Sometimes we are so quick to label and put aside those more emotionally outspoken then ourselves. We like to lump them into a category called “Ew, Emo!” Did you ever stop to consider that maybe you’re underestimating those Emotards?
Today I’d like to show you both sides of that coin… the tarnished, grungy looking one as well as the shiny sparkling side.
Spending time listening to the laments of someone who is totally wallowing in their feelings, we often get freaked out. It’s ok. It’s totally understandable that you might want to easily label this person as Emo – a.k.a… in need of a shower, a haircut, a bunch of daisies, and a proper psychological evaluation. But don’t be so quick to dismiss! Throughout history, our species has been plagued with the innermost feelings of others… where might we be now without our rich tradition of allowing these emotionally-sapping folks to share with us all.
Scarlett O’Hara said, “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again. ”
Mind you, she said this to herself, well and to the adoring camera, then she tore down those curtains and made herself her own gosh darned dress! But what if, instead, she had said, “Whatev.”? Do you think then that the outcome of the Civil War might have been different? It’s possible. Who knows?
All I know is she did throw her hand up to her head and utter those immortal words… and here we are now. By today’s definition, Miss O’Hara might be considered emo… she did have dark hair and that rather pale complexion if you recall. But then. do you think her family thought her “emo”? Yea, ok, so they did. But, what about Prissy, and Mammy, and the people who relied on her? Do you think they thought less of her? Or belittled her for having strong emotions? Prolly not! I’m pretty sure they all stayed alive because of the strength of her emotions and her conviction.
Often times EMO can also be described as ‘dramatic’ or overly so. There’s no denying that The Little Mermaid, herself, had a touch of the dramz. Destined to live below the action she so longed for she flew in the face of tradition, said eff you King of the sea (dad), and bartered with a sea witch to get her LEGS. What was so wrong with her life, you might ask. She was a Sea Princess for crying out loud… show the proper respect! But nooooooooooooooooooooo, she wanted moaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr. Slightly emo about being beneath her dreams, and somewhat increasingly motivated by the hottie Mchott Prince Eric and her own budding womanhood, Ariel exhibits the tale-tell qualities of passion and drive… or red flags that possibly she needs meds.
With her aptly-named scene-kid friend, Flounder, and her ever-watchful dramatically-sighing crab/au pair, Sebastian, Ariel presents an underwater vision of teenage rebellion and family dysfunction. Confused by being oh-so-complicated, she could only SING… or cut herself. Fortunately for children everywhere, Disney frowns on self-mutilation.
Just another teenager with a sob-story, right? Are you kidding? Though somewhat ‘colorful’ in her expression, there is a moral to Ariel’s story. True love requires you to be something you’re not. Ok, not really. More like: true love can bridge the gap between any differences… and apparently any species! Honestly, this is a message that needed to be spread. A message that would not have been clearly received without the plight of this very special, fin-less, voiceless nymph of the sea. Am I wrong? Just look at all the 19-year-old Ariel’s running around today if you don’t believe me!
Throughout history, the crooner has been the voice inside our heads, singing the words we could have written ourselves… if only we were channeling our inner emo for long enough bouts to actually sit down and write about it. And sometimes you just feeeeeeeel certain songs although you’re not entirely sure what was said and what it meant. Examples of this are Pearl Jam (don’t lie, you didn’t know what Eddie Vedder was mumbling either until you read the lyrics), and nowhere is this more true than with Morrissey.
Sure, he has opinions and who would I be to censor him? But really??
And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
Its death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder
I’m sorry, no. ‘The crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought,’ is murder. So, I get that you are not a carnivore, but let’s not overly dramatize stuff, ok? However, I know this song was an anthem to a whole subset of angsty kids who needed an angry battle cry to conformity. Where would we all be without that?
And he’s never let us down. Spawning such moving tracks as ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’, ‘Ouija Board, Ouija Board’, and ‘Everyday is Like Sunday’ – we know we can count on this prolific artist to explain for the world at large what it feels like to wallow. Although it was rumored that his most recent release Years of Refusal started with a happy (albeit emo) proclamation, it turns out that he has found more disenchanting subject matter to share with us all. I always thought Bona Drag was a fitting title, but oh! how I loved blaring that cd on my driving trips! He just soooo got me!
Leave me alone – I was only singing
Leave me alone because
I was only singing
Leave me alone – I was only singing
Leave me alone
It’s with the immortal words like these that Morrissey helped give rise to impossible teenagers everywhere.
These are just a few examples of famous emos throughout history and the impact they’ve had on our lives. The next time you feel the need to react so vehemently against the need of another person to express their feelings, I hope you remember the contributions some of our most cherished emoters have given the world.