The Great Thing About Rock And Roll

There was a reality show that split this particular season's contestants into teams according to race. What was interesting is that one of the Hispanic team contestants claimed that although is family is Hispanic, he doesn't consider himself part of any particular ethnic group, his race is Metal. He is what is known as a "Metal Head", a fan of Heavy Metal music.

That's the great thing about rock and roll, in fact, it's one of the great things about America. You have a choice of who, or at least what, you can be. You may have been born into a particular ethnic, religious, national or sociopolitical family group but that doesn't mean you have to stay there. Although your race or ethnic group might be difficult to completely deny, you do have a plethora of counter culture, religious and political groups and sub -genres to which you may claim membership. Since you choose to be a member of these groups and are not born into them, the members are much more open to accepting members from different geographical locations and customs.

Besides the sub cultures of Urban Cowboy, Surfer, Low Rider, Greaser, Gang Banger, Red Neck, Trekkie and the other social cliques that many times start in Junior High School, rock and roll offers such romantic and exotic lifestyles as Punk, Gangsta, Metal Head, Dead Head, Parrot Head, Hippie, Emo, Grungie, Mod, Rocker, Newwaver and Prog fan, to name just a few. A great thing about these social groups it that unlike some cults you can easily switch between them according to your changing taste, level of intellectual and spiritual development and to impress a girl.

Some people change their lifestyle as often as they change their clothes, literally. I grew up with a friend who was a surfer, then a biker, then a hippie, then into Prog, then Disco, then Punk, then Metal. The last time I saw him he was into going to the symphony with a picnic basket of gourmet food and fine wine.

I think that's just fine and it must be fun to feel a part of the times, be in style and hip to the newest thing, but I wouldn't know. I may not be trendy but I'm nothing if not consistent. No matter which lifestyle you may choose during the course of your life, most of us end up being just Mom and Dad so let your freak flag fly while you can.

Neal Warner is an artist, writer, musician, member of the multimedia band, The Tooners, founder of Director's Clip, The Music Video and Internet Video Sponsorship Site ( ) and Rock & Roll Rehab, The Satirical Self Help Program For the Control of Rock & Roll ( ).