November 4, 2011
GWAR and mainstream media
Now that the heyday of the PMRC is behind us, the only time you're likely to see an article about a band like GWAR in a paper like the New York Times is when one of their members is arrested for a heinous violent crime, or dies. Sadly, GWAR lost its guitarist of the last ten or so years, Cory Smoot, yesterday when he was mysteriously found dead on the tour bus. Cause of death isn't known yet, but the guy was only 34 years old.
As tragic as this news is, it's a wonderful opportunity to see the mainstream media try to explain it to its readership, which comprises a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the satirical heavy metal genre.
From the Times' piece:
GWAR was formed in Richmond, Va., in the mid-1980s and is known for its sci-fi costumes, raunchy lyrics and graphic stage performances, often touching on political and morally taboo themes. Its shows sometimes include phony decapitations and disembowlments of people wearing the masks of public figures. The theatrical conceit of the group is that they are intergalactic warriors, descended from aliens stranded in Antarctica who came to Earth to turn humans into sex slaves.
Thank you, newspaper of record, for publishing that last sentence.
The Washington Post includes an overview of GWAR's costumes,
then they go even further, quoting subjective descriptions of attending a GWAR concert from 2004 to help its readers experience the magnitude of this loss:
And Slate made a cool short video about the news, featuring gloriously apocalyptic footage of GWAR videos and shows.
RIP, Mr. Maximus. We bow our Cro-Magnon skulls in your honor (and really, really wish we'd gone to a GWAR concert while you were alive.)
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