Posts Tagged ‘emo’

Fargo Rock City: Part II – The Scene Kid Edition

Pokemon Cards: “I Choose You, Screamo Frontman”
By: Paul G. Atkinson IV

We all played Pokemon.  Well all my friends did.  I mean, it was fifth grade; Yo-Yos had just been banned from school – even during recess! – apparently someone had used one as a weapon, but anyway I digress, basically: we needed a new fad, and it became Pokemon.

Everyone I new became addicted, completely consumed by the Pokemon culture: not just by the cards, but by the television show, the videogames, and some even by the cheap t-shirts and Ash Ketchum imitation hats.

Eventually the fad died.

Breaking News: every fad dies.  I was luckily enough to cash out early, selling my holographic Charizard for $80 a few weeks before we all found another fire to throw our allowance money into.  It might have been WWF action figures.

High school came next and fads became more fashion based and I stopped paying attention to most anything but girls that were out of my league and blink-182 records.

There was not a chance in hell of me getting any girls, so I spent time getting more records, expanding from blink-182 to other pop punk bands: New Found Glory, Sum 41 ect… eventually horrible shit like Good Charlotte and Simple Plan popped up and I moved to the “emo” explosion.  I became completely consumed watching television shows on FUSE, buying literal tons of band merch, sporting the tightest jeans ect…


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I came across two incredibly vivid exploding head images that I thought worth sharing. Both play a splash of red over a black and white background, reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City, and John Woo’s The Killer:

The first, from Threadless.com

The second, from Modblog.bmezine.com

I responded in a similar order to both images: recoil, fascination, shame, artistic appreciation. My first impulse is to argue that artistic representations of human-on-human violence are more acceptable than representations of self-harm. And after some consideration, I think this goes for the mediums as well: body modification outsiders are more critical of self-carved, self-pierced, or self-branded mods than of mods completed by a professional.

An anthropologist could probably lend a little more legitimacy to this idea, but I think that self-harm is more upsetting because it’s so unnatural. Discussions about “what a person is capable of” aside, we treat violent manifestations of our survival instinct–war, competition, domestic violence–as animalistic and natural. But self-harm is contrary to our evolution. That was the scariest part of The Happening, the idea that something could force us to deny our survivalist instincts. And at a higher, emotional level, perhaps we fear the absence of a culprit. We have not fear to fear, not external enemies to fear, not a figurative reflection, but ourselves: our own hands, our own arms, our own minds.

And a tangent: Something of which I was not aware when I acquired my first modification is that there is something to be said for the etiquette of display. The argument, “I don’t want to look at your trashy tattoos,” is an aggressive and dumbed-down, but nevertheless, legitimate critique of public v. private space. We have certain expectations about public space that transcend morality and/or culture quality.

Mainly, I suspect most people do not expect public images to elicit strong emotional responses. (Perhaps this is why film makers are able to re-frame rather mundane images as poignant and breath-taking, because we are not ready to lose our breath when driving to work, walking to lunch, picking up the kids etc., etc.) I wonder then, if aggressive images of suicide or assassination on a tee-shirt or in a tattoo violate cultural etiquette? (There is no question that they violate cultural norms, at least in communities where non-tattooed persons comprise a majority.)

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…well it might be in Russia if this shit passes:

Emo to be made illegal in Russia?

My Chemical Romance fans protest at the Daily Mail's London office“My Chemical Romance fans protest at the Daily Mail’s London office

New laws planned to stop ‘dangerous teen trends’

A new Russian law could make being an emo kid illegal in the eastern European country.

Legislation is currenting being formulated in Russia to heavily regulate emo websites and ban emo and goth dress style in schools and government buildings.

The new laws are apparently being driven by fears that these “dangerous teen trends” encourage depression and suicide.

The legislation was presented last month at a hearing held by the State Durma, where critics claimed that the “negative” emo culture encourages anti-social behaviour and glorifies suicide.

Emo kids were described as teenagers who wear black, have facial piercings and black hair with fringes that “cover half the face”, reports The Guardian

The weekend saw mass protests by Russian emo kids.

In Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, where laws are already being implemented, protestors in a march held signs saying “A Totalitarian State Encourages Stupidity”.

Dmitry Gilevich of Russian emo band MAIO stepped in backing the protests, saying: “Expressing psychological emotions is not forbidden by law.”

However, emo critics remain unconvinced.

Alexander Grishunin, an adviser to bill sponsor Yevgeny Yuryev, described a ban as necessary, stating: “This is the first step in the public discourse.”

The moves in Russia follow criticism of the genre in the UK earlier this year, which saw My Chemical Romance fans protesting at the offices of British newspaper The Daily Mail over their coverage which linked emo with suicide.”

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