|Sulkin’ since 1989|
Maybe you’re one of them | You wear dark clothes, your sad eyes mope behind long dark hair that covers one side of your face. Downtrodden mannerisms are always the daily special, and these habits have developed your affinity for angsty music. Perhaps you experienced a Shakespeareian love affair that crash bombed. This caused an emotional regression that left you crippled. After that moment, a certain Dramatic weight began to cling to the very air around you. A dark cave stocked with an iPod containing Dashboard Confessional albums leaking with ‘love lost omg lyrics’ is just what you need right now. Don’t forget the eye makeup and tight clothes or you might feel like the happy and oblivious herd you’ve managed to separate yourself from. You sought out a WAY OF THE DARK SPIRIT, and for some reason all the other kids are doing it too. Cool, thinks you. I’m special.
|“Emo is another word for adolescent confusion.”|
Maybe you’re not one of them | You’ve never heard the expression ‘Pity Party’ but you got a good chuckle out of a link your buddy sent you about ‘Punch an Emo in the Face Day’. The Emo, like the Emu, is a curious species that never has made sense to you. Emos and hippies may refer to you as a ‘Normy’ and you may want to disagree with them but you just don’t care. You call Emos “Walking ads for Prozac” and crack jokes like “I wish my lawn was Emo so it would cut itself.” You react to their antics with the same confusion as you experience when you find yourself in the same room as cosplay characters, furries, and extremely foreign people. Xenophobia grips you as their faces flash before your eyes as you fall to sleep. Lately these Emo critters are getting on your damn nerves, and upsetting your digestive tract. “What the hell are they wearing girl’s pants for?”
Maybe you’re confused by all this | It’s easy to make fun of Emos as being a waste of space, but I also hope to provide a little sidecar of education. This is for those people who don’t yet know why Emos must not be trusted with small children.
While there may be no way to solve the mystery of the emo, we can always try.
Spotting the Emo
Emos are a very unique subculture. It’s as if every morning they dress and prepare themselves with the intention of displaying their miseries, misgivings, and general botheration. This makes it easy to spot one because Emos prepare their posture, clothing, hair, and sometimes makeup before leaving their room.
In this first “how to spot an Emo” section, we’ll be looking at what display elements your town Emo uses to make it known exactly how many Dashboard Confessional albums they’ve received from their bewildered but financially supportive mothers.
|Count the Eyes. Count the People.|
The one Eye Veil: Like dark, tinted windows, the Emo hairstyle speaks volumes about the driver within. Descriptions of this cosmetic phenomenon range from “The Dark Gate of Mordor” to “The Wall.” This “wall” of preferably dark hair covering one eye (except for Mark, who’s new at this) is useful in ways even the Emo doesn’t understand.
The dark curtains before their eyes serve as a reminder of the psychological identity they have entered. If ever they find themselves feeling oddly cheerful on a windy day, they soon realize that the hair once covering their eyes has blown behind them. When this true world is shown to them, it assaults their eyes and mind to a worldview that clashes dangerously with heartfelt poems written the night before. When the element of hair is removed from the unbalanced equation of Emoness, the aspects of detachment, aversion to eye contact, and the Emo’s ever-present desire to consort with like-minded (and like-haired) Emos are thrown out of wack.
Hiding behind this cloak, often made thicker from days of neglect, the Emo has created a nest of comforting invisibility. It puts them in a place corresponding to their desire for emotional insulation or in some cases complete detachment. It has consequences for everything from depth perception to face-to-face communication with Normys (non-Emos). “Shoe Gazers” is a popular nickname for Emos because those on the more extreme spectrum maintain a staredown of their patched chucks even during conversation. Combine this bewildering shoegazing with a greasy black spinnaker flowing down an Emo’s face and you’ll be lucky to see the whites of their cryin’ eyes.
For a livejournal page devoted to Hair similar to those above, click here.
During the painful couple hours of my life when I was doing “research” to discover why MySpace is a failure of humanity I learned much more than I wanted to. For one, I learned how to contain dry heaves while clicking through the few profiles I could stomach, and secondly, I learned that there’s many more social groups I don’t understand.
I may have had some fun at the expense of Goths, but I stopped myself from screaming bloody taunts at the social identity on MySpace most people have come to hate. You guessed it…they’re Emos… and they fill their pages with things like this.
|Rip Stabby Stab|
It was hard to determine if there were any clans who banded together in a unilateral decision to take massive craps on their MySpace pages, so I thought it more fitting to keep my “research” to the obvious issues I have with the site: the degeneration of language, advertisements, pre-adolescent whiny issues, and other things I find sad.
From an overwhelming number of comments, emails, and as it turns out, MySpace messages I received, it seems people find Emos the number one culprit for the depressing state MySpace has found itself in.
Identity is a major part of the Emo. They are saturated with the “Who am I” question and it consumes them. Because the largest emo population can be found among those who are just joining the adolescent club (13-17 year olds), it can be seen (in its most extreme forms) as a hilarious offshoot from normal psychological development. I’m all for self-discovery and ‘finding onseself.’ I’m down with the ‘Know thyself’ advice, but when identity becomes the person it’s time to rethink things.
No matter the decade, there will always be the ‘Rebellious youth.’ They may be manifested in Newsies or existentialist college students from the 1920s. These emos have brewed a formula of stanky rebelliousness that distances them from whatever reality they were once uncomfortable with.
The saddest things about emos is the way that tend to fake depression. It makes the people with serious depression even more depressed. We’d think about them differently if there was a cultural movement that tended to fake Cancer as a part of their identity.
Consulting the Literature
You’d be surprised how many people find time to make fun of Emos. Second to Bush Bashing, creative assaults on the Emo demographic are being spat out every day. But some take their job very seriously. Any Emo anthropologist must read these fine works of social history:
The better-informed rants read something like this:
The “emo-kid” is what one can equate to the new version of the hippie. Both are defined as a large group of people who all pretty much look the same from a personal expression perspective, are part of a movement that either stands for nothing or accomplishes nothing, and are generally looked down upon by a thinking society. From behind it’s often hard to tell “Emo-boy A” from “Emo-girl B” because they probably are identical down to the hair, mannerisms, and pants style. Imagine a metrosexual style for teens that includes pity party get-togethers and you’re pretty much there. What irritates me most is their “In your face” attitude when confronted by the fact that they are following a spreading epidemic and are not as they think “original “or “anti-establishment”. It’s like those damn Apple-jacks commercials where they acted cocky because they know they don’t taste like apples, but they like them so deal with it square! In almost a poetic twi st of fate, I see that Hot-Topic ( a GAP subsidiary to begin with ) is changing over from Goth stylings to more Emo as time goes on.
Videos Speak Out
It’s extremely easy to search through Youtube for things with ‘Emo’ in it, but you’ve likely never heard of EmoKid21Ohio. He’s a special case. He’s from England, and managed to fool thousands of subscribers to his videos on YouTube into thinking he was a sad kid from Ohio. He had sad sad posts about him being locked out of his house and the ensuing anguish. Eventually someone found his real identity and posted his MySpace page. Below you’ll find his final post where his British accent emerges after a fake BBC news bulletin:
There are also long videos that serve as good primers to the Emo’s ridiculousness. They put a lot of effort into these things:
And here’s a randomly selected ‘Emos suck’ video post.
Party on Wayne. And cheer up Emo kid. There’s more to life than being sad.
The emo subculture is dying out. It’s been eradicated from most large cities in America but still exists in small town pockets. Places I’d like to be known as ‘One Headlight Pity Parties.’
Soon there will only be the jokes and the videos stuck on YouTube making fun of them. Like the way of the Goths of the 1980s, and the Bronchiosaus of the Permian age, the Emo will fade and a new annoyance will rise.
How emo are you? … with questions like: “How many pins on your messenger bag?”