‘ABC 4 Investigation: Emo Exposed’

It appears this “teen phenomenon” known as emo is spreading fast, emerging from the “underground” and traversing the nation from Grand Fork, ND to Salt Lake City, UT. According to the latter’s ABC affiliate, emo is an affliction for many Salt Lake City youth, and is a culture which investigational reporter Reed Cowan says exploded “out of the internet and into the music.” The TV report attempts to document the many facets of the movement, reportedly personified by black clothing and hair, depressing music, and, in extreme cases, self-mutilation and cutting. Oh, and gender bending, too, where boys kiss and wear flowery, baggy girls’ jeans (watch the video below to see what they mean).

To attain insight on Salt Lake City’s reporters’ warped emo viewpoints, SPIN.com caught up with Leslie Simon, co-author of emo bible Everybody Hurts, which is depicted in the investigational report. “Over the past two days, I’ve probably had 23 different people send me this clip. For some reason, the more I watch it, the funnier it gets,” Simon said. “Don’t get me wrong: Cutting isn’t funny. Neither is suicide or teen runaways. However, what is funny is the way the newscasters set up emo as a the scariest cult since Heaven’s Gate.”

“Some of the facts are there: ‘Emo’ is short for ’emotional,’ lots of kids wear black, and a ton of the music is pretty depressing,” she continued. “However, it seemed like the news team, or the local station, or ‘the man’ had an objective for the story before they even started their research.”

Simon then observes the ease at which popular society will classify certain aspects of culture, most often, those of which are misunderstood. She adds that although emo can “refer to a genre of music, a manner of dress, an Internet attitude, and anything/everything in between,” it’s not a phenomenon meant to be understood by “middle-aged weather dudes” or “soccer moms.”

Considering the labeling set by ABC 4’s Cowan, who cites Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You into the Dark” as a “young voice” singing “about killing himself,” SPIN.com phoned Death Cab’s manager, Jordan Kurland, in an attempt to clear the air. “I found it very entertaining,” Kurland said of the song’s inclusion, also mentioning that frontman Ben Gibbard has also seen the ABC 4 clip. “It’s not a song about suicide, it’s a song about growing old with someone you’re in love with and when they pass away it’s about wanting to spend eternity with them.” And how did Kurland feel about the ABC 4 piece as a whole? “And we wonder how George Bush got elected twice,” he quipped.

In response to ABC 4 Investigation: Emo Exposed, bloggers have fired back, scolding older generations for pigeon holing youths for their dress, musical preferences, and misunderstood image and activities, while others worry only for the generalization’s scapegoats, those who cut themselves. WILLIAM GOODMAN

Now Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KYyUT3lG96Q

Here’s what YouTubers are saying about the ABC 4 Investigation: Emo exposed:

“What a load of nonsense. ‘Advanced emo kids gut themselves’. What an uninformed and shitty report.” — jackruby

“Their stupidity makes me laugh on the inside. ‘Emo culture’ hahahahahahahahaaa… ” — hardxcoregeeks

“Those kids that cut themselves do obviously need help, but r u making them feel any better about themselves by doing this? So stop reporting on it dumb asses!!!” — Mychemfan4eva23

“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realize Death Cab for Cutie were emo? (song at 3:13) Unfortunately for them the ‘young teen’ singing is 30 years old…” — Treefiddy10

“I wonder what it feels like for the people in Utah to be spoon-fed bullshit.” — Tygerrnitemare

“A hairstyle called the ‘Gunshot Wound’ made me automatically give this five stars. God bless you little white kids with no legitimate hardships.” — jayjayjay

On the Web:
Everybody Hurts on MySpace

Talk: Which claim in the ABC report is the most ridiculous?


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