Monday, July 29, 2013
Metallica, "Am I Evil?"
"It was a cover of a song by the British band Diamond Head, a group I was completely unfamiliar with. The opening lines of the song deeply disturbed me, mostly because I misinterpreted the meaning (although I suspect the guys in Metallica did, too.) The lyrics described bottomless vitriol toward the songwriter's mother and a desire to burn her alive. The chorus was malicious and straightforward: 'Am I evil? Yes I am. Am I evil? I am man.'
I can't remember precisely what I thought when I first heard those words--I was a teenager, so it was probably something creative and contradictory, and I'm relatively positive I imagined a nonexistent comma after the fourth am. But I do remember how I felt. I was confused and I was interested. And if I could have explained my mental state at fourteen with the clarity of language I have as a forty-year-old, assume my reaction would have been the same complicated question I ask myself today: Why would anyone want to be evil?"
--Chuck Klosterman, Preface to I Wear the Black Hat