Sunday, October 11, 2009

Northern Alaska--it's sooooo metal

For whatever reason, people who work in bike shops, especially in the service department (mechanics and their minions), like the genre of music known as metal. For those of you who don't follow/care, it originated from heavy metal music of the 80's and 90's. From there, darker schools of the genre developed in Norway and other parts of Scandinavia, and are known by fans as Black Metal and Death Metal.

Joe's pals at the bike shop gave him a going away present of a DVD of an animated cable TV show "Metalocalypse." It centers around the lives of five members of a metal band known as Deathklok.

The boys in Deathklok get into all kinds of funny, scary, and I have to say, disgustingly gross situations. Almost every episode we've seen involved some kind of death by dismemberment of a character, or a putrefying corpse. This show is not for kids, but the point is that metal culture is all about the harsh, the scary, the gross and the gory. If you want to be a practitioner of metal, it seems you have to live in a place that has lots of dark, scary forests containing cold winds, howling wolves, bears and other assorted large and fierce carnivores whose handiwork you may come upon in the form of a dismembered half-eaten skeleton, and you have to dress in furs and skins, and carry heavy knives and other weaponry and tools as you eke your living on the barren and frozen wasteland that you call your home.

In other words, Alaska.

As we spent our fourth or fifth weekend in Alaska, I couldn't help think about the Deathklok aesthetic as we went about our weekend business of cutting brush for kindling, taking walks, stumbling upon half eaten animal parts, and just generally doing what a lot of people up here do as a very normal, sane and safe mode of existence. Take a look at the pictures from this week and see if you agree. Northern Alaska is to us at least, really metal.

If you don't believe me, consider that the sunlight shot was taken at high noon.

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