Monday, April 14, 2008

Latest anti-Emo news

'Emo,' goth subcultures thriving in Mexico
Arizona Republic, AZ
This article focuss on class issues. Lots of comments mostly anti-Mexican and Anti-Emo.

Good article which points out the violence is ongoing and explores earlier conflicts:

Although the Mexican public has been taken aback by the violence against Emo fans, Adam Gonzalez, a hardcore promoter in the Valley, said that conflicts between genres are common. Music used to have clear divisions, he said. But now music is melding together, pulling influences from different genres.

Hardcore is mixing with emo. There are hardcore bands with metal influence. And as genre's mix, fans mix too.

"There could be a hardcore that ends up going to a metal show," he said. "We end up going and it's different styles of music, different styles of thinking. Of course it's going to clash."

In the RGV, where there has always been a strong metal following, conflicts arose as hardcore tried to establish itself. "There were a couple of fights," he said. But in the past few years hardcore has found its niche the conflicts have subsided.

Why Mexico wants emo dead
Monitor, TX - 11 Apr 2008

Meanwhile this article reveals some authorities in Mexico want Emos removed from public spaces. Sounds familar.
MEXICO: "Emos" Under Attack
By Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, Apr 8 (IPS) - "We are a komplex organisation, kapable of eliminating EMOS in this world, if you want to kontact us, our email is (…)" On-line messages like this one have been fanning a wave of intolerance against one of the lesser-known young counterculture groups in Mexico.

Over the past month, Mexico has seen several incidents of anti-emo bashings and harassment by members of other subcultures like metal heads, skaters, punks and Goths, as well as ordinary working-class adolescents.

Emo (short for "emotional hardcore") describes a counterculture that has its roots in punk fashion and music, with touches of gothic subculture and styles.

A typical emo look involves shaggy hair dyed jet black (sometimes with brightly coloured highlights) that sweeps over the forehead and sometimes part of the face, horn-rimmed or other "nerd" glasses, and usually black clothing including tight pants, overly small vintage t-shirts, studded belts, converse tennis shoes, eyeliner and dark nail polish.

The emo subculture is typically associated with depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, with emo kids celebrating teenage angst and generally drawn to pop-punk, hardcore punk and indie rock.

"Hello culeros (a derogatory Mexican term for gays), the Anti-Christ greets you….who are the emos, those abnormal asexual ones, the ones whose balls haven't dropped down, those fags who cry like girls…?" says the voice-over on a video posted on the YouTube video sharing site, which shows images of Mexican emos.

Although these different youth subcultures do not generally share interests and even detest each other’s fashions or music, in the past there has been little intolerance and clashes were rare.

But on Mar. 7, several emos were beaten by a huge crowd in a downtown public square in the central Mexican city of Querétaro, where emos hang out. The attackers chanted homophobic insults.

Youngsters describing themselves as "anti-emo" had previously circulated anonymous emails inviting people to "take back the square" from the emos, who they said were "gay" because they wear makeup and dress effeminately.

A week later, in Mexico City, emo demonstrators protesting the violence were the target of attacks, and the police had to intervene.

In the capital and other cities, the police have stepped up security in certain hang-out spots to protect emos, because the harassment and threatening email and Internet campaigns have continued.

The emos tend to come from a comfortable middle-class background and many attend private schools. Most of them are 15 or 16 years old.

By contrast, anthropologist Paulina Leipen told IPS, members of the other counterculture groups like metal heads and punks are often kids from poor barrios who have come together seeking mutual protection and a shared sense of identity and belonging.

"The recent expressions of intolerance are a sign of the increasing breakdown of the social fabric and growing marginalisation, which is why attention from the state is needed," said Leipen, who works with street children.

The anthropologist said that like other so-called "urban tribes", the emo subculture has spilled over into Mexico from the United States and Europe.

A few of the bands popular among emos today are My Chemical Romance -- whose debut album, released in 2002, was "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" -- Fall Out Boy, Escape the Fate, Paramore, Glassjaw, The Used and Funeral For a Friend.

"Emos describe themselves as melancholic and searching for solitude. But I see it as more of a fad, and in that sense it shouldn't be surprising that the group is also full of contented people," said Leipen.

Fausto Pretelín, a researcher of social issues at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, said "the ornaments of unhappiness form part of the emo aesthetic, which is complemented with styles and other elements that give them a Hollywood special effects look."

There are no reliable estimates of the number of emos in Mexico. But like other subcultures, the group is a minority, and many people were not even aware of its existence until video footage of the early March beating of three skinny emo kids in Querétaro was broadcast on TV newcasts.

Officials in different cities have called for tolerance, and have even organised meetings between different social tribes in an attempt to combat the wave of hatred

But some officials have taken a different stance. Mayor Gerardo Hernández in Celeya, a city in the state of Guanajuato, said emos should be removed from downtown public squares.

"We wouldn't want them to be in the city centre," said Hernández, who belongs to the conservative governing National Action Party (PAN). "They hurt our image and set a bad example. They should congregate elsewhere, where they don't hurt the city’s image."

The governmental National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination called for an investigation of intolerant statements and measures by officials, and an in-depth probe into the origins of the anti-emo threats.

The chairman of the Council, Gilberto Rincón, said that "a small, eccentric, easily identifiable group is an easy target of stigmatisation and discrimination," and urged the authorities and society as a whole to show tolerance and take legal action when necessary and appropriate. (END/2008)

Of course in the UK we shouldn't fel too smug. Look at this comment in the paper on Leeds corn Exchange which as we pointed out earlier was recreated to deliberately exclude emos, goths etc.
Everyone's got an opinion on the transformation of the Corn Exchange into a food emporium.

When I popped in the other day it seemed most of the dozen or so people in there were gazing wistfully at the rows of empty units as if imagining how it used to be.

As I stood there I overheard a man explain to his companion that the shopping centre had suffered because of youths hanging around outside. He was referring to the Emo kids – easily confused with Goths as they all dress in black and live by the rule that you can never wear too much black eyeliner.

So I almost fell over laughing when he added: "Yeah, you know the sort – those emu kids"!

"Emu" kids really would have got the security team in a flap.

Help! I think I'm turning into Cat Woman
Yorkshire Evening Post, UK - 8 Apr 2008

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