Author Topic: Reply to Emo Thread  (Read 7944 times)

Cait M. R.

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Reply to Emo Thread
« on: December 17, 2009, 12:35:44 pm »
This can be considered a response to Emo: The Symptom of our Decay started by JohNyx. If you haven't read it, go do so. It's a good read, IMO, and it's pretty much the entire thing that started my writing this.

I think it's important, first off, that I make it clear where I'm coming from. If you asked anyone who knew me IRL or had seen me on my cam before it broke horribly, the first word out of their mouths you'd get is "scene". Scene is an offshoot of emo that's less about discontent in general and more about giant egos* (if you go by JohNyx's philosophical interpretation of emo, which, as I'll get to soon, I don't really believe is a very good interpretation to begin with) and "having fun". Sort of subverting emo, in its own way. So I am kind of biased and I think that's important to keep in mind.

Why do I disagree with JohNyx's interpretation, though, aside from the obvious bias? Maybe it's because I speak from something of an inside stance.

Before I became "scene" (ironically, after dropping out of high school) I always hung out with the emo crowd even though I was a better fit for the metalheads (considering music tastes and fashion choices).The first thing I noticed was they were all friendly. Aside from being a little bit wary of speaking about their music around people outside of the clique they seemed generally like just introverted people with some shared interests. They were very loyal friends to each other (not really me, though that's my fault, I always seem to be an observer in any social situation and never even tried to remedy that in this case) and often helped each other out. Stereotypes I immediately noticed were wrong both previously had applied to goths. Hmmm. I saw very little poetry writing, in fact very little interest in artistic endeavours of any sort. None of them seemed particularly depressed and while there were two cutters in the bunch of ~30 or so people, I was assured that there were far more cutters among the nerdy kids.

Of the stereotypical fashion traits that JohNyx stated in his post, I noticed only 4 and except hoodies, they never applied to more than half the people (and it's worth noting that everyone outside of the emo clique wore hoodies too). The other three were black clothes, tight pants and black nails. Stars never even appeared once. I don't know if that's maybe a Mexico-only thing, though? There was also a more often-cited trait that most of them shared, the weird hair. But considering that JohNyx didn't mention that himself, I'll just let that go.

The music tastes were most surprising to me. There was the expected pseudo-punk and alt-rock, along with a lot of slightly unexpected but not completely out there pieces of punk awesomeness, like old AFI and etc. But some of the other common music choices were just odd. I found 8 kids without God Module on their MP3 players, and only 1 who wasn't a huge thrash metal fan.

I can't really speak on the topic of MySpace regarding emo kids, because (surprisingly) none of the ones I met had one. I actually never really had a reason to get a MySpace until I went "scene". From what I've seen of MySpace after I got one, the emo kid flying-camera picture has spread to all sorts. I won't deny it started there, though, the girls of the group were exactly the type I'd expect to do that shit. As for the girls wearing tutus and shit.. Uh, I never EVER saw anything like that on MySpace or IRL. I dunno why I haven't found it on MySpace because that's exactly the shit I'd expect to find there, but the girls IRL were all super-serious tomboys with egos the size of world superpowers. They weren't really the type who would act stupid and post it on the internet, all things considered. (The boys, on the other hand, couldn't be serious if you put a gun to their head and told them that you just got done murdering their entire family. They even made lame jokes while bitching.)

Now to move to the philosophical part. I mentioned that they were all relatively friendly people, with the obvious caveat of "so long as you don't approach them like a complete douchebag". I feel it's also necessary to mention that none of them really seemed to express the variety of "discontent" JohNyx paints them with. I never heard much railing against the system, or idealistic passions or the like. I most clearly remember, in fact, asking one of them when I was 15 (they were about the same) "Why would you want to become an engineer when you grow up?"

The only real thing attitude-wise that they all shared was the dreaded Special Snowflake syndrome, where they were all, if not the most important people in the world, at least entitled to whatever the hell they wanted. They never really flipped out or anything if they didn't get their way, but they sure bitched about it a lot. It was the main reason I didn't become a part of that group fully. I got the feeling that they were EXPECTED to bitch regularly, and I don't know WTF would have happened to me when it came my turn to bitch and I could only give a half-hearted "everything's sort of okay, except maybe I'm a little tired and stuff."

The big difference here is that when I read "discontent" I think Problems With Big Things. Bitching about the state of the world, the government, laws, or even just rules set by your parents. The complaining and bitching that took place here was below the level of the most minor of the First World Problems thread entries. "Can you believe it, my mom wouldn't get my the new iPod. She's terrible." Seriously.

I guess if that's the problem JohNyx has with them, that's great because no one likes a whiner. But I got the impression that his worst problem with them was that instead of doing something about what bothered them, they just sort of bitched about it and kept living. Considering the things being bitched about, I'm personally happy that they just kept living their lives. I can't imagine any good coming from an indignant 15 year old trying to show his mom what's what for not getting him an iPod.

To conclude, JohNyx fucked up by (from what I gathered) trying to view emo through the same lens as punk and goth: as a counterculture. And it just isn't a counterculture, it doesn't even try to look like one. It's a bunch of teenagers who want to look cool while swinging their egos around, and that's really it. (Regarding the music choices, I think what happened with the non-obvious stuff was people in that local circle already had those interests and they just spread them. In one of the other towns there was a huge country fandom among the emos, for example.)

I will admit I'm speaking entirely from personal experience in a very small segment of Western Pennsylvania, and that said experience is probably atypical. But somehow I doubt that emos ANYWHERE are pretending to give a shit about politics or the state of the world or really much of anything. The very name of the subculture (emo, from emotional) implies getting hyped up about just about everything. And all the little slights leave very little emotional energy to give a shit about civilization sliding into the gutter.




*-Actually, scene is an offshoot of emo that's less about big egos and more about flaunting your big ego as flagrantly as possible. If I ever start talking about how much cooler I am than everyone else and how anyone who doesn't agree is just jealous, shoot me.

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 02:45:46 pm »
It seems to me that all you need to know is that they couldn't even think up a new name for themselves, and just went with "scene".


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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 03:37:20 pm »
Gotta admit I lost track of pre-packaged, cookie cutter individuality some time around Goth.

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 03:44:59 pm »
As a teen in the 90's who went through a punk goth and grunge phase the angst isnt new just gets dull after 26.

same shit, different shrinkwrap.

emo annoys the fuck out of me musically. Emo kids are just kids. Metal kids are just kids. ad freaking nauseum.

inter subculture bitching - also, nothing new.


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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 04:20:38 pm »
Emo  (or "scene") is nothing new.  Teenagers are basically big bags of angst.  The chief difference is that kids are now allowed to dress the way they please more than when I was a kid.

This, of course, allows them to be put in neat little marketing slots, and is therefore encouraged by the act of "discouraging" it.
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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 04:33:40 pm »
What Roger, Pixie, & Pent said.

What's funny is that when I was a kid, the in-thing was to claim you weren't part of a scene, because you and your friends were individuals and did your own thing. We even (thought we) made up a humorous name for ourselves, "disco dykes". It's only in retrospect that I could look back and go, oh, we were just another pack of club kids. Pass the ecstasy and the fabulous gender ambiguity, please.
 :lulz:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 04:38:11 pm »
What Roger, Pixie, & Pent said.

What's funny is that when I was a kid, the in-thing was to claim you weren't part of a scene, because you and your friends were individuals and did your own thing. We even (thought we) made up a humorous name for ourselves, "disco dykes". It's only in retrospect that I could look back and go, oh, we were just another pack of club kids. Pass the ecstasy and the fabulous gender ambiguity, please.   :lulz:



If you're curious, those people are now called "Lady Gaga fans".
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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 04:40:11 pm »
What Roger, Pixie, & Pent said.

What's funny is that when I was a kid, the in-thing was to claim you weren't part of a scene, because you and your friends were individuals and did your own thing. We even (thought we) made up a humorous name for ourselves, "disco dykes". It's only in retrospect that I could look back and go, oh, we were just another pack of club kids. Pass the ecstasy and the fabulous gender ambiguity, please.
 :lulz:


When I was a kid, I hung around with punk rockers.  I did so while wearing jeans, engineer boots, and a black tee shirt.  Amazingly enough, I was never given any shit about it.  I just dug the music, and to a greater extent, the people...probably because they didn't insist that I had to dress like a circus clown with a bad haircut to be part of the scene.

I still know some of those people, and they are still very together folks, no mid-life crisises or upside down finances from trying to be something they aren't.  The ones that are still alive, anyway.
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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 05:40:37 pm »
I quite literally did not hang around anyone in high school.  Not until I went to art school, and even though I did make friends there I made even worse enemies.

Today they would have me in therapy, worried I was going to shoot up the school.
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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 05:54:31 pm »
I quite literally did not hang around anyone in high school.  Not until I went to art school, and even though I did make friends there I made even worse enemies.

Today they would have me in therapy, worried I was going to shoot up the school.

I should have shot up my school.  They all turned into lawyers and insurance executives.

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 06:43:56 pm »
What Roger, Pixie, & Pent said.

What's funny is that when I was a kid, the in-thing was to claim you weren't part of a scene, because you and your friends were individuals and did your own thing. We even (thought we) made up a humorous name for ourselves, "disco dykes". It's only in retrospect that I could look back and go, oh, we were just another pack of club kids. Pass the ecstasy and the fabulous gender ambiguity, please.   :lulz:



If you're curious, those people are now called "Lady Gaga fans".

I noticed!  :lulz: And many of my old friends (and me!) adore Lady Gaga. We're all too old to do gender ambiguity anymore, because middle-aged people get fat and hairy and large-assed.

My schtick, back in the day, was dressing like a boy dressed like a girl. I was fabulous, and I didn't count my night a success if I didn't get told that I was "so real" and make out with at least one straight girl who thought she was making out with a tranny. Back when I thought gender-bending was something other than a totally irritating cliche.

Oh, foolish youth!
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 06:49:34 pm »
What Roger, Pixie, & Pent said.

What's funny is that when I was a kid, the in-thing was to claim you weren't part of a scene, because you and your friends were individuals and did your own thing. We even (thought we) made up a humorous name for ourselves, "disco dykes". It's only in retrospect that I could look back and go, oh, we were just another pack of club kids. Pass the ecstasy and the fabulous gender ambiguity, please.
 :lulz:


When I was a kid, I hung around with punk rockers.  I did so while wearing jeans, engineer boots, and a black tee shirt.  Amazingly enough, I was never given any shit about it.  I just dug the music, and to a greater extent, the people...probably because they didn't insist that I had to dress like a circus clown with a bad haircut to be part of the scene.

I still know some of those people, and they are still very together folks, no mid-life crisises or upside down finances from trying to be something they aren't.  The ones that are still alive, anyway.

I started hanging out with post-punkers after I got too old to be a club kid. I never felt quite one of them because I wasn't into the punk rock scene, yet they all remember me as being a "little punk girl". I liked that they never expected me to change how I dressed. I think I was still wearing either short dresses (with aprons) or big pants and tiny tees up until I had my first kid.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 06:50:08 pm »

My schtick, back in the day, was dressing like a boy dressed like a girl. I was fabulous, and I didn't count my night a success if I didn't get told that I was "so real" and make out with at least one straight girl who thought she was making out with a tranny. Back when I thought gender-bending was something other than a totally irritating cliche.

Oh, foolish youth!

Oh, that brings back memories.


I couldn't pass for anything other than a hariy guy, but I had a lot of friends like that.
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"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 06:53:13 pm »
First, I was a dork.

Then a metal dork.

Then a neo-Beat dork.

And now...well we come full circle.



What makes it so? Making it so is what makes it so.

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Re: Reply to Emo Thread
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 07:00:05 pm »


I started hanging out with post-punkers after I got too old to be a club kid.

I know otherwise-cool people in their mid 20s who still wear trip pants.  :x

Someone come down here and shoot me.
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