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Atte Oksanen Dr. Soc. Sci., MA, adjunct professor of social psychology Department of Social Research, University of Tampere Finnish Youth Research Network,

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Presentation on theme: "Atte Oksanen Dr. Soc. Sci., MA, adjunct professor of social psychology Department of Social Research, University of Tampere Finnish Youth Research Network,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Atte Oksanen Dr. Soc. Sci., MA, adjunct professor of social psychology Department of Social Research, University of Tampere Finnish Youth Research Network, Helsinki Images of Addiction in Rock Culture ( , The Academy of Finland) Drinking to Death Social Diagnosis of Traditional Masculinity in Finnish Metal Lyrics

2 Starting points Oksanen (2003) Murheen laakso [Vale of Tears: Masculinity and Death in Finnish Metal]. Helsinki: Ministry of Social Affairs & Health Images of alcohol in Finnish metal music lyrics – Relevant theme in metal music with Finnish lyrics Research material – Lyrics by Timo Rautiainen ja Trio Niskalaukaus (n=28), Kotiteollisuus (n=101) and Viikate (n=155) – Elegia [Elegy] song (2002) by Trio Niskalaukaus: An unlikely hit song Analysis – Critical and clinical (G. Deleuze): Cultural texts as tools and openings to socio-psycho-cultural events – Narratology (E.g. S. Rimmon-Kenan, M. Bal), semiotics (U. Eco)

3 Finnish Cultural Studies of Alcohol: A Short Introduction Drinking and Finnish folklore: alcohol as a independent entity  stronger than the man (S. Apo 1999) Finnish drinking and externalization of self-control (P. Alasuutari & J. Siltari 1983; P. Sulkunen et al., Urban Pub 1983/1997) Cosmic loneliness of Finnish men in Finnish films (P. Falk & Sulkunen 1983) Transgressive drinking as a break from everyday life: sociability and liminality (A. Maunu & J. Törrönen 2007) Drinking as a minimum of identity for Finnish males (M.G. Soikkeli 2006)

4 Finnish metal music and images of alcohol Traditional heavy metal and hard rock ( ): a bastard version of rock – and an extreme version of rock excess – Peer Günt: Bar Tender (1987): ”I’m gonna mess around” Dark and extreme metal (e.g. black, death) (1990s): death & misery – Only few examples of songs about drugs and alcohol – Sentenced: Nepenthe (1995): ”Drink to forget /and drown all your sorrows” > alcohol in the context of suicide and depression – Sentenced: Noose (1996): “I’ll drink the booze to depress myself / then I take the rope and express myself” Pagan and folk metal bands (2000s): happy-go-lucky drinking songs – Korpiklaani: Beer Beer (2005), Let’s Drink (2006), Happy Little Boozer (2006), Vodka (2009): “From beer I get really drunk / Beer, beer / I need more beer” & ”Drinking is good for you” Not popular in Finland despite the success in Middle-Europe

5 Finnish metal in Finnish: a unique sub-genre Bands from eastern Finland Early precursors of the late 1980s and early 1990s: Mana Mana and Lyijykomppania Viikate, Kotiteollisuus and Timo Rautiainen ja Trio Niskalaukaus started around 1997 – Mainstream success in the 2000s: especially among middle-age men – Social need for bands that discuss openly social problems? – Social critique in songs: unemployment, greed, consumer culture – Male tragedies with bitter sense of irony – Drinking, violence, depression and suicides (by various methods) – Countryside nostalgia of earlier decades (especially Viikate)

6 1-2Joi poika senkin kuukauden / Ja aikaan kauniin aamunkoitonHe drank all that month as well / And as the day broke, beautiful, 3-4Hän kouristeli itkien / Nyt viina veisi voitonHe twitched and wept / Now the drink would beat him 5-6Niin äiti saapui huoneeseen / Valituksen kuullessaanHis mother came into the room / Hearing his cries and moans 7-8Hän vaiti katsoi juoneeseen / KalmankalpeaanShe stood there, silent / Watching him, pale as death 9-10Veti verhot ikkunaan / Ja otti tuolin alleShe drew the curtains to / And took a chair 11-12Kun poika yski / verta lattialleWhile he was coughing / Blood onto the floor 13-14Mitään sanottavaa ollut ei / Käsi tarttunut ei toiseenThere was nothing to say / No hand sought another hand 15-16Äidin katse ulos vei / AamuaurinkoiseenThe mother turned her gaze / Out to the morning sun 17-18Niin kului tunti, toinenkin / Ja hiljeni sen pojan peti An hour went by, and another / And the son’s bed grew quiet 19-20Ja äiti ylleen haalarin / Ja saappaat jalkaan vetiAnd she pulled on her overall / And a pair of rubber boots 21-22Yli pellon pahaisen / Laahusti naapuritaloonAcross a meagre field / She trudged to the neighbours Astui varoen / Vähäiseen valoonStepping carefully / Into the faint light 25-26Ei kiire vaivannut kysyjää / Vain yhdestä oli huoliShe took her time about it / She only had one thing to ask 27-28Soittakaa kirkolle / kun poika äsken kuoliWould you phone them at the village / For my son’s just gone and died Lyrics by Jarkko MartikainenTranslated by Heli Mäntyranta Elegia [Elegy] (2002) by Trio Niskalaukaus

7 Via Dolorosa Elegia represents a realistic scenario from eastern Finland – See studies on alcohol mortality (e.g. P. Mäkelä 2001) Masculinity as tragedy in Finnish metal – Aesthetics of knife, bottle and rope – Metaphors of painful road = one rocky road without other routes – Sisu as a negative concept: stubbornness, bitter march toward the end – Shame: drinking and suicide as an escape solution – Drinking refers to loneliness and eventually to death – Destructive male socialization Kuolleen miehen kupletti [A Song of A Dead Man] by Viikate (2004) Kyllä mies kivun kestää / mutta ei häpeää [Man can take the pain, but not the shame] Trio Niskalaukaus, Nyt on mies! (2001), lyrics T. Rautiainen, transl. A. Oksanen

8 Discussion Cultural narratives (J. Phelan 2004) “Masculinity in crisis” as a cultural narrative in Finland – Culturally importance: mass media, TV, Films, books – Alcohol is still considered stronger than the man – Negative definition of identity (cf. American emphasis of survival narratives) – Images of vulnerability and coping with alcohol problems? Finnish metal (in Finnish) underlined (at least in the beginning of the 2000s) the social context of male tragedy A discussion of such problem is a start for a cultural change


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