Listen to death metal, don’t kill anyone

Yesterday was one year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting.

It’s my theory that these incidents are perpetuating itself. The more media coverage there is (and I’m not advocating that media NOT cover it), the more we think that this CAN happen. The idea gets incubated in mentally unstable people, and those two elements together lead to another tragedy.

I think all of us have some fleeting moments, passing thoughts, of random acts of violence. Sting has a song called “I Hung My Head” that discusses such possibilities. All of us CAN inflict violence randomly and for no reason.

Fortunately, for 99.9% of us, it’s just a fleeting thought. We don’t do what we can.

That said, I think anger and frustration are all very legitimate feelings. There are ways to live a life with minimal of such feelings, but once they enter your mind, you have to purge it out somehow. One thing I did learn — they NEVER go away by holding it in. Even for years. The longer it stays, the more it festers.

A good night’s sleep, great food, exercise and something that makes you laugh can go a long way toward alleviating pent-up emotions.

But when I really need to just purge, then I turn to music. A few minute of indulging in imaginative violence, so that I can turn it off at the end.

I’ve witnessed this in metal bands myself. When I was a stage manager at SXSW years ago, metal bands were my favorite to work with. They tended to be nice and mellow people — friendly and easy to work with. NOTHING like their music or on-stage demeanor.

My theory is that they just channel it out in their art and performance, so that there’s nothing left to carry over to the rest of their lives. There’s really no need. (I do wonder if the same is true for horror movie aficionados. If you are one, tell me your thoughts)

So — put your headphones on or better, lock yourself in a room where you can be loud and obnoxious. Turn it up to 11. Scream and slash around with it.

That’s metal experience at its best. I recommend In Flames — they are amazing.

Listen to metal. Don’t shoot people.