Recently my day job required me to get a work-related Twitter account. In attempting to overcome my aversion to social networking, I have discovered two things.
1.) Twitter is a hotbed for moronic discourse.
2.) I can connect to metal bands and blogs, which makes me feel less lame about twatting.
That was until this week, when the critically and commercially huge White Stripes called it a day. Before I had time to form an opinion, it seemed as if all my Twitter connections had expressed one. One compared the band to "a fart in a spacesuit." Another declared that the duo "exemplify douche (sic) in audio form."
These decrees were not from anonymous metalheads. These were from respected metal bloggers whose writing I usually enjoy.
In general, metalheads are the friendliest music fans that I know. Jim DeRogatis was correct to observe (to the best of my memory) that the best place to have a flat tire is outside of a metal concert. Headbangers have minimal pretenses, are almost always open-minded and usually respect each other's tastes and ideas. The next time you're at a metal bar, observe the Metallica fans buying shots for the Goatwhore devotees, and vice versa. It's almost unfathomable to find the same sort of cordiality in any of Williamsburg's scenester hideouts.
So why are some of the best metal bloggers ragging on the White Stripes? Do they feel threatened by hipster exclusivity? Or are they just being jerks? Pitchfork's editors might celebrate if Lamb of God broke up, but that's no reason for us to stoop to their level.
It's fine to dislike the White Stripes' music, and of course it's fine to express that opinion. I can't wait for people to go back to doing that in an intelligent, non-elitist way.