Despite a great deal of apologetics to the contrary, many of AC/DC’s songs very clearly preach violence. Apologists claim ‘Shoot to Thrill’ is simply about sex, but even if it is it can only be about violent sex without consent, which negates the whole point of saying it does not legitimise murder. ‘Fire Your Guns’ is actually about sex, but it’s beyond me to believe it’s consensual in any way. Then on the albums Back in Black and For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) are found many songs like ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Inject the Venom’ that clearly legitimise violence or force. Even on their later records there are lines like
Somewhere, there’s a little town called hope/And someday, maybe baby, he’ll inhale that smoke!”in the song ‘Burning Alive’ which advocates burning down old towns. There there is the film song ‘Big Gun’ which describes with such indifference a serial killer that it literally can – like their earlier work – be said to “see no evil” in serial killers!
The lack of bloody and dark imagery in AC/DC’s songs is noteworthy and totally different from the numerous violent plays, poems and songs of earlier generations. Violence in a song like ‘T.N.T.’ is viewed as a victory to be celebrated, and even more so in the lesser-known ‘Problem Child’:
“And you’re on my listThen there is the “stab him in the back” instruction of ‘Night of the Long Knives’ with its “Who’s your friend and who’s your foe/Who‘s your Judas you don’t know” – harder to interpret than most AC/DC songs but clearly a warning that the addressee faces being murdered. Or ‘Badlands’ from Flick of the Switch, where murder is described as a joyful thrill:
Dead or alive
I got a .45
And I never miss”
Then in ‘Guns for Hire’, Brian Johnson says he is a “big dictator” and a “gun for hire” who “shoots a woman with desire” – which amounts to being a complete sexual predator – all in a tone so celebratory it could not be mistaken for any older band except the Rolling Stones or Deep Purple – neither of whom actively celebrated violence.“I’ll stop at nothing, never take me alive”...
“Well I’m guilty
Saddle up my six pack
Ain’t gonna back track
My shooter loaded
Come on girl, I’m gonna give you a thrill” (of dying)
Today, as I discovered a recent article about the arrest of American Christian Peter LaBarbera for opposing abortion and homosexuality and seeing the following response from a woman called Spell Singer (a Wiccan??) who said:
This is alarming for the Enriched World. Regardless of what side one is on in the atheism/Christianity debate, the fact that someone in effect advocates legal rights to kill Christian priests for their belief is alarming.Peter LaBarbera, try that hate speech here and you and I can see who wins in a knife fight. I would enjoy cutting your heart out.
Such a line suggests firmly that the working and welfare classes of the Enriched World have no desire for tolerance of traditional religion, wish it exterminated completely and accept the most violent means of doing so. Rod Dreher argues strongly that Christianity has virtually collapsed among the American working classes. Christianity never had any foothold among European working males, even when it was the official religion of the state and virtually universal among women, ruling élites and the dwindling peasant classes.
What is revealing about Spell Singer’s message is how it supports my contention that AC/DC – even with Malcolm Young retiring due to a stroke – are the most influential people of the late twentieth century. Singer’s short message could come directly from many AC/DC songs, which as I have shown endlessly advocate murderous force to make sure one gets one’s own way one hundred percent of the time – a desire I myself have struggled against all my life ever since my mother said repeatedly that I was spoilt as a child (with hindsight, I do not deny that I was).
Also present all though AC/DC’s songs is the desire for absolute sexual freedom and lack of responsibility. In almost every song that is not about praising rock and roll, there are tales of a man desiring free sex with a woman without any responsibility. Radical feminists admire this aspect of AC/DC – despite the extreme hatred of women in songs like ‘Shoot to Thrill’ – because it advocates power rather than any type of obedience as is demanded by the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. To put it another way, the feminist’s model of marriage is the same as Angus and Malcolm Young’s – something even Rod Dreher overlooks as badly as I did when I first became alarmed by AC/DC’s explicit glorification of violence for no justification but one’s own desire – and the same as:
AC/DC, fifteen years before the 1993 Nation article Dreher notices, produced within their songs a “cosmology” where women did not complement men except to offer pleasure and offered nothing in terms of providing marriage or nurturing, which provided no immediate pleasure. No Christian cosmology ever existed within working class Europeans or New Zealanders, and had dissipated in the Reagan Era among that of the US and Canada. Peter Jones is right that the atheistic (“pagan” or “oneist”) cosmology spread up the social ladder more quickly in the US and Canada than in Europe, and it was AC/DC whose exposure in concerts and on record was responsible for this, as I will explain in my next post.“...to believe in one’s individual desires as the locus of authority and self-definition.” Dreher is right that the conflict cannot be engaged in moralistic terms but must make an appeal to fundamental cosmology, which I have been calling the conflict between a pagan Oneist homocosmology opposed to a biblical Twoist heterocosmology.
As a last word, what Spell Singer seems to show is that:
- A completely irreligious society will likely be extremely peaceful on the surface, but extremely violent underneath.
- This can fairly be seen as a consequence of the radical wealth redistribution possible without religious limitations on government
- Radical wealth redistribution is exceptionally effective at eliminating force from the lower classes when they can effectively vote in people who will reliably provide them with welfare or the luxuries and personal authority they desire
- It is quite probable that if a wholly secular society suffered major economic decline, it would become exceptionally violent, with murder and suicide rates far in excess of anything seen today