Thursday, October 02, 2014

Mastodon: "The Motherload" Video

Social Justice Warriors at It Again

So, Mastodon recently released a video for "The Motherload." Now, as I've said before, Mastodon had already released my two favorite songs of the last decade--"Curl of the Burl" and "Colony of Birchmen." Well, "The Motherload" is number three on that list. Just so you know where I'm coming from.

The video, in the band's long-standing practice, is silly. It's a parody of a 90's metal video which somehow turns into a dance contest (or really, a twerking contest) among a bunch of big-bottomed girls. Then it goes psychedelic in one of the funniest moments of music video history.*

So, what's the deal? Apparently, some people found it sexist. Or, more properly, one guy put himself out there to say that it was sexist in an effort to get attention. Maybe others have followed suit, I really don't know.

First of all, to that claim, the only real answer is "Fuck off." It's a metal music video. What exactly do you want out of it?

But I'll bite. If you're a regular reader, you already know where I stand on claims of social injustice in metal. No, I'm not a misogynist, but there is simply no place for social justice warriors in metal. Not only does metal not have a unifying agenda, but it's often transgressive. No one should be telling any metal band what they should or shouldn't do. Metal is not here to follow and reinforce ideal social norms.

Putting that aside for a moment to address the actual claim, it's impossible to back it up.** OK, yes, it does have women shaking their asses. A lot of them. But you'd have to be an idiot to watch this video and think that it's exploitative. It parodies exploitation, and the combination of sheer excess and overall tone make that quite clear. And if you're still not convinced, just look at the women's faces. Do they look like they feel exploited? On the contrary, they look empowered, and they look like they're having fun.

The only mistake Mastodon made was by responding in a slightly defensive posture. They should have just laughed it off, and all would be right with the world.

Only an adolescent would be turned on by this. Only a moron would be offended by it. For everyone else, it's just funny. So just knock it off already.

*I am really not qualified to make that claim. I don't really watch music videos much. But it is funny.
**See what I did there?


  1. Eh, there are plenty of people out there just looking for excuses to be offended on someone else's behalf. It's obnoxious, but there's not much to do besides ignore it.

  2. I thought the video was pretty funny. And I am loving the album too.