On Separating Fictional Evil from Real Evil: Inquisition’s Dagon

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Well, by now, I’m sure if you’re a member of the metal community, you’ve probably read the news over on MetalSucks, that Dagon from Inquisition plead guilty to child pornography related charges around 2009.  These charges are child porn related, and the dude went to a sex rehab to read up on normal sexuality for fuck’s sake.  The story alleges that Dagon (Jason Weirbach)’s marriage was struggling and in an effort to spice it up, he had his wife dress up as a little girl, and she got the feeling he was checking out kiddie porn.  Well, turns out he was, and the police came for him.

Dude wasn’t spanking it to Jenna Jameson or Sasha Grey, okay? They don’t come for you for that.  So don’t @ me with some bullshit about how MetalSucks.net made this all up, as Neill wrote in his piece, they aren’t that creative.  I don’t have much love in my heart for MetalSucks but holy lord, charges related to pedophilia don’t just fall out of the sky because Axl Rosenberg doesn’t like your favey band, okay?

Now, okay, I read about this on a friend’s facebook before the story broke and I found myself in a position where metal was crossing over into things I deal with in my dayjob.  Without revealing too much of my powerlevel, I work in a capacity with people who have mental health issues.  In the past few years, almost all of the people I have worked with have been abused, and almost all of them have been abused as children, and most of these cases included a sexual component.  I have watched these people struggle to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives, because when they were innocent and young, and when they most needed protection, the people there to do just that, stole that innocence and taught these people that the world is a vile place.  As a result, these people find themselves a part of the system, using substances, struggling to cope, and some find themselves dead far too young, because sometimes, the demons of their past get the best of them.

And this brings me to where it all stands now.

After news of these charges broke, I noticed that my social media was heavily divided amongst my metal friends, which is not a surprise.  It’s been happening more and more lately, truth be told.  On one side of my facebook are staunch anarcho punk atheists, and on the other, those would trumpet free speech, vague crypto fascism, and argue for hours on tiny pieces of semantics related to bands they don’t even really like, simply to show the “snowflakes” who are in charge.  Nothing like showing the world how unoffended you are by blowing up someone’s DMs, but hey.  I mean, obviously there’s more nuance to it all than that, but I’m being facetious.  The Taake Nazi debate raged on my facebook for WEEKS.  I still see posts about it for fuck’s sake.  And in many ways, I get that debate more than I get this one.

I didn’t expect to see people..  dare I say it, DEFENDING Dagon?  Especially people I know, people I respect, people whose opinions I value, who I’ve shared beers with..  Where did all of that go wrong.  I suppose I wasn’t surprised.  Part of my job is to not be surprised.  When you’re surprised, you’re off balance, and when you’re off balance, that’s when people get hurt.  I pride myself on being stoney, stoic, and hard.  And yet, with some of these comments speaking in defense of Dagon, I found myself disgusted.  Comments ranged from saying:

“well he only looked at these images out of curiosity” 

“he’s an evil guy, you can’t expect people who make evil music to be good people”

“who cares what someone did ten years ago?”

“it’s just a fetish”

etc etc etc etc

A friend of mine who now writes his own web comic Life The Necropolis, once said to me that metal is the joke the audience never got, and he’s right.  In more ways than I can write about coherently for this article, he is right.  Somewhere along the line, fictional evil, pretend evil, has become blurred with real evil and we have grown oddly desensitized. For people who would use “being evil” in defense of pedophilia I respond with:

“WE MOSH AND WE FALL
WE’RE ONE AND FOR ALL
IT’S JUST ALL EVIL ALL OF THE TIME”

Remember how fucking dumb this song sounded? It’s how you sound. Dumb.

There’s a difference between fictional evil, and real evil that makes a veteran cop puke.

Is this really where we are as a scene and as people that you like a band so much you’re willing to excuse literally the worst possible shit because of “the riffs” or because of those super cool Peter Beste photographs that you and your friends wish you could reenact if only you had a scythe and access to snow but you don’t because you live in California?

I kinda thought we would all draw the line here.  I know drawing lines isn’t really kvlt or tr00, but I kinda assumed we would all be on the same page about child molestors/pedophiles and burying them under the prison.

One of my close friends, and a long time supporter of the site has a teen son who hangs out with us.  I do not, myself, have children, but I’m telling you right now, with all of the rage that I can muster up in my position as a woman who is not a mother – if anything was to happen to that child, if anyone was to ever hurt him, I would go to jail because the person responsible for hurting him would be in a morgue.

Which leads me to my next piece – do the people who speak in defense of Dagon not have children in their lives?  Young siblings, children of friends, children of their own, children in their apartment buildings, kids who come to your work?  Nothing?

Would you not do anything in your power to protect those kids?  If not…  then why?

I probably will never have children of my own, I don’t much see myself in a role as a parent, but I would happily give my own life to protect my friend’s son.

But I guess that isn’t tr00 or necr0 or kvlt of me, I suppose.

But the part of me that loves metal music, that uses it to express the difficult feelings I wrestle with inside, the feelings of being oppressed, and an outsider, feelings of being so full of rage and sorrow, and sometimes, even hate..  that part of me knows that the music I’m listening to is a fiction and represents a figurative part of me.  And my ability to defend pretend evil in music, ends when real evil happens.

Are we so lost in loyalty to an arguably crappy band, or set of riffs that people who commit sexual assaults, horrific racists, literal and actual Nazis, and now, fucking pedophiles are worthy of defense simply because we own some of their music, or wear their T-shirts or have their patches on our jackets?

My line of work puts me in touch with real evil, real horror, and it is this type of work that has ensured that no horror film will ever come close to mastering the reality of real evil, because the evil we do to each other is not accurately put onto film.  I don’t need real evil in my music, when I carry enough of it with me when I leave my job.  Sometimes when I leave work I have to drive straight to the gym and run until my lungs feel like they are going to burst because I keep thinking about something I learned, or there’s a specific case file I just can’t shake.  It seems counter productive to run away from real evil to the soundtrack of real evil.  I listen to metal primarily while at the gym.  I guess I’m glad that when I got my new iPod I never bothered to put Inquisition on there.

One of the comments that stood out to me, came from a friend of mine, about how what Dagon did was a fetish and it happened years ago and he was wanking to whatever in his own home. And it pointed out that he hadn’t abused children himself. This is true. Maybe he hadn’t. However, the demand for child pornography keeps abusers making it. If there was no demand, people wouldn’t be making it. People would still abuse children of course. However, this isn’t a victimless crime. Dagon isn’t somehow existing within a vaccuum of his actions. They don’t exist in some unknown time and space. He may not have abused children but he is complicit in their abuse.

But maybe I’m still caught up thinking about the suicide of someone I know who was abused as a child. The people who jerked off to the pictures of her being abused may not have raped her. But they served as incentive for someone to rape her. She killed herself. She was 22. The blood of her death is on all of those dirty hands.

The disconnect to make a comment like that is nothing short of astounding, it is ghoulish and it is not okay.

But if we celebrate these actions of evil, I’m curious why black metal bands and metal bands in general don’t celebrate when their vans get broken into and all their shit stolen. That’s evil. That’s crime. But, right.. we only celebrate evil when it isn’t done to us. I challenge anyone to comment on the next sad gofundme after some band gets their shit jacked that the people who jacked said shit are cool dudes because they were just being kvlt kosmic satanists. See how that goes for you.

Writing this post makes me sad.  It makes me exhausted and depressed.  I know people are garbage on a whole, but shit like this makes me want to never log onto facebook again, makes me question why the fuck I bother to read the comments. And in some ways it makes me question why I don’t just pull the plug and listen to Human Music a la Rick and Morty.

The only thing I suppose that keeps me going with writing about metal is that for every piece of filth like Jason Weirbach, there’s twenty other bands who just recorded a demo.  There’s new music coming out constantly.  I opened my inbox this morning and got sent so much great shit from new bands.  And maybe that’s it for some people.  Like Neil wrote in his piece, it’s okay to walk away from bands, there’s new bands doing great shit everyday.  I guess that’s what I comfort myself with.

Because I don’t even know anymore.

For all of you people who confuse real evil with the fictional, you could never do what I do. It’s easy to excuse evil when you don’t live with it, when you are not haunted by it. In fact, it’s easy to be evil. It’s harder to empathize. It’s harder to swallow down your ego and act with beneficence in a world that sucks donkey balls at the best of times. It’s much harder to be kind.

But like I said before in my writing, kindness isn’t kvlt.

But what do I know, I’m just a false, and I shall not entry.

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You can find Robin on twitter.

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One response to “On Separating Fictional Evil from Real Evil: Inquisition’s Dagon

  1. I really like your post, it’s one of the more thoughtful pieces I’ve read on the issue. I’ve thought about this issue a bit over the past few days for a number of reasons. I was happening by coincidence to be listening to Inquisition’s latest album just prior to reading the story of his earlier settlement and had planned to see them in concert in a few months. The moment I read of his crime I had to stop listening and instantly knew whether the show was cancelled or not that I would be unable to attend. As liberal as I am I am also big on separating art from artist but this is a case in which it is too much for me to do so for all of the reasons you mention in your piece. Time will tell if I can revisit their albums which I already own but I know I can’t spend my money on seeing or purchasing anything they do from here on out. Those justifying such heinous behavior because “it’s supposed to be dark” baffle the hell out of me. That all said, I keep considering something. Putting aside what you or I may think of their music, metal, etc.—if I’m reading the case correctly (and correct me if I’m wrong) Dagon settled out of court about 10 years ago for looking at images featuring exploited children on his computer. His settlement involved paying fines and attending court ordered mental counseling. So, wouldn’t that mean that he “paid for his crime” in the same sense that he would have if he’d been sentenced to prison and served his time? I’m assuming if he was looking at such horrid things he is a damaged person and if my limited knowledge of the issue is correct the odds are he himself was at one point a victim of abuse (as this is usually a cyclical thing). So in that case, a victim of abuse commits a crime but at least maintains enough control to not physically abuse another child himself—and then pays for his crime, seeks counseling, and unless another story emerges appears to not resort back to his criminal ways again? Knowing what I know of him I can’t support his work financially. But I wonder if that is b/c I have such an instinctive (rightfully so) aversion to the type of crime he committed. If he paid for his crime and changed then are we (collectively) punishing him by stripping him of his livelihood? I am sorry if I sound apologist, I am in no way trying to excuse him for what he did it’s just something I’ve questioned. He was already a sketchy person in my book and I had to “overlook” his possible fetishization with nazism to listen to his work (with the excuse that it wasn’t part of the music his band made) so I’m not looking for a reason to return to his work, just thinking. Like you said, a million other great bands out + more every day.

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