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Musical prejudice

MixBotMixBot Posts: 8,656 Automated Account
I overheard a really odd (and profoundly erroneous...) conversation at an anonymous train station today on my way to work that really got me thinking.

There was a gaggle of girls chatting about music. I only caught a snippet of it, but it was enough to confirm what I had long suspected.

"... and that band System of a Down; they're some shit metal band, they're anti-God, satanic and evil..."

Points to note:

1) Anyone who has EVER listened to SOAD will know that they are very, very far from themes such as Satanism and religion. This I guess forms the bulk of my point. If you don't like it, fine. But at least get your facts right before you opine on something.

2) This came from a girl with a very public school accent (takes one to know one I guess)

3) System are awesome :) but that's beside the point.

Now granted, everyone is prejudiced to some degree or other about just about everything. Anyone who says that they don't judge is talking bollocks. Everyone judges. This is natural. The key lies in not letting our judgements cloud our reason. So I ask you this:

Why is there such a prejudice against rock / metal / alternative music?

When people find out that despite (or perhaps because of?) my public school and top university education and my good job in the city with one of the world's top 5 banks, I still listen to rock and metal like the two things are somehow incompatible?

I remember back in my uni days, I wanted to go to a rock club for my birthday. Now some of my so-called 'mates' were quite game for it, but until they saw some of the people queuing at the door, immidiately refused flat out and headed to generic R'n'B (which apparently stands for rhythm and blues...) and HipHop club, leaving me in the metal club. After all the times they dragged me to said type of club, they were completely unwilling to experience something a little out of the ordinary. Why? I'm confused.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, this issue has been partly explored in Sam Dunn's excellent anthropological documentary into the history and social impact of heavy metal, called "Metal: A Headbangers Ball". Watch it. You may actually learn something.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Because it's different to what the majority are used to, and they just lump everything into the same category.

    So SOAD, Metallica, Cradle of Filth, Marilyn Manson, Deftones, etc. are all the same thing. And just liked by smelly moshers/greebos.

    In the same way Emos cry a lot , wear makeup and cut themselves.

    In the same way all dance music is fast and bleepy and full of depraved sad druggies.

    Or rap is just about bitches and ho's

    etc. etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Because people dont often tend to know about anything outside what they like/listen too. People saying thing like that about SOAD is plain misinformed predjudice.

    Rock will apperntly will make you evil/worship stan/turn into a goth/cut yourslef/wear make-up (for the boys) etc. (and thats just the Daily Mail about My Chemical Romance!!)

    I dont like dance/RnB/Hiphop but if you want to listen to it fine, just dont make me endure it as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You simply never know what sort of music people listen to. There's almost never a way of knowing for sure until you ask, and even then, don't be assured they're telling you the full story. Most people seem to be under the impression that I listen to classical music. Possibly thanks to my very boring exterior, I don't know. When I tell them that my tastes are mainly towards dance music and once had an interest in becoming a DJ, (never going to happen, Stargalaxy, never going to happen...) they usually just give me stares of disbelief.

    I've shown prejudice towards other forms of music on more than one occasion. I've lost count of the number of times I've said you'd have to be drug-addled to enjoy hardcore music. Why do I do it? Probably because I know next to nothing about the genre in question.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,214 Skive's The Limit
    Why is there such a prejudice against rock / metal / alternative music?

    There's a lot of a prejudice against forms of dance music to.

    I just fucking ignore it.

    Of course you think your music is better, else you wouldn't have a preferance in listening to it but in reality it's not. Music taste is mostly subjective, like art and taste in food. It's not about who made it and how it was made, it's about how it makes you feel and nothing more.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've found the prejudice against dance music far worse than that towards rock. At least dance heads will listen to a bit of oasis or coldplay now and again whereas the vast amount of metal heads I know will simply not listen to dance music because it's "uncreative" or some shit like that.

    Best advice is to ignore them and laugh at them for being stupid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    At least dance heads will listen to a bit of oasis or coldplay now and again whereas the vast amount of metal heads I know will simply not listen to dance music because it's "uncreative" or some shit like that.

    This is very true. I'm a massive dance music fan but I still listen to Oasis, Korn, Eminem and others fairly regularaly.

    I also think Maladjusted and Skive's posts say pretty much what I was going to say.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I just don't like SOAD and others like that simply because my brother plays them all day long, every day and I get sick of hearing it. There will always be stereotypes, like people that listen to that kind of music are 14-17 year old grebs. But that's probably because it's only them you see wearing the t-shirts and hoodies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I admit I don't know everything about different genres and stereotype sometimes, although I try my best to be open minded if somebody wants to introduce me to music they listen to.

    Digging dance music, I do know what it feels like to listen to people sprout random shit about something they don't know anything about and it doesn't really bother me. It doesn't make the music less enjoyable to me.

    What I however find a little sad are all the people that only listen to whatever is in on MTV that week. Then the song drops out of the top lists and people have forgotten the song and artist within 6 months. I am the most prejudiced against those I think. :D I don't understand why you'd just want to be fed music like that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some fans of rock and alternative music are just as judgemental about people who listen to pop music. Perhaps more so. Some people may be ignorant about certain types of music, but ime, music snobbery is almost exclusively the domain of fans of rock and alternative music. You couldn't possibly be anything other than a media-led sheep if you happen to like the stuff radio 1 plays. You couldn't possibly be anything other than a drug-taking chav if you enjoy that dance crap. It cuts all ways.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I remember back in my uni days, I wanted to go to a rock club for my birthday. Now some of my so-called 'mates' were quite game for it, but until they saw some of the people queuing at the door, immidiately refused flat out and headed to generic R'n'B (which apparently stands for rhythm and blues...)

    I once got told it stood for rubbish and boring.:lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You ask why there's a prejudice against rock and metal, and then come out with a gem like this:
    2) This came from a girl with a very public school accent (takes one to know one I guess)

    Because everybody is different with their own ignorant tastes?

    In the same way that it's okay to love music, it's okay to hate it too. Let the public school girl have her public school girl opinion and move on.

    Why does it matter what everybody else thinks?
    What I however find a little sad are all the people that only listen to whatever is in on MTV that week.
    You could say the same about those who subscribe to Pitchfork and follow it religiously.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tehfincheh wrote: »
    In the same way that it's okay to love music, it's okay to hate it too. Let the public school girl have her public school girl opinion and move on.

    Well being public school-educated myself, I (perhaps naively) thought that she would be a little more enlightened in terms of tolerating things that she perhaps didn't understand or get. In retrospect, it probably was a very naive thing to think at the time but, and please don't call me snobbish or pretentious (at least, not for this disparaging remark), when you hear people generalise about rock and dismiss us all as a load of Devil-worshipping, self-harming goths, it's generally chavs that do it. Now, I did say generally but in my experience, that has been the case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have found that many people who claim to be "indie" fans are more snobbish about bands who make a cross between indie and pop than any other, eg they particularly hate bands like Scouting For Girls over those artist who make music that sounds nothing like indie/rock.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,214 Skive's The Limit
    In retrospect, it probably was a very naive thing to think at the time but, and please don't call me snobbish or pretentious (at least, not for this disparaging remark), when you hear people generalise about rock and dismiss us all as a load of Devil-worshipping, self-harming goths, it's generally chavs that do it. Now, I did say generally but in my experience, that has been the case.

    Are you taking the piss?

    Seems to me you hate generalisations when you're at the wrong end of them, but they're perfectly fine when your using them for somebody else. :confused:

    'Chav' is one of the biggest and unpleasant social generalisations around.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well being public school-educated myself, I (perhaps naively) thought that she would be a little more enlightened in terms of tolerating things that she perhaps didn't understand or get.
    Tolerating the likes and dislikes of others has nothing to do with private education. It's about respect. You can have all the qualifications in the world and still be an arse.

    Anyway, I make generalizations all the time. Stereotyping isn't a crime.

    How do you know that if you turned round to this girl and said that you were a SOAD fan, she might not show a little less hostility towards them?

    A lot of the time, I'll slag off a band and call them shit. If I meet somebody who likes the band, I'll generally tone it down a bit and show a little more appreciation for their likes.

    My brother - who grew up on dance music - waltzed up to me in the pub last week and chirped about how he'd just bought the new Scouting For Girls album.

    Despite my personal opinion (that they're a shit poor band with a lyrical parrot syndrome), I didn't say that to his face.

    You have no reason to get all bitch tits over this girl's opinion. Because it is just that, an opinion.

    I bet if you walked in front of her wearing an SOAD shirt and asked her what she thought of the band, she'd probably be more liberal about it. Does that change her thoughts or opinion? No, but it changes the entire context of the "prejudice" accusation.

    If she spots you wearing your SOAD shirt, spits at your headphones, bitches out and refuses to be in the same carriage as a gothic headbanging yank...maybe THEN, you're justified.

    As it goes, she's sharing her opinions amongst friends and exaggerating to extremes as we all do from time to time.

    For the record, my favorite band is a psych art pop group with a lead singer who pretends that he's a black transexual she-male.

    ofmdh1.jpg

    In my opinion, the most creatively gifted band in the world at the moment.

    But if you think metal generalizations are bad...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok, let me try to extracate myself from a seemingly large hole.
    Skive wrote:
    Seems to me you hate generalisations when you're at the wrong end of them, but they're perfectly fine when your using them for somebody else.

    'Chav' is one of the biggest and unpleasant social generalisations around.

    I (thought I) made it clear in my post that I was speaking from my own experience and, in my experience, the majority of people who have ignorantly badmouthed my preferred type of music have been the aforementioned type of people (though I see the word as no more offensive than posh or toff which is used quite a lot around the place though no-one seems to care a jot...). So either all words are ok or none are. It's called freedom of speech and you can't have it both ways.

    Granted, I cannot speak for every person who has ever badmouthed heavy metal as, especially during the mid-80's when metal was at its hight, the ignorance about it and its supposed message went all the way to the Supreme Court. I can, however, speak from my own experience.

    So yes, I can see why you saw what I said as a generalisation and for not making it clearer, I apologise. However, this has been my experience.

    tehfincheh wrote:
    Tolerating the likes and dislikes of others has nothing to do with private education. It's about respect. You can have all the qualifications in the world and still be an arse.

    Perhaps you're right but this goes back to my point above in that it was a rare occurrance for ME to hear such things being said by someone with an apparent public school accent. Maybe it was a bit of a silly thing to say and maybe it was a bit of surprise given the town where I was at the time to hear such an accent but I take your point.
    tehfincheh wrote:
    How do you know that if you turned round to this girl and said that you were a SOAD fan, she might not show a little less hostility towards them?

    Given I was in my suit and tie at the time, I doubt she would have believed me :)
    tehfincheh wrote:
    You have no reason to get all bitch tits over this girl's opinion. Because it is just that, an opinion.

    I wasn't going 'bitch tits' about it. As I said in my opening post, I found it interesting and it got me thinking. I've heard enough of people badmouthing my music taste to be able to not get angry about it.
    tehfincheh wrote:
    No, but it changes the entire context of the "prejudice" accusation.

    Not really. Prejudice is about holding a pre-conceived opinion about something you know little or nothing about. Since one of the few words out of her gob that I caught were about how SOAD were Satanists, I'm pretty sure I'm on solid ground for an accusation of prejudice since anyone who has ever listened to SOAD will know that they do not concern themselves with Satan etc.
    tehfincheh wrote:
    If she spots you wearing your SOAD shirt, spits at your headphones, bitches out and refuses to be in the same carriage as a gothic headbanging yank

    Yank? I'm English born and bred. Maybe just a typo.

    Hope that explains my position. I was relating the incident as it happened to me. Any apparent 'generalisations' that I made have come from my own experience and do not represent those of anyone else on the planet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    (though I see the word as no more offensive than posh or toff which is used quite a lot around the place though no-one seems to care a jot...).

    Well you're wrong, there's been a chav thread lately in P&D take a look at it.
    So either all words are ok or none are. It's called freedom of speech and you can't have it both ways.

    Both you and I know that's highly naive. Not all words are acceptable.
    Not really. Prejudice is about holding a pre-conceived opinion about something you know little or nothing about. Since one of the few words out of her gob that I caught were about how SOAD were Satanists, I'm pretty sure I'm on solid ground for an accusation of prejudice since anyone who has ever listened to SOAD will know that they do not concern themselves with Satan etc.

    So what's your opinion on people who listen to say hard trance? No pre-concieved opinions whatsoever on these people?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Let the narrow minded have their musical snobbery, its them thats missing out ultimately.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Talking about musical tastes can lead to some of the most charged, and ultimately fruitless, discussions ever. Yes, it's personal preference. Yes, there's lots of snobbery (from ALL sides). And, NO I'M NOT GONNA CLEAN MY ROOM ANY MORE, MUM!

    hahaih2.jpg


    Sorry, couldn't resists! :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tehfincheh wrote: »
    You could say the same about those who subscribe to Pitchfork and follow it religiously.

    *shakes fist*

    although i don't follow it religiously, it's still a great site.
    I have found that many people who claim to be "indie" fans are more snobbish about bands who make a cross between indie and pop than any other, eg they particularly hate bands like Scouting For Girls over those artist who make music that sounds nothing like indie/rock.

    this is 100% true. the whole "liked them before they were popular, don't like them now they are mainstream" crowd do my head in. as do the "it doesn't sound like crass, so it's shit." punk crowd.
    tehfincheh wrote: »
    For the record, my favorite band is a psych art pop group with a lead singer who pretends that he's a black transexual she-male.

    In my opinion, the most creatively gifted band in the world at the moment.

    But if you think metal generalizations are bad...

    QFT
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Well you're wrong, there's been a chav thread lately in P&D take a look at it.

    Just because other people have concluded it's wrong and had a big old debate about it doesn't make it correct. So why exactly is chav not ok and posh/toff ok?
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Both you and I know that's highly naive. Not all words are acceptable.

    I'll stand by my belief that I should be able to say whatever the hell I like. It may not win me any friends, it may not keep me safe from many incarnations of harm but I will fight for the right for it.
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    So what's your opinion on people who listen to say hard trance? No pre-concieved opinions whatsoever on these people?

    Nope. As people have delighted in sharing their hare-brained misconceptions about my kind of music with me for yonks, I long gave up doing the same to other people. I don't pretend to know anything about hard trance but I'll give it a whirl and certainly won't pass judgement on it. That ok for you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm going to wheld my magical commercial music degree sword here (even though i haven't started yet Ha!)

    quite a lot people make choices on what kind of music they listen to (especially if they are in the 14-16 age bracket) due to their background. I'm not stereo typeing here, but there won't by a large majority of young black kids in south london that prefer mozart or marilyn manson for that matter to dizzie rascal. It also has a lot to do with what class their parents were brought up in and what era.

    My mum was in her teens in the midst of punk, and from a working class family in east anglia (norwich if you really need to know), her family didn't listen to music (profoundly deaf), so she was heavily influenced from outside sources (and seeing as she spent most of her teens in camden, rock and punk was her thing- even if it was the more new york style than clash and the pistols).

    This girl at the station, (would be great to know how old she was and the area roughly), just from what you've said about her accent, gives you the assuption that her parents listen to either classical, or very middle of the road i.e. pop music. If she hasn't had any interaction with rock and metal at a young age, many people are closed minded and xenophobic (its a natural thing you fear the unknown). And thus why they made the assumption that SOAD are like that. People also seem to like to say similar things about bands that make a political point (because political views are volitile). If they are brought up with a very conservitive political view, then on the whole they will keep that.

    Me for example:

    I have been what i would call middle class, but i'm now back firmly in the working (or non working as it currently is) classes. I had my mother who is a fan of lots of different things from moby and talking heads to nirvana and fun loving criminals. Thus why, i seem to come across as a "more hardcore than thou" goth, i have very mixed tastes- trance/techno/house/most types of jazz/metal/industrial/rock/indie/some pop/lots of world music/some classical/trip hop

    the only music i really dislike is speed garage/ crap DnB/country and western/cheesy pop/and hip hop - but i think this is mostly due to the fact i didn't have any contact with this kinda stuff when i was young. and if you must know, i was brought up in a very liberal houshold (CND posters and communal houses!).

    most people, once they go into the 16-18 age bracket, their friends and their surroundings influence them more, but they will still have the preconceived ideas about what music is good and not so good. Its only once you get into the 18-25 and beyond this that people become less genre specific and more particular artists that they are attracted to. and again its still aesthics more than sound a lot of the time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    O_o wrote: »
    the whole "liked them before they were popular, don't like them now they are mainstream" crowd do my head in.

    It has nothing to do with them being mainstream. I used to get introduced to bands that would become big one or two years later. Why didn't I like them? Because the first song I heard by them was released again and overplayed. And it gets boring listening to the same song over & over again.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It does to a lot of people, as suddenly everyone likes them and it's no longer some sort of cool band only people "in the know" liked.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    though saying that there are many bands who i really liked their earlier stuff but their newer stuff has become a little too polished for my tastes, such as foo fighters and nine inch nails. But on the other hand, nirvana's last album was their best. I think when you're on an indie label you have a lot more creative freedom, unlike when you're on a major, and that transistion often happens as bands become more sucessful and thus more "mainstream"
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,214 Skive's The Limit
    I (thought I) made it clear in my post that I was speaking from my own experience and, in my experience, the majority of people who have ignorantly badmouthed my preferred type of music have been the aforementioned type of people

    You're ranting about generalisitions yet the term 'chav' is one tof the most popular generalisations in use today. It's not 'you experience' I'm making a point of it's the fact your using a word that is itself a generalisation.
    Again, to you 'chav' is justifiable generalisation yet when these 'chavs' generalise you it's unnaceptable?
    So either all words are ok or none are. It's called freedom of speech and you can't have it both ways.

    Your right you can't have it both ways. A generalisation is a generLIEsation.
    Prejudice is about holding a pre-conceived opinion about something you know little or nothing about.

    Or somebody!


    I understand where your coming from, BUT with other stuff you've posted it seems a little hyprocritical.


    I know it's easy to generalise but this place has taught me that ALL generalisations are wrong. Whetehr it be chavs goths clothes music taste in food etc etc ect.
    Try to see individuals rathe than groups. It's something I've taken a along tiem to learn.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tehfincheh wrote: »
    For the record, my favorite band is a psych art pop group with a lead singer who pretends that he's a black transexual she-male.

    Of Montreal are awesome!

    But other than that, I think that getting all pissed off because of musical prejudice is futile, really. I try not to be too prejudiced, but there are some types of music I just don't understand. I do bitch about music (sorry!) but it's more for the fun of bitching than out of actual prejudice.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    I like Westlife. Judge away :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You think rock fans get prejudiced reactions? Try being a folkie! Especially when you haven't got a big wild beard to hide behind...

    You have a big wild beard???? :eek:
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