Tuesday, August 1

One way to perplex your host

My most popular post ev-ah is this one, in which I designate four particularly offensive emo-indie-kid hairstyles I'd like to see instantly halted.

I wrote this post last Novemeber, and lately I've gotten at least 20 Google referrals each day to it. I don't know what kids out there are searching for (I'm the top result for "indie hairstyles" and "asymmetrical hairstyles" if you do an image search, and I'm near the top if you do an "indie haircut" search), but, increasingly they're finding themselves here, which is probably a huge disappointment for them when they realize I'm ridiculing their fashion choices (as only a fashion-challenged doofus such as myself can do).

But, as literarily prolific as you might think people using these search terms might be, comments from these hairstyle-seekers are few and far between.

I got my first comment on the post from someone named Laura a couple of weeks ago, many months after the actual publication date of the post. She seemed to enjoy the humor, which I appreciate greatly, as I did put much thought into the illustrations of emo-hairstyles-gone-wrong.

But the most recent comment, left Monday morning, sort of lost me.

Let me quote from one aptly named "indie kid":

EMO!!!! ak i concider myself an indie all the way - H&M belt, green converse, drainpipes, the kilers and i find it OFFENSIVE that emo freaks like u should be allowed to walk the streets. BLACK IS SHIT!! get it into your head thayt blac shirts, baggy trousers, hair and converse that are black are NOT KOOL! fuking emo freak

Seriously, emo freaks like me?

Yikes, dude, you're at an emo nine; I need you to take it down to a four.

Because if I'm somehow coming across as emo, then you must have just come from a frigging Donny Osmond concert.

Doooood, I'm not emo! I'm, if anything, painfully a-emo. Or anti-emo.

Sorry, "real" emo kids, but I remember being in high school and talking about the term "emo" and what it meant as it was emerging in pop culture. It was a joke from the beginning; that any of you would take it this seriously is depressing the bejesus out of me. Sure, there were cardigans and boxes of Kleenex and a general consensus that emoting was a natural way to get laid, but we didn't actually concoct a dress cocde that involved particular brands or colors. We were far too sensitive for that. And if there is anything in the world that is anti-emo, it is the idea of exclusion.

Harsh, dudes. So chill out.


Blogger J. R. said...

Emo is a dumb term and that's what exactly zero bands have self-identified themselves as emo. The word itself came out of the early-80s DC Hardcore scene. After Minor Threat jumpstarted hardcore, some musicians got together to use the hardcore aesthetic and music trappings to not go on interminably (like Minor Threat) about geo-politics, but instead about more the politics of the way people interact with one another (to draw a college course analogy- hardcore is macroeconomics, emo is and was micro, which is why pretentious people claim that it "says nothing," presumably because Dashboard isn't singing about sub-Saharan hunger, but instead about the raging emotions of teenagers).

ANYWAYS- the whole scene in DC was (and is) very insular so there was no clear demarcation in those early, heady days. Because punk generally and hardcore specifically are very EXCLUSIVE genres, they had to come up with an insulting way to label these bands playing more personal music- they came up with "emocore."

The increasingly ubiquitous "emo look" is actually a relatively new invention. Even as recently as 2001-2002, the "look" at "emo" gigs was t-shirts and normally-cut jeans. Chuck Taylors and perhaps a terry-cloth wristband were as "punk-rock" as it got.

So there you go, my 49 cents.


Tue Aug 01, 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thank god for Wikipedia. Please tell me you had to look all that up. :)

The happiest days of my life were lived out during the indie-emo boom of the late '90s. I was constantly mail-ordering from Jade Tree, and The Promise Ring and The Get-Up Kids laid down the soundtrack to my teenage years. Oh, throw a little Jets to Brazil in there for good measure.

And you're right -- the emo uniform was traditionally jeans and dig-store T-shirts (sadly, still what I wear), but there was also that nerdy subset of emo kids who wore moth-eaten cardigans and sweater vests and button-up Ely collared shirts with pearl buttons.

That was a fun time.

Now? Jesus.

I blame MySpace.

Tue Aug 01, 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger J. R. said...

As sad as it is, I wrote all of that whole cloth.

And Jets to Brazil pales in comparison to Jawbreaker.

I agree, however, with your positive vibes about Get Up Kids and The Promise Ring.

MySpace certainly hasn't helped things, but the real cause of the pop-punkier look is probably the rise of Vagrant Records.

You should read Nothing Feels Good by Andy Greenwald. I own it, if you care to borrow.


Tue Aug 01, 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Don't tou be dissin' Jets!

"The curtain's a sea anemone." — that is pure poetry, man!

Seriously, though, I actually would like to read that book. Carry it around with you so you can hand it over the next time I see you. :)

Wed Aug 02, 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

tou = you

I should really start drinking coffee.

Wed Aug 02, 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Serrabee said...

I remember being in high school and talking about the term "emo" and what it meant as it was emerging in pop culture.

Wow, I feel so old! I was in high school before Pearl Jam was big... yikes!

Wed Aug 02, 10:33:00 PM  

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