Pursuant to the discussion on music, I'd like to offer my own thoughts on why I don't like emo. I'm pretty sure these musings are directly relatable to earlier discussions on hipsters. Anyway, here goes.
The kind of emo I have in mind is the largely acoustic, whiny sort exemplified by chief
offender proponant Christopher Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional. I'm fully aware that emo didn't originate with such pap and can get a lot harder. I've heard some of that stuff too, and while it isn't as limp-wristed, it still can come off whiny. Basically, emo says one thing to me: high school.
I've said for a while that I believe emo to be the opiate of slightly wussy high school boys. Last semester, Catacombs' resident emo guru hung this poster on his door, which to me really kind of sums it up. I'm persuaded that for emo-ites, life took them completely by surprise as "a man getting mugged in a meadow." They seem completely unprepared to deal with the things life can throw your way, and deal with that by writing - let's face it - embarassingly gushy lyrics to sad songs without the remotest touch of the duende that has been under discussion here recently. It's a sadness without hope, without looking forward, it is, I think, a sadness composed entirely of self-pity. In all the emo I've listened to - not an absolutely gigantic amout, but not tiny either - I can't detect much of a trace of wanting to move forward, learn from mistakes, or get over whatever girl just shut you down. In essence, welcome to the freshman year of high school.
This is what bothers me about it. It's like the musicians aren't moving on, have no intention of moving on, and to all appearances, moving on isn't something that entered their minds. Which makes them not sophisticated, intelligent, and fascinating, but pathetic high school freshmen. Yes, life can be tough sometimes. You were kind of supposed to know that. And when it does get tough, suck it up, have a beer or two, consider your situtation and choices for a day or two, and then get on with your damned life like the rest of us. Yes, my emo friend, you will fall in love again. No, my emo friend, your life is not over now that x has happened. Yes, you will feel this way about someone again - assumming you can get off your ass and try.
I think it's the self-absorbtion that really gets to me. It's the assumption that not only are one's emotions the most important thing in one's life, but that they should also figure prominantly in everyone else's life as well. I have enough pathologies of my own without having to cope with yours as well, thank you very much. Get on with it and do something productive. Get a real job. It doesn't matter what, the point is not what you do nearly as much as the fact that you're doing something.
In short: stop moping and grow a spine.Posted by ryan at July 26, 2003 9:45 AM