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- DEATH OF AN ICON -

When RRC launched quietly a year ago, we adopted as our symbol a stylized version of “The Horns”:a modification of the classic Windows “pointing hand”. We felt it represented music and computers, which is where the Internet lives. It also represented one of the few times we actually came up with something clever.

However, during the recent revamp of the site, we began to have doubts about our trusty sidekick. There were just too many pictures of douchebag band guys flashing the horns. People were flashing the horns at MTV Beach Parties and N*Sync concerts. NuMetalers flashed it when they weren’t giving the finger. The whole thing had become a huge cliché, and it seemed like a good time to put it to bed.

Rather than make the decision on our own, we thought we would give you, the readers, the opportunity to vote on it. Before we get to the voting, though, let’s take a look at a brief history of “The Horns”:

In the world of band photography, only one totem approaches the ubiquity of the brick wall: The “Horns”. We’ve all seen it thousands of times. It’s the hand gesture, index and pinky fingers outstretched, meant to symbolize rock and roll, world-weary ennui and sarcasm or simply “partying down”.

According to metal singer Ronnie James Dio, he didn’t invent the “horns” hand gesture, he just popularized it.

“I was in Sabbath at the time. It was a symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It's NOT the devil's sign like we're here with the devil. It's an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother.” Dio said in a 2001 interview. “It's to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It's just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it.”

As time passed, the “horns” came to symbolize not only Sabbath but heavy metal music in general and rock fans the world over adopted it as a sort of not-so-secret handshake.

“The Age of Irony” dawned in the early to mid-eighties and among the “progressive” set, flashing the “horns” became the visual equivalent to yelling “Freebird” at a concert. Let’s Active fans had found a way to simultaneously make fun of the heshers that beat them up in high school while appearing deliciously droll to their bolo-tied brethren.

By the time a new generation of kids came on the scene, only jaded slackers would flash the two-fingered salute in an eye-rolling attempt to elicit knowing snickers from the rest of the coffee house. Then came NuMetal.

Rap/Rock Mooks all across America had learned from their cousins, stepdads, uncles and cellmates that the horns meant something having to do with Hard Feckin’ Rawk. It was a way for a guy to scream “Woooooooo!” without uttering a sound. The horns enjoyed a brief renaissance until the already painfully derivative genre that nurtured the comeback began to feed on itself and suck even harder.

Today, the horns are merely another imagined accouterment of the “band guy” like his eyeliner or backwards baseball cap. In photos, it is imperative the band guy flash the horns to identify himself as someone who “rocks”. The irony lies in the fact that 98% of the people who flash the horns to signify that they rock, in fact, do not.

So, on one hand, our little logo is a neat way of saying “Hey look, it’s Rock and Roll on the web…or something.” On the other hand, thanks to douchebags like the ones that reside in our Halls of Douchebags, it’s become a played-out joke like dookie chains and Jackson guitars.

Postscript: We stuck with the Horns. Fuck 'em.

 

 
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