all. To conserve these values in society, Gore recommends individual and community values and t effort to create the conditions that Foucault showed in the deployment of sexuality during the Victorian era when medicine, education, and religion together created a concept of normal sexuality that would eventually be accepted by the general population. Gore labors to portray such violence as an aberration of youth and commercial exploitation, s capegoating heavy metal musicians and fans for problems that are undeniably extant but for which she holds entirely blameless the dominant social systems, institutions, and moral values she defends. (Walser 144) Tipper Gore had a public voice and us ed it to present music as the cause of a social ill. Her husband had the authority to give her a national stage where others could embrace her rhetorical construction of a problem and act in accordance with their perception of
69 In her prior work with the PMRC, Gore focused the conservative plea to protect the ideas and institutions surrounding children and by extension the conservative belief in a static world. While the music industry found themselves on trial, t he entire population would be affected. At the heart of the conflict, metal music became a primary focus. The rhetorical frame presented metal as porn, and at its core, highly deviant character traits and actions. The danger to the conservative base was not masturbation, violence, rape, or the occult, but direct questioning of the processes behind the institutions of American society. Metal, its performers, and fans became the enemy of the American Family, the conservative idea of an institution on the brink. Young Minds and Strong Words: The Stakes of Youth Orientation The opening statements of the PMRC hearing established claims and a tone that is carried through the rest of the public discourse on the problems of metal. Tipper Gore addressed the Se nate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, framing ers into listeners, who The issue here is larger than violent and sexually explicit lyrics. It is one of ideas and ideal freedoms and responsibility in our society. Clear ly, there is a tension here, and in a free society there always will be. We are simply asking that these corporate and artistic rights be exercised with responsibility, with sensitivity, and some measure of self restraint, especially since young minds are at stake. We are talking about preteenagers
70 and young teenagers having access to this material. That is our point of departure and our concern. Because the issue at the heart of the hearing had to do with the industry labeling utopic lexicon, an o btained perfection and its protection. Walser connects the hypodermic model to Joe Stuessy, a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. book. At the hea ring, he begins by making many claims on music as an agent of influence, but he offers only his academic affiliation as support. He moves away from Today's heavy metal music is categorically differe nt from previous forms of popular music. It contains the element of hatred, a meanness of spirit. Its principal themes are, as you have already heard, extreme violence, extreme rebellion, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and perversion and Satanism. I k now personally of no form of popular music before which has had as one of its central elements the element of hatred. Like Gore, he closes his statement by invoking an image where children are at risk from the all out attack of the music, and parents opera te as knights in arms. We hear frequently about the first amendment problem. In closing, I would say that while we must protect our first amendment freedoms, we must also protect minors from the abuse of those freedoms. The first
71 amendment, as I understand it, is not a blank check. There are legal, constitutional limitations when we feel that the abuse or the use of a freedom negatively impacts the health of another segment of society. Use of the airwaves for pornography and immoral purposes, especially whe n this scourge all over the country. We plead for help from city councils, radio stations, advertisers and the record industry itself. In his opening statements, Senator Ernest Hollin gs framed the hearings as a precursor to legislation that would remove what the panel considered offensive material from the air. But in all candor, I would tell you it is outrageous filth, and we have got to do something about it. I take the tempered approach, of our distinguished chairman, and commend it. Yet, I would make the statement that if I could find some way constitutionally to do away with it, I would. In her opening statements at the Senate hearing, Florida Senator Paula Hawkins provokes the child gets on drugs. It is the parent we blame if the child commits suicide. It is the parent we blame if the child burns down a building. Just how much guilt can we p lace on these experience. I speak as a legislator. I speak as a parent, a veteran who has brought three children through adolescence. I know the temptations dangled in front of teenagers and I know the frustrations parents experience all through this process. The sense of hopelessness when you get the feeling your child
72 will not listen to you. There is in these times often a need to look to a force outside yourself for help. The question we must ask is, should the force be the Government, and that is what this hearing is designed to determine. When Gore provokes the idea of shared moral values, she brings in disparate ideas from both religion and the media, and when Haw kins speaks, she has created a potential players in the disintegration of culture, con sumers and purveyors of filth. Both shift, the music industry presents an undeniable temptation to engage the immoral, rhetorically repositioning the teen deviance f rom the shoulders of the parents of America. A rhetorical step has been taken in framing the family in legislative terms. Institutional familiar elements from the family unit. Raymond Williams anal yzes the evolution of the term family to the 19 th century bourgeois family that stood for parents and children where the definition came with the insight that one shou As he traced t a large scale and complex wage
73 When Hawkins asks should the governm ent step in, her context is when a child will not listen to the parent. In this orientation, the youth of America became the and instead attached problems, deviants thr ough their choice of music. Hollings society by taking over children and teens The rhetorical removal of familial terms and positioning of the concept of family ceases to exist because music takes the place of the parents. The rhetoric of the hearings bounces back an d forth from the legal, to the moral, to the medical in a scene in which the family is no longer defined by the separation of work and family but a separation of culture and family. Culture has ceased to be a product of the family and the society as it ha s become an unregulated commodity. Music, in this presentation, has the potential to cause behavior as deviant as someone under the influence of drugs, and the metaphoric e and the values of the American family. Rhetorical Warfare for Orientational Control in the Home During the Senate hearings, Dee Snider from the glam metal band Twisted Sister ster came to the
74 primary gimmick was performing in garish make up and big hair. Senator Haw kins introduced the video in the following manner. One criticism of the rock industry is the way it portrays values in rock videos which are viewed by the kids. There are suggestions that the move to label rock albums be extended to videos as well. I do not watch much television. I am not sure how many of my colleagues get much opportunity to watch any of the music video shows now available on cable will show you a brief portion of tha t. This is a very popular video. This issue is too hot not to cool down. Parents are asking for assistance, and I hope we always remember that no success in life would version sheds new light on the condemnation and demonstrates that more is to be learned from the video about failure in the home. The video begins with an extended monologue of a father who comes into his a drill sergeant using exaggerated pitch and tone, and he flaunts authority by pushing b ooks off a shelf, telling his son the room is a mess and to clean it up. As he moves over the son seated on the bed, he screams: nothing. You are nothing. You sit in here all day and play that sick,
75 repulsive electric twangger. I carried an M16, and you, you carry that, that, that guitar. Who are you? Where do you come from? Are you listening to me? Up until this point, we have seen a father who is, by current standards, intimidation. Ins strums the guitar. The force of the sound propels the father through the window, and as he lays stunned on the ground outside, the mother dumps a bucket of water in his face. Suddenly, slapstick comedy enters a scene that appears headed for a tragic ending with a psychologically wounded child. The brutal reality is met with a play of imagination. The son never assaults the father, allowing his musical heroes the opportunity to block th e father from his presence. an exemplar song that promotes violence. But the song does not demonstrate any violent rhetorical differentiation of the family versus culture, the video breeches the conservative view that family should remain separated from a culture. The video creates a positive effect when a child ignores the directives o f the father while emulating and becoming a costumed metal performer like the dangerous, metal musicians. The power of music, the hypodermic effect, makes a great scapegoat for family violence as it injects identity into the teen.
76 Twisted Sister offere d an alternative to the perception that dysfunctional family relationships must have a tragic outcome through the infusion of hyperbolic comedy and a disturbance of temporality. After the threatening father flies through the window, the boy stands up cont orts his arms and hands and spins, transforming into an adult Dee Snider in makeup, and he sings the lyrics of the song to his brothers. As they hear the message, they turn into the rest of the band, and their combined adult bodies and voices make the fat her inconsequential to their progress as they move through the house. The temporal shift makes the father and his attempts at abusive behavior setups for increasingly slapstick comedy, reducing each confrontation to a laugh. After an opening address of message has a pertine nt objective to remove the listener from a mindset of present tense to a duality of present and future, creating a shift in the agency of the speaker/listener actualizes a rhe toric of power and agency. As for the hypothetical situation of a listener child in an abusive home, it separates the abuse from the trajectory of future interactions, and offers a simple model of orientation on which the child will be able to frame futur e relationships. Using the comedic elements of the visual slapstick, the child is learning how to deal with the abuse and frustration by creating dreams of possibilities without having the tragic outcome of being beaten, crying himself to sleep, or findin g an end in the more extreme possibilities of using drugs or committing suicide. Snider told the committee,
77 The video "We're Not Gonna Take It" was simply meant to be a cartoon with human actors playing variations on the Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote theme, Each stunt was selected from my extensive personal collection of By the way, I am very pleased to note that the United Way oducing on the subject of the changing American family. They asked for it because of its light hearted way of talking about communicating with teenagers. The PMRC found the song dangerous to the youth because it established the potential for violence. Twi sted Sister performed something more dangerous than a call to violence against parents the temporal shift afforded a call to violence against institutional know us, y causal agent in youth deviance, the transformation scene created a visual example of their worst fear. In a few seconds, the controlling father loses authority to a boy transformed int Hindsight and 20/20 : Heavy Metal, a Problem? 20/20 starred Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs. The usual format included int erviews of celebrities and political figures and investigative reports of consumer and social problems. In a 1987 episode, Stone Phillips reports on
78 become a descriptor for music, it became the identity for its listeners, a clique for burnouts. More than fifteen minutes of the show is devoted to the report, and quick discussion with Barbara Walters frames the beginning and the end. The report begins with Walters sittin g behind her anchor desk, speaking to the camera. When a form of music our children like becomes linked with ghoulish images and violent theatrics [pause] and even suicide, it demands our attention. Perhaps more to the point, the children need our attenti on. Hundreds of thousands of teenagers are locked onto so as Stone Phillips asks, is there a message that is too loud for us to hear? From the beginning a problem has be sitting in front of a television listening to metal as a parent comes into the room and clicks the remote while saying, ears a large publicity picture of the band blindfolded, shirtless, with their hands tied behind their backs as if awaiting execution before a firing
79 squad. Instead of cropping the image to what relates to the story, below the picture appears another large Phillips voiceover proclaims that a rock riot led this loud, raucous music heavy metal music played here by the super group Iron Maiden. Screeching guitars, flamboyant bands, lyrics obsessed The comments of the voiceover establish an identity that is not ma instream, is flamboyant, engaged with Satanism, and even suicide. As the voice over plays, images from Iron Maiden music videos punctuate each element. With the context removed, the images act as a visual proof of the voiceover statements. We are introdu ced to a group of young teens who are asked what metal is about. One replies that metal is about igh where we later learn the kids attend. Konsevick references Frank Zappa at the PMRC hearings in stating that parents need to take responsibility in checking out content when they see an album over continues: Critics say there is something seriously wrong with metal music, outrageous by design, that it may have contributed to a number of teenage suicides like the ones in Burgenfield, New Jersey March 11 th Four young people died in a suicide p act. A heavy metal cassette box was found at the scene.
80 Immediately the voiceover points to another news story about a suicide in Illinois. A band Metallica. Lyri the girl reads from a folded piece of notebook paper I lost the will to live / Simply nothing more to give / I will just say goodbye Then the voice stian group that criticizes a plays in the background. The first set of lyrics The next set of lyrics pop s to hide, suicide is the only way ou 20/20 did not bother to fact check the lyrics or decided not to provide the context when choosing to broadcast the c lip. The next scene begins with Phillips providing support to the music as agent while visual images provide evidence: The music has prompted pickets, (The scene cuts to a pile of albums on fire ) record burnings, (The scene cuts to a camera panning over the Senate committee hearings)
81 even congressional hearings where a call for record companies to print lyrics on the album covers as a guide for concerned parents sparked a debate over censorship The first three minutes of the report go by without Walters or Phillips questioning any of the claims being made by the local TV reports, the Christian special interest group, The identities of me tal, its fans, and the performers have been constructed by repeating preexisting media reports and not critiquing or questioning those representations. Phillips frames metal in a negative light, but the red herring evidence of crimes and suicides (one lin ked to metal by an empty cassette case) and the actions against metal validate the negative identities. The scene changes to Tipper Gore speaking. audio picks up as Gore sex, extreme violence, suicide in lyrics that is going to children that are not even The scene cuts to Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden: That negative influence. I just wish people would get a sense of proportion it. We say things to people that mean something, I mean, in our own little way, that kids can relate to. positive, and
82 then the comment broadcast was a response to critics with general statements of Iron other people into the metal youth culture and behind the scenes of a concert to find out what metal mus icians are saying to their audience. He begins by introducing the youth fan culture. He shows a group of boys that may be trying to mosh, the physical dance where listeners bump into one another at concerts, but the boys are instead play fighting. He st ates they are the typical metal audience. Then he is shown standing outside of an industrial building. This is the high school in Teaneck, New Jersey, a school with a reputation for excellence. But like just about every other high school in America, Tean eck High has its own group of so called tough kids, hoods, or burn outs. Some into drinking or drugs, At about five minutes into the segment, the identity has been established. Phi llips to cliques. All of the kids interviewed have strong New Jersey accents, and as a contrast, Phillips interviews Sheigh Crabtree, a former Teaneck student wh o Phillips claims could be considered a prep. She does not speak with an accent, and she offers a condescending need some support, they need someone to inspire them, return to Tipper Gore for her recital of an out of context M tley Cr e lyric, the focus
83 returns to the teens. The editing of the segments undermines their presentation as valid critics of their own culture. In response to a question about music as a causal property for behavior. One of the parents of an interviewed teen is presented as an unwitting witness to his child transforming into a metal fan. As pictures transition from a toddler asleep in a Mickey Mouse cap, to the toddler standing in a powder blue dress coat, to wearing black and white face p aint, to another in a full KISS like costume the voiceover states: his are be ing disrespectful to their unsuspecting parents. A close observer will note that before each incident, the teens speak to the crew before acting. Following the segment on the teens and their culture, the edits cut back to Phillips counselor; she is a Decline of Western Civilization: Part Two posters. At the end of the interview, Bruce Dickinson tells parents that they need to listen
84 music and these are kids who seem to feel the world out there is hostile to them. So much of it is a matter of self version of the metal fan as deviant, by claiming the music is hostile and the youth have self suicide, but this is an afterthought, new evidence, added after fifteen minutes of teen expert unbalanced juxtaposition of critic claims to fan or performer responses. 20/20 presented the young metal fans as not being bright and more juvenile than normal for their age. Even though metal music was not shown with the power of 20/20 etal listeners. Metal music is physical, hormonal, and provokes violent play if not violent acts. Young metal fans are at risk youth, potentially one song away from suicide. The Conservative Rhetoric of Fear As the Senate committee hearings, news stori es, and parents groups labeled heavy metal as deviance, it also cast the fans as deviants. For fans to be seen in a Judas Priest or Metallica t shirt, they took on the peculiarities that had been attributed to the
85 artists and held the potential to be Sata nists, rapists, abusive to women, thieves, perverts under any definition, and most importantly, the other. Metal music was defined as filth, and metal fans were defined as transgressors. The term heavy metal went from being the proprietary term of fandom to a label of scorn by institutional experts led by Tipper Gore and Joe Stuessy. The conservative argument repositioned family as separate from culture and children as a property that needed protection from the vandalizing influences of metal. During the 20/20 program, the only lyrics demonstrated were shown because families connected them to suicides. Fans were shown as burnouts who were not good in school and had poor social stature. 20/20 demonstrated that the mediation of metal as a problem followin g the same formula established by the PMRC two years earlier in that metal music operated in a hidden area where its influence placed its young listeners at mortal risk. While experts like Gore and Pettinicchio insist that metal creates a criminal culture and causes personality and behavioral changes, the general sentiment evens out with an identity. The conservative rhetoric of fear is based on a rhetorical construct ion of culture at of the decade, metal became symptomatic of the ills of society and a promise of further infection. When the experts addressed metal as a problem, th ey gave it the properties of a mental illness or a drug addiction, a deviant cause with deviance as an effect. An empire engage in or emulate sexual perversions or antichris t acts of suicide. The fear centered
86 on parental failures to guide the teens from the immoral choices or parental blindness to popular music and their listeners, the media only presented heavy metal music and its fans with the deviant identity.
87 Chapter Four The Convergence of Rhetorics of Fear My favorite t Seventh Son of a Seventh Son Screen printed scenes from the album jacket showed the Eddie; a cr ystal ball with an embryo inside; and a scene of a decapitated head floating in the air with a spoon dipping yellow fluid from the brain pan. Having listened to the album many times, I knew the concept narrated a tragedy about a seventh son born with a sixth sense that acted as a curse. The title character discovers that there is no escape from the way he has been born, and even suicide could not remove him from a su pernatural existence. The images on the shirt had from the Book of Revelations, and a folk belief that the seventh son of a seventh son was born with supernatural powers For my peers and my teachers, however, the shirt had other meanings. For them, I, the bearer of the symbols, wore them as a uniform of what they understood the metal world to be. The depictions of living dead corpses, symbols of mystical artifacts, and the evidence of violence invited the interpretation of me as the devil worshipper and
88 criminal. As an initiated listener, I knew that the album presented a tragedy of existential knowledge, and I could understand the damned if I do, damned if I narrative. He goes on to connect the symbol system to the construction of a sense of community metaphysical depth, constructed in part out of ideas that have been excluded from the 5). To take this a step furth er, the symbols also remain outside of the lexicons of organized religion. Walser notes that while the PMRC claims the mystical nature of the title song encourages youth to engage in a pagan (186). While Walser sees this use of fossil symbols as the result of a break with goes beyond the institution of school with the potential to break any attempt to create hegemony through a monovocal institutional rhetoric. As the PMRC and other institutional authorities created deviant metal, these authorities positioned the music, performers and fans in hierarchies shaped by the institutional rhetoric. On a scale that judged normality from neutral to positive (citizen to good citizen), the negative hierarcy was in binary opposition to the positive (citizen to criminal). The more d eviant symbols collected, the lower the metal fan or performer fell in hierarchical station. The deviant identity based on differentiation and comparison to a hegemonic, institutional normal, earned the metal fan an identity built through the
89 narrative pl acement and social construction of metal in the converging social order. While the collection of symbols allows a way for the metal fan or performer to question elements that cannot be questioned in the institutional rhetoric, the mediation of the symbols allow the institutional norm a way to categorize and separate the metal listener. Chapter Preview This chapter examines how local cultures and metal interacted during the Satanic panic. Specifically, this chapter begins is an exploration of the religiou s orientation of a rural community in north Alabama at the height of the Satanic panic in 1989 and how the performance of the religious views created an atmosphere that marked metal listeners as a danger. The second part of the chapter is focused on the i nvestigation, arrest, trial, and conviction in a 1993 triple murder case in West Memphis, Arkansas. To explore the construction of the metal deviant in Lexington, Alabama, I posit personal experience and firsthand knowledge of the culture and its relatio nship to metal and metal fans. In order to understand the investigation, trial, and conviction in West Memphis Arkansas, I use the HBO documentary Paradise Lost and local news accounts. s creation of scapegoats through the hierarchy in Christian perception. Hierarchy is examined both by nstitutional discipline ( Discipline 170 194) Kenneth Burke establishes that rhetorical hierarchies are at play in all social relationships, and within any society mysteries act to establish the differences of nd to be the ultimates of the dialectical
90 Rhetoric 275 276), and mysteries of hierarchical relationships goad cults who produce and collect symbols around them to realize a perfection of their position and point them toward a higher position ( Rhe toric 332 333). Because the rural community is ordering illustrates that symbolic exchange in standard conversation operates to create and maintain social hierarchies based on a God versus devil view of the world. In a culture based on this hierarchical pattern, the communication of symbols associated with higher level of the protest ant hierarchy. But metal symbols, once associated with the devil, mark a person who attempts to be more like the protestant devil. This identification placed a metal fan as an outsider in the protestant culture, and the resulting identity marks the fan w ith a purpose of evil. This chapter argues that a rhetoric of fear predicts a motive with a purpose that inverts the hierarchal perfection of the culture, and in the case of metal fans during the Satanic panic, fashions them as scapegoats. Saturday Nig ht Live in Alabama In the area around Lexington, Alabama, the ratio of religious denominations to residents can lead one to believe that the community has very little solidarity in belief framed their everyday small talk and conversations around a dialectic hierarchy of human/ supernatural, a smaller group of people invested more in symbolic
91 bought books and other media by people who had created identities as e xperts on the current state of the world through a Christian perspective. At times, media from one of the more extreme evangelicals would be shown as part of a church group meeting. One particular friend of the family personified the trend more than any other. I learned never to mention any television or music that I liked in her presence because it would be connected to the devil and often an apocalypse narrative. While her behavior may have appeared extreme, she would not face rebuttal, and she always reminds me of Dana Saturday Night Live The church lady caricature skits operated in the scene of a talk show where she interviewed guests who came under her scrutiny. She would look for double meanings in what they s aid and seemed completely blind to possibilities outside of narratives of sin, satanic influence, and a o everything secular, the church lady exhibits an identity through the dexterity of her symbol application. The humor of the church lady skits and the hierarchy of Christianity are similar. On one hand, the church lady can separate and compare the guest to her perceived norm, but the audience can see the audacity and single mindedness of her character. The humor exists because the norms of the SNL audience and much of American culture were not those of conservative Christians. For the church lady to e xist in reality, she would have to mirror the institutional rhetoric of the community. In rural Alabama, the satanic panic rhetoric mirrored the fire and brimstone fundamentalist protestant community and the apocalyptic evangelicals
92 who found an opportuni believed to watch The Exorcist would open the viewer to be possessed by a demon. It was not the movie that acted as a conduit but the desire to watch the movie and the act of watching that she con sidered an occult ritual. The church lady had mastered the Satanic panic rhetoric and used it purposefully in crafting her identifying role in the religious community, establishing herself in a better place in the hierarchy. The church ladies of the co mmunity were the extreme, but they often gained influence in how the church orchestrated educational aspects beyond the weekly sermons. In addition to the Sunday morning and evening services, the church that I attended held Sunday school classes before th e morning service, a similar Sunday evening class, and Wednesday night classes for youth while adults attended a service and business meeting. In the summer, week long, half days of Vacation Bible School taught Bible lessons with crafts and activities. A teen members memorized bible verses, could recite and locate the chapter and verse in a Bible, and competed to be the first to find the entry in the Bible. After months of practice, we bega n competing with groups from other churches and at the regional and state levels. Church was not only a place for guidance but an educational institution that trained a rhetorical mastery of Biblical texts and an understanding of secular symbols through t he lens of interpretation applied to those texts. Although most people in the community never experienced this level of education, all are expected to behave in a ritualistic display of symbols of Christian identity. People have the obligation to trea t others in accordance with biblical principles. For protestants, especially those from evangelical congregations, verbal and other
93 symbolic self representation as members of the religious community are standard. A Jesus fish stuck on a car, a bare cross on a necklace or pin, and religious or church related bumper stickers all acted as symbols of identification for public principles. One night I had a flat on a busy road, and a man in his early twenties stopped to help, and instead of taking money or tha nks, he used the time that he worked to tell me about his personal relationship with God and how I could have the same thing. Communication in everyday interaction had ritualistic functioning that followed a grammar of emulation of the protestant view of the behavior of Christ. Within this culture, the Satanic panic and the esoteric symbols displayed by the media fit within a rhetorical hierarchy where God and Satan, heaven and hell are polar opposites. The symbols of metal already had a place in opposit ion to those seeking perfection as the church ladies. Even the label of the genre, pentagram was not taken as a symbol but as a ritually charged reality in the same man ner as the Jesus fish. Skulls and symbols of decay were the embodied reality of hell, and for someone to wear clothes or own albums with these symbols, they ritually claimed a part of hell in the orientation of the church ladies. The symbol brought the r eality into opposition with the ritual behavior of everyday communication. I knew closeted classmates and friends from church who listened to artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Mtley Cre and Quiet Riot, yet they did not display any symbolic connection to the bands or the music. Those who did faced judgment by our peers and community. The highest profile metal head at my school was a guy who transferred from California. He had long hair, wore band shirts, and had an earring. One fall evening, he was attacked in the stands of a football game, and a group of students
94 ripped out the earring, tearing his ear in the process. By literally tearing the symbol from vict image sacrificing the flesh of their classmate for the solidarity of their group identity. The next week, those same students stopped me in the hall between classes, and I after pause for any teacher that might overhear the conversation). My family has been I what really happened, I explained how Van Gogh cut off his entire ear as I drew the process in bragging about what he had done found out the context was not the same. Ins tead of a grab and go attack, a few words reframed what was about to happen in a way that the attackers did not feel justified in pursuing the action. My extremes in dress and symbol use made me a target, but once I performed an aggressive personality to support the symbols of metal, they became symbols to inspire a protective fear. By tempering the metal symbols with a statement of heritage and community, the context for justification vanished and the action would then be framed as an attack against the community. Not long after I began wearing the Iron Maiden t shirt and ear piercings, I embodied an identity and provoked reaction from those around me. A pentagram was spray painted on my driveway on a Halloween night, my mother had burned all of my
95 met al music cassettes, and the preacher at my former church decided to perform an intervention to save my soul. At its peak, I had barricaded myself in my bedroom and wondered what I would do if he were able to break down the door. All of these actors and acts had purpose, the earring rippers, the preacher as violent shepherd, and the mother burning music: the purpose was to express moral indignation. Burke marks the purification of our culture creates criminals for a perceived guilt. The scapegoat funct ion alleviates the undercurrent of guilt felt by the society ( Rhetoric 406). The guilt and the reasons for it are too complex to identify with certainty, but an athlete banned from participating in sports may have led to the earring ripping incidents, a r ough divorce or pressure from the church ladies may have led to my mother performance at his church. In a sense, once the metal symbols have become associated with evil, t he identity of the scapegoat occurs through the reflection of guilt and pronouncement of moral indignation with through a rhetoric that constructs the criminal. The dialogic exchange of symbols in an ever increasing perception of fear can never be more th victimage has been completed by one of the parties. The rhetoric of fear is the process of establishing a target for victimage The perfection of Christian belief prescribes enacting mor frames perceptions of reality. Burke points out that the dialectic of human endeavor is ness of the Rhetoric 276). Motives may produce human actions impossible to understand or explain outside of the social hierarchy, the rhetorical form that frames
96 perception. This concept complicates the analysis of motivation. Simple judgments like of the Satanic panic must be true to the rhetorical form, and sacrifice through differentiation exists as the logical action in a situation that threatens the hierarchical order. Construction of Metal and Satanism as a Social Problem The Satanic panic placed good and evil at the core of cultural narratives fram ing U.S. and Canada, but it never became reached the stage where the government put a plan in place for its control. Lippert studied the Satanic problem from the emergenc e of the problem through claims makers, the legitimization of the problem in public perception, the mobilization of action, call for an official plan, and implementation of the plan. The final steps did not occur at the national level, but in communities based in a shared hierarchy like Lexington, Alabama, the claims of the experts did not need to be questioned as they would for those outside of shared understanding. In the cases like Lexington, the shared protestant hierarchy would allow the identificati on of a metal effect where mediation of a Satanic problem spawned periods of increased mediation that produced a perception of the problem without evidence the problem ex isted outside of discourse.
97 In the rural south, the national mediation combined with the rhetoric of the hierarchy, pairing the rhetoric of the metal fan as criminal in the protestant hierarchy. Weinstein documented this convergence of the rhetoric of f ear in a nationally publicized secular rhetoric of teen suicide in the 1985 PMRC hearings to being pronounced devil worship in Time five years later (250 52). In 1990, a New Y ork archbishop criticized promoted devil worship. As Weinstein notes, the priest had learned this information an extension of the PMRC agenda and its mediation of misinterpretation, fallacious pronouncements of causality, Weinstein and Walser devote time to documenting skewed academic, medical, and judicial cases that promoted the perception that specific types of deviance had been caused by metal. ion and an expanding belief that a Satanic problem existed, but because of its scope, it cannot see the social key ideas became taken as fact, but unlike her example, these ideas became the basis for actions by those who believed in the social problem. This chapter specifically analyzes action outside of legislative parameters
98 The Fallacy of the Obvious: The West Memphis Three In a southern protestant hierarchy, the ability to speak the part of the community and to carry the symbols valued by the community meet expectations of behavior and facilitate interaction. This ability or an inability establish an identity on the hierarchical scale. A few hundred miles from Lexington, a similar town experienced a tragedy with circumstances so extreme, only evil incarnate could have perpetrated the crime. In 1993, three seven year old b oys were murdered in the town of West Memphis, Arkansas. The bodies of the boys were found in a shallow creek near the interstate. They were naked, tied up with shoelaces, and showed signs of violence. The scene offered no evidence of how the murder had been committed, why the murder had occurred, or who committed the murder. No one could point to a motive that the community could understand, but the murder to be f ocused on the supernatural evil in the religious rhetoric. Within a month, three local teens had been charged with the murder. Events in the investigation and trial demonstrate how deviance, by community standards, can be combined with a secondary rhetor ic of fear to accuse, arrest, and convict someone with no evidence or motive. As a starting point for this analysis, a few points of evidence were replayed in the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for Home Box Office/ America Undercover. The documentary presents the town, families of the murder victims and of the accused, the media, the parents, the police, the lawyers, the judge, and witnesses. Of
99 particular importance, the documentary crew filmed the trial and also participated in the proceedings and paid parties involved for access to interviews and behind the scenes activities. An advocacy site for the teens who were convicted of the crimes also led me to local news sources not avail able through database archives, and it acts a repository for copies of papers related to the investigation. The following summarizes the first stages of the investigation as presented by the documentary. Early during the investigation, accusations and med ia announcements linked Satanic cult involvement as a motive for the murder. A little over a month after the crime, seventeen year old Jessie Misskelley confessed to being part of a Satanic ritual murder after a twelve hour interrogation. Misskelley has an I.Q. around 71, and he did not have a parent or lawyer with him. The interrogation was not recorded until the confession. He, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin had become public suspects in the murder. Misskelley had become a suspect after a probatio n officer told investigators that Damien Echols would be the type to commit the crime. Damien and his friends became at a local restaurant to wash blood off of his body This took place before DNA evidence had become a solid forensic tool, but the police did not intercept the suspect and lost a blood sample taken from the bathroom before it could be tested. In this case, the perceived knowledge of the probation officer superseded the scientific testing, and occult. This could be a case of bad police work, or it could be a symptom of a law enforcement officer looking for evil.
100 The Satanic problem has become legitimate. Combining the symbols of metal with symbols of social deviance, the media constructed a pattern of fear that combined social problems with me tal to produce an image of contemporary evil. Several months before Echols and Baldwin went on trial in the city, Jonesboro, Arkansas television station KAIT 8 broadcast the following story on June 7, 1993. It was the nights top story and followed the gr eetings from the anchors. This is as it appears in Paradise Lost Anchor Tony Brooks: In a statement given to police and obtained by a Memphis newspaper, seventeen year old Jessie Misskelley allegedly confesses to watching two other suspects choke, rape, and sexually mutilate three West Memphis second graders. Jenna Newton reports. (The news report begins with a photograph of Jessie Lloyd Misskelley, cropped in an unusually narrow column, framed at his ears, neckline, and what appears to be a punk like point of hair on the top of his head.) Newton: According to the published report, Misskelley told police he watched picture along with Echols and Baldwin. The middle photograph appears to be a cropped candid shot of Damien Echols with a stern expression, wearing shoulder length hair, and wearing a black t shirt. The third photograph shows Jason Baldwin wearing
101 long hair, a black Metallica t shirt with the image of spiked clubs in the graphic not cut away by the cr op.) eighteen year old Damien Echols and 16 year old Jason Baldwin brutalized the children the child victims in smiling posed school and family photographs.) with a club and a knife. The report says, Misskelley told police Echols and Baldwin raped one of the boys and sexually mutilated another as part of a cult ritual. Misskelley is quoted (the scene cuts back to his lone photograph) as saying he did not take part in the rape and mutilation but that he helped (T photographs) subdue one of the victims that tried to escape. (The scene cuts away to a video press conference with Chief Inspector Gary Gitchell, West Memphis Police) At a press conference Inspector Gary Gitchell sa id the case against the accused teens is very strong. (The press conference audio begins playing.) Unidentified voice: On a scale from one to ten, how solid to you feel your case is? (Gitchell nods and smiles as clapping is heard in the background.)
102 Gitchell, deadpan: Eleven. (The scene cuts to an unidentifiable structure of concrete columns in an overgrown landscape. The beams are covered in spray painted graffiti.) Newton: It appears Satanic worship (the scene cuts to a closeup of a graffiti pentagram) may have played a role in the murders. the poles). Since the very beginning of the investigation, (the scene cuts to a house with yellow tape around the yard then to a gro up of people standing in front of a building wearing dress clothes and chatting) people all around West Memphis have come forward with stories of Satanic cults. (the scene cuts to the reporter standing in front of a Baptist Church) Reverend Tommy Sta the streets from where the bodies were found. One year ago, Damien Echols (cut away to Echols photograph) pact with the devil and he was going to hell. (cut away to a cross shaped steeple then to Rev.Tommy Stacy Second Baptist Church)
103 Rev. Stacy: I do know that my youth director talked to Damien extensively after revival that we had, and he told him that he could not be saved, that he could not give his heart to Jesus, and my youth direct or then tried to get him to take a Bible. And a Bible, because if he did, the rest of them would get him. (cut back to the reporter) Newton: In West Memphis, Jenna Newton KAIT 8 Night News. In the span of a short news story, the expert claims of the police chief and a preacher give witness to Echols as a Satanic murderer. By a construction of the images, the suspects are shown with hair and clothes ripe with symbols of Satan. In describing how Satanism was connected to teen suicides, Lippert states: The minimum criteria for such a claim by the media and others is for example, to find Anton LaV ey's Satanic Bible at or near the scene, or perhaps for the teenager to have listened to "heavy metal" rock mus ic, especially that of Ozzy Ozbourne, prior to the tragedy. Such tangible "evidence" of the existence of Satanists lends persuasion to the claims of church leaders that Satan is everywhere. (433) The Metallica t shirt does become evidence in the court proceedings, and in the orientation of the community, it becomes enough to prove a reality for expert claims.
104 The police chief has a public platform on which to reinforce his importance to the community by having the certainty of 11 (possibly a reference to the metal parody Spinal Tap ), and the preacher has a much more complex reinforcement for his position. He offers information about the suspect that the general population cannot access. He delivers the information in a coded statement that presents Echols as having an inverted behavior of the Christian hierarchy, trying to be more like Satan, going so far as to reject the Bible, a symbol of Christian perfection. When the preacher focuses on how Echols cannot be saved nor give his heart to J strive for Christian perfection. According to Weinstein, fundamentalist link Satanism, music or art links metal to an anti Christ myth (261 62). Rhetorically, Echols does not exist as a member within the community, and his human value, from a Christian perspective, is limited. He becomes a blank slate on which the symbols of long hair and a black t shirt stand out an d combine with the pentagram and decayed structure to parallel the images of the three seven year old victims. Even the graffiti covered structure has been charged as symbols of Satanism. In February 1994, Mid Cult and Their Effect the local community, where it is alleged the suspects in the brutal murders of three West Memphis boys last May were dabblers in Satanism, r ecognize signs and practices of the n officer, and he helped point the
105 Driver created his expert position without any verification of expertise and without having to prove his claims. At the talk, Driver offered his knowledge to the crowd. Driver reported that six out of 10 schoolchildren know somebody involved in the occult. Drugs, alcohol and sex are part of the occult activities attracting more and more young people, who are products of societal prob lems such as the disintegration of the family and the growth of the influence of eastern religions. About two years ago, Driver said he started noticing signs of dabblers in the area, especially graffiti on deserted structures and bridges and the remains of animal sacrifices. He took photographs and compiled records, which he sent off to experts around the country. Driver said black gangs are now picking up the traits of cult activity, which had been generally the g similarities between the way cults and gangs operate. While this public talk was sponsored by a hospital and included audience members who critically questioned the speakers, this was the standard assortment of speakers who regularly spoke at churches, schools, to the media, and to law enforcement officers persuading the audiences that Satanism was a legitimate problem. Outside of the panic environment, many of the claims sound like paranoid delusions but within the scene, the claims could be taken as s erious threats. Media accounts like this one and Cummings New York Times article are very similar. In these accounts generalized statements and
106 unwitnessed claims create a world where violence, sex, gangs, drugs, and the occult combine to form a secret te en subculture. By taking the fear associated with gang activity and combining it with the occult, the rhetorics of fear converge and bolster one another. Once the trial got started, the connection to the occult or a cult became a point of focus. E chols and Baldwin were tried together, and one of the expert witnesses for the prosecution was Dr. Dale W. Griffis, a retired police captain and expert on the occult. In cross examination seen on the Paradise Lost DVD, the defense questioned his credentia ls that included a masters degree and a Ph.D. from a mail order school that offered no education on the occult or even required him to take a class. Griffis had already been busy establishing himself as an expert and perpetuating claims about Satanism. F our years before the trial Lippert cited a 1987 article in the Calgary Herald as an example of how a claims maker is not questioned by the media when he or she has been labeled expert. some blighted economy, Satanism does well, because people are searching for that it has a depressed economy, or how a dep ressed economy leads to Satanism is left unclear. What is made clear is that he is an expert and, therefore, such questions need not be raised. according to Amazon.com was self published in 1985.
107 hierarchy cataloging negative symbols. In the first question, Griffis builds on black as an inverse of purity, a pattern of evil. The evidence is based on his observation and his reputation. Prosecutor: In looking at young people involved in the occult, do you see any particular type of dress? Griffis: I have personally observed people wearing black fingernails, h aving their hair painted black, wearing black t shirts, sometimes they will tattoo themselves. cult. The symbols operate independent of any factual account, but t hey did appear consistently in heavy metal culture. In answering the second question, Griffis lists holidays in a foreign language and comes back to symbols of popular culture, the full moon and sacrificial blood. Prosecutor: Do you have an opinion as t o whether or not there are occult overtones or evidence of occult involvement in these particular murders? Griffis: Well, the date being close to Beltane, (prosecuter: whats that) a holiday, May 1 st also the day before that is Walpurgisnacht. Then you go into the fact that some groups, occult/ cult groups will use a full moon. In several occult books, they will talk about the life force of the blood. Usually the younger the individual the more pure it is. The more power or the force it has. A lot o f times they will take blood and store it for This statement inverts the rituals of Christianity and mortification in the hierarchical order. Man sacrificed an innocent for the betterm ent of his self, and he did it on a holiday
108 devoted to his sin. Satanism as an inversion of Christianity is the rhetoric of fear because it invokes the binaries to the pure state of God/ Satan. Whether or not the defendants are guilty, expert testimony d elibritely invokes and creates inverted Christian symbols that take away the personality and imbue in them divine evil in the perception of the community. According to Burke, When a figure becomes the personification of some impersonal motive, the result is a depersonalization The person becomes the charismatic the person transcends his nature as an individual, becoming instead the (and his distinctive marks, such as his cloth ing, embody the same spirit). ( Rhetoric 277) The media and the expert have created a perfect perpetrator for the murders: a devil worshiper, child murderer, molester, and monste r. This construction fits an anti Christ motive, and this allows symbols like black cloth and hair to became charged with demonic intent, a motive understood as pure evil. The scapegoat has been rhetorically dressed and can be applied to anyone with the charged symbols of metal. Conclusion As of this writing, sixteen years have passed and Damien Echols remains on death row while Baldwin and Misskelley serve life sentences. In the years following the original tria l, several attempts have been made to reopen or overturn the convictions, and
109 outside of the legal system, people have organized to publicize the case and the elements that allowed a conviction to take place. The Free the West Memphis 3 website exists as a grassroots attempt to keep the case in the public eye, act as a repository for trial information, and a location to connect celebrity endorsements to their cause. The original filmmakers of the HBO documentary created a second documentary, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations that follows up their original and presents new perspectives of potential victims have been publicly connected to drug offenses with one father o uted as a convicted sex offender. The police have been shown as incompetent, and missing evidence and leads have refocused the case as a story of police corruption. The prosecutor has been accused of feeding information to a jury foreman in one of the o riginal trials, and the judge has been manufactured as a buffoon who has put off retirement in an effort to prevent reexamination of the evidence. When Tipper Gore asked for the public to make popular music an issue, she intended to create a state of be ing that followed the Pano pticon existence where everyone policed the issue of metal and other music cultures that entered the ideas that she found so offensive. In establishing the music and its art as causal to these problems, she helped establish the f rame under which a Metallica t shirt and song lyrics could be the only evidence need to prove the boys guilt beyond the shadow of a doubt. The trial mirrored the structure of the Satanic panic, a story came into existence, hearsay and biased testimony rew orked the story until a large segment of the public considered the story a real problem that needed to be handled.
110 For the sake of this analysis, the truth of what happened is not at issue. The concern is the rhetorical repositioning of the story and the creation of scapegoats to resolve the crisis. In Grammar of Motives Burke theorized that as in fiction, behavior could be explained through the ratios that create an act. In one level, an act has a circumference in which all elements take place. In the case of the murders in West Memphis, the act was not just the murder of three boys, nor was it a mass murder. It was a ritual murder, and the act was both mediated and tried according to that scope. In ct had to be in ratio with the scene. This means that the murders took place in a world where devil worshippers existed. The murder of three children went beyond any secular understanding of the community by the community, but the murder fit the idea of evil for the sake of evil. The motive requires that the person who committed the murder be capable, and a reason has to exist that makes the murder purposeful. For residents of Christian fundamentalist communities in Arkansas and Alabama, the metal symbo ls made the convicted teens agents of the devil working toward the perfection of evil. The media, experts, and the prosecuters used symbols of youth culture, the preexisting rhetorics of fear, and orientation of the community to construct a scapegoat. the jurors in 1993, and their orientation demonstrates that hegemonic belief in the commu nity and the isolation of the separation from the diversity of other U. S. cultures. Within that southern, protestant orientation, the mediation from outside slips in and the rhetorics merge. Experts without expertise combined elements from preexisting
111 p roblems (gangs, violence, drugs, etc.) with elements from the southern protestant hierarchy and created a story to construct a purpose and motive to cleanse the community with the scapegoating of those wearing metal symbols. From the mid 1980s through th e early 1990s, metal fans who wore the symbols fit Burkes theory, man aspires to create hierarchy, and in doing so, he is always in search of the perfection of the hie rarchical formula. In terms of a Christian orientation, all hierarchy is graphed on a plane between God, the perfection of good, and Satan, a a two part system th at rewards and punishes through the formation. Institutional hierarchies reward and punish, and in doing so, produce a disciplined system, the institutional normative ( Discipline 177 184) In the rhetoric of the institutional, the language establishes th e normative pattern where hierarchies establish positive and negative positions, rewards for aspiring to a higher level of being and punishments for acting in a way that lowers one in the hierarchy. A rhetoric of fear predicts a motive with a purpose that inverts the hierarchal perfection of the culture. As I did not exhibit the symbols to be more Godly and, instead, wore symbols that had been associated with devil worship, the protestant orientation perceives the striving for perfection of humans as Sata n. The Satanic panic rhetoric grew from a convergence rhetorics of fear: classifications of deviance created in the disciplinary institutions, mediated to the public, and reformed in the rhetorical mold of religious hierarchy as antichrist motives. For 1 993 West Memphis, Arkansas and 1990
112 Lexington, Alabama, the symbols of metal transformed those who wore them into devils with motive perfect scapegoats.
113 Chapter Five The Gargoyles of Mayhem: Revolutionary Critique of Norwegian Culture In Norway of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a group of musicians and fans created a subgenre of music that inverted the qualities of popular metal and taken for granted social symbols based in Christian discourse. This group, primarily teens and young adults, crea ted, performed, marketed, and distributed a style of metal that became known as Norwegian black metal (NBM). At the heart of the community, Euronymous (born ystein Aarseth) acted as a catalyst for the appropriation of various symbols from international metal sources. In his e phenomenon of NBM grew from the discourse that began not through the symbols of the scene but through mediation of criminal acts. While NBM has become an international phenomenon, it became known outside of the local scene through a newspaper report and arrest tied to Helevete and church burnings, as well as the suicide of Dead, the lead singer of the NBM murder by another performer, Varg Vikernes, and by other unrelated m urders by those present in the spreading scene.
114 Unlike the U. S. panics where problems were media constructions, in Norway, acts drove the discourse. In Norway, bands associated themselves with Satanism and Nazism. Keith Kahn Harris notes that while app ropriation of Nazi symbols has been a The key figure at the heart of the discourse and crimina l acts in Norway is Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh. In an early interview with a local reporter, he connects both himself and the black metal scene to arsons that targeted historic churches. Later, he murders Euronymous, and in doing so, makes himse lf a prominent figure in the discourse of the scene built on the criminal stories. From prison, he moves from the Satanist identity and expounds a Nazi philosophy through communication on internet sites. In the years since the creation of the subgenre an become a definable subgenre with worldwide presence. Chapter Preview context that gave birth to NBM. This is followed by an analysis of the construction of the NBM performance means of c Performers, and C rime: Co production of a space where NBM artists performed deviance through appropriating preexisting rhetorics of fear. The final section explores the change in symbo ls and rhetorics that evolved to a
115 Nazi rhetoric and criminal lifestyle. This chapter argues that Norwegian artists set in motion an evolution of symbol meanings and rhetorical frames that produced a template that mirrored Nazi philosophy and produced a n ew rhetoric for Nazi political objectives. The primary source of material for this chapter is journalist Michael Moynihan Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of Satanic Metal Underground a comprehensive account of the Norwe gian scene with interviews, artifacts, and research of the black metal community. The book collects new interviews events and the culture. It also acts as a repository of ephemera that includes photographs of Helevete referenced in this chapter. Lyrics were transcribed from the albums or copied from liner notes. Notes from Varg Vikernes came from his web publications. The Classical Age of Norway and Revolutionary Black Metal Norway exists in a state that Burke called a classical age, a time where cultural productions have become standardized and celebrated only within the standardization. This contemporary Norse classical age is marked as one in which education reinf orces the idea of cooperation for the good while diminishing the value of individual thought themselves to the state church, and only two to three percent of the population are active within the church, yet the government must always be staffed by at least 50% associated with the church (40) Within the culture, only one horror film has been produced in the over 70 years of having a film industry, and most imported films are he avily censored for violence or face an outright ban. Even with a protestant sensibility invoked by the
116 presence of the church, a social democracy attempts to hold a status quo supported by an economy enriched by offshore oil. The style of NBM music stand s in opposition to the primary Norwegian culture that does not support extremes. Classical behavior operates on the basic idea that if one acts properly, by the rules prescribed and tested by the culture, one may have a good life. In looking at how cult ure is challenged in drama, Burke establishes that "humor tends to be conservative, the grotesque tends to be revolutionary" ( Permanence 112). NBM operated in a state of transgression to those cultural principles and questions the values associated with t hose principles. Kahn Harris marks the black metal reliance on Christian symbols as a means of creating a context for transgression, and he believes that creating Christianity as enemy allowed for a pre Christian heritage to be remembered in a way that con textualizes the scene with a heritage of pagan belief and a colonized rhetoric of Christian oppression (40). In its dramatis personae, the revolutionary aspects of black metal operated to reorient the players and audience in a position where the culture c ould be critiqued through its institutional controls. In a side effect, the church became an enemy raping the populace for its continued existence and the socialized government became the oppressor of people through its deployment of normalcy. In the ne wspaper interview that first entered the NBM scene in the public discourse, Varg Vikernes claimed a connection to a string of arsons of historic churches, allowing the public to pronounce the black metal dramatis personae as Satanists at war with them. As the theatrical metaphor disintegrated under the public scrutiny and staged image and recontextualizing them in the North American rhetoric of fear from the
117 Satanic pa nic. Both Vikernes and the media made use of the rhetoric of fear to contextualize cultural crimes ranging from the church burnings to violent crimes of murder, torture, and rape. When the public first encountered the decontextualized scene, the revolut ionary aspects became distinct threats, reframing the participants in the scene as literal villains. The dramatis personae ceased to exist and was replaced by a gargoyle of antisocial deviance constructed in the Satanic panic rhetoric as Satanic rituals i n the earthly battle between the legions of Satan and the meek followers of God. In parts of the country, fundamentalism fed on the press, encouraging the idea of threat motives related to the direct connection between the welfare of the public and that o f the church. In a sense, the Babel of interpretations allowed for black metal to be directly opposed by the church, the government, law enforcement, evangelicals, and those who adhered to a view that the s a central concern precisely at that Permanence 162). From Burke's perspective, the symbol system around heritage, religion and identity for a Norwegian had entered a period of devaluation. As seen in chapters two and three, in the U.S. fundamentalist discourse, Satan exists as a piety, a symbol that is part of the hierarchy of Christianity that allows a definition of behavior through the negative. For a Norwegian to invoke Satan, it is an impiety in a culture that has marginalized the symbol in its orientation. The original audience and bands knew that the violence for violence sake and the symbolic nature of church/God as enemy acted not as a literal ideology but as an inversion of the ex isting ideology, demonstrating a different understanding of normal social structures. Burke
118 an to develop to offer insight into the fallacies of the normative structures of cultural production. As the nation and its primary identity marker, the church, lost its meaning, black metal came into the picture with metaphors that powerfully invoked the presence of the absence, the quality of life when there is no struggle, and resurrected the fossils of the mythological past to act in the absence of a contemporary way of being. To do this, the black metal groups gave the church power that it had lost l ong ago, and in return, it gave the youth a symbol to attack in defense of their own identity construction. Gargoyles of evil/resistance, power/compassion, future destiny/mythic glory brought to a head the laissez faire attitude that allowed cultural prod uction to sit stalled and rusting away in the Norwegian winter. Creating a Grotesque Performance of Norway through Metal Symbols The birth of Norwegian black metal (NBM) took place in the discourse of a group of performers led by Euronymous, a founding member of the group Mayhem and the owner of a small recording label and Oslo music store. In 2005, Chris Campion wrote for the UK paper Observer Black Metal all roads lead to Mayhem, whose te rrible and bloody history eclipses the store called Helevete (hell) became the focal point for bands and fans to engage in conversations about music and the creative direction which would lead to the formation
119 of Black Metal. Euronymous wanted to specifically move toward a darker theatrical presence in both sound and staged performance. As will be seen in the analysis of comments that he made after the suicide of his band ma te, Dead, the first purpose behind this was to recharge death metal that he saw removed into technical music bereft of its roots in the performance of morbidity. He built the concepts of performance on early Florida death metal, Swedish Viking metal, Engl ish black metal, and Brazilian blasphemous metal. Albums and artwork from these bands can be seen in photographs of prominently displayed albums on the walls of Helevete and t shirts worn during performances (Moynihan 49, 55, 64, 68, 70). This internatio nal mix brought together gore, blasphemy, and heathenism, and the combination created a new symbol system for black metal charged in other cultural contexts and easily exploited by the metal community and through the media. Early death metal focused on bot h the knowledge of mortality, violence, and the Scream Bloody Gore referenced zombies, necrophilia, cannibalism, and violence using symbolic taboos without a narrative framing them. Deat h was one of the original death metal groups and genre. The opening verse from the title track demonstrates the lyrical expression outweighs the absent narrative frame. De capitated head licking your cunt Sucking all the blood from your stump Intestinal guts taking their hold Leaving you dead, stiff and cold
120 Live in Leipzig there is one primary difference the attribution of a type of authenticity through the rhetorical positioning of the fake. Her guts were boiling out of her butt Eating the flesh of a thousand corpses Bloodsucking cuntless nuns Eating her slimey cunt as I hold her tits Come posercorpse and die again remains with a term signifying one who pretends. The NBM artists created their style from the international influences and incorporated the changes into a product specifically geared for their culture. Berger marks the evolution of musical forms as a confluence of interactions among a dherents to various styles and traditions. While the new styles, as the linear narrative suggest, the development of new styles may sometimes bring about the wholesale abandonment of a older style by its adherents, eclipsed styles may also be preserved o r incrementally altered by a core of listeners who reject the changes. (60) concerts were being traded worldwide among fans and artists. Berger states, On both the national and inte rnational level, death metal is bound together
121 readers and editors produced an exchange of both recorded music and information about the performers in the genre. (62) In Helevet e, a group of likeminded performers in the Norwegian scene began to critique what death metal was and what it had become. Moynihan marks the death metal scene as one that eschewed the theatrics of eatpants, high top sneakers and sallow expert who experienced the scene and as the publisher of t he fanzine Slayer Kristiansen black metal costume to Brazilian metal band and corpsepaint. He said he wanted every band to be lik e this, because he was so against For Euronymous, the scene was filled with posers of a negative type. In a gged He describes metal. Contrived by Euronymous as a point of heritage where real music could be created and a true lifestyle lived, he and others in the Norwegian scene began fashioning a form of black
122 metal that would go beyond the mass produced death metal genre, reple te with a costume that equated to lifestyle. The visual identification of NBM artists exists in the makeup style known as corpse paint. The object of corpse paint is to create a monstrous character that has up or the romantic elements of vampire or goth style. Corpse paint more closely resembles early Alice Cooper with darkened eye sockets with the addition of a paleness mimicking dead skin. Sarcofago exhibited similar styles in their 1987 album I.N.R.I. T he cover shows the group in a cemetery, standing in front of a grave monument with a sculpted crucified Christ. They all have black hair, black around their eye sockets, and black lips. They are wearing leather jackets with studs and loops of ammunition, and several inverted crosses appear on their clothes. One inverted cross is held by a band member. In several images of early NBM artists, the participants are shown wearing t shirts at evoked witches, Satan, and monsters. Their 1982 album Black Metal gave the Norwegian scene a name for their genre. In 1984, Bathory released a self titled album that also evoked Satanic lyrics and a pentagram framing a goat skull. Using this montage of international symbols and lyrical traditions, Euronymous influenced the bands Mayhem, Emperor, and Darkthrone, culminating in a style of performance of anti Christian lyrics, violent stage performances, and a visible display of death as an heroic force The common symbols for NBM included corpse paint, pentagrams, inverted crosses, decay, anti production music, guttural screaming vocals, and the presentation of violence. In themselves, the symbols carried meanings for
123 specific cultures. For example, Catholic on the generalized characteristics of movie monsters and occultic symbols. NBM reconstructed the symbols with n ew meanings specific for Norwegian audiences and the charged meanings of the originals diminished as they were removed from their culture of origin. The first black metal performances were constructions of incongruities where symbols were used only in the context of the performance, but within a short time, the symbols became infused with a charge from the mediation of crimes connected to the NBM performers. In its final stage, the symbols became signifiers of crime and social destruction for both the Nor wegian public and the performers. Burke talks about the creation of new symbols from the merging and evolution of existing symbols. These gargoyles operated within the confines of the producers and intended audience as a dramatis personae, specificall y as a metaphor of cultural antithesis. Mayhem stabbed and mutilated pig corpses on a stage, impaling the heads on stakes a la Vlad Tepes. The lyrical contents of the songs mirror antitheses of normalcy, for example sex is replaced by violence and the un dead monster feeding on humans is more alive than the humans. But all of this inversion was embraced as lamenting the loss of a superstitious past in which people lived through the fears that made their lives meaningful.
124 Media, Performers, and Crime : Co production of a Rhetoric of Fear The NBM scene remained the domain of performers and fans until a series of interviews and events allowed for a public discourse through a purposeful interaction ead singer Dead committed suicide, creating an opportunity for Euronymous to fashion the concept of NBM as an connection to church arsons in an article that was intended to publicize Helevete. Next and fan discourse to Vikernes, his crimes, and evolving claims of identity. In the beginning, the scene existed in Helevete, the clubs, and fanzines, and it was only the music and the personalities of an underground culture experimenting with a developing genre. The first important moment that redefined the culture, its symbols and purpose came with t took photographs of the body and grabbed a few skull fragments to use later for jewelry before calling the police. He freely told these details and then used the death as a statement of band i declared WAR. Dead died because the trend people have destroyed everything from the agents in the music scene. The scope of the suicide only had impact among the performers and fans who knew Dead, and this interview in the fanzine used the orientation they understood, a scene where evolving styles threatened a particular type of
125 performance. Euronym ous clearly saw the suicide as a symbol, and stated that he planned to use the photograph as the cover to a future album. The photograph and Dawn of the Black Hearts: Live in Sarpsborg a fan produced bootleg CD. The bootleg appeared in South America and spread internationally, demonstrating the potential voice that Euronymous had among the fan base. brought an element of reality to the symbols of death and violence in the music. Now the community had to deal with the potential of life imitating art, and the lifestyle becoming more than just a costume for concert performance. Procreating Satan: Resurrecting the Church as an Agent of Suppression suicide, and it took mediation of the scene to build a context allowing the event to have again came from a member connected to Mayhem, but this time the symbolic destruction had cultural reverberations. In 1993, the front page of the newspaper Bergens Tidende broke the story of an interview with an anonymous youth (later identified as Varg Vi kernes) who associated with or was a member of a group that burned the 800 year old Fantoft church. The historical building, itself a symbol of heritage and culture, lost its museum quality and became a symbol charged with religious meaning and cultural i dentification through the act of its burning. The symbol of the burned church and the symbolism of burning
126 the church quickly became relevant in the black metal circles and in the Norwegian discourse. d all of the church fires in Moynihan 379). Vikernes was a part time member of Mayhem, and he had a solo project called Burzum that had a distribution deal with Euronymous. His association with those in Helevete and his specific claims of responsibility brought NBM into the national spotlight. The news article constructs that a group of Satanists are responsible for burning down eight churches, and the group are characterized by describing visible just an overgrown kid who finds Nazi paraphernalia, weapons, and Satanic symbols article does not mention the music scene, but Vikernes is arrested after the paper is published, and the article establishes the primary symbols that will be attached to the metal music scene in all future mediation: Satanic and Nazi s ymbols. While those symbols were inadvertently entered in the discourse, in the same n this simple statement, the symbol of the church had been infused with an action that did not exist in the cultural orientation toward the church. While a symbol of heritage and of greater civic importance in the past, it was a preserved relic without co nsistent religious purpose. Drawing on the traditional dichotomy of the church versus Satan, the concepts of good and evil returned to the cultural discourse. Jacob Jervel, a theology professor and
127 minister in the State Church of Norway was asked why bla ck metal can draw the youth of the country. He alludes to the lack of extremes in the Norwegian Church where evil is destructive forces that black metal produces within t enormous symbolic power. The word that is used as a substitute for it [in the State Moynihan 77). The face of black metal took on an extreme performance in which evil was conjured by displays of violence, brutality, and reframed symbols of decay and power. The archaic building and moderate religious rhetoric were reframed as the evil and the burned church as the good. The grotesque symbol of the burned church he ld a revolutionary symbol and a potential act that allowed the audience to reorient their view of the fossil image as a living force that acted to bind the NBM performers as a revolutionary group who not only reconfigured their art but also their world. T hrough their symbol system and costume, NBM performers became gargoyles of deviance to the public, with their look and style conveying the crimes and violence of the media reports. Vikernes did not shy away from the charged symbols that the public discour se created, and he used a photograph of the burned church for his album Askes (Ashes) and on promotional brochures. A burning church gives a different symbolism from the unaffected church locked outside of time and change. For the community at large, it was a desecration of heritage, community, and spiritual connectivity, but in the metal underground that had swelled with disillusioned youths after the public controversy, the burning church offered the hope of a spiritual connection that had been lost. E science and semi art, one
128 could argue the cultural crimes acted as a semi cultural production. Among a certain mindset, specifically those who see the church as an impiety of Norwegian tradition (pagan heritage), the burning church offers a beauty of cleansing the culture of heresies. A similar connection can be made to the desecration of graves in a culture that traditionally destroyed the corporeal existence as a sendoff for a soul who would be rebor n in Valhalla. Through the grotesque symbols, the metaphoric actions claimed by Vikernes added to the gargoyle of deviance constructed in the NBM persona. Through cu portrayal of deviant identities as established in the U.S. rhetorics of fear. Mystical Orientation, Role Play Rules, and the Gargoyle of Nazi Vikings Most of the artists in the NBM scene were teenagers or young adults who composed, played, recorded, produced, and distributed their music, albums, and concerts. They did not fit the profile of rock stars nor did they have the oversight of the music industry. They produced highly personalized music using the symbols and traditions of metal from other cultures, but they formed their own symbolic language through their own cultural understandi ng. After being charged with burning churches, Vikernes was arrested and convicted for murdering Euronymous. The motives of the murder have never been directly NBM scene Over the course of the next few years, Vikernes used the media and the
129 internet to attach new identities and motives for his actions. With Euronymous dead and Helevete closed, the core of the NBM scene had been removed. Bands tried to appear more evil than the next, or they changed their performance to distance themselves from the negative cultural perceptions. Beginning with his murder trial, Vikernes became the face of NBM most reported. As the original member of the performance community to tie tha t community to cultural crimes, he also broadcast a set of motives for both his musical performance and his crimes. Vikernes drew inspiration for his spiritual reference from unlikely popular culture artifacts, drawing his performance names and spiritual beliefs from role playing games and the novels of J. R. R. Tolkien. Vikernes states: Like I said, when the Christians called the gods of my forefathers to everything that was immature reaction, perhaps, but I was only a teenager, so I have no problems with that. I still had this attitude in 1991, and Uruk Hai was an excellent name, but I felt that I was starting all over aga in, so I needed a words that are written in Black Speech on the One Ring of Sauron. As far in all it was natural for me to use the name Burzum. (par. 11)
130 The creation of the band persona spawns from a combination of a rh etoric of antagonism measuring the social organization around him through a self consciously produced philosophy of rhetorical inversions. One may note that this mystica l philosophy emerged from the participation in a role playing game which removed the norms of Norway and implemented a set of rules that governed the behavior and advancement of the character. If Vikernes felt that capitalism was the great enemy, he had n o way to fight it, but by overlaying the rules of a fantasy world on the real world, he could imagine possibilities for a different form of existence. My hope would be that Burzum could inspire people to wish for a new and better reality in the real worl d, and hopefully do something about it. Maybe revolt against the modern world, by refusing to participate in the rape of Mother Earth, by refusing to participate in the murder of our European race, by refusing to become a part of any of these artificial me dia communities, where the Pagan culture and magic if You like can be cultivated. (Vikernes par. 32) Vikernes was the fulcrum in the shift of black metal as generalized darkness and evil into a genre that supported political messages. During his imprisonment for Pagan Socialist. His imprisonment entered black metal into a spotlight of notoriet y
131 which allowed anyone to latch onto the pseudo terrorist persona of the criminal black metal performer. The discourse of the performer and the media created a gargoyle of black metal identity that includes citational elements that personified a strong di stancing from society and social power elements including government, church, capitalism, and modernity. The gargoyle was positively linked to heritage, nature, and individual initiative. These combinations were then appropriated by Nazi groups who wante d to expand beyond the skinhead followers. Black metal audiences had a set of pieties that allowed for their mystical philosophy to be impregnated with the symbols and philosophies of Nazi dogma, a connotation that had been made in the first newspaper art icle about the church arsonists. Gargoyles of Nazism and Fairytales as Communism Collapsed For Absurd, a German underground band, black metal identity became a marker of protest that from the beginning was rife with political elements. At around the s ame time Vikernes was arrested in Norway, the members of Absurd were convicted of the murder of a German youth. The German press followed with allegations of Satanic ritual, but the band states that the crime came from a domestic dispute with the youth re Regardless of the real motives behind the crime, the story became one where black metalers, obsessed with satanic rituals, sacrificed the teenager. In Germany, the black metal unde rground did not progress as rapidly or appear to latch on to the identity that the media had produced, but it did form close ties with neo Nazi groups and ideologies. The
132 recent history of a divided Germany holds some clues as to the orientation of that b lack metal audience. Hendrik Mobus, a member of Absurd, talked about his view of metal and black metal after his initial incarceration ( Moynihan 279 281). He describes growing up in East Berlin in the 1980s under a system that promised a fall of capitali sm and the growth of the Soviet state while experiencing poverty and bearing witness to the crumbling government and disconnect from his German heritage. He talks about reading fairy tales and folk tales and coming to understand that his heritage was that which must outlive the Soviet occupation for him to have an identity after the collapse. He states that listening that most of his music came from West German radio a nd from bootlegs and pirated music produced in Poland. Similar to Norwegian youth, Mobus saw his homogenous culture lacking, but unlike the Norwegians, he saw a cultural shift that would occur at the end of a period of government disintegration. Instead of a stagnant social order, he was facing the void of neither a socialist system nor a capitalist control, and he with the other band members began looking at the folk ideologies which were reflected in the Nazi mythos as a resource to produce identity fo r his people. Black metal music offered a template on which he could build that identity. Mobus says: We cannot come to terms with the fact that this anti spirit, Christianity, which is so diametrically opposed to our true nature, still holds hostage the sacred shrines of our ancestors and that it should determine our history not just in terms of the individual. From this reason we support every idea
133 or concept that is subversive to the status quo, and which swings the pendulum to our side. Personall way for combining Realpolitick and heathenism. Therefore Absurd also uick change from Satanist to Nazi, the black metal identity became available to bands who functioned to promote a political agenda, and the gargoyles of Norway had their meaning shifted to a fascist qualification. Christianity became synonymous with capit alism, and when approached from the perspective that Christianity came from Judaism, the inverted cross now functioned in the same manner as the Hitler The antagonism expressed by the original black metalers against commerciali zed death metal, extended to be an antagonism against all popular culture under Jewish control. The mythos of Norwegian history was incorporated into Germanic myth, allowing a new belief system to emerge that allowed a Nazi perception distanced from the c riminal view of Nazis in history. For the black metal genre, as a whole, the concept of history is a fabrication and suppressive narrative imposed by the dominant cultural myth deployers whether they be the church or the government. To destabilize the o fficial myth, black metalers have appropriated and reassigned meaning to dominant narratives of historical powers and victims. Burke writes about the use of victimage as a means of creating a norm in which a group can find solidarity, remarking that Hitle likewise, the black metalers from both Norway and Germany have constructed their
134 gargoyles with a principle of introducing a previously unseen victimage to their respective cultures ( Permanen ce 285). The Norwegians set up heritage versus the church, so church buildings, church burials, and at least in the rhetoric, Christians as a whole become the needed sacrifice to allow the Norwegian community to return to a solidarity in identity. The G ermans approach the victimage from the Nazi roots, lumping in the Jews with the Christians as the hierarchical dominators of German heritage and place. The black metalers begin forming their gargoyles in a response to the stagnant or declining cultures in which they sense a hierarchical weight oppressing, suppressing, and the unreal, and even mysterious sentiment into the conditions of something really here and Permanence 290). Within these cultures, a shift from the categorical to personal motive marked a new stage of gargoyle evolution followed by criminal acts. On his website, Vikernes posted: As people involved with magic already know, magic is all about imagination, symbolism, visualization and willpower. If You imagine a thin g happening in Your head, You will make it happen that is if Your an object symbolizes a certain power, it becomes that power. That is why our forefathers carved runes into rocks and pieces of wood, because the runes symbolized certain powers. (par. 16)
135 In the U.S., the hierarchies constructing the rhetoric of fear allowed motives based on the institutional orientations, but in Norway, the institutional discourse fit within the cultural hegemony where a grammar of moderation controlled all discourse. Murder and arson became symbols of antimoderation, and Satan, in song titles, in album art and concert props, and in the Satanist discourse of NBM performers, became the most pious symbol in NBM. Unlike the American and British bands that appropriated symbols from living discourses, the NBM scene charged symbols from fossil concepts, in the process creating the polarization that had not existed in the homogenous moderatio n. Conclusion The NBM movement began with symbols from other cultures introduced in a performance of extremes. Euronymous and Vikernes employed action and character as a s acted out the rhetorical claims of the PMRC and the fundamentalists in the borrowed panic rhetorics. NBM creates a performance of dystopia and forces the culture to place identity on those who purposefully become deviant in behavior and in performance. In the end, the performativity of earnestness in a hierarchy of extremes establishes the rhetoric of fear in a culture that exists through an institutional rhetoric of homogenous culture, procreating Satan in an evaluation of Norwegian order that causes n ew categories to be created and a potential for the diversities of other institutional rhetorics. In particular, the piousness to anti Christianity led to a rhetoric of the colonized that resurrected the concept of an artificial heritage and a nonexistent enemy. In this rhetorical frame, the
136 Nazi ideal of purity and myth reawaken, and the NBM rhetoric is appropriated for a new Nazi orientation.
137 Chapter Six Metal Fear, Identity, and Deviance This analysis focused on how the public rhetorics depl oy identity on listener populations through both the mediation and legislation of identities. These rhetorical movements produce and deploy deviant identities, depend on the construction of cultural crisis, and generate counter rhetorics of agency for ind ividuals and subcultures. The study moved 1) topically through metal history, 2) geographically from the United States to Norway, and 3) contextually through media events that produce the public discourses of identity, crisis, and counter rhetorics. Thi s study charts the rhetorical movements that have created fear within communities, leading to threats of legislation or the criminalization of segments of the population. Chapter two was an analysis of the construction of metal identity through early tex Shout at the Devil and The Decline of Western Civilization Part II demonstrated the mediated identity of metal through the 1980s. The U. S. media spawned Satanic panic and its connection with metal through Fu es about the capital of occult r hetoric, I established the primary cultural motivation behind the rhetoric of metal detraction and the use of cult negative symbols for self identity. Metal culture and music used symbols and language
138 that fit within institutional rhetorics of fear where binaries frame meanings and apply identities through the institutional orientations. When metal artists rewo rk institutional symbols, they risk placing themselves in the negative aspect of the institutional binary: criminal, evil, or mentally ill. When the artists remove the institutional meanings from symbols, they embody the reality understood in the institu tional orientation and its rhetoric of fear structured on negative hierarchies and binaries. Chapter three focused on the convergence of institutional rhetorics of fear that constructed a blanket of negative identities for metal fans. During this period, media criminal purpose to the performers while establishing the youth as controlled agents. Their public rhetoric formulated metal decadence versus home, God, and communi ty. As exemplified by the PMRC testimony, this conservative rhetoric of fear is based on a rhetorical construction of culture at risk for disintegration. When the experts addressed metal as a problem, they gave it the properties of a mental illness or a drug addiction, a deviant cause with deviance as an effect. The fear centered on parental failures to guide youth. The conservative argument repositioned family as sep arate from culture and children as a property that needed protection from the vandalizing influences of metal. While this rhetorical stance originally applied to all popular music and their listeners, shows like 20/20 presented heavy metal music and its f ans as a subculture deviants. community to address sudden tragedies in which explanations are either absent or self
139 incriminating. The focus of the chapter was the investigation, a rrest, trial, and conviction in a triple murder case. Lacking evidence or clear motives, the symbols of metal culture were entered in a trial as evidence of supernatural purposes. In the orientation of the community, the symbols of metal turned the beare rs into scapegoats. A rhetoric of fear predicts a motive with a purpose that inverts the hierarchal perfection of the culture. The protestant orientation perceived the metal symbols as a purpose of the bearers to strive for perfection of humans as Satan The Satanic panic rhetoric grew from a convergence rhetorics of fear: classifications of deviance created in the disciplinary institutions, mediated to the public, and reformed in the rhetorical mold of religious hierarchy as antichrist motives. For 19 93 West Memphis, Arkansas, the symbols of metal transformed those who wore them into devils with motive scapegoats that bore the crisis Chapter five examined the limited context in which Northern European metal developed and in which the Satanic panic rhetoric spread from the U. S. to Norway. The chapter focused on the development of the Black Metal genre through an escalating appropriation and transformation of symbols. Through the mediation of crimes committed by artists from the scene, the rhetoric escalated Symbols of the Church of Norway that had lost their presence in everyday lives were infused with binary meanings that become objects of action (church burnings, grave desecrations), ushering in a rhetorical battle for culture. The performativ ity of earnestness in a hierarchy of extremes establishes the rhetoric of fear in a culture that exists through an institutional rhetoric of homogeneity, procreating Satan in an evaluation of Norwegian order that caused the potential for the diversity in o ther institutio nal rhetorics. T he piousness to anti
1 40 Christianity led to a rhetoric of the colonized that resurrected the concept of an artificial heritage and a nonexistent enemy. In this rhetorical frame, the Nazi ideal of purity and myth reawaken, and the NBM rhetoric is appropriated for a new Nazi orientation. Implications for Studying the Rhetoric of Fear As metal continues to be a thriving international music genre, the problems of identity construction persist. First, metal continues to evoke res ponses from rhetorics of fear because its symbol system has inverted hierarchical readings to different institutional orientations. The first example below demonstrates how the performance of symbols from the NBM scene supported a rhetoric of fear native to Krakow, Poland. Secondly, the institutional rhetorics of fear persist and they continue to create identities for listeners. In 2004, the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth became the center of a scandal while performing for Polish state television and recording a concert video. An article from Aftenposten English Web Desk frames the original report. A quote from TVP director Andrzej Jeziorek frames the scene. On stage there was blood everywhere. About ten decapitated sheep heads and naked people alive, on large crosses. Everyone was painted with 100 liters of sheep blood. Also there were Satanist symbols everywhere. One of the hanging female models fainted and an ambulance had to be called. (Tisdall) Removed of the press co created a sensation in Krakow. Crucifixions, nudity, and symbolic violence play on the symbols of deviancies in a Christian orientation. The article both mentions the
141 connection of the city to the Pop I watched the DVD produced from the performance, and I found it boring. nce shades a serious intent. The concert stage had crosses with nude men and women hanging, but they were not part of any interaction with the performers or the audience. Deconstructing the Christian crucifixion mythos, the hung bodies had neither person ality or identity, only a shared corporal humanity. Along the stage, spikes held the heads of sheep. While this animal has flock, there is no overt construction of meanin g given them other than parts of corpses on display. At no point in the performance does the lead singer acknowledge the crowd or attempt to provoke a reaction. The performance, in all of its gore and symbolism, proceeds with workmanlike sincerity, yet t he performance of the symbols is left to the Gorgoroth, using the NBM symbol system, performed for an audience where the orientation had a forthright Christian concern. A culture already troubled by sects and Satanists found the exe mplar of the troubles in the performance. The article paraphrases crowd or a vio perception to be validated and for the media to carry it without question. The symbols of NBM have encountered a new orientation, and without the crimes of the early 1990s, the performa nce gave birth to anti Pope, anti community, and antichrist action. The
142 audience became a group of blood soaked deviants prepared to unleash violence if the performance had been stopped. The symbols of metal had again been wrapped in a local rhetoric of fear, and the performers and fans had an identity placed on them through those expectations. In places like the U.S. the rhetorics of fear were not exposed and exorcised, and many of the problem myths from the 1980s continue. In a New York Times blog on October 6, 2009, freelance journalist and musician Josh Max wrote about how he began listening to metal after a succession of jobs that folded in the bad economy left him depressed and losing his savings. He marked the intensity of metal as contributin g factor to his managing the downtime and rebounding. The editors posted responses to the piece, st century. Warning Label As a hired gun who has hit more than one rough patch, I can relate to the story but I choose life over death. the only thing that will work long term. Anger, violence and hate all expressed in the music will eventually eat away at the soul. I am a little frightened when I think of, not the author of our story, who is obviously educated, hard working and well intentioned, but the truly ignorant and hopeless who also turn to this music and feed on it eventually acting out in I believ e that music is one of the most powerful movers in popular culture and should be used wisely as a mood altering drug. ( MMN )
143 Who are the truly ignorant and hopeless? Are they the uneducated as is inferred by the respondent? The rhetoric of fear m ay have moved from the pervasive conservative base of 1985, but the effects of the rhetoric persist in creating identities constructed in classist discourse that privileges the educated, the hallmark of the institutional norm. Even among educated fans, th ere appears to be a need for absolution. In a discussion forum opened after the posting of the emails to the editors, a fan defends her fandom by stating that she does not fit the profile nor does metal. ve read War and Peace and have a Masters from Columbia in Dramaturgy and Script Development. If you saw me on the street you would think I was a nice young twenty something girl who listens to Coldplay or Lady Gaga, but most likely I have Opeth playing on my ipod. Metal is my music of choice because it taps into raw emotions and provides a cathartic release from the pressures of daily life. Good metal can be as powerful as Wagner or as intricate as jazz, but it rarely gets the respect afforded other genr es of music. out of inversions of institutional norms, and as long as institutions influence the rhetoric, it will continue to have a potential to categorize segmen ts of the population who listen or perform metal.
144 A Communication Problem This dissertation explored how symbols, meaning, and reality are constructed through the mass consumption of art and the public discourse critiquing or criticizing the art. James Carey defined communication as the ritual construction, maintenance, repair, and transform reality through the creation of symbols systems (Carey 24). The symbols of metal and the public discourse surrounding metal constructed and maintained identities t aken as reality by those who, as Kenneth Burke described, are pious to the symbols that construct their orientation in and to the world. Both rhetorics of fear and issues of identity construction operated in the social construction of the Satanic problem and of the heavy metal problem. In each culture that has created a problem around metal cultures, rhetorics of fear take the place of analysis and critical understanding of the metal cultures. These rhetorics create reality through the dramatistic frami ng of the social interactions, reconfiguring and applying old symbols to reframe the public understanding of situations that lack other explicit purpose. The rhetorics are built on the binaries and inverted hierarchies present in institutional discourse. In the protestant southeastern U.S., symbols of metal became confused with what the community perceived as Satan and criminal, marking the wearers of the symbols as deviants in both Christian and criminal justice rhetorical hierarchies. If Satan becomes the focus, the inverted hierarchy to be more like Satan becomes a cornerstone in the rhetoric of fear. symbols of Christianity have been reconfigured to impart an understanding of deviance in a concise good ve rsus evil paradigm, and other institutions also produce this pattern. In the criminal justice system,
145 citizen versus criminal operates as a binary, and a rhetoric that inverts the hierarchy to show the potential for developed criminality produces an ident ity of deviance. When Stuessy presented his hypodermic model of music to the Senate, he transformed the symbolism of music to be the cause of social, religious, and criminal deviance This reality is maintained through the repetition of the claims in pub lic discourse. The rhetoric of fear presents problems of deviance and issues identities of deviants through the rhetorics pattern of inverted hierarchies based on the culturally negative identification of institutional binaries. This pattern frames the norms of the culture at risk and identifies the deviance and deviants creating the risk. A rhetoric of fear predicts a motive with a purpose that inverts the hierarchal perfection of the culture. When a crisis occurs in the culture, the deviants identifi ed in the pattern become perfect scapegoats because they carry the symbols identified as deviance and understood as an identity of the deviant. The rhetoric of fear also generates counter rhetorics, and metal cultures are complicit in the conflagration of symbols creates opportunity for reframing the institutional rhetorics by the artists, and the symbol use creates an es calation of deviant identity through the institutional rhetorics. In the study of the rhetorics of fear and the discourse, I have outlined the movement from conservative calls for protecting the vulnerable youth to youth calls for a heathen nationalist st ate. The reality of the heathen Nazi, at least the orientation of the heathen Nazi, can be seen in the reconstruction of the conservative rhetoric of fear translated into the language of a colonized people. Both Tipper Gore and Varg Vikernes
146 addressed th e public with a rhetoric of fear that promised deviance and cultural decay, the former framed it as the destruction of utopia and the later as the destruction of a dystopia. Both employed a discourse of fear to strengthen a rhetorical attempt at the const ruction of reality through their use of symbols. The continued use and reconstruction of the symbols of metal and of metal music promises a continuation of discourse othering the music and presenting its listeners with negative identities. Understanding this use allows a new lens on the process of public discourse in the construction of problems, individual and group identities, and in the rhetorical segregation of shifting demographic categories like class. G ender has a significant history in the p ublic discourse around metal. From Alice Cooper performing in lace and Poison gracing their album covers with make up comparable to Vogue to academic claims of a dominant misogynistic heterosexuality, symbols of gender have been performed and exaggerated through the history and discourse of metal. A survey of discussion forums, personal blogs, and responses to publications on news and entertainment websites show a fan base that includes many female listeners and homosexual fans. As the rhetorics of fear operate through the inversions of hierarchies, gender also falls on that level. From the conservative rhetoric of the PMRC, the deviant claims of perversion were unmarried sex, masturbation, and sexual violence. From the academic side, one can find clai ms of homophobia and misogyny. In looking at deviance in metal, one may unpack the institutional rhetorics of fear concerning gender and deviance. This dissertation adds to the study of rhetorics of fear that have plagued American culture: McCarthy ism, the cold war, post 911 terrorism, comic book menace,
147 reconstruction, the war on drugs, and others dating back to the colonial witch hunts and presentation of native populations This study moves beyond these political movements to target products of popular culture and the consumers of these products. Specifically, it or of a music subculture in the wake of tragedies like school shootings, murders, and suicides where teens are involved. Beyond music, video games, television, social networking, and downloadable content have the ability to create areas where symbols may operate in the same rhetorical space as metal music. Because the national socialist music sce ne persists, the continued study of the rhetorics of fear will allow an understanding of how they construct internal and external identities through evolved rhetorics borrowed and configured from external cultural sources. Metal is the style of deviancy a set of symbols that operate as an antithesis to the institutions through which contemporary rhetoric finds its reality construction. Metal has been defined by public discourse, and through the discourse, deviant identities have been created for perfor mers, fans and the music. In both the social construction of crises and in the perception of reality through symbols, rhetorics of fear have converged and by and attr ibuted to metal performers and fans. Through these same rhetorics of fear and sets of symbols, metal artists and fans have constructed realities that transfer the power of cultural symbols into the incongruous fossils of both objectivist individuality and Nazi culture. Metal is a genre of deviance, and rhetorics of fear maintain that reality.
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About the Author Gregory Vance Smith has a B.A. in English from the University of North Alabama. He received his M.A. in English from the University of South Florida. This dissertation marks his completion of a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of South Florida.