Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Emo II

One last comment regarding the “emo” article that I posted about yesterday:

Music can accomplish much: it can set a mood and it can change a mood, but to credit it with inciting an action foreign to the thoughts of an individual is to give it more power than it has. It can soothe the savage beast because at times the savage beast is naturally soothed. Music will not cause someone to commit suicide unless it is validating thoughts that that individual already has. The suicide is not in the music, but in the mind of the individual who acts.

Not that I like a lot of what passes for “music” now (I did see something recently regarding the brain getting “wired” at a younger age than I am now as to what music it likes, making “appreciation” of “newer music” much more difficult).

I certainly dislike and do not support angry, cruel, violent, misogynist lyrics in some music today. I do think that those lyrics (along with much of current TV and movies) “desensitize” people, allowing us to slide into a less humane society. That should be addressed, but don’t write off action as the result of “music” (or movies or TV) and feel that all we have to do is eliminate the “music”.

Don’t “treat” the “music”, treat the individual, encourage the individual to get treatment.


Jon said...

I have not heard the use of the term "Emo" as you describe in these 2 articles. Historically, if you can call it that, Emo has been used to describe a certain type of music that popular record says originated with a band called Rites of Spring from Washington DC. It went on to include independent and underground bands that expressed "EMO"-tions that were once looked at as too personal or too emasculating to be voiced in the punk or hardcore music scene.

Later the term became a bit broader and encompassed more mainstream acts such as Dashboard Confessional. It is also pretty safe to mention that almost all bands that are labeled "emo" regard the term with some disdain. I have only met one band that embraced the term, a midwestern group call The Promise Ring.

It would seem to me that you are talking more about a "Goth" scene then "Emo", as the Goth scene has historically been more involved in cutting and self-harm behaviour. Goth's connection to depression has long seemed, to me at least, to provide a space of inclusion for youths to express themselves. If only more Goth kids could receive education and further understanding of the behavioural disorders they not only suffer from but use to define their outward personalities, I believe we could get some strong-willed, vocal and creative people helping out teens and children in future generations.

Thanks and great weblog!


Jon said...

OH! Maybe I should have read that article in the Trib before posting. Let me comment directly on that article and say that their information regardin "Emo" as a music genre is greatly flawed. It seems they took the lowest common denominator and made it the norm.

Too bad. Anyhow, I still believe they are confusing EMO with GOTH. It is a safe bet the a lexus-nexus search on email probably return the band list they used and the focus on EMO was gathered from the descriptions and usernames of myspace and other social networking sites.

This type of pin-pointing of problem areas makes kids laugh, it does not make kids think. To really address these kids you need to deal with them in their forums and in their artforms. Parents and teachers reading an article in the Trib and later identifiying their children as "emo" and thus problematic or in need of therapy is too big a jump taken by the wrong people.