In a stunning rebuke to the third grade teacher who confiscated my sweet Sabbath Bloody Sabbath cassette, a newly published study says that darkness wasn’t the only thing ‘80s metal aficionados were happy about in their youth. These fans also grew up to be more well-adjusted adults than their Tiffany-spinning counterparts.

A brief history lesson for those of you born after the Reagan years: Metal was once so fearsome, so demonized, that a group called the Parents Music Resource Center actually managed to get Senate hearings investigating the music business. Satanic panic was big in fashion back then, and a lot of musicians had to defend their lyrics, including Twisted frontman Dee Snider who rolled in stinking of Aqua Net and rocking the biker-on-furlough look and still managed to deliver a stunning linguistic smackdown to his interrogators. Being underestimated is a gift.

Anyway, now all those headbangers have grown up. Humboldt State University researchers found that far from dragging them down, the metal community provided a tight-knit protection and identity that helped them to navigate the pitfalls of youth more effectively. Those former metal fans “were significantly happier in their youth, and better adjusted currently.”

I’m off to fetch some goat’s blood so the appropriate people can start on their written apologies.

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