I didn't start the emo craze, in fact, even if I was called out for bringing about such an atrocity onto this planet, I wouldn't wanna take credit for it, however, that doesn't dismiss that I find the whole thing very funny, and that in some inadvertent way, I've been pretty "emo" for as long as I can remember, no joke. I was the quiet loner dude who wore makeup and didn't like cock-rock and had girls who admired me for that reason, and now that's spawned a whole new fucking culture...wait, what?
We (my peers who were most similar to me in the late 90's) wanted the same thing from the getgo (to be in bands like our favorite non-chauvinist all-heart rockers The Smashing Pumpkins), but at some point we grew up, started actually trying, and some fucking idiot decided that us geeky, lanky (read: I used to be), makeup-wearing, hair-dyeing guys was what it should be all about (I blame Geoff Rickley more than I blame Billy Corgan). It sucks that now there's a line which is being blurred where the phonies come along to cash in on that concept and get laid, and us true heart-on-the-sleeve originators of said lame mass-hysteria-cultural-phenom look really lame. To be fair, we looked lame from the getgo, but now we look really lame 'cause not only are we pretty fagtacular, but we're not utilizing the fact we now could hook up with lots of chicks, to boot.
When I was young, I dated girls who I liked (never did I "settle" for someone because the kind of girl I would "really" like wasn't around) but who weren't in the fucking least, at all, really like me...you see, times have changed -- liking nine inch nails or The Pumpkins didn't use to mean something other than that you weren't completely fucking turned off to popular culture -- there was a time my young friends where those bands were *gasp* popular, and everyone liked them to some degree -- the jock, the gum-shewing skank, the cool and uncool kids -- we all dug 'em...but we didn't all end up following in their footsteps and actually paying attention to their careers past when we were "supposed" to according to MTV. To most of my classmates, looking back on the downward spiral or Mellon Collie now is nostalgic whereas I'm still listening to both records -- not in a sad pathetic way, but in a respectful fashion that your parents still do (and should) listen to Zepplin or Fleetwood Mac -- they're classics -- and hell, fuck the fact that's what "your parents are listening to," you should too (at least Zepplin)!
By the time Adore (1998) came out, or The Fragile (1999) many of my peers had abandoned the alternateen angst thing, and were listening to shit like Jewel and Dave Matthews Band -- yes, I not only befriended, but actually went out with people who liked that stuff -- and it was awesome because at the end of the day even though there were things sorely lacking (say what you will, but a common-love/thread in popular culture is for the best in a relationship), we did really like each other -- I mean, as far as two kids in high school can...but I ended up with people like that because things weren't so cut and dry...I couldn't have found a girl "similar" to me if I wanted to, because really, in that arena, at that time, it just didn't exist...I met people who fit some mold, but not really the one I fit into -- and that, again, was awesome. No, not a single one of those relationships had any long term staying power, but, they were all nice in and of themselves...it wasn't like now though, where kids in high school can so easily find someone with common interests and where somehow being kind of a faggy boy means something and doesn't equate to getting shit in the locker room. Well, hell, maybe I'm glamorizing it a bit, I know those kids still get shit (I* still do), but at least there's a community there for 'em...emo kids, you have no idea what it used to be like to be "alone" because we were actually really...fucking...alone!
I probably sound bitter, and in some way jealous, but really it just makes me laugh that like all subcultures, my childhood actions over time became something that could be demoralized and sold...I wore eyeliner because I liked how it looked, not because it was part of some uniform that kids wear because the artists they aspire to be (which were ten years ago very much like me, prolly), do.
I often toy with the concept of reinvention -- not for anyone else, but for my health and sanity -- but I'm in a place now where no matter what I do, why I do it, or how it sounds/looks, it's going to pretty emo...and...fuck, I'm not going to be one of those people who fight off the stereotype, nor do I really want to be one of those people who embrace it and say "EMO MEANS EMOTIONAL AND THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!" 'cause that concept almost annoys me more than the people who deny it. Stereotypes and tags and fucking lame to begin with, but I in the least hope that maybe if that's how I'm going to be seen for the remainder of my life, that I can stir it up a little bit. Being seen as what I am doesn't necessitate that I write songs with parenthesis in the title (though I probably will; and if it happens and isn't forced, okay), claim I'm "bisexual" (though if I ever fancy a guy, so be it), comb my hair like I did when I was ten, or dye it some "gawthy" color scheme...working not to be seen as something is just as phony as being it because that's what's "cool."
And BESIDES, this is all silly to begin with, because we all knew from day one that I'm 100% fucking street, niggas.
* I get messages like this on MySpace at least once a week: "dude u r a faggot seriously cut ur stupid ass emo bang and slit ur wrists and get rid of that hippy picture, hippys rule, fuck emo's bitch!" (sent ever so eloquently by a dude who can't spell and who is defending a band the bass player essentially got off on molesting a little girl solely because of his celebritorium.)