Flipping through the channels on satellite radio to fuel composing, I come across “DNR” by Testament, and it’s just the most perfect bit of stompy fuel. Makes me wish I knew more about how music’s constructed so I had a better idea of how it works. That is, it’s especially noticeable with really high-octane music, but there’s a fine line between audio adrenaline and unlistenable noise…and I don’t know what creates that line. But I kind of want to.
After the song, there’s a short interview with the lead singer of Testament, who talks about how the song was inspired by his father. Specifically, his father had a DNR, but when it was his time, he and his brothers just couldn’t let go–oh, goddammit, why did you tell me that? That’s not a heartwarming story! That just makes me think you’re an asshole! Great, now I hear this great song and know it’s about the time that you were too selfish to honor your father’s last earthly request. Thanks, guys, you almost ruined it.
Speaking of ruining things, there’s Dave Mustaine, and Megadeth’s latest single (“The Threat Is Real”) which comes across as just a wee bit Islamophobic, which is depressing. I suppose there’s an outside chance it’s anti-Islamophobia, but given Mustaine’s mouthly spoutings over the past decade, I kind of doubt it. Which is a shame. I like Megadeth, and would really rather they don’t end up falling into the “I can’t listen to any of your music any more because it just reminds me that you’re a huge racist tool” cesspool with Ted Nugent.
Here’s a thing I noticed while chasing that thought-rabbit: musicians and writers seem to find their way into that category if I know too much about them. Hell, there are a couple of authors I’ve just met in person and been on panels with who were dickbags, and I stopped being able to enjoy their stuff. Ted Nugent’s a weapons-grade asshat, and I can’t enjoy “Little Miss Dangerous” any more. Orson Scott Card is a rotten fellow, and that took all the fun out of Ender’s Game.
But! Adam Baldwin is also a huge tool, and that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Firefly. Why is that? The reason’s probably obvious, I guess; it’s all about representation. Nugent sings, Card writes, they’re mirroring themselves in the art. Baldwin wants to spout off on Twitter and be a shithead, that’s fine by me, because he’s not Jayne Cobb. When I’m watching Firefly, that’s not Adam Baldwin I’m looking at. So apparently actors are allowed a measure of leeway when it comes to my enjoying their work in spite of loathsome personal traits.
(Only a measure, though. There are some actors I can’t watch any more because they suck in life as well.)