Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On emos

Emo is not Australian lingo for a flightless bird (they do *so* love to put O on the end of all their words), but is in fact a style of music, and in turn a type of person (those who like emo music and dress accordingly).

The whole emo scene has been brought to my attention recently by someone who used to be one, and I have to say I am rather flummoxed.

Here is the low down (with thanks to Wikipedia - emphasis my own):

Emo (pronounced /ˈiːmoʊ/) is a style of rock music typically characterized by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics. It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement, where it was known as "emotional hardcore" or "emocore". As the style was echoed by contemporary American punk bands, its sound and meaning shifted and changed, blending with pop punk and indie rock.

Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s followed by the emergence of the more aggressive subgenre "screamo".

Emo is commonly tied to both music and fashion and the term "emo" is sometimes stereotyped with tight jeans on males and females alike, long fringe (bangs) brushed to one side of the face or over one or both eyes, dyed black, straight hair, tight t-shirts (usually short-sleeved) which often bear the names of emo bands, studded belts, belt buckles, canvas sneakers or skate shoes or other black shoes and thick, black horn-rimmed glasses. In recent years the popular media have associated emo with a stereotype that includes being emotional, sensitive, shy, introverted, or angst-ridden. It is also associated with depression, self-injury and suicide.
And here is my problem with the whole thing (ignoring for now the whole Screamo thing, which is frankly a little scary)... since when did being emotional have to be so negative?

I am a very emotional person and one of my greatest weaknesses (and strengths) is that I respond to situations with an emotional reaction first, logic second. But my emotional reactions are just as likely to be positive emotions as they are negative.

Why can't emos go around emotionally extolling how happy sunny days make them? How lucky they are to be raised by comfortably-off middle class parents? How much their friendships mean to one another and how punch drunk with happiness they were when they secured the graduate job they always wanted?

To that end, can emo music never be hauntingly cheerful?

Come on people - emotions can be positive too!


Mandi said...

I treasure my "cheer up emo kid" badge. If only my lawn was emo so it would cut itself. Actually I don't have a lawn, I lied to use that joke.

Emo kids only have one emotion and it's set to teenager. As a scene, it's just a mashup of punk and goth (bitter rivals when I grew up). So as an alternative, what about Puths? or Gonks? I know plenty of Gonks.

Kitty said...

Emo kids are just the goths of the noughties!

Felicity said...

Because they are TEENAGERS! And NONE of us had ever experienced the depths of emotional despair they find themselves in, and will NEVER UNDERSTAND. I have many sibs who have all been through the emo phase-most of them have turned out to be quite cheery folk in the end! Always avoided anything myself that took greasy hair as a starting point and went downhill from there.

lurkmoophy said...

As an ex-emo I want to begin by saying you don't understand us...

And neither does my dad...

Check out

I like to associate myself with 'prehistoric emo' personally.

'his casual-yet-somewhat dorky look has become the mainstream, and he is no longer identified as the emo king he once was. tear.'

And my money is on the term 'gothtard' personally.

@EmVicW said...

Lurk that is hilarious! You are totally that person! [chortle, splutter]

Locations of visitors to this page