Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Daily Mail tries to write about Emo again

They came in their hordes to London town, to demand fair coverage of Emo in the Daily Mail. And, to be fair, the Mail probably thinks its story today about a thirteen year-old who killed himself is somehow sympathetic and a fine example of balance.

After all, the headline suggests that Emo kids can be victims, too:

Boy, 13, 'hanged himself after he was bullied on Bebo for being a fan of Emo music'

But the story underneath doesn't really support that claim. Indeed, the Mail seems confused if this is an 'internet is bad' story or a 'music cult' story, and fails to really offer any conclusive evidence that the suicide was because he was being bullied about his musical tastes, or even that he was an Emo kid in the first place:
Sam was a fan of alternative rock bands such as the Foo Fighters and Slipknot, as well as so-called Emo music championed by bands such as Blink 182 and Good Charlotte.

Blink 182? Admittedly, they had a song called Emo, but they weren't actually an Emo act, were they? And doesn't this make it sound like Sam liked Emo amongst a wider range of Zane Lowe style bands.

And his fashion wasn't quite emo, either:
'He was into his appearance and often wore his black skinny jeans. He was an alternative dresser and I think other teenagers did used to make comments about that.'

"Often wears black jeans" again sounds more like seeking evidence he was an Emo kid rather than a compelling piece of proof.

The tragedy is there's no real need for the paper to find an Emo peg to hang the tale on - an unhappy child has killed himself, it may have been partly because other children were picking on him. Admittedly, had he not had a couple of Good Charlotte records in his collection the Mail would probably not even have mentioned his death at all; something you might feel would have been better from his family's point of view.

And while the Mail tries to look sympathetic at the idea of a child ostracised for his taste in music, it can't resist dropping the 'suicide cult' hint in at the end of the piece:
Sam's death comes a month after the inquest of Hannah Bond, also 13, who also hanged herself from her bunk bed after becoming obsessed with the Emo genre.

The inquest heard Hannah had started cutting her arms and told her parents it was part of an 'Emo initiation' two weeks before her death last September.

It's wrong for children to pick on Emo fans and make them feel like they're weirdos who are not part of the community. It's fine, though, for a national newspaper to do the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well quite frankly all I can say is thank goodness they weren't listening to Judas Priest and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

I struggle to understand why we still have to put up with this rubbish from that rag but unfortunately I can't see any end anytime soon. Oh golly gosh won't someone think about the kids, eh?

If I were in a Polish emo band right now, I'd probably be sitting around scared.

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