Recently I have been following a discussion on Facebook regarding Glastonbury festival booking Metallica to headline the Pyramid Stage. The thrust of the argument seems to be that since the festival is closely linked to environmental, animal welfare and a number of other “Green” issues, using a headline act fronted by someone who is also (a few weeks before the festival kicks off) fronting a history channel documentary on Bear Hunting on Kodiak Island goes against the stated “Green” ideals of the festival itself. The page currently has about £16K likes. For the record, I am not a die-hard Metallica fan. I do like their music, but I also hate hunting for sport
I don’t believe the organisers see any possibility of removing Metallica. In fact the Admin has posted there a few times that they like the music themselves so I am not even sure they actually want them removed. It seems that the general aim is to use the public profile of Metallica to increase awareness of the issue of big game hunting, and to nudge the organisers of the festival in the direction of giving a lot more consideration to which artists they choose to have at the festival, in light of their “green” reputation.
I very much doubt that Michael Eavis has a lot to do with booking the acts that play the festival. Even so the pro bear hunt brigade had made a big deal out of Michael Eavis’ known support of the Badger Cull , and the fact that he has allowed the hunt on his land. Having trawled a few hunt sab sites I found a video of the hunt on the land but nothing to suggest that they had been chasing a fox there at the time. There are also other artists at this festival that support fox hunting, most noted is Bryan Ferry who is headlining on the West Holts stage this year. None of this negates the issue put forward by the admin of the Remove Metallica page….but it does highlight the need for the actual festival organisers to look at how they can continue to claim to be a “Green” festival if they don’t address some of these issues.
There is something about internet based campaigns that seems to unleash the worst in some people. Alongside each person who has joined the page and put forward polite and reasoned arguments in favour of retaining Metallica as a headline act, you have more who seem to be taking this as a personal slight against their own point of view, or against the type of music Metallica plays.
The pro blood sports lobby is nothing if not predictable, and sadly lacking in imagination: All the old favourite insults are getting hauled out of mothballs. Hippy, Hipster, Tree Hugger, Hypocrite, Pussies, Gay (?), Middle Class Tosser, the list could go on and on but you get the gist. All of these terms are liberally thrown around because somewhere deep down they have to realise, essentially, that there is really no way one can justify hunting down and killing something just for the hell of it whilst claiming to be an intelligent, rational, and civilized human being. Once you start to see this you can assume that they have pretty much exhausted their own intellect. In some cases, this does not take that long. What is even sadder is that they actually believe that this discredits their opposition when in reality it only serves to discredit their own arguments and make them look stupid. It’s easy to shoot an animal from a safe distance with a high velocity weapon. It’s easy to bully people who you can’t see.
When I was considering writing this blog this morning, I had an online chat to the admin of this particular page; he seems like a reasonable bloke, and apparently is now not only being told to go and kill himself on the page, people are also contacting him by PM offering to do the job themselves. Maybe they should grab themselves a sense of perspective?. Do they honestly think it is the act of a sane and rational person to make death threats in writing because of a rock band they like, and because someone else is voicing an opinion on blood sports? The Admin seemed pragmatic about it all – they are obviously a lot more tolerant of this sort of arseholism than I would be. I guess some people feel safe hiding behind a computer…and others feel safe with a rifle in their hand hiding from bears behind a tree.