If you have been following us for any length of time, you have likely caught on that we here at Heavy Blog are an opinionated bunch. Yes, we obviously have many many feelings when it comes to all sorts of music-related topics, but unsurprisingly this also carries itself well over into the realms of other forms of art, media, culture, sports, and, yes, politics. Hence how we have wound up with this, The Void Screameth, where on the internet, nobody can hear you scream, but we can at least pound the keyboard until something legible comes out and hope that one or two other people read it!
For the love of all that’s right, please stop asking why your favorite albums aren’t on a list!
OK, I’m about to pop a vein over this one for real. This is hands down the most annoying type of comment we get on the blog. “Where is Pet Local Band No One Really Knows About?????”, “Why didn’t you include My Favorite Album???”, “How could you forget about Seminal Band Everyone Already Knows About So It’s Boring to Write About It??????”. Every time we run any sort of list, be it end of year content, something focusing on a genre or even just our Release Day Roundup, nine times out of ten we’ll find one of these comments on it. Why? What makes you want to comment this? I honestly don’t understand it; it seems like such an inane sort of thing to ask because the answer is always so blisteringly obvious!
First, it’s possible, and I know this is a wild thing to consider, that we don’t like the same bands that you do? If we don’t include a band on a list or a post, we probably just don’t like it! We write almost exclusively (read 99% of the time) about bands that we like listening to; otherwise, it gets very hard to write about music for more than a few years. If this band that you liked is not in a post, it probably means we just don’t listen to it! What would you like us to say in reply to your question? “We hate this band and we think you have shit taste in music”? What sort of conversation do you see arising from your comment? If the answer is “none really, I just want to vent” then go vent elsewhere. Can I suggest the center of the Sun?
Secondly, it’s possible, and I know this is an extremely wild thing to consider, that we have word or length limits to our posts. Do you know what would happen if we included every single album that’s released in a week, even if we limited it to the heavier genres? You’d get spaghetti like posts, with a long list of albums that aren’t curated and might just suck. If you want a raw feed of releasing albums, go to Bandcamp; they have a cool visualizer on their homepage. Otherwise, you come here to read about the stuff we actually think are worth your time. Sometimes, that coincides with our length limitations and we have to make some tough, and often unconscious, decisions about what gets included and what doesn’t. Deal with it! We do.
Lastly, and most importantly, we are not interested in beating around a well-beaten bush (pretty sure that’s not how the idiom goes but fuck it). There really is no point in us making a “Top thrash bands” list and then listing Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. Yeah, sometimes we do include albums from those bands; we’re not actually bound by some hipster code to only cover obscure bands. But really, it feels sort of redundant, right? You don’t need us to tell you that a famous death metal band released an album or that a super veteran is worth a listen. You know that shit already. So when we don’t include them in a post it’s not because we’re shitting on them or think they’re bad. We just don’t feel the need to say things like “Iron Maiden are very good, did you know?”
To summarize, if you find yourself typing up something like “where is this band???” just fucking don’t, OK? There is absolutely zero reason for you to do so. There will be nothing productive that will come of it. We won’t go “oh shit, that band! That band! How the fuck did we forget about that band! We will immediately commit sepukku to atone”. No, we’ll just move on with our lives and will probably make fun of you. To be clear, we’re not saying don’t recommend music to us; some of our favorite bands were recommended to us in blog comments. Totally do that! But instead of saying it like the above examples, which comes off as entitled and condescending, you can just say “hey, here’s another cool band to check out”. That’s totally cool! But the rest of it? Just don’t. We all have better things to do with our time.
I’m retiring the word “funemployment” because this isn’t fun
Because of the last year of all of our lives, you probably find yourselves in one of two groups: the unemployed or you know someone who is. If you’re not in one of these two groups, consider yourself lucky, be grateful for that, and make sure others are as well. For the rest of you, consider the portmanteau “funemployment” for just a few moments. You’ve probably found yourself saying it either to cheer someone up or to cheer yourself up. I’m here to ask you to kindly knock it the fuck off.
The last year of my life was marked by losing my job; going back on the job hunt; getting frustratingly close to re-employment more than once; taking short-term contracts to stay afloat; and a lot of frustration, consternation, and a few tears. I’ve certainly tried to find constructive outlets to fill up the hours. Writing for the blog and talking about music I love helped out a lot. Household chores made me feel productive. Modding my own guitar was a fun experience (even if I didn’t do it correctly and need someone with training to help me fix it). But while I was doing all of these things, there was a little voice in the back of my mind reminding me that I still didn’t have a job. That little voice says a lot of things to me, none of them helpful, productive, or uplifting. And I know for a fact that I’m not the only person in the world afflicted by this.
Lately for whatever reason, I’ve seen the word funemployment a lot. I have to say that all it does is piss me off. None of this experience has been particularly fun at all. It is a constant Sisyphian struggle where I have absolutely no control over when it ends. I work like hell every single day to get back to work. I edit my resume, write cover letters, reach out to network contacts, and just about anything else I can think to do that would help end this period of my life. None of it has been successful thus far, and it all contributes to me continuing to feel like a loser getting left behind by my peers.
As a result of all of these feelings, I also started going to therapy. I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I can go about becoming more mentally healthy. One thing I have learned in the last year is that there are a lot of people in the world who say things like funemployment in order to dismiss and diminish the misfortune of others in service of seeking a misappropriated sense of goodwill by saying dumbass cliches that make them sound utterly thoughtless and careless. If you said funemployment in a positive tone, I have news for you: you’re not helping.
Look, I know a lot of people in my life are trying to help. I come from a family of people who want to help when they see that somebody is down. I’m pretty sure that’s where my habit developed anyway. But there are some problems you just can’t help with. Sometimes, we find ourselves stuck in situations we have no control over, and that’s hard. It can hurt to see a loved one stuck in just such a situation. I know many of them are trying to be helpful, but the best thing most people can do is either listen to me vent or help me refocus my attention somewhere more constructive for a few moments. Saying some thoughtless platitude is the last thing I want. If all else fails, just remember the Golden Rule. How would you want to be talked to if it were you?