HOT TAKE: Black Album Haters Are “Nice Guys.”
We get it. Back in middle school, she was always around. She was always kind of pretty, but what you liked most about Metallica then was that she was an outsider like you. Too plain to hang out with the glam girls and too heavy to hang out with the lithe punks, she had an otherness that you found really special. Perhaps more importantly, though, is the fact that she seemed to enjoy being around you. Although she never made any advances, surely she could tell you were interested, right? If you just hung in there by her side, surely she’d reciprocate when she got back from her tour of Justice. Then high school happened, and your old female friend changed. Forever.
When Metallica came back from that eternal summer break, she looked different. Real different. She was thinner, leaner, more polished and put together. Her voice had a surprising command to it, and that anarchist sneer you found so hot had been replaced by a pouty, hungry smirk that seemed to make all the jocks take notice.
This wasn’t your Metallica. This was something else. Something sexy.
On the first day of school, you walked up to her with your usual slump and awkward gait and tried to crack a dumb joke to get her attention. Metallica looked up and smiled at you, and in that grin was the awkward, gangly girl you so deeply desired. But then tragedy struck as you heard the voice of Chad, that bastard with his chiseled pecs and glittering letter jacket, calling out to Metallica behind you.
What the hell did Chad want? Didn’t Metallica know he was just one of those douchebags who would be an asshole to her? Didn’t she know Chad wasn’t nice like you?
To your horror, though, Metallica walked right past you and followed Chad down the hall. Was it his money? Was it his Brad Pitt-like good lucks? How could she ignore you for that douchebag? He just had daddy’s money and had good genes from his mom! It’s not your fault your skin was an unhealthy pallor from lack of sunlight and greasy from a heavily-pizza-infused diet? How could she ignore you for Chad? It’s not like he could recite every edition of the Dungeons and Dragons manual from memory!
Rather than wondering what might make you happy or accepting that some people change, you knew then and there in your heart that Metallica had SOLD OUT! That slut! That skank! If she was going to whore herself out to the Chads of the world and ignore your constant, undivided advances, then she deserved the trolling storm you were about to unleash on the internet. Perhaps you could break her down enough that she would come crawling back to you, desperate for your niceness.
So you went online and you told all your gamer buddies that Metallica was ugly, that she didn’t sound the same, that she was a whore for money. You called her a sellout, said she should have never cut her hair. You criticized her new friends as brainless popular kids who only liked her for her looks. Not like you. You were nice to her when she wasn’t popular. You deserved her love, dammit.
And yet, Metallica seemed unfazed. Her popularity just continued to soar, and everyone in the world was talking about how cool she was. And though you wouldn’t admit it to your gaming club, you had to admit it. She was so hot right now.
But this wasn’t your Metallica, and you could never forgive her for betraying your kindness. So, as you both grew older, you drifted even further apart. Metallica went on to become a world-wide star, one who live on as a legend, the most important person of her generation. You, on the other hand, just got fatter and paler as you lurked in your mom’s basement, writing racist screeds on black metal forums and calling old men cucks at the gas station.
And yet, sometimes, in the dead of night in a rare moment of cognizance, you look around, press play on “Enter Sandman,” and crank your hog until you fall asleep. If you can’t have Metallica now, at least you can have this.
At least you can have this.