So, Peter Steele is, purportedly, quite dead. (Have no idea who he is? Click here if you need to.) And my lack of surprise is about on par with my lack of being affected by it. That is to say not at all. But I understand a number of you (especially if you are female and in your 30s) thought the world of the guy, so I’ll be nice.
Oh, wait. No, I won’t.
I’ve never really been a legitimate fan of Type O Negative, and only thought a little more of their precursor, Carnivore. Thought the first Type O album was fun for a very short time when it was current, but it seemed so disposable once the gimmick wore off. I was in college radio at the time, both as a DJ and Metal Director, and Roadrunner practically jammed this band down everyone’s throats. Must have been the naughty words. Bloody Kisses was, in my opinion, the best album they ever did but I’ve honestly had no desire to hear even that album in about a decade — and I’m certainly not going to feverishly drag it out for the first time in 10 years like a number of you people did when Michael Jackson died and you were magically endowed with the mantle of Super Fan, playing his records into the ground. The other Type O albums never seemed to come anywhere near Studio Album Number Two, and, thus, weren’t the least bit interesting to me. I might own a promo CD of World Coming Down but I have no idea if I’d even listened to it more than once. My iTunes player shows its ripped counterpart as “never played.” Couldn’t even remember a single lyric or melody from it. Long story short, Type O Negative is not on my music enjoyment radar.
As a self-respecting human being (and a Satanist), I find no really inspiring aspects of Steele’s former life. As a matter of extremely obvious fact, I can think of a whole bunch of the opposite. He was a self-loathing, drug abusing, mentally ill ex-con who ran to Jesus at the end of it all. His destructive lifestyle flew in the face of the rational self-interest and personal responsibility of not only Satanism but any sane and mature outlook. I know he had great big muscles that drove all of you Goth-ish gals crazy, but given the mess that was this individual’s existence, it’s fair to say that the outside didn’t really match the inside. Compensation issues? Maybe a couple. Of course, I also realize that the wounded puppy routine turns some of you on, so have at the crying masturbation sessions and leave me out of your nonsense. Yeah, you too, Facebook.
Heart failure at 48? Toxicology report, please.
Yes, he had some amount of underground fame. That’s nice. Thoroughly shitty bands and “artists” get signed to major labels all the time and even have lasting popularity. (Type O slid in the back door of the Warner buyout of Roadrunner in 2006, but that almost doesn’t count.) Giving such a status any more credence than it deserves is desperate at best, obsessive at worst. Put in more exact language for those in the cheap seats, many music fans make a whole lot of lame excuses for their idols. They conveniently overlook their fixation’s excessively detestable qualities — the same qualities they condemn in those around them, yet give Mr. Rock Star a free pass on. If you’re no longer an adolescent, then spare me the backpedal. Regardless of fame, fortune, looks or “scene cred,” you’re all subject to the same scrutiny. Or, as Miss Rand said, “Judge — and prepare to be judged.” So, you’ll no doubt pardon me if I refuse to drink what’s in your cup.
I’m not glad he’s dead. I’m not happy or sad. I’m not mourning my lost youth through the death of some dude with a guitar. I don’t feel anything for someone I don’t know and would never want to have anywhere near my personal life. And I’m certainly not in need of some ideological escape clause to laud the lives of certain wastrels simply because they’re “in a band.” Sure, you can like the band and detest the band members. If you can get past the “I hate myself” lyrics and the cringeworthy interviews. And in the last 25 years of heavy music, that, in and of itself, is quite a feat.
It’s moments like this when I am utterly ecstatic about being a grown-up. And, better still, not dead. Unlike some people.