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


M said...

ha, maybe it's a lot less boring to be evil than it is to be good?

Ben Apatoff said...

That's often the case. It's hard for me to think of many instances where the good guy is more interesting than the bad guy.

bearicaquinn said...


Ben Apatoff said...

Thank you for reading.