Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giving Blood Is Metal

I just got back from giving blood a few minutes ago. I plan to give as often as I can this year, for the first time. Let me tell you why.

Upon my return to blogging after the birth of my twins, I only hinted at what happened, saying that we were "moments away from 'exsanguination' being more than just a cool band name".* That's quite literally true. After the C-section, my wife kept losing blood. Copious amounts of blood. At one point she lost consciousness, and her blood pressure was so low the machine could not get a reading. The nurses had to hold her legs up to force blood into her brain. Luckily, the hospital's rapid response team arrived, and her doctor was nearby, so she was rushed to her second surgery of that day. Today, she is perfectly healthy.

She wouldn't be alive today if it were not for the six units of blood she received.

I shouldn't have to go into why blood is metal. There are 392 bands with "blood" in their name as a separate word, according to Metal Archives. It goes up to 764 if you also count "blood" in a compound word, such as Bloodbath. But why is giving blood metal?

1. They will check the iron level in your blood, to give you a scientific measure of how metal you are. My level is always quite high.

2. If you're too scared to get stuck, you have no business listening to metal in the first place.

3. If metal truly flows in your veins, as it does mine, then you are transferring a little bit of that metallic quality to some other person. If you could find that person right after they get your blood, and play them some Maiden, they would become an instant metalhead. True story.

4. Anything involving blood is metal. Period.

If you have a job, check with your boss, because they may give you time off to do it. If not, do it anyway on your own time.So, get the fuck out there and start donating. You will feel awesome about yourself. Seriously, you will feel like you could be on a Manowar cover.

Also, know that if you're going somewhere to sell your blood, instead of giving it away, then you're a sellout.

(*Exsanguination is a death/thrash band from Japan, apparently.)


  1. I know a guy who doesn't make a lot of money and his 4 year old daughter has leukemia. He sells his plasma twice a week to make ends meet. Yeah. God-damned sellout.

  2. Woah there Misk... talk about taking something a little too personally. I'm sure he's talking in a more general sense about people who don't need the money as a matter of life and death (which accurately describes most of us).

    Incidentally, I like reason #4.

  3. Eh, everyone who sells out has their reasons, some better than others.

    I'm not sure if you're taking it too personally or if you're trying to troll me. Either way, misguided.

  4. Maybe I am taking it too personally but I don't see how my comment is misguided. I might buy your little hedge here if you hadn't utilized the extremely judgmental and condemning adjective "God-damned". The whole tone of your article here is very smug. What, I'm supposed to think you're some kind of magnanimous soul because you don't sell your blood? No one likes the guy who prattles on about all the charity work he's doing.

  5. I've attempted to give blood twice. Neither time was a pleasant experience. I was unable to give either time for some reason or another.

  6. @ Metallattorney: At least you tried. Most people who are eligible to give blood don't even try. A bit less than 38% of the population is eligible to give blood, but only about 5% of eligible donors do. But 25% of us will need blood at some point. (Stats from the Red Cross and the Mayo Clinic.) I have known people who had bad experiences, though, including serious bruising and/or fainting. I can't blame them for not doing it anymore. But there are many who've never even tried it. I was until a couple years ago one of those. There was a period of about 7 or 8 years that I was eligible and had never done it. I'm sorry that I didn't.

    For anyone else reading this, please know that bad experiences are not the norm. "Two most common reasons cited by people who don't give blood are: 'Never thought about it' and 'I don't like needles.'" If you haven't thought about it, now you have. If you're scared of needles, you have no business in metal. And only 31% of donors in a year are first-time donors, while 50% are regular donors. So a large proportion of people do it repeatedly--i.e., it was not a bad experience. The worst thing it has ever done to me was reduce my capacity for exercise for a couple weeks (everyday physical activity is unaffected, except stairs for the first couple days).

    @ Miskatonic: Your earlier response and this response show that you've completely missed the point I'm making. This is not intended as bragging. It's a call to action for a cause I feel strongly about. It's also not intended as condescending. It's meant to make people think about it, and to make the right decision.

    I'm not sure which part of it sounds smug. I keep re-reading it and I'm just not picking up on that. Mild humor, yes. Encouragement, yes. Guilt-tripping, yes. Appeal to metal values, yes. Smugness, no.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is, I'm trying to do something good for a humanitarian cause here. I want people to donate blood. Don't try to turn it into something else.

    1. Okay, you're right, the tone of the post is not as smug as I pointed out. But, I didn't miss the point of your article. I was fully aware that you were attempting to encourage people to give blood. That is commendable and I should have given you the commensurate praise before moving on to my criticism. Maybe the problem with this article is the desultory(finally, I get to use that word in a sentence!) shifts in tone. I dunno. I just thought the final sentence touched off a retroactive ripple-effect that tainted the point of your article.

  7. Thanks for the comment. I have removed the offending adjective.

  8. For some reason whenever blood is directly removed from my body I pass out. This rather puts a damper on my desire to give blood.