Monday, May 26, 2008

March to have large turnout

Latest reports from the NME indicate the march is gathering support:

My Chemical Romance march 'aiming for 1000 protestors', UK 23 May 2008

Explaining that the march is "100% for My Chemical Romance" rather than emo music in general, Smith said: "The [Daily Mail's] words 'suicide cult' really stand out for me, because it's just so far from the truth. As a fanbase it's such an insult 'cause we fight so hard and so many of us suffer from depression, and we fight everyday to ward it off.

"The way [many teenagers are] fighting it is with My Chemical Romance's help and it's just such an insult to tell us that the last thing we have to hold on to and the last thing that's keeping us alive is killing us, because it's not."

Smith directly attacked the Daily Mail's suggestion that the emo group promotes suicide and self-harm, saying: "My Chemical Romance is my whole life and I take it very seriously, but at the same time the message that we're taking seriously isn't about death and how you should die and killing yourself and all that, it's about how you should love life and experience every moment that you can."

The march, set to begin at Hyde Park's West Pond in central London, takes place on the afternoon of May 31.

In an example of decent reporting the Western Mail talked to a Welsh MCR fan who is clearly not suicidal. Once again fake media reports are linked with bullying as well by somon who would know:

Sophie Brown, 14, from Llandybie, writes from a teenage perspective

ALOT of teenagers want to grow up too quickly these days. It isn’t healthy. You hear so much about pregnancies and underage sex. And then there’s the whole issue of teen suicides.

Recently, a coroner linked the death of Hannah Bond in Kent with her liking for Emo music.

But, in my view, that’s an easy scapegoat. People make their own choices and would not simply do something of that magnitude because a song told them to.

Suicide is a serious decision. It may even be an insult to victims to say their death was due to the music they listened to.

In reports of Hannah’s inquest, Emo was described as a “suicide cult”, followed by a brief description of “what Emo fans look like”. This included black hair, wristbands and black clothes – a description which did not help with bullying problems I have endured.

I spoke to my mother about washing the black out of my hair but she asked if I was doing it because of what people said. We both realised I should stand up for myself and not give in.

Yet it is the idea that self-harm is an important part of the Emo culture which I find most annoying.

Emo culture has come to play a part in music, fashion and – consequently – bullying. But it started off very differently.

In late 20th century America, boys who let their emotions show, who wore their hearts on their sleeves, were “Emo” – short for Emotional Rock.

In the family tree of music, Emo branched off from punk.

And at the turn of the Millennium, Emo began making its way to the UK. It picked up fans slowly until two bands changed everything – My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy.

Fans of the former seemed full of raw emotion while Fall Out Boy fans seemed more about bright colours and complicated, heartfelt lyrics.

Emo music is about expressing yourself in many ways and standing up for your beliefs and choices. It is not about cutting yourself to pieces. The media did a lot of harm by saying that.

Wearing black doesn’t make people depressed and being Emo doesn’t mean self-harming, being gay or being suicidal, which is what many people think.

After these reports, many adults turned against Emo bands, as well as social networking sites, which have been unfairly linked with youth suicides lately.

My sister and I used to use the Bebo site but we have had to delete our profiles because my parents believe it plays a part in bullying. They don’t like social networking sites. I disagree. I miss Bebo a lot. It may be addictive, but at the end of the day it’s just like free texting.

Last week, I had a letter about Emo culture published in a London newspaper and since then more people have been interested in what I have to say.

Generally, you only hear how bad it is from adults who don’t understand, or misunderstand, it.

I want to set the record straight. I want to stand up for it and I won’t let people be blinded with what is sometimes published.

When Emo came under attack, My Chemical Romance lyrics were interpreted as promoting suicide and glamorising death. That was wrong.

The song Famous Last Words, from their Black Parade album, features the lyrics, “I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone”.

hese are very uplifting to me. They are about teenage angst, love and being true to yourself.

Fall Out Boy songs aren’t depressing either. Their writer, Pete Wentz, who is often labelled “the King of Emo”, is an inspirational and successful man who has his own record label and clothing line – not all in black.

In school, Emo children are treated as outcasts. I am among those who has most problems. I’m also the only one with black hair.

But I learnt to hold my head high and stand up for myself, and this was largely down to songs by My Chemical Romance. Similarly, Fall Out Boy lyrics made me want to be more creative.

Never in my mind have I considered suicide. To me that would feel like giving in.

Emo music makes people see that life is not a fairytale, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t want to be blind to the truth anymore. It simply isn’t fair.

Emo’ music is far from a black suicide cult
ic Wales, United Kingdom - May 21, 2008

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