A Difference Of Interests

According to the hype in the trending topics, if you are into a non-trending topic you are less than those who are trendy; including music taste, makeup, and clothing. 1There are over 7 billion different people on this Earth. Each one unique, just like the DNA and fingerprints they are born with. Now, some of these people have certain things in common- such as favorite colors, bands, and interests.

Such stigmatism's can be made specifically about certain people that are fans of heavy music. This includes the genres of metal, heavy metal, and thrash metal. Which have always been underlying genres in music- definitely not trending. People think those who listen to this music are more violent, angry, and overall on the brink of killing people. Which is definitely not true for all the fans of this form of music. This bias continues to persist to this day.

One amazing example of this is the West Memphis Three. This is a murder case were the justice system was swayed by such said biases against people who are nothing more the a little different. On May 5th 1993 there was a murder case opened. Three second grade boys were beaten, mutilated, bound, and killed. These boys were the namesake for the West Memphis Three. The police had no leads but were drawn to some teenage boys that wore all black, kept to themselves, and listened to very heavy metal, and rock and roll. The real rebels of ‘93. All joking aside these boys were convicted and sent to prison for crimes they did not commit all based on bias created by trends and marketing tactics.  In all marketing campaigns when you see pop artists their pictures and videos are usually very bright and colorful. While in heavy metal, rock, punk, and thrash music most pictures and videos are darker, and have a more serious motif. Usually the lyrics are about real life issues and feelings, while pop music is more about having fun and being cool. I am not saying that pop music is better or worse than other types of music, but I am definitely saying there is a huge bias against kids that listen to these ‘other’ kinds of music.  

I can definitely relate to this. Some of my favorite bands are Of Mice & Men, Bring Me The Horizon, Megadeth, and Nirvana. These bands are all classified as Heavy Metal or Rock & Roll. And because I listen to these bands and genuinely enjoy them people form opinions and biases against me. Like, “You’re probably going to grow up to be a serial killer”, “Are you a satanist?”,"You're on drugs aren't you?" and the most popular, “Are you a lesbian?”

Somehow listening to someone expressing their feelings in a more raw fashion means I have to be societies definition of undesirable. Just as the West Memphis Three were pegged. In metal music the singers and band pour their feelings into their songs and scream it out at the top of their lungs, they don’t pretend to be calm or collected. They make their thoughts sound how they feel. But if you openly admit that you have the same feelings and refuse to water them down you are dangerous. Being that you don’t feed into the same mass delusions of complete sanity that most people in today’s world do.

In the end the West Memphis Three were released and the true culprit- a church going, faithful, and reliable stepfather of one of the boys- was placed behind bars. And thank God the police aren't shared on any of my playlists- or I just might be in prison too.

Comments (4)

Raz Reed (Student 2016)
Raz Reed

Love this! You can relate to the people who were judged based on bias and that makes this paper all the better. It's clear you feel strongly about this, and that made me want to read it.

Anna Sugrue (Student 2016)
Anna Sugrue

Very interesting, I love how much you could relate to what was going on (especially in the conclusion). Some of your points were very strongly worded though, some that I don't quite agree with. It's good to share your opinion is a paper, and in this case I guess it's even better, because you see multiple layers, both the bias in the West Memphis Three case and your own bias towards heavy metal. It would be really interesting to see what kind of music members of the jury on the case listened to.

Morgan Caswell (Student 2016)
Morgan Caswell

I love your conclusion… Its actually kind of funny until you get to the bottom of it. And seeing as we share the same taste in music, I also understand the stigmatism of the genre. I like how you tied in the case of the boys who were murdered in West Memphis and how you show that this isn't a new thing.