BEAST Metal Geek is Mad
Like many suburban white kids who don’t get to be part of the popular clique, I acquired a taste for heavy metal in my high school years. There were plenty of metal bands I was (and still am) into — Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Slayer, etc. — but the band I identified with the most was Megadeth. The pissed off ravings of Dave Mustaine really spoke to me. Whether he was rallying against the negative influence of religion on “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due,” or the military industrial complex on “Hangar 18,” I understood what he was saying, and as someone who was new to being a bleeding heart liberal, it felt like it mattered.
Now, however, all that is gone forever. In recent years, Mustaine had shifted to the right a little bit, becoming a born-again Christian, and his last album had a song called “We The People” which seemed to just be a straight up endorsement of the Tea Party.
This was disconcerting, but nothing to get too worked up about. Now, however, Mustaine has truly gone often the deep end, endorsing Rick Santorum for President. Rick Fucking Santorum?! Are you shitting me, dude?! The most vile, racist, homophobic piece of shit in a race crawling with them? That’s just fucking low.
It wouldn’t have shocked me too much if he had endorsed Ron Paul. Mustaine seems like the kind of guy who screams about liberty in a way where you’re not completely sure what he’s talking about. But no, my heavy metal hero had to go all the way into the deep end, endorsing the absolute worst of the worst.
Why does this matter, you ask? After all, as Chuck Klosterman pointed out, it’s not like this is going to actually help Santorum. It’s because this a complete betrayal of everything I thought Dave Mustaine stood for. He seemed like a crusader for the little guy, someone who actually cared about the outcasts of the world. Not in a sloganeering sort of way like Lady Gaga, but in a way that was actually relatable. If he thinks a man who wants to treat gay people as less than human should be president, however, then I know that was all a lie.
Additionally, so many of Mustaine’s classic lyrics seem like utter bullshit now. Like the aforementioned “Holy Wars…” Its opening line spoke against “killing for religion, something I don’t understand.” So wait, killing for religion is wrong, but justifying hatred on the basis of religion is fine? And in “Hangar 18,” he delivers the immortal line “military intelligence/two words combined that can’t make sense,” but he’s cool with a President who wants to bomb the fuck out of Iran as soon as possible? Both those lyrics came from the Rust In Peace album, which Megadeth was performing in its entirety as recently as 2010. Why sing that shit if you clearly don’t believe it, Dave?
So yeah, I’ve loved Dave Mustaine and Megadeth for a long time, but now, he can fuck off. In the immortal words of the Simpsons’ Jimbo Jones, “You’ve changed, man! I don’t believe in nuthin’ no more, I’m goin’ to law school!”
UPDATE: Apparently, Dave saw how pissed everyone was getting about this, and released a statement on Megadeth.com saying that he never truly endorsed Santorum. This feels like blatant backpeddling, though. His exact words were “I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House next year … and that it’s Rick Santorum.” Even if he didn’t actually use the word “endorse,” it doesn’t matter. That quote is practically the definition of an endorsement. Just like Metallica can’t undo the damage they did to Mustaine’s psyche when they kicked him out, Mustaine can’t undo this dumbassery.