Iron Maiden vs. Barack Obama

The world is an immense place, so immense that it requires a speed of 11.2 km/s just to escape its gravity. But Iron Maiden is an immense band, so immense that the earth itself cannot escape the pull of the Irons. Is there a force on earth powerful enough to contain these Monsters of Metal?

Only science can tell.

The Pomp Culture Foundation for the Study of Speaker-Melting Rock presents its current findings in today’s installment of Iron Maiden vs. The World.


Well, this has been a pretty good week for my former Senator. Apparently he handily won a popularity contest against the Emperor of the Skeksis last November, and is now The Illuminati Shadow Government’s First African-American Figurehead. That means two things:
  • 1) Woodrow Wilson is rolling in his racist grave.
  • 2) Obama is probably thinking he’s pretty damn awesome right now.
While I approve of item one (and if Maiden annihilated the UN last week, imagine how they would have torn through Wilson’s paltry League of Nations), item two is unsetting. I’m not too fond of hubris from my leaders. And while Obama is refreshingly humble compared to His Arrogance, George II, I’m think there’s at least a peg or two he could be taken down. And I know just the quintet to do so.

The Methodology:

A full summary of the methodology (including descriptions of the Five Permanent Categories can be found here. If you need to go there, I’ll wait.

So…for the rest of you…how do you like this feature so far? Do you think I’ll really be able to keep this conceit alive for more than 2-3 weeks? Do you…oh wait, they’re back…

Caught up? Good.

This week’s additional categories will be covered in the actual battle, because you know you’re already sick of me for stalling this long.

The Battle:

Intellectual and/or Literary Merit
Well, the Irons might actually start this at a disadvantage, as the Harvard-educated Obama has actually written a pretty well-respected book. And he wrote it long before his emergence on the national scene. The following obvious communists have some pretty nice things to say about it, as well (like all sophisticated reviewers, I gleaned the following quotes from Amazon.com, a bastion of scholarship in these dark times:

  • “Provocative . . . Persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither.” —New York Times Book Review

  • “Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race.” —Washington Post Book World

  • “Beautifully crafted . . . moving and candid . . . this book belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride’s The Color of Water and Gregory Howard Williams’s Life on the Color Line as a tale of living astride America’s racial categories.” —Scott Turow

  • “Obama’s writing is incisive yet forgiving. This is a book worth savoring.” —Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
And while the Irons are no slouches in the book learning department, Amazon has this to say about their classic third album, Number of the Beast:
Throughout the 1980s, a damning generalization held true: British metal was
essentially working man's food, loosely descended from biker-meets and Northern
pubs; whereas, in the States, it was an outgrowth of stadium rock, which
traditionally subordinated substance to spectacle. Plug-ugly and cartoonishly
morbid, Iron Maiden were typical of the Brit effort, since they effectively
emphasized a driving, no-nonsense approach to the music.
Uh oh. “Plug-ugly and cartoonishly morbid” was the exact term Dorothy Parker used to savage the waitstaff at the Algonquin. Not looking good.

But wait…Bruce Dickinson has penned a screenplay (Chemical Wedding, later renamed Crowley)! Hmm…can’t find any reviews. While it’s probably safe to assume it’s hella awesome, it would be unfair to automatically credit Maiden for this achievement. I guess the challenger gets a point.

Advantage: Obama





Influence:

Obama should have this as a lock right? Wrong.

Sure, Obama is the ostensible Leader of the Free World, but what has he really done so far other than succeed in the (admittedly important) category of Not Being George Bush? Sure, he’s made a National Call for Service, but so far that hasn’t help yours truly much at all. I still have the same job, the same bills, the same health insurance, and the same haircut as I did under Bush. Okay, I just read he’s closing Gitmo, but I’ll believe that one when my Uncle Mahmoud comes home.

What has Maiden done? Well, I don’t know…they only redefined Metal as we know it. They only maintained an unheard of level of self-imposed quality control in their first decade - a decade where even Whitesnake could rule the airwaves. They only somehow managed to incorporate synths into Somewhere in Time and still ROCK BALLS. They only influenced about a thousand awful bands that no one wants to hear. They may or may not be responsible for the single greatest screenplay about Aleister Crowley in history. Oh, and while that one speech on race is pretty damn amazing, it’s never going to top the bone-chilling radness of Live After Death.

Sorry, Barry O. Call me when you’ve fixed America or something.

Advantage: Maiden




Image/Aesthetic:

The ubiquitous Eddie is one of the most popular images in the annals of 1980s metal. His grimly comic visage, created mainly in ballpoint pen, has graced thousands of Trapper Keepers, Social Sudies textbooks, and the occasional acid-washed denim pant-leg over the past 30 years (although there has been an admitted decline since roughly 1991). That’s a heck of a lot of blue ink.

However, Obama’s Shepard Fairy-designed campaign poster (and assorted parodies thereof) currently graces more Facebook profile pictures than there are actual people on earth. Even subtracting points for the exceptional lameness of the “O with a cornfield inside it” bumper stickers, Obama’s current influence on national aesthetics is indisputable.

Advantage: Obama




Pomposity:

Despite what the average Right Wing Rank’n’Filer might tell you, Obama does not actually seem to be too self important, much less have a Messiah complex. Most of his speeches are a heck of a lot more of the “we’ve got to make sacrifices and pull ourselves up” variety that Conservatives pretend they love to hear. And though he went to an Ivy League school so pompous that its graduates often hire servants for their servants to avoid accidentally rubbing elbows with the help’s help, it is only his ability to speak in complete sentences that separates him from most Americans.

Maiden, too, have their moments of humility, such as the following gracious statement from their official website:
"Iron Maiden's secret weapon is our fans. Anyone who's been to one of our shows
knows that they're the most passionate and devoted fans on the planet, making
the incredible atmosphere at our shows. To be nominated for Best Live Act at the
Brits is as much a recognition of them as it is of us. So for all of them, Up
The Irons!"
So very humble. And yet…maybe they still have a pretty high opinion of their powers:
“We have no doubt whatsoever that IRON MAIDEN is special to Latin America and
Latin America is special to IRON MAIDEN. Allow us to explain...

What was
achieved by both the band and their fans earlier this year in Latin America was
unheard of ... over 250,000 tickets were sold in less than a week, thus setting
box office records across the region. Within an 18 day time period the band
covered 7 countries, played 9 concerts and flew over 15,000 miles (25,500
kilometers). No artist, no band had ever done this before. Period. With their
incredible, high energy shows selling out well in advance and the insane
reaction from their fans to this very classic and timeless show...Somewhere Back
in Time, the question at the end of the tour was, "Should we do it again?".

And the answer from all sides was... DAMN RIGHT WE DO IT AGAIN! ... and
along with returning to some of our favourite places let's play some other
cities and countries too.

So in 2009 IRON MAIDEN and their fans will
once again make rock and roll history in Latin America by breaking some rules,
setting new records, and going to places that are normally off the usual touring
route. MAIDEN will embrace Latin America like none have before. This tour will
cross ancient ruins, the Amazon Jungle, The Andes and the Middle of the World!
MAIDEN will revisit cities played in 2008 in even bigger venues and a rev-ed up
show full of surprises. And together with their fans they will celebrate the end
of their incredible SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME TOUR.”
That’s pretty darn pompous if I do say so myself. And that’s not including any concept albums, Coleridge poems, or mentions of Bruce Dickinson’s Operatic Training.

Advantage: Maiden




Rocking Your Face Off:

Perhaps you remember this list of Obama’s favorite songs that was circulating during the campaign:
  1. ‘Ready or Not’ - Fugees
  2. ‘What’s Going On’ - Marvin Gaye
  3. ‘I’m On Fire’ - Bruce Springsteen
  4. ‘Gimme Shelter’ - Rolling Stones
  5. ‘Sinnerman’ - Nina Simone
  6. ‘Touch the Sky’ - Kanye West
  7. 'You’d Be So Easy to Love’ - Frank Sinatra
  8. ‘Think’ - Aretha Franklin
  9. ‘City of Blinding Lights’ - U2
  10. ‘Yes We Can’ - Will.i.am
While there are a few gems on there (“What’s Going On” is an immense song, and “Gimme Shelter” rocks with sufficient fury), I believe Iron Maiden can rebut this with one word:

"Wrathchild."

Advantage: Maiden




Well, B. Hussein is finding himself in a bit of a pickle, as Maiden currently leads 3 to 2. Hopefully the following two special categories will come up in his favor or the Political Honeymoon is over…
Leadership:

Ok, this is a tough one to call. I mean, yes, Maiden has the advantage of not one, but TWO legendary frontmen. But Maiden has long led by example. Sure, they are the band of choice for the cognoscenti of Headbanging, but they aren’t out there offering solutions to the current Metal Crisis (I refer, of course, to the severe lack of headbangers in elected office).

Meanwhile, Obama has taken the reins of the Washington Generals of Politics, the Democratic Party, and somehow managed to beat the showboating Orange County Globetrotters of the Republican Party. That is, in and of itself, an achievement. This round goes to Dirty Chicago Politics.

Advantage: Obama





This brings us to the tiebreaker...

Experience:

Sorry, Barack. Had to pull out the big guns here. Community organizer? Everyone knows helping people is lame. Try spending three decades as the most massive metal band in the world. 30 years of pure integrity, passion, determination, and sweat. Oh yeah. Tons of sweat.Advantage: Maiden

Well, Barack Obama seems to be a pretty competent guy, and I hope he does well by us. But lets face it, the democratic process is flawed because Iron Maiden is President-for-Life of the United States of Rocking Your Lame Ass.

Iron Maiden: 2, World: 0.


Up next: Iron Maiden vs. A Mother’s Selfless love!




Know anyone or anything you think can beat Iron Maiden in a fair fight? Well, let me know, and I’ll write a long, rambling, poorly reasoned post about why you’re wrong, fool.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You forgot that 2 of the Iron Maiden members have University degrees and Bruce Dickinson has an honorary doctorate. He also wrote 2 books. The band also has a way of bridging people of all faiths, races, nationalities together like a family. Ever been to a Maiden concert where you meet people from all around the world, and you would know what I am speaking of here.