ANTHRAX SAYS “NO MORE” TO SPREADING THE DISEASE – Both the vaccine and the reunion tour could have fatal effects. Anthrax (the band), to me, has always been the speed metal version of Spinal Tap.
Having entertained millions, the band has basically made a career out of writing and playing silly songs at full throttle, and there is truly nothing wrong with that.
Over the years many people, including myself, have found themselves singing along to many of their songs such as “Anti-Social.” It is safe to say that as a band they did indeed make their mark in music history back in the mid eighties. They pioneered the first mix of rap meet rock on their collaboration with Public Enemy on “Bring the Noise.” So, they have definitely had their time in the spotlight and should be very happy with their accomplishments.
However, like a punch drunk prize fighter who doesn’t know when to quit, they insist on jumping back into the ring again by putting together a reunion tour to, in my opinion, to get knocked out and be made to look foolish.
Looking foolish! This brings me to the topic at hand. Recently, Anthrax along with the Slave to the Metal Foundation joined forces to lobby against the U.S. Military’s use and mandatory uses of the anthrax vaccine on its enlisted men and woman.
First, let me give you some background on the Slave to the Metal Foundation, who they are and what they do. The foundation is comprised of a group of heavy metal fans and head bangers alike along with some music industry metal gods such as Anthrax.
What do they do you ask?
Okay, whatever you do, don’t take a drink of anything while you read this next line; you will spit it out with laughter. The foundation fights against the misuse of certain heavy metals such as uranium, mercury and lead. They want to raise awareness and help generate funds to help other organizations who share the same view point.
Huh? If they are receiving government funds to operate this foundation then some spending needs to be cut.
Enter the Anthrax Vaccine controversy; born in 1955 this is a vaccine that was produced to be administered to troops to protect them in the event where they would be exposed to anthrax. Throughout the years progress on the vaccine did improve and in 1970 the Division of Biological Standards did approve the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration classified as being a category 1, meaning safe, but should not be mislabeled in 1985.
The FDA was reluctant to give it a full seal of approval because a true field study could never really be done. So, until just this past Thursday, April 7th, the general public along with the military public has lobbied for years to control and set standards of usage when dealing with this vaccine.
They site the facts, such as: no vaccine should be allowed on the market without FDA approval and the proper research, the vaccine has caused several deaths since it’s birth along with many side effects that have been linked to birth defects, facial palsy and leukemia just to name a few. Also, the military and general community felt that it was wrong to make this vaccine mandatory to all those in the armed forces. It was as if they were just guinea pigs for the research in this product. Gulf War troops were given this vaccine and many of them suffered from muscular cramping along with fatigue which are both side effects linked to this drug.
So, finally, after years of submitting statistics and lobbying and working to perfect the vaccine, the FDA did give it a stamp of approval as long as all side effects are listed on the label, like they are on a pack of camel non-filters, and a court ruled on April 7th that the vaccine should only be administered on a voluntary basis from this point on.
This issue is a very serious one and because of that I have to wonder why anyone would want Anthrax (the band) to speak out on something of this nature. Having Anthrax and the Slave to the Metal Foundation speak out on this topic is like asking Anton LeVey to speak at the Pope’s funeral. It is ridiculous.
Number one, sorry guys, you were never thought of as a serious band, yet alone a political one. By jumping into this debate the band and foundation both are reinforcing the negative stereotypes that surround heavy metal because they are unable to be perceived in the correct light as well as speak intelligently on the subject of the vaccine.
If the band was so concerned about this issue, why did they wait until now to speak up against it? Oh! I know why! It’s called shameless promotion and getting your name back into the public’s eye again. I am all for shameless promotion, but I think that it is wrong for Anthrax to use a situation like this one, with the Anthrax Vaccine to promote themselves. In doing so, they paint a bad portrait of themselves and make a serious issue seem like a joke or bad publicity stunt.
I don’t know about the rest of my reading public out there but I will not be rushing out anytime soon to buy tickets to see bald, fat men with there stomachs hanging over their spandex playing archaic metal songs. I know these guys are intelligent people, but to me it is in poor taste to resort to this kind of publicity. If they were trying to be taken seriously, they failed.