Sunday, April 01, 2007

Real Research

We’ve all heard about crazy research grants.

I’m talking about the money that goes to studies of things like the urine output of the rhesus monkey and the sex life of the Japanese quail. (Yes, these are actual funded projects.)

But I just heard about one that sounds much better to me.

AFP reports that a student in New Zealand has won a government grant to investigate the lifestyles of metal music fans, including everything from tattoos and body piercings to dancing. Over the course of three years, the people of New Zealand will be paying the kiwi equivalent of almost U.S. $70,000 for this study.

It’s about time! Why waste money on water treatment, conflict resolution, or cancer cures when research on metal has been so tragically neglected?

I’m glad professional researchers are turning to one of my favorite genres. This New Zealand study comes on the heels of anthropologist and metal fan San Dunn’s documentary, “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.”. If you haven’t seen it, keep your eyes out for this entertaining two-hour show on VH1 Classic.

A step in the right direction. But, of course, there is a downside.

And that downside is the possibility we’ll see this trend taken too far, with a proliferation of such investigations. Watch out for these studies:

Decisions to run for president: Let’s review the facts. It’s a job that brings criticism no matter what you do. People will accuse you of evil motives for even your most well-intentioned acts—and the road to get there is full of non-stop campaigning and personal attacks. The brightest minds may not be able to figure out why people clamor to do it.

Country music: What exactly IS it in the water in the Southern U.S. and rural areas across the country that compels people to listen to this drivel? Of course, if they actually do find this odd elixir, what’s to stop those still fighting the Civil War from spreading it to all of our water supplies?

Blogging: We’re all in trouble if they research our pet phenomenon and discover that it’s harmful to our health. What will we do if this hobby actually has negative side effects?

Maybe they’ll make us pay for crazy research studies.


At April 01, 2007 7:24 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Back in the 70's, one of my father's fellow teachers got a grant from the Carter administration to study why kids put gum on the underside of desks in schools. But I think a great study would be something like why do people try to replicate a miniature transportation network when they can drive to the side of the train tracks and just watch the real thing? (I do that, so I'm a little curious.)

Or a really fun one, why do certain people have certain fetishes? Biological or learned behavior? Hmmmm...

At April 01, 2007 8:29 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I hope that there are no harmful side-effects to blogging. It's the only hobby that I enjoy.

At April 02, 2007 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

he has got his stereotypes all wrong. Bogans may be heavy metal fans, but metal fans are not all bogans! Pah.

At April 02, 2007 5:58 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mike: The gum study is a new one. Brilliant! It's the person who gets off on putting gum under desks is the one who worries me.

Angel: As far as i can tell, it's only loss of time.

Fatty: You're right--he seems to have conflated the two. At least my money isn't supporting him!

-- david

At April 02, 2007 9:02 AM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing you're not a country western fan? ;-)

At April 02, 2007 1:03 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

I would never ever ever ever want to run for president. Or to quote Bill Maher "I think drugs are good and religion is bad, find me an agent."

PS: I don't think drugs are good (anymore).

At April 02, 2007 2:11 PM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

Oooo...PLEASE don't pigeonhole me because I'm southern! I'm not anti-country music...but I sure don't want to listen to it myself!

And don't even SAY that about blogging!!! That'd be awful! ;)

At April 02, 2007 3:21 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

I've seen "Headbanger's Journey" 3 or 4 times; love it. Although, those Norweigian black metal guys scare me...

At April 03, 2007 2:15 AM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

HEY! I like country music and it's not drivel damn it!!

Sign me up for the study where they ship me to Hawaii let me lay on the beach and do nothing, when they come up with that one, I am there

At April 03, 2007 8:39 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Lisa: You are a woman of keen insight.

GW: Running for that job would be hell. But it's a great office once you get it.

PQ: Not listening is the important part. I'm all for a Southern upbringing.

Bruce: I love the chart he put together to categorize metal bands--I wish it were posted somewhere so we coudl dissect it.

Phats: We'll agree to disagree on the music, but we can agree to agree on the Hawai'i beach research. Sign me up, too.

-- david

At April 03, 2007 12:11 PM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

Wait...some one might PAY me to blog under the guise of a 'study'??

Geez, I'm always the last to know.

At April 03, 2007 8:47 PM, Blogger Layla replied to my musings ...

Um, David, I hate to tell you this but I already did some personal research on the effects of blogging and they can be VERY negative...or positive. ugh.

At April 03, 2007 10:07 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

Between eating Chee-to's, surfing porn, and scratching my balls, blogging is one of the healthier computer activities that I do.

At April 03, 2007 10:50 PM, Blogger Gyrobo replied to my musings ...

I heard people who decide to run for president are all heavy metal fans.

At April 03, 2007 10:58 PM, Blogger Lee Ann replied to my musings ...

I live in the south, but the main type of music that I do not like is country....I think one must develop a taste for it.
My tastebuds are more interested in rock, classical, alternative, jazz, and reggae.
I would like to hear more about this research study!
Have a great week!

At April 04, 2007 6:00 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe replied to my musings ...

You mean it doesn't have negative side effects? I can breathe again... as soon as I can get rid of that twwwwiictccchhhh......

At April 05, 2007 6:02 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Tai: When you find that sponsor, let me know.

Fuzz: You can eat Cheetos on the computer? Send me the link to THAT site!

Gyrobo: Incorrect. They SHOULD be metal fans. IN reality, Hilary--I've heard--is into the Indigo Girls and k.d. lang.

Lee Ann: Living in the South and avoiding country music is a good mix.

CB: Stop it! Your twitching is shaking my computer!!

-- david

At April 05, 2007 12:14 PM, Blogger Hard Rock Hideout replied to my musings ...

Blogging...bad for the health?? I will be dead before 40. LOL.

At April 06, 2007 4:25 AM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

Happy Easter! :-)

(I'm trying to blog again and doing a quick round on my blogroll!)

At April 09, 2007 12:11 AM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Hope you had a nice Easter David!

Sorry about losing Coach G, I thought she might bolt, but wasn't sure. You might be better off she chokes in the big games

At April 09, 2007 5:44 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Everyone: I'm moving to mid-week posts for a couple of weeks, so I'll have something up in a couple of days.

HRH: It's still better than many other habits.

Missy: Welcome back! Good to see you back--I'll swing by soon.

Phats: These things happen. I haven't seen HER choke much in big games, just certain players of hers.

-- david

At April 09, 2007 9:56 AM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

A good study would be to find out why the government shells out these pork projects.

At April 10, 2007 9:42 PM, Anonymous FredCQ replied to my musings ...

I really enjoyed Metal: A Headbangers Journey. I just wish it could have been longer!


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