Remember the band Korn?
Yeah, unfortunately I do too. However, it seems more and more of the members of the band are trying desperately to forget it.
Several years ago Brian ‘Head’ Welch quit Korn and found Jesus. Then about a year and a half ago ‘Head’ published a book (and soon after an album) titled ‘Save me From Myself’. Awash cover art reminiscent of Dave McKean and towering praise from Christian groups everywhere ‘Head’ had found a way to turn the sinking ship of his lame ass band and his drug addiction into a new career move – self help rock!*
And what a career move this has turned out to be. Go on over to http://www.brianheadwelch.net to noodle around. I hate to give his site any traffic but this is research, and you’ve got to know what you’re up against, right? Go read his bio and see how this is apparently really working for the guy.
I’ve perused the book for amusement and it appears to be a big self-righteous parade over how fucked up he was and how saved he is now. The album I’ve seen on the shelf (hard to miss with that same Dave McKean knock-off art) but I do not believe I have the constitution for it. I hate Korn and all of the people that make their kind of music, and furthermore when people do what ‘head’ is doing I tend not to believe it’s all that real. On his page, in the Bio section you will find this little tidbit, “Head made clear to the music world that he had not retired from the
music and entertainment industry. With his newfound calling, Head is
committed to changing the youth of this nation through his music and
other entertainment ventures.” Now see, I don’t have any problem with people believing in a god or Jesus. Hey, in this world of assholes and idiots** whatever it takes to make you a better person, that’s great. The problem of course comes in when these people who become ‘Saved’ start to try and ‘change the youth.’ Oh yeah, Mr. Head, and changing the youth will of course be based around the youth buying your book, album and ‘other entertainment ventures.’
Do you see that? The guy actually uses the term ‘ventures’. Not ideas, not art, not even projects. Ventures. How many artists call their work ‘ventures’?
None. It’s the people who capitalize on the artists who use that term. ‘Head’ has just shown his true colors: he saw a market and took it, jumping from the flopping fish of nu metal to the amazingly lucrative arena of Self-Help/Christian marketing.
The self-help through Christ thing is different than Christian rock and lit, which merely sucks instead of being dangerous.
Let me explain.
If you’ve been in a bookstore, virtual or brick-n-mortar in the last five years you’ve seen the exponential increase of all things Self Help. Everything is fucked up in our society, population is out of control, people are poor, scared, confused and looking for someone, anyone to help them, because they’ve certainly learned through tv shows and reality ‘programming’ that they are not going to be able to do it themselves. It’s the rock bottom scenario and if you’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting face to face a born-againer then you know what I’m talking about. Most of these people will judge you, argue with you, and ‘pray for you’, trying to convince you that you need to change the same as they did. Well, anyone who has even the most rudimentary bullshit detector can see that they are not really trying to convince you or anyone else to believe at all – what they are really trying to do is convince themselves. It is no coincidence that every born again Christian I have ever met was a recovered drug addict, sex addict, whatever. They use their new ‘belief’ as their new drug and they talk about it and laud it over everyone else constantly because they still have this big hole where their vice used to go and the only way they have to attempt to fill it now isn’t with cock or coke, it’s with Christ***.
I’m not trying to be offensive, as I said above, your beliefs are your beliefs and no one should assault them. That is not my intention. Rather, my assault is on these people who assault everyone else with their beliefs – it’s made a market out of eager consumerist weaklings looking to throw money at their own hole by way of buying these books as shallow attempts to change their lives and become better people. But guess what folks?
IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT!!!
I’m not a huge fan of the celebrity atheist movement that has sprung up in rebuttal to the Christians either (dogma in all it’s forms seems the root of the problem to me) but one thing I agree with all of them from Penn and Teller to Richard Dawkins to Christopher Hitchens is that in this day and age, where the bulk of the ‘Christian Nation’ is getting as whipped up and rabid as the Muslim extremists, these beliefs are dangerous. D.A.N.G.E.R.O.U.S. When different beliefs fuel conflict, from the armed battles overseas to the dangerous rabble-rousing of Hannity, Coulter and their ilk, things get scary. Here in the U.S. the proliferation of stupid, pointless terms like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ are bringing a lot of stuff to boil that should just be remanded to the old ‘you say potato, I say potato’ arena. In case you haven’t noticed people aren’t very happy or very nice, and it seems to be especially the case in the Christian camp where they’re supposed to be ‘living and let living’ or ‘turning the other cheek’.
I don’t think Coulter claiming that the widows of men who died in the 911 tragedy ‘enjoyed their husbands deaths’ is turning the other cheek. Yet Coulter is a popular icon for the Christian right and one a lot of people in that camp seem to derive so much strength from.
And now here’s ‘ol Heady to join the assembly line of the saved.
And good grief again – now here’s where we come full circle and I get to pick on Korn some more. With Heady’s success guess what? Another ex-Korn guy, this time ‘fieldy’ has turned to the confessional/change your life crusade. I’m simply amazed that someone could be so lame. Really, it’s like those people who have such an absolute void of an identity so they dedicate themselves to imitating their best friend or favorite movie star.
Sad, so sad.
So ‘Fieldy’ has a new book out and it has the same kind of ‘I’m persecuted and have survived so many trials’ (he’s actually crucified on guitars on the cover) artwork and title, ‘got the life: my journey of addiction, faith, recovery and korn’. Is this ridiculous or what? I mean, what’s next? Will yet another member of this washed up faux metal douche squad find god and give up drugs and alcohol? Only time will tell, but considering one of korn’s albums was titled ‘follow the leader’ I’d imagine the answer is yes.
* I can only imagine that soon Dr. Phil and Laura Schlussyfingers will both come out with Self Help Rock aimed at teens. God help us.
** Once the apparent name of a night club in Mokena!!!
*** There’s a great quote I read years ago (forgot who said it, Grant
Morrison maybe?) ‘You can’t blame Jesus for the cult started in his
name’ and I think that’s fairly poignant.