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Aug 06

Why We Hate Emo Kids (Apparently)

FT410 comments • 23,449 views

hitler_emoI’ve long been a little shamefaced that this mean-spirited tirade is the most-read thing I’ve ever written (co-written to be exact): not that it wasn’t a true reflection of what I felt but I’d prefer it if one of my more, er, generous pieces was the one that hooked the punters in.

BUT the new look comments function means that the article has been given a second life with the addition of – mostly spluttering and hostile – reader feedback. And it’s turned up something interesting – a sociological fact that I had got too old and out of touch to realise. The description of indie kids in the piece was US-centric anyway, and is out of date now: we had in mind Death Cab fans conducting secret feuds on artofthemix.com, not Kaiser Chiefs-loving Brits. But the traits are clearly still recognisable to googling readers, and recognisable as “emos”. And some apparently “indies” hate “emos”, quite passionately.

“OI YOUR GETTING INDIE KIDS MIXED UP WITH EMOS IN SOME OF YOUR POINTS… 1) indie kids do NOT wear black rimmed glasses… emo DO!
2) indie kids are not all bis, emos are!”
(“Becka”)

and

“i think yu should get ur fuckin facts straight before u make urself look even worse. u dont have it right.

emo= (ex.) Where’s my mascara? and i’m a man. (or) i wear size one jeans and i have a penis. (or) hey do you want to come over so we can cut eachother’s wrists!?!? sounds like great fun!

like someone said before (and they’re one of the smart ones – a REAL indie) indie kids aren’t mainstream and dress different and in my opinion better than otyher people. they don’t do what everyone else in the world is doing and dont give a shit what other people think.

(plus they listen to the best music – all alt. and indie)” (“Wtf!?!?!?”)

Parsing the comments I can theorise that indie stands for what it always has – a defensive sense of individuality with no real fixed values. The despised emos, through an indie lens, are hateful wrist-slashers. Of course we don’t know where the commenters are coming from, or how recent this opposition is, or the relative size of the warring camps, or what they might or might not unite against (aside from me getting things wrong). But I’m finding it pretty fascinating to read.

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