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Mission Statement

on .

Calling all true headbangers! Join the fight! It’s time to take back that which is rightfully ours and return “the Metal Horns” to their one true home and former metal glory!
The OnionI first became conscious of the misuse of the “Metal Horns” when I read a article a few years ago in the brilliant, sarcastic, fictitious, weekly newspaper “The Onion”.  It was entitled “Metal Council Convenes To Discuss 'Metal Hand Sign' Abuse” and it was a hysterical send up on how it seemed everyone was “throwing the Metal Horns” and for all the wrong reasons.  I remember laughing and thinking to myself, “Yeah, there really are a lot of people using the horns these days.”  But that was the end of it.

John RichA couple of years later I was asked to be a part of a new reality show called “Gone Country.”  The idea for the program was simple: take non-country music singers and subject them to an intense two weeks of “education” to the country way of life and music style and teach us how to be country music stars.  Heading down to Nashville, the heart of the Country Western world, I fully expected to be bombarded by iconic imagery and philosophy.  What I was not prepared for, was repeated posing and photographs by the show’s host (John Rich) and other country music icons, decked out in their country music finest (you know, boots, hats, ties, horses, the works) throwing the heavy metal horns.  Some with big, teethy southern smiles and others with snarling faces and mouths wide open.  You know...the metal face.

LonghornsTo say the least I was stunned.  Not only was this musical genre crossing to the “nth” degree, but a clear violation of the “Mason Dixon Accord of 1856” signed at the end of the Civil War.  To sum up pages and pages of rhetoric, legalese and political bullshit, it says: “You don’t fuck with our shit and we won’t fuck with yours.” or something like that.  Bottom line: This genre crossing was never supposed to happen.

And I don’t want to hear any of this bullshit about country fans throwing the “Hook ‘em Horns” in tribute to The University of Texas, Longhorns football team.  A) Nobody makes the “snarling metal face” when throwing the Hook ‘em Horns, and B) These misappropriators of our metal symbol are nowhere near a football game in these photos.  I call bullshit.

Hanna MontanaYou know how when you hear a new word or see a new actor or anything you hadn’t noticed before, suddenly you’re seeing it/them everywhere?  Well, it seemed like I couldn’t open a magazine or turn on the television from that point on without seeing some usurper to our symbol, “throwing the Metal Horns!”  And not just Country Western artists.  Hip Hop artists, pop singers, jam bands, boy bands, jazz musicians, pop divas, pop divos, R&B singers, ‘tween rockstars, hell, I even saw a photo of Miley Cyrus--Miss Hanna Montana herself--throwing the horns...and smiling!  What the hell is going on?!

But it doesn’t stop there.  The Metal Horns, once thrown exclusively at heavy metal concerts or in the act of doing something “metal,” are now being thrown everywhere and being entirely misused!  I submit for you consideration exhibits A-C:

Exhibit A:
Jon Bon JoviI was in a clothing store and heard a customer ask some preppy sales girl to find a specific sized, pair of pants for her.  Upon  aking the requested item off the shelf, the sales girl...threw the Metal Horns!  That’s not metal!  That’s not even an accomplishment worthy of any sort of celebration.  The Girlscouts give out merit badges for doing pretty much anything--and they give a badge out for that!  It should be noted that a Bon Jovi song was playing on the instore music system.  No I don’t remember which one!  I have a theory about Bon Jovi’s culpability in the abuse of the metal horns.  I’ll explain later.***

Exhibit B:
While waiting in line at a grocery store, I saw a middle-aged guy struggling at the “self check out lane.”  You know, the one where you run the barcode on your items across the sensor, it registers the price, tallies up your purchases and you pay the machine... hopefully without assistance?  Well, upon successfully completing the purchase of his six items...the idiot threw the Metal Horns!  What the hell is that?!  Sure those self check lanes can be a bitch, and successfully navigating one is an accomplishment of sorts, but throwing the horns?!  To top it off, there was nothing remotely metal about this guy (i.e. rock t-shirt, tattoo, pierced ear, long hair, etc.).  Note: There was a photo of Jon Bon Jovi on the cover of a nearby magazine smiling.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.***

Bathroom HornsExhibit C:
I was at the airport waiting for my wife to come out of the bathroom.  Standing across from the exit so I had full view of everyone who leaving the rest rooms, I saw a little boy, five or six years old tops, walk out of the men’s room, still adjusting his fly.  A woman, who had been standing near me, called out to the child, “How did it go Jimmy?”  I could tell from her tone that she was his mom and this was one of Jimmy’s first forays into a public men’s room alone.  Jimmy looked up at his Mom, smiled ear to ear...and threw the Metal Horns!  What?!  To make matters worse...Mom threw little Jimmy the horns back!  That’s just not right!  And Mommy was wearing a Bon Jovi shirt!  The evidence mounts!***

What was once a symbol of solidarity and rebellion exclusively for a community of metal heads, has now become a casual symbol, signifying any modicum of success at anything or just something to do with your hands in any photo that isn’t a wedding picture or a mug shot (though I have seen the horns thrown in one or two wedding photos).

This is wrong!  Name one thing the metal community has appropriated from any other genre.  Okay, we took the denim and leather jackets from the biker community...but they’re cool with it.  I think.  But other than that?  Exactly!
Now far be it from me to cast blame or throw anybody under the bus for this trend...but I blame Bon Jovi.  I believe it was their song “Wanted Dead or Alive” and it’s rampant incorporation of country music style and lyrics in the song and visual imagery in the video, that basically said to the purveyors of country music, “The treaties off,” and the flood gates opened.  Jon Bon Jovi himself further compounded this violation with his solo record “Blaze of Glory” for the movie “Young Guns”.***  Once the Country music had appropriated our symbol, it became fair game for every other musical (and not so musical) genre to use our horns.  Thanks Jon (without an “h”)!

Dee Snider HornsWell, enough is enough.  It’s time we--the heavy metal community--take our horns back!  We need to lay down the law and reclaim that which is rightfully ours.  Let’s identify the perpetrators/ violators and let them know that they are treading on sacred ground!  Let’s post photos of celebrity violators on this website and send them e-mails, citations and letters calling them out on their misuse and demanding they cease Metal Horn usage!  We will let them know that we know...and we don’t like it.

And as far as, Joe and Jane Non Headbanger go, we need to publicly call them out and shun them (there’s nothing quite like a good shunning) for their misuse of the horns and issue them warnings against any future use. (You will find an easy to print form available on this site.)  We must let them all know that we--the heavy metal community--are watching...and we’re not gonna take it anymore! (I had to get that in there somewhere.)

So join me, join all true headbangers--join the fight--to take back that which is rightfully ours and return the Metal Horns to their former metal glory!  
And if I’ve left something out, or you disagree with any of my observations and assessments, please let me know.  I welcome any true metal fans input.
Because if it ain’t metal...IT’S CRAP!
Metal Nation
***In the interest of complete disclosure it should be noted that I tend to blame Bon Jovi for pretty much everything wrong in the world.  The death of 80’s metal, the failing record industry, the crumbling economy, the Bush presidency, etc. are all Bon Jovi’s fault.  While I can back each of my accusations with statistics, solid arguments and physical evidence, my wife Suzette insists that I’m just jealous because Bon Jovi continues to be successful and Jon Bon Jovi is handsome.  There may be some truth to this.