HOT TAKE: You are NOT a Poser
You are PROBABLY not a poser, anyway.
Oscar Palmer, editor of the Spanish edition of Lemmy Kilmister’s autobiography, blew the mythos of Lemmy wide open in an interview with Vice last year.
Lemmy’s very aware that part of Motörhead’s appeal is his character. He recognizes that rock requires a sort of posing, that it’s part of the game. His exact words are: “What the fuck are you doing in this business if you’re not a bit of a poser?”
The patron saint of hard touring, hard partying, heavy metal called himself a poser. What has happened to this world? Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! Or, perhaps, Lemmy was smart enough, and self-aware enough to realize that the word “poser” has a meaning entirely separate from the derisive term you posers toss at each other on a daily basis.
At the risk of writing like every total hack in the history of writing, let’s consult the dictionary for the definition of the word.
a person who acts in an affected manner in order to impress others.
synonyms: poseur, posturer, fake, show-off
I’ve seen an awful lot of people “act in an affected manner to impress others” in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them called posers. The word is mostly employed as a playful barb to admonish others for ignorance or as a giant red flag to announce that your opinion is worthless. Let’s take a look at how the commenters on this blog use the word. I simply did a word search for “Poser” in comments left over the last month. Here are a handful of the many, many results I found.
Applying the literal definition of the word, “one who acts to impress others.” it becomes abundantly clear that Posers have been incorrectly shouting down non-posers as posers for decades. The law as ancient as time still rings true: “He who hath smelt it, surely hath dealt it.”
I suggest that we start calling out the posers that have quietly indoctrinated themselves in metal over decades. Glen Benton of Deicide has repeatedly branded an upside down cross on his forehead over the years, an excruciating effort to let you all know that he is super duper evil, for real you guys. Manowar, a band made of 5′ 7″ geriatrics that coat themselves in baby oil, have made their career on shouting down non-Manowar fans as “Wimps and Posers.” Varg Vikernes spent years pretending to be dark and evil before becoming what he is today: a far-right wing RPG nerd.