Home About


Ryan Vaughan



Why did the man want his grass to be emo? So it would cut itself.

That’s right, laugh it up. Emos, or emotives, are a new, watered down breed of Goths. With a desire for poetry, selfdeprecation, depression and tight, black stovepipes, emos have become somewhat of a pop culture icon.
Emos slowly skulk around a mall near you, lamenting their tedious existence in the melancholy parade of misery that is their lives. With Ipods blaring, and faces not caring, their eye makeup tells a woeful tale of teenage angst and unheeded calls for help. Usually found in packs, though some prefer the misery being a loner forges, emos love to hate. Emos are not to be confused with emus – flightless birds that love to bite people and run really fast (though they do share one emu mannerism that of sticking their head in the ground… is that the Ostrich?) Either way, emos are not birds.
Experts (people on the internet) have tried, but failed at isolating what causes the emo condition. Some blame it on the high divorce rate, and the subsequent disintegration of the family. Some have tried to blame it on the MTV-generation hangover. This refers to the idea that a new generation of consumers are beginning to question the merits of the commercialized world, and therefore have a burning desire to find fault with everything the mainstream world has to offer. Some believe that emos are just pussy assed bitches who complain too much and spend too much time writing on their MySpace pages about their pathetic lives.
I think we are getting somewhere here. Emos are motivated by the sense that they are somehow different to everyone else. They strive to not be mainstream. Yet ironically, in this pursuit for individuality, they are caught in a cat and mouse game with a catch 22 situation. In trying not to be conformists, they conform to the nonconformist’s model. Confused? You’re obviously not emo enough.
Emos, though they never wanted to be, have become a mainstream trend. My somewhat lacklustre and stereotyped description of emos above would get me in trouble with my emo friends. They cringe when people refer to emos as those that have long fringes and partake in self mutilation. In fact, being emo is not really about style at all. To be truly emo, you must have a deep seeded interest, or indeed a love for emo music. Being emo has something to do with being sensitive to the feelings of others. If you listen to the lyrics of emo music, from the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line or Dashboard Confessional, you soon get the impression that all these people do all day is lament lost girlfriends, missed opportunities and the state of the world. Indeed, emos always seem to be moaning about something not right in their lives. Very rarely does a song deal with the good things in the emo songwriter’s life.
I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of emo music. Emo was born out of the punk genre, and as such uses catchy melodies, and fast paced rock which really gets the blood pumping. Before the term emo became fashionable, which was around the time My Chemical Romance went mainstream, emo music was somewhat of an underground music movement. That is to say, the music provided an escape for those not satisfied by the ‘popular’ music the mainstream had to offer.
Like any genre of music, emo songs tell stories. But it seems the stories they tell relate really well to how the outcast youths feel about who they are. I hear you asking, why is this television column about emos? I could have an extremely valid and emotional motive, I am sick of the term emo being thrown around out of context, for example. However the real reason is, after witnessing a rather humorous scene in a recent episode of Scrubs, where an emu is seen wearing a red hat, I really wanted to mention emus before the year was out. But writing a column completely about emus would have been a bit strange.
Hopefully my column has educated you somewhat on what an emo really is, and perhaps will even motivate you to check out some of the music. Some of it really is good.