Author Of VARG VIKERNES Article Responds To Criticism From BLABBERMOUTH.NET Readers

The author of an editorial about the "flawed" Norwegian justice system published in the Arkansas daily newspaper Paragould Daily Press has personally responded to the BLABBERMOUTH.NET readers who have attacked him over his (presumed) musical and religious background.

Paragould Daily Press editor Travis Justice's Jan. 10 editorial, titled "Norwegian killer takes advantage of flawed system," spotlighted the case of Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnack), the former BURZUM leader who is serving a 21-year sentence for the August 1993 murder of MAYHEM guitarist Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous).

In the editorial, Justice criticized the Norwegian penal system for giving "murderers" like Varg three-day "get out of jail free" cards, only to make it possible for them to commit additional crimes while on the lam.

The following is Travis' complete response to the critical comments from BLABBERMOUTH.NET readers that followed the posting of the original story on this site:

"I just discovered that my editorial concerning Varg Vikernes has resulted in an outcry from quite a few metal fans. Judging by this site, a lot of those offended by my article have opted to assassinate my character. However, I do appreciate those who have sided with me on the matter.

"The main reason I'm responding to this message thread is that the very people trashing me for 'not having my facts straight' are the same ones who don't have a clue concerning my background or opinions on metal, religion and so forth.

"First off, I've played guitar for more than 20 years and have been a fan of metal longer than that. While IRON MAIDEN will forever be my favorite band, I listen to everything from LAMB OF GOD to DARK TRANQUILLITY. So to insinuate that I'm some unknowledgeable nerd in a suit is laughable.

"As for my religious beliefs, I'm not a 'Christian asshole.' While I do believe in God, I've come under fire numerous times within my community for my criticism of everything from the Catholic Church to faith-based initiatives involving government. So to imply that I'm some fundamentalist wacko is absurd.

"As for my knowledge of Varg's case, I have been aware of his activities for quite some time. I didn't merely 'cut and paste,' as some would suggest. I've been familiar with the events surrounding MAYHEM for a number of years and, to be honest, I've found them quite intriguing.

"Those criticizing my editorial and labeling it as a mere 'book report' should stop and think about the context of it. I'm the editor of a daily newspaper and, as such, I write a daily editorial. In doing so, I have an allotted amount of space to work with, so, whatever I write has to be short, sweet and to the point.

"As far as not 'signing my name' to the editorial goes, my name and photo accompany all of my op-ed pieces in the print version of my newspaper. I don't handle our web site, so I have no control over whether or not my byline accompanies my work when it appears online. What I find ironic is the fact those who are bashing me for just that are doing so under the guise of names like 'Tin God.' Hypocrisy is a wonderful thing (the noun, not the band).

"Finally, I would like to say that I am completely aware of the fact Norway has an extremely low crime rate and is a relatively safe place to live. But even though the crime rate is low, it doesn't change the fact that the sentencing of Varg Vikernes was far too lenient, given the crime, and it's ludicrous to think a murderer deserves some "time off" from the big house.

"That's all I have to say on the matter. So, flame away."

Tags:

Posted in: News

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).