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Watch Gwar’s TED Talk on cultural identity and tearing off faces

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How many TED Talk’s begin with someone having their face ripped off? Thanks to heavy metal act Gwar that number is no longer zero. During a recent TEDx conference in Richmond, Virginia, Gwar’s bassist/singer Dr. Michael Bishop, aka Blothar, delivered a surprisingly powerful speech regarding regional identity. Sans his usual performance make-up, the Richmond native and University of Virginia graduate detailed the amazingly bizarre origin story of the band – they’re aliens who crashed into Antarctica and were thawed out by a hole in the o-zone layer caused by the copious amounts of hairspray used by glam metal bands – while also discussing how the band is a reflection of Richmond’s culture, history and geography. Closing out the talk, Bishop noted that, “Like it or not, Richmond, Gwar is one of your most recognised cultural products. I’m very proud of that.”

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