Ex Officio by Donald E. Westlake

By Donald E. Westlake

An in poor health ex-president makes an attempt to come to the realm stage

Few retirements are harder than that of a former president. For greater than a decade, the once-powerful Bradford Lockridge, whose presidency was once lower brief after one time period, has slipped more and more into obscurity. At his lowest aspect, he flies to California to wait the hole of a grocery store, only for an opportunity to get a few sunshine. After the rite ends, Lockridge faints, waking up after a couple of minutes, careworn and stuttering. The ex-president is starting to die.

Before he is going, he desires one final probability to alter the area. An palms race is constructing with Communist China, and Lockridge had extra good fortune than the other president in facing the Reds. the area has handed him by means of, yet this ex-president nonetheless desires to put it aside - no matter if it capability risking his personal existence.

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But as techniques, the resultant sounds do not simply signify genre but evoke any number of more specific images and concepts, allowing the bands that make use of them to imbed social commentary, and often critique, within metal's musical texts. All of the songs I analyze in this thesis belong to the category of music I have labelled science fiction metal, and many of them particularly rely on evocations of threatening technology, oppressive power, rationalized control and, as the next chapter illustrates, dystopia.

David Szatmary suggests that the early metal played by bands such as Black Sabbath "reflect[ed] the militant mood of the times" with its "loud, explosive" sounds (182). While one might disagree with his suggestion that early metal was divorced from psychedelia,9 the militant times of the late 1960s to which he refers-increasing violence surrounding anti-Viet Nam war protests, violence on campus, race riots (170-174)-may well have contributed to the development of more aggressive musical styles, particularly in the case oflate 1960s American rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, MC5 and Blue Cheer (SzatIhary 178-179; see also Weinstein, Heavy Metal 18).

Beginning with timbre, he identifies the sound of the distorted electric guitar as the "most important aural sign" in metal, emphasizing its relationship with technological and human (or superhuman) power (41-44). The loudness of metal also produces a sense of power, again relying on technology, but using that technology to "expand aural space" and remove boundaries between the power represented by the music and the listener's experience of bodily empowerment (44-45). The sustain and overdrive often employed by metal singers to .

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