Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Was Eeyore an Emo?

I'm the kind of guy,
Who never used to cry,
The world is treatin' me bad... Misery!
From "Misery", Lennon McCartney 1963

Monday, nothing, Tuesday, nothing, Wednesday and Thursday nothing, Friday for a change a whole lot of nothing. The world's great books a whole lot of nothing. Flesh and sex, nothing.
From "Nothing" Tuli Kupferberg 1965

Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he
From "House at Pooh Corner" A. A. Milne 1928
God, I must be getting old. A whole music genre,  fashion and stereotype has passed me by without me noticing one little bit! Not only that, but this music-genre-fashion-stereotype has apparently been around for thirty years.

What have I been doing and why did it not catch my eye? Or ear?

I refer of course to "emo". I heard the word  for the first time today when reading about the Victorian Government's (in Australia) "Don't Be a Dickhead" campaign. Apparently if you use your cell phone while you drive another emo will be born. Or you will turn into one. Or something equally horrible will happen to you. Whatever ...

According to recent polls a majority of Victorians think that the "Dickhead" campaign will have no effect on cutting down on cell phone related car accidents. What's more there seems to be a "Dickhead" driven backlash, and emos and redheads (the other group targeted in the campaign ads) are getting COMMUNITY SUPPORT! Heaven forbid.

Though I must say that the Dickhead campaign is itself in danger of erring on the emos side of absurdism.

B Being Emo 100 Years Ago
Yep the emos thing passed me by but it is never too late to learn.  I looked around the internets and found an example of a emo song. It's called "Misery Business" and was written  by Farro, Josh, Williams and Hayley. Of all the emo songs I could find I picked this one as the title seemed so apt. Let's see now ...

I'm in the business of misery
Let's take it from the top
She's got a body like an hourglass
That's ticking like a clock

Hmm. Well so much for that. Maybe it's a good thing that I missed emo-ism. But I have to wonder, why did it take FOUR people to write it? That's nearly the whole population of New Zealand.

"An hourglass ticking like a clock," The imagery! The poetry. The soulfulness. Echos of Dadaism ...

So now I've read up on this fascinating movement that has invaded our music, fashion, dance and general psyche without me even being aware.

I pride myself on staying ahead of the times. Bummer about missing Emos though. Thinking about it, I decided that it couldn't be new. People were glum before emos came along. Surely.

What about John and Paul's "Misery"? And what about Jude in "Hey Jude"? Jude must have been an emo before his time. And what about the Hippocratic writers who believed that gloom, abnegation, and misanthropy could be traced to excesses of black bile? Shakespeare's Macbeth where life is said to be "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing." And then there's all those Igmar Bergman films. My god, emos-ism is everywhere!

However when it comes to the ultimate expression of emos angst, there can be none better than The Fugs. Tuli Kupferberg I salute you.

I close with their anthem.

"I went to a party the other night
I wanted to fill my brain with light
I grabbed myself a bottle and I started drinking wine
I thought pretty soon I'd be feeling fine
But I couldn't get high, I couldn't get high.
I put down the bottle and
I whipped out my pipe and I stoked it full of grass
And I gave myself a light
I puffed, I puffed, I smoked and I toked
After a while my heart was nearly broke ...
Because I couldn't get high,
I couldn't get high"

Stay tuned.

2 comments:

Boggy said...

"You are old, Father William," the young man said......

Yes, it catches up with us try as we might to stay 'young'. But there is a relaxation of the stress of middle age when we are desperately trying to remain the leader of the pack and we understand more about our professions and jobs than we did in our twenties. And much more about human nature.

So enjoy the advancing years and remember that age and cunning will overcome youth and innocence.

Terry said...

Given the state of the world today, maybe there is more justification for the existence of emos. On the other hand, for reasons known only to my brain (and its not telling me why), I always had a "thing" for redheads. But I think the word dickhead, a term I love and use regularly to vent my frustrations in China, should also be applied as a pseudonym for politician.

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