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Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture

August 14, 2007

Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture is a tongue-n-cheek guide to emo culture. Written by Leslie Simon and Trevor Kelley, two contributors of the ever-enduring Alternative Press magazine.  “Emo” (short for emotional) refers to a genre of music and subculture which draws it’s roots from hardcore punk (aka “emocore”), goth, and straight-edge subcultures.  The music is often emotional and feature artists who are usually eccentric, and have emotional or dark lyrics set up against a pop-rock background.  Simon and Kelley take you through the world of emo through 9 chapters: Ideology, Fashion, Internet, Film, Literature, Music, Eating Habits, Television, and Adulthood.  The fashion and music chapters are a must read because they point out the basics of the emo culture, and if you’re past a certain age you might chuckle at the absurdity of it all.  (My personal favorite is the hair section pg. 53-55.  Hmm I’ve always wanted to know what a “Reverse Faux-Hawk” looked like.) In addition, Rob Dobi’s illustrations are pretty dead on and reflect the whole DIY vibe of the book.

Some basic emo “facts” I learned from this book:

1.) The “Emo Value System” consists of: Depression, Effortlessness, Empathy, Faith, Insecurity, and Non-Atheticism.  (Yes teen angst at it’s finest!)

2.) Most emo fans follow a strict vegan or a vegetarian diet. In addition, many frown upon the use of drugs but are not restricted to loving movies like Trainspotting  or Cruel Intentions which are laden with drug and sex references. (According to Simon and Kelley two things most emo fans might shy away from discussing.)

 2.) There are 10 different school of emo. (Ready? Here they are.) Trustafarian Emo, Indie Emo, Christian Emo, Eighties Emo, Frat Emo, Prog Emo, Ex-Hardcore Emo, Goth Emo, Machismo Emo, and Alt-Country Emo.

3.) Morissey is the godfather of emo due to his sexual ambiguity, celibacy, and meat hating ways.

4.) The following people are emo: Kelley Clarkson (Who knew American Idol could be “emo?”), Jared Leto (Black eyeliner by association), and Nancy Kerrigan (Why you ask? Apparently it had something to do with her screaming “Whyyyyyy” after being bashed in the knee.)

*I’m really surprised the authors did not mention Ask a Ninja’s  “Hope is Emo.”  A very hilarious take on the Emo Goth.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gayle permalink*
    August 14, 2007 6:28 pm

    My kids use emo as an insult. “You’re so emo!”

  2. August 14, 2007 7:04 pm

    Wheezing with laughter. I started laughing when I thought about Nancy Kerrigan and that “Whhyyyyyyyy!” (Honestly – that’s just not what most people would be screaming), but Hope takes some serious emo cake. Hee! My high school self: totally able to pull depression and tears out of nowhere. Served me very well in drama…

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