Sunday, March 16, 2008

Woe is Emo...

Like many people, I am guilty of feeling depressed occasionally. Sometimes, little things bother or upset me more than I should allow them. I spent a lot of my youth feeling "out of place" and not quite "fitting in" with the crowd. Not to any extreme, of course.

Back then, we had a niche of people nicknamed "the Goths". You know who I'm talking about: the kids who wore all black, eyeliner, and black nail polish... sometimes black hair with coloured streaks. They always spoke of gloom and doom... or death, suicide, and Edgar Allen Poe... and wrote their own morbid poetry by candlelight.

They have been replaced in the past decade (I still can't quite figure out exactly when) by the new wave of tragic teens: the emo kids. I know, I know... "emo isn't a style or culture, it's a type of music", blah, blah, blah...

Then why do they all look alike??

The same long hair brushed to the side over the face (presumably to hide tears). The same tight shirts advertising bands and other things. The same tight womens jeans giving the illusion that they have no calf muscles. The same bag over the shoulder to carry poetry and such. The same lip, nose and/or eyebrow piercing.

And the same messages: Nobody understands me. The world is a cruel, unfair place.

And they're generally in their early-to-mid teens... interesting time to be so wise as to the ways of the world.

Almost everyone spends their teenage years confused, worrying, and feeling outside of society somehow. You can't vote, drink, smoke, have sex, etc. legally. You're trying to find your own identity.

Honestly, it's not worth getting upset over.

Most people who were goths or emo kids outgrow it eventually and realize that there life hadn't even begun at that age. There is no reason to hate the world until you at least become an actual, productive member of society at large. When you're 15 and flipping burgers on the weekend to buy the latest video game or CD, you really don't have the full grasp of the world and the struggles inside it quite yet. But teenagers always have a habit of believing they are wiser than the previous generation. More enlightened. More advanced. It's not just the teenagers, either. Every society thinks they're better, smarter, and more savvy than the one before them.

Now I have nothing against all people "emo" or any other click they want to form themselves into. Whatever you call it, it's unoriginal. It has been done before... and probably better. I don't mind people with long hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. Do whatever you care to do with your own body. But do it because you want to do it, not to act like cattle following others around you and claiming to be "unique". And don't complain about the world until you've tried to actively change it for the better. The world is whatever you make of it. If you only see the gloom and doom, you'll miss all the wonderful parts.

Just don't expect the older generation to give you sympathy. If you whine about your cruel life to a single mother with two jobs barely keeping clothes on her back, you're bound to get something other than a pat on the back...


Chris said...

I can understand with your posting. I never really understood this Emo movement just as much as I never understood the Goth movement. But maybe they are trying to fit in the world too but doing it in a really strange way lol I feel they should get a hold of themselves and try to make this a better place as we all need that. Being self destructive does not help anyone.

Liam said...

Now that you describe just what the emo kids look like, you were so right in busting Christian from Project Runway as an EMO kid. He totally is!

Well twenty years out from the closest I ever was to giving a damn about this stuff, it's bizarre to watch!

I never fit into any clique per se. I've always just been me, and yet somehow that has worked for me, go figure!

Anonymous said...

The theory is that the Emo generation are crystal children. The turmoil that the earth is going through is reflected in their persons. "They" in effect, are the earth’s emotions.

Liam said...

Or maybe they are just dorkwads who are too stupid to realize they act like idiots! :)

Anonymous said...

Well said. I completely agree, well at least now I do now that I am older. I wasn't in the Goth clique but liked the style. Hell I still do. I still call it goth though, not Emo. I heard it called that a while ago but didn't even know about it till then. Thought they were miss pronouncing something. Goth to me sounds better. I looked at goth as a way of expressing yourself through what you liked, (me loving the color black and skulls). Never understood the feel sorry for me I am morbid portion of it.

Anonymous said...

I think it is easy to buy into a projected image and sort of judge it. Whether its hippies, beatniks, punks, surfers, goths, emo or whatever it is; it is just a manifestation of what is happening in the times. I think it is easy to get wrapped up in solipsism when you are young. Be gentle, you were young once. the world would be awfully boring if we were all cut from the same cloth.

As for Goth, some of the younger kids don't realize it was more of a laugh. Someone labeled bands like Bauhaus and Sisters as goth and it stuck. It never meant anything really. Me and my friends always wore black because we were artistic. I never thought of myself as being a blood sucker or thinking "Life, how dare it!"

Life would be better if we didn't look for ways to sort of pick groups out based on surface appearances and persona types. After all, wasn't that done to us as gay men?