I’ve never gotten seriously into heavy metal, but on occasion I pig out on grunge music for a few hours, and today I was listening to an NPR Music Fresh Air podcast where Dave Davies interviewed the musicians of a heavy metal group Acrassicauda who started playing heavy metal music in Baghdad and are now in the US.
This movie/video Heavy Metal in Baghdad (85 minutes—the entire film is available online) really gives you an understanding of what life has been like in Baghdad for a few years now. Machine guns being fired a block away while the crew is recording… mortal shells exploding during a concert in a hotel… getting stopped on the street… the feeling that they can only stay 5 minutes in one spot or something bad will happen. And it makes you think about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have left the country for other parts of the world. The band escaped Iraq and ended up in the US – via Syria.
By itself the movie wouldn’t have sparked a blog article, but I had a conversation last week with some consultants who are studying the sociology of hacking and are doing some thinking about whether the talent that’s going into the creation of malware might be refocused on more productive enterprises. What you’ll see in this movie is the frustration and anger that wells up in people living under conditions of war year after year. It somehow sparked in me a feeling of where many hackers must be coming from these days! These guys were “living with death and fear every day.” From that standpoint, let alone the images of heavy metal way out of its element in Iraq and Syria, it’s worth watching.