Swedish Occupational Psychologist First To Recognize The Debilitating Effects Of Heavy Metal Music

from the no-word-yet-if-this-excuses-you-from-serving-in-the-metal-militia dept

Sweden, home of an unofficial pirate religion, an official Pirate Party and shockingly reasonable infringement fines has upped the ante on every country wishing to fill the local papers with ONLY "weird news" features. Via Marginal Revolution comes this story of metal and the damage it has done.

Consider the plight of Roger Tullgren. Introduced to a strain of music referred to colloquially as "heavy metal" by an older brother, Roger has been forced to live a life of constant underemployment due to his newly-defined handicap.

Tullgren's addiction to heavy metal has forced him to quit job after job. Sometimes it's "the man" forcing him out because of their fear of the music's inherent "dark forces" and possible secondhand hearing loss. At other times, it's the struggle to contribute to two metal bands while still occasionally showing up for work, that leads to the unemployment line. Either way, Roger has a problem, and it's one that the crushing chords of the heaviest of metal can't cure on their own.

Fortunately, an occupational psychologist has stepped up to the plate for Tullgren:
"I signed a form saying: 'Roger feels compelled to show his heavy metal style. This puts him in a difficult situation on the labour market. Therefore he needs extra financial help'. So now I can turn up at a job interview dressed in my normal clothes and just hand the interviewers this piece of paper," he said.
With this form in hand, Tullgren is now able to fulfill his duties as a 42-year-old dishwasher. No longer is he forced to take off his multiple skull-and-pentgram rings or cover up his tattoos before heading for work. In addition, his current employer allows him to listen to his preferred music at crippling decibel levels ("unless there are guests") and take time off whenever he needs it to catch the nearest metal act live. (Tullgren attended over 300 shows last year.) Tullgren's employer not only benefits from having the hardest rocking dishwasher in Sweden but also from Tullgren's "brain thing," which ensures that the Swedish Employment Service pays part of Roger's salary.

Despite these hardships, Tullgren remains buoyant and unflappable (two words which have never been applied to a metalhead before):
"Some might say that I should grow up and learn to listen to other types of music but I can't. Heavy metal is my lifestyle," he said.
Lifestyle choice or no, it's good to see that Tullgren is finally getting the help he needs. After all, as Quiet Riot's eerily prescient album points out: "Bang your head/Wake the dead/We're all metal mad/It's all you have/Bang your head/Metal health will drive you mad."

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