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What is the purpose of heavy metal's lack of clear melody; what is the purpose of the unfocused screaming in heavy metal music; why does heavy metal reject every aspect of musical form and structure? It is not merely to portray anger. Much brilliant classical music is angry; the portrayal of anger is a frequent classical theme, just as it ought to be since righteous anger is a valid and even noble emotion. However, heavy metal's denial of melody, harmony, and every other traditional aspect of musical structure is not a necessity of portraying anger: it is a necesity of portraying blind rage, which is a very different beast. By denying the mind all the ques that orient it within a musical peice---that constitute the very meaning of that peice---the heavy metal musician shows the true target of his anger, not injustice but the mind itself.

Very well-stated. It is often difficult to make this argument without a solid knowledge of music theory as a foundation. You have touched upon the distinguishing factors between music and blind rage, and as such, made a clear argument on the matter. Kudos!

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Perhaps a better question would be to ask how the poster defines "heavy metal."

Yes, that is a very good question. However, it is also very difficult to answer. I only like to note that what Franklin wrote is not true for alot of the music that is generally considered "metal" or "heavy metal".

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For anyone who has said that Metallica has no chord structure and is nothing but noise, I challenge you to listen to Fade to Black, Unforgiven, or No Leaf Clover.

FYI: Metallica uses the same chord structure as Mozart.

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What is the purpose of heavy metal's lack of clear melody; what is the purpose of the unfocused screaming in heavy metal music; why does heavy metal reject every aspect of musical form and structure? It is not merely to portray anger. Much brilliant classical music is angry; the portrayal of anger is a frequent classical theme, just as it ought to be since righteous anger is a valid and even noble emotion. However, heavy metal's denial of melody, harmony, and every other traditional aspect of musical structure is not a necessity of portraying anger: it is a necesity of portraying blind rage, which is a very different beast. By denying the mind all the ques that orient it within a musical peice---that constitute the very meaning of that peice---the heavy metal musician shows the true target of his anger, not injustice but the mind itself.

First, we need a definition from you on what is heavy metal. Then we need some concretes (actual bands and songs) that you have listened to to form your abstract assessment of the genre.

Why do you pick on just a single emotion - anger? While I admit that it is an emotion milked to death in the genre, it certainly doesn't cover everything.

I find it ironic that you choose to criticize heavy metal by pitting it against classical music, since it would be glaringly obvious to anyone who has listened to it to notice how much classical music has influenced heavy metal. Indeed, it is one of the ways to distinguish it from rock n' roll or hard rock which has a more blues and country influence.

Here are a few bands and artists to sample that fly straight against your entire description.

Iron Maiden (esp. Flight of Icarus) tell me how that is a rejection of structure and form in all its aspects. And where is Mr. Dickenson's unfocused screaming?

Ever heard of Randy Rhodes? Try (although not your great sense of life song) Diary of a Madman, Dee, or Over the Mountain, and tell me how this guitarist rejects musical form and structure.

Yngwie Malmsteen. I actually think of him as more of a classical musician with an electric guitar, and his singers actually sing.

The kind of music you described is certainly a class (and unfortuately a growing one) or subset of "heavy Metal", but it does not describe the entire class.

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The kind of music you described is certainly a class (and unfortuately a growing one) or subset of "heavy Metal" . . . .

It is a class my friend calls "belch rock." I've also heard it called "Cookie Monster rock." I find both of those to be accurate and funny.

Oh yeah, maybe we should add Dream Theater to TL's list.

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It is a class my friend calls "belch rock." I've also heard it called "Cookie Monster rock." I find both of those to be accurate and funny.

Actually "cookie monster" properly belongs to Brian Johnson of AC/DC since he lost his voice some years back. I was thinking more along the lines of Soulfly, Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God type of crap. My boss loves these bands and plays them all the time - it is a test to my strength of sanity - believe me, you don't want to hear this s***.

Oh yeah, maybe we should add Dream Theater to TL's list.

Thank you! I was trying to think of them, but it kept slipping away!

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For anyone who has said that Metallica has no chord structure and is nothing but noise, I challenge you to listen to Fade to Black, Unforgiven, or No Leaf Clover.

FYI: Metallica uses the same chord structure as Mozart.

Agreed. Composer Michael Kamen was seriously impressed by the technical complexity of some of Metallica's earlier work when he worked with them on the Symphony and Metallica project. I believe it was Cliff Burton's musical input that really drove some of this brilliant earlier work (Call of Ktulu, Orion), he had a broad musical sense and was particularly fond of Bach. He originally was trained on the piano and that was were his theory background came from.

Edit:

I do agree with some of the posts that alot of Metal is vileness and anger for the sake of it. Loud, noisy and ridiculous.... (cannibal corpse, deicide come to mind.)

Edited by Cbaoth

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The first thing you have to keep in mind when discussing metal as a genereal genre you have to keep in mind the large amount of sub-genres. Since I am a music fan over anything else and most of my music lies within a metal medium.

A break down of sub-genres:

Heavy Metal-This is your basic stuff (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Saxon; basically most of your sterotypical stuff) This metal is basically rock music but with heavier distortion, heavier drums, andthe vocals are a little more aggressive. The melodies are more classicaly influenced, in a very basic way, but the differentiates from the blues/country influence of rock music. The guitarist who gets the most credit for bringing in a classical influence is Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow). Alot of the stuff he did gave way to the classical influences that would prevalent in alot of metal.

Power Metal-It's basically regular metal but it usually has even more of a classical influence, therefore techinique is increased. Alot of times the vocals are very falsetto, but the greatest singers utilize a wide range. Usually the songs are very fast as well. Examples: Stratovarius, yngwie, Rhapsody, blind Guardian, Angra, Kamelot

Progressive Metal-This is my favorite sub genre and the type of stuff I play. Although there has been a split in camps, Prog and Progressive mean two different things. The first of these bands were Fates Warning and Dream Theater. Alot of bands now immulate them and havn't actually progressed beyond them, thus not being progressive. Alot of "prog" is not simply related to classical as far as sense of melody, but of structure. Alot of the longer songs would have a similar structure to many classical pieces. In most prog you will find odd time signatures and parts; not just your simple verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus structure. Then moving on progressive this entails a more literal definition. Progressive bands are basically just metal bands doing something different, being unique, pushing the boundaries a little. Examples-Prog:Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Circus Maximus, Pagan's Mind, Symphony X

Progressive: Devin Townsend, Pain of Salvation, Arcturus, King Crimson (their sound is becoming more metal as of recently, but they are the epitomy of progression...always doing something new and innovative)

*Prog metal is basically just a stem-off of prog rock, same thing just heavier,faster,etc...

Death Metal-This is where people begin to really detest metal. Once again alot of sub-sub genres in this category. Most of it is very angry, heavy and pissed off. It's very riff driven and the drums are usually pounding out chaotic double bass. There is alot of extremely techinical stuff in this as well, but there is also alot of ridiculously monatanous stuff. Some Death metal do have melodies despite the harsh and abrasive vocals. In alot of cases as far as the vocals go, sometimes they fit the sense of melody alot better, and good death metal vocalists (yes, there is a level of techinique involved) usually annunciate the lyrics better to where you can understand what is being said (example Dark Tranquillity, who i've noticed a tinge of objectivist influence in). Once again its hard to examine death metal in general terms.

Black Metal-Once again this is a sub genre with lots of smaller categories in its own. This is the most contraversial in terms of history. These are your bands that usually put on the show of being overly satanic, shocking, charismatic Norwiegans. They are the ones with the make-up (corpse paint) they are the ones who burn churches, the ones who have inverted crosses and really long song titles. The music is charachterized by blast beats (drum techinque in which snare beat is all eighth notes, sometimes faster. The guitars are mostly played with a techinique called tremolo or sticatto picking. basically you play the fastest aspect of the beat on until the next note change. The vocals are you usually very raspy and harsh differing from death metal vocals which are alot deeper. Recently some bands have been utilizing the original charachteristics and bringing them up to better techinique and applying it more while having a stronger sense of melody and atmosphere.

trOO-Black metal (die hard fans, who appreciate bad techinque and bad sound quality- Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone

other black influenced metal: Dimmu Borgir, older Cradle of Filth, Dissection, Old Man's Child.

Those are your most common sub genres. Now this is the best reason i've found for justifying metal and a reasons for working in that medium as well as litening to it. Devin Townsend said the reasons he works in the metal medium is because you can take anything to any extreme possible. That doens't entail shock or lyrics but musically. If I had a 4 minute violin solo, it would be deemed as classical by your average person. But the moment i put drums in it with a touch of double bass or any metal charachteristic it would be metal.Classical isn't the only influence in metal. Some bands have utilized jazz influences, bluegrass, funk, soul, and many other various genres. They are consdiered metal because a metal charachteristic is more of an attention getter. Not taking away from any breathtaking melody from an outside genre (i'm more receptive to melodies which i feel in alot of metal there are some amazing ones). I agree with Twonsend though, and i think the listener feels the same way.

Although I havn't read the romantic manifesto yet, I have an opinion on the sincerity of someone's opinion torwards something. My belief is that is they can state a rational reason for favoring whatever it is that they favor be it aesthetics or a philosophy. So if you like metal nad you have a reason for liking it then there is nothing wrong with your opinion. Now if I were to ask you "why do you like metal?" and you replied "i don't know, its just cool" I wouldn't give you the time of day.

This is my first post I think, logged in a while back and just now beginning to post here. Since this is my ultimate passion I feel very strongly when people say something as ignorant as "it has no structure". All I can say to those people is "Check your Premises".

P.S. Excuse my grammar, i'm not the pinnacle of using the english language. B)

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Digging up an old, old topic.

I really find it laughable that most Objectivists would consider some sub-genres of metal to be completely lacking in virtue. Power and Prog metal have the most complex music written in modern music. If you've ever seen the work of bands like Nightwish, Dragonforce or any of the stereotypical Speed/Power Metal bands, you'd realize what work, pride and showmanship is put into their art. The lyrics of many bands are simply tellings of stories. It's a form of entertainment. The gasly lyrics of some death metal bands ( I'm not much of a fan of death metal, but I even enjoy some of it ) are simply describing brutal acts. I look at it like a horror movie. And just for the record, most fans of Death metal are more interested in the music than the lyrics.

Metal is fantasy rock. I am not saying that every single line of it is completely moral, but much of the grotesque things found in metal are rebellions against the censorship fascists that were in high numbers in the 80s, which is when a lot of the gory and brutality/sexuality sprung up in metal and many other art forms.

To write off Metallica as " noise " as I saw a member of this board do earlier is nothing short of complete ignorance of the music Metallica played, especially pre-Black album.

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Let me start by saying that I like Metal music a lot. Something about the sound draws me in. I recognize that the lyrics are nearly all the antithesis of Objectvist views (with certain exceptions, of course), but I generally don't listen to the songs for their lyrics. The anger that it projects seems to relieve anger and stress that I would feel should I not listen to it.

That being said, I am an extremely happy person. I love life in its entirety and am almost always smiling and laughing. Aks anyone who knows me; I am probably one of the most fun-loving and high-spirited people they know.

This seems to lead to a contradiction. I am a happy person, yet I listen to some of the most unhappy music there is. I have great appreciation for melody, and the rock bands that are heavy on melodies are some of my favorites. But I strongly dislike any other type of music, especially rap, country, pop, etc. I fully subscribe to Objectivism and love Romantic art, especially painings and sculptures. I visited the college I will attend (the University of Saint Francis art major) the other day and was utterly disgusted by the scores of depressing, unhappy, and downright ugly artworks. There was only one that I liked: a vibrantly bright painting of a pheonix rising from its egg in a bed of fire. I am looking forward to improving the gallery when I attend the school.

Now, back to the music. Is it a contradiction that I am an Objectivist, yet like non-Objectivist music? Or is it simply a psychological matter and not a philosophical one? Like I said, it does not negatively affect me, it is just the only sound that attracts me.

If this issue has been addressed elsewhere, please redirect me. Any thoughts and insights are welcome.

Unfortunately studies have shown that you DO NOT get stress relief from anger -- there is always a trace of discord within the body (perhaps through slight galvanic skin response), and you are aware of "the anger" on a conscious level as well. Why taint something ("I am a happy person"), why death by a thousand cuts, why do this to yourself, now that you know that studies have shown the harmful effects -- you don't have to take Rand's word for it -- and the dis-ease it causes, even on a miniscule level?

When I was younger and stupider I wanted to be cool so I listened to this type of music, then I grew up. Try conditioning yourself to Mozart for a few weeks in isolation from negative friends who hate classical music and watch how much happier you will be. Odd, but it works.

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I admire classical as well. Not every fan of metal music is an uncivilized brute, and not everyone reacts the same to music or the release of feelings. Studies show many things, and that doesn't make those studies unequivocally true.

And as I stated before, metal music can be just as complex and intellectually commanding as a piece from Mozart. I like most forms of music that have one form of melody or another.

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I admire classical as well. Not every fan of metal music is an uncivilized brute, and not everyone reacts the same to music or the release of feelings. Studies show many things, and that doesn't make those studies unequivocally true.

And as I stated before, metal music can be just as complex and intellectually commanding as a piece from Mozart. I like most forms of music that have one form of melody or another.

Listen, I'm a fan of some heavy metal, and I love hard rock, but Mozart makes all rock musicians look like children. I don't care who you're talking about. The pattern of melody and harmony weaved in some of his music is insanely brilliant. He's using the full power of an orchestra, and wrote this stuff before there were any recording devices or radios to listen to. And the thing about Mozart is he was getting better, because his last symphonies were his best. It's a shame he died so young.

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Unfortunately studies have shown that you DO NOT get stress relief from anger -- there is always a trace of discord within the body (perhaps through slight galvanic skin response), and you are aware of "the anger" on a conscious level as well. Why taint something ("I am a happy person"), why death by a thousand cuts, why do this to yourself, now that you know that studies have shown the harmful effects -- you don't have to take Rand's word for it -- and the dis-ease it causes, even on a miniscule level?

When I was younger and stupider I wanted to be cool so I listened to this type of music, then I grew up. Try conditioning yourself to Mozart for a few weeks in isolation from negative friends who hate classical music and watch how much happier you will be. Odd, but it works.

I would like to see these studies. Your claim that there are studies is not our knowledge of those studies. Support your claim. No, you do not get stress relief from anger in and of itself, but through the actual expression (and or acceptance) of what you are feeling. Being angry obviously is not stress relief, but channeling it out in some productive way (jogging, lifting weights, punching a punching bag, pumping your fist to a charging beat, gunning down Nazis in an FPS game, ripping out a solid beat on the drums etc) is. I remember when I was little I would pound up and down on my bed with a tennis racket pretending I was Angus Young (a lot of kids did) - anger? Pure enjoyment!

I don't even think most people properly designate what they are doing or feeling when listening to hard rock of heavy metal music. When I was in a band we were not channeling aggression or anger. We were Vikings, conquerers of mountains, pirates at the helm, George Jefferson just elected president of the Unites States. To you it may possess some of the characteristics of anger. But, that does not mean that is how everyone else experiences it.

Take Ayn Rand's words of what? What is it you are claiming she said?

Lastly, repression never works. I love a lot of classical music, and you could lock me up for months and I'll still want to listen to Back in Black more than anything else. You were young and stupid - not because of the music you listened to - but for the reason you listened to it. Then you grew up. Well that's good, but tell me this: what if one isn't listening to it because of social pressures, but because one actually likes it? Would you recommend turning away from one's automatic emotional response, and trying to supplant (it can only be artificially) and "conditioning" oneself to a different response? What is the procedure for this?

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Lastly, repression never works. I love a lot of classical music, and you could lock me up for months and I'll still want to listen to Back in Black more than anything else.

I can attest to the fact that Back in Black makes for great road music while I'm cruising along on my Harley. I love Mozart at times myself, but he just wouldn't fit the moment for me. It has nothing to do with anger for me either.

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Chicoflaco,

Also, the poster you quoted made an error. There is no such thing as "Objectivist music".

Oops, sorry Rational Biker, I was referring to the post above my original, it looks like I'm responding to yours so I'm adding a fix.

Edited by Thoyd Loki

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Agreed. (edit: with TL and RB) Rock music is excellent for a particular spectrum of moods. It doesn't overlap exactly with classical music - I don't consider it to be competing for the same ground. Rock is for when you want to... well, rock. I'd venture to say that most of it is not about anger. That's the fallacy of the frozen abstraction right there.

Yes, a lot of the lyrics and even sometimes the tunes suffer from the plague that is modern culture, but underneath that is often brilliance. If you can tolerate the nonsense - and I'm not saying that you must; it's your call - then it can be quite rewarding.

To quote myself:

If you’re willing – and I’m not saying you have to be – you can pick out some laudable themes from among our culture’s many gross (and I mean that both ways) errors. For instance, it is questionable if it would be in keeping with the artist’s original intent to interpret Zepp’s Whole Lotta Love as being between a couple with a deep romantic relationship, but then it is also definitely not in keeping with Beethoven’s original intent for the Ode To Joy to speak of non-religious exaltation. But I certainly have no reservations about the latter, and I don’t see how the former differs from it terribly. It’s just part and parcel to being able to glean values (any values) from the kind of society we live in.

Also, I love how some folks here condemn metal in favor of classical music, apparently ignorant of just how much influence the latter has on many genres of the former.

Edited by Inspector

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Agreed. (edit: with TL and RB) Rock music is excellent for a particular spectrum of moods. It doesn't overlap exactly with classical music - I don't consider it to be competing for the same ground.

On the subject of overlapping, I enjoy listening to some classical crossover, but particularily symphonic or orchestral metal bands, specifically the (gothic metal) band Epica. The lead female is a classically trained singer, they have chorus, metal, and even some decent lyrics, all put together quite well as far as those types of bands are concerned.

Edited by intellectualammo

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It's topics like this that make one wonder if objectivists aren't terribly different from religious fundamentalists....

Right music to go with the philosophy, right art, right movies, right TV, probably right dressing, right eating, yadda yadda. It start to sound like Southern Baptists complaining of the Devil's rock & roll. Or Plato complaining of whatever style of music he didn't like.

You know, once you are talking about there being a certain right kind of music, or art, or whatever, things have gotten rather totalitarian.

Philosophy is supposed to free you to live more fully, not give you a bunch of new chains to worry about.

You are sorely mistaken. It's not about what other objectivists tell you to do; it is about what makes sense, what is rational, what is logical. In that way, Objectivists cannot even possibly be compared to religious people.

When Objectivists talk about art, they have logic behind it. Religion, by definition, relies on faith and no sort of logic.

Tell me this: Why would someone who believes that racism is wrong listen to a band with racist lyrics? Why would a christian want to listen to music promoting satanist messages? Why would someone, such as an objectivist, who believes in rational logic, want to listen to music in which the message defies logic?

Answer me that, and I will say that you are right in what you said.

Now, with that said, I have played drums for 10 years, and listen to all kinds of music, including hardcore and metal (Bands like misery signals, as I lay dying, parkway drive). I enjoy listening to this music not because of their lyrical message, but because I am a drummer, and these bands have good drummers in them.

Ayn Rand even said that she enjoyed some works of art not for the message in them, but simply for the talent put into them. She says this in "Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of her Q&A" I think that those of you wondering about this should read the passage where she discusses music, art, and artists.

Edited by Jon Pizzo

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Digging up an old, old topic.

I really find it laughable that most Objectivists would consider some sub-genres of metal to be completely lacking in virtue. Power and Prog metal have the most complex music written in modern music. If you've ever seen the work of bands like Nightwish, Dragonforce or any of the stereotypical Speed/Power Metal bands, you'd realize what work, pride and showmanship is put into their art. The lyrics of many bands are simply tellings of stories. It's a form of entertainment. The gasly lyrics of some death metal bands ( I'm not much of a fan of death metal, but I even enjoy some of it ) are simply describing brutal acts. I look at it like a horror movie. And just for the record, most fans of Death metal are more interested in the music than the lyrics.

Metal is fantasy rock. I am not saying that every single line of it is completely moral, but much of the grotesque things found in metal are rebellions against the censorship fascists that were in high numbers in the 80s, which is when a lot of the gory and brutality/sexuality sprung up in metal and many other art forms.

To write off Metallica as " noise " as I saw a member of this board do earlier is nothing short of complete ignorance of the music Metallica played, especially pre-Black album.

I'm listening to Dragonforce right now. They never play anything this uplifting, exciting, or complex on the local rock stations. It is simply amazing.

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On the subject of overlapping, I enjoy listening to some classical crossover, but particularily symphonic or orchestral metal bands, specifically the (gothic metal) band Epica. The lead female is a classically trained singer, they have chorus, metal, and even some decent lyrics, all put together quite well as far as those types of bands are concerned.

I'm enjoying this band, Epica. Though I could do without the growling from the male vocalist. It's like a smudge on a beautiful painting.

As for Dragonforce, they are quite incredible, as are most Prog/Speed metal bands at least musically. Anyone who believes there isn't a connection between a lot of the metal scene and classical music is deaf or defying obvious facts.

I can hardly imagine how beautiful a Symphony would sound from Beethoven transformed into a Symphonic Metal version.

Edited by TheEgoist

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I'm enjoying this band, Epica. Though I could do without the growling from the male vocalist. It's like a smudge on a beautiful painting.

I particularly enjoy watching their songs they perform in the studio, in their "We Will Take You With Us"/2 Meter Sessies DVD. I also enjoy some of music of Mortal Love.

Edited by intellectualammo

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I would like to see these studies. Your claim that there are studies is not our knowledge of those studies. Support your claim. No, you do not get stress relief from anger in and of itself, but through the actual expression (and or acceptance) of what you are feeling. Being angry obviously is not stress relief, but channeling it out in some productive way (jogging, lifting weights, punching a punching bag, pumping your fist to a charging beat, gunning down Nazis in an FPS game, ripping out a solid beat on the drums etc) is. I remember when I was little I would pound up and down on my bed with a tennis racket pretending I was Angus Young (a lot of kids did) - anger? Pure enjoyment!

Venting anger by hitting a punching bag actually has the opposite of the desired effect, in the long run. The following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote in Intro to Psych, in college. It's certainly not my best work, but it supports the statement I just made. Also, this is not meant to be a commentary on metal music, or the listening to it. Just one issue I believe it's important to clear up.

***

The concept of catharsis has changed somewhat since its roots in Greek philosophy. The Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to discuss the idea at length in his Treatise on Poetics. Aristotle believed that one purpose of tragic drama was the cathartic experience: arousal and subsequent purgation of pity and fear. Sigmund Freud attempted to translate this idea to physiology, positing that neurons could be filled with energy from repressed emotions. If a person did not release this energy via catharsis, said Freud, it would manifest itself in potentially harmful ways (Guinagh, 1987). Now the common belief is that if you have any emotion which you consider to be negative, it is best to cleanse yourself by ventilation.

While experimenters have not been successful in supporting the catharsis hypothesis, recent findings directly contradict it. In the article “Catharsis, Aggression, and Persuasive Influence: Self-Fulfilling or Self-Defeating Prophecies” (Bushman, Baumeister, and Stack, 1999), three researchers published the results of their experiments on media and catharsis. The purpose of the first experiment was to ascertain whether or not the media has a significant influence on attitudes regarding catharsis. The results supported the hypothesis that it does.

The purpose of the second experiment was two-fold: to determine the effects of catharsis on subsequent aggression and to ascertain whether the aforementioned media influence alters these effects (e.g. whether belief in the benefits of catharsis affects aggression).Participants in the experimental group either read a pro- or anti-catharsis (fabricated) article. Participants in the control group read an article unrelated to the subject matter. All were then exposed to conditions which would anger them. Then all members of the anti-catharsis and control group engaged in cathartic activity (hit a punching bag). Members of the pro-catharsis group either hit a punching bag or sat still for two minutes (Bushman et al., 1999).

The results strongly supported the hypothesis that popular belief regarding catharsis causes self-defeating prophecies. Members of the pro-catharsis group who hit the punching bag were most likely to engage in subsequent aggression towards human beings; their aggression surpassed that of the pro-catharsis sitting group and the anti-catharsis punching group. This indicates that believing in the power of catharsis actually generates the opposite of the desired result, when one engages in cathartic ventilation. One could infer, then, that all of the media support for catharsis may actually be contributing to an increase in aggressive trends. Since many people believe that catharsis is the cure for aggression, they may easily end up in a cycle of increasing anger and aggression. The experimenters described the findings as “the worst of all possible effects that might be predicted for media pro-catharsis messages” (Bushman et al., 1999).

These findings do lead to more questions. What about catharsis of the rest of the negative emotions? Is it self-defeating to “cry oneself dry?” The fact that cathartic acts of anger are likely to increase aggression does not serve as evidence against other cathartic activities. What about cathartic activity that involves more of the higher brain function (e.g. Aristotle’s “tragic catharsis”)? Would involvement of the higher mind only compound the negative effects of venting? Researchers must continue to explore these possibilities as knowledge of the human mind increases.

***

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