Know The Band Before You Buy The Shirt

Remember that whole thing we discussed? You know… cultural appropriation?

I crossed a line just by writing that sentence, I know… but I did it intentionally. I’m hoping that you’ll see after reading this that cultural appropriation is obviously not okay in more aspects than the ones we’ve discussed already. We’ve all decided that cultural appropriation is a thing we don’t like now, right?

What I’m wondering, is if we’ve forgotten that this applies to metalheads and rockers too.

Since, oh… 2002… my “uniform” (when I’m not at work anyway) was usually a band tee and jeans with a pair of converse or boots. Never once did I buy the shirt of someone that I didn’t actually listen to. There’s a reason for that.

Just as Native Americans hold their headdresses sacred (and consider it an honor to wear something that’s earned), metalheads hold our music sacred. It’s our blood. It’s our life juice. We choose to love that band because we feel a kinship with the creators of that music. We respect those people. We might even hold the same values that they do. For lack of better word, these bands contribute to our “tribe” and its sense of community. To wear a shirt representing a band that you actually know nothing about is also to make a mockery of the work they’ve put in. That’s just how I see it, anyway.

You’re totally welcome to feel like Kylie Jenner rocking “Metallica writing” isn’t a “big deal”, but if you do consider the following: we’re all talking about cultural appropriation, aren’t we? Why are subcultures within American society excluded from this?

Let me know what you think.