Thursday, May 31, 2007

ABC 4 Investigation: Emos exposed

Last Update: May 23, 2007 8:41 PM

ABC 4 News is sounding the alarm about a teen phenomenon sweeping the nation. Its something we found most teens know about, but few parents had any clue of. Its called "emo" culture.

"Emo" is an abbreviation for emotional. Part punk, part goth, emo kids celebrate sadness and pain. Psychologist Judith Zimmerman tells ABC 4 News, Part of the guiding philosophy of emo kids is pain. That's the sub-current.

Our news team began their study of emo culture on the internet, where we quickly found hundreds of sites dedicated to teaching kids what emo is and how to be it. One site instructs, dye your hair black. Style it in the gunshot wound and never be happy.

Happiness is a sin to emo culture. In a state where the number two cause of teen death is suicide, experts say parents need to know emo culture and understand it.

Not every child who looks emo may be in to cutting themselves, dark poetry or talk of suicide, says psychologist Judith Zimmerman. Some of these kids may just be in a phase. Its important to tell the difference between a fashion statement and a commitment to a lifestyle. Parents need to understand the deeper meanings of why their child might be drawn to emo culture.

For more information on emo culture, click here.

Rafer Guzmán Rafer Guzmán

Emos gone wild, scaring the parents!

May 31, 2007

Anyone looking for a laugh might want to check out and type "emo" into the search engine. There you'll find a sensational story that claims to be "sounding the alarm about a teen phenomenon sweeping the nation." The stilted headline: "Emos exposed."

Look out, you emos! The media finally heard about you, and they're looking at you like you're the next Columbine killers.

The hilariously sensational story and accompanying video segment come from Utah, where perhaps the emo culture is a bit smaller than Long Island's. The story relentlessly tries to strike terror into the hearts of parents, painting emo teens as depressed, out of control and prone to suicide. One announcer warns, "Some of what you are about to see is created by teens and may be just a little bit disturbing."

The whole "story" is an outdated throwback to the early days of punk, when the mass media vilified that subculture as a kind of alien germ infecting America's youth. Then, as now, the media missed the self-mocking humor in the music and among the fans.

In this new report, several kids explain the dark philosophy of emo in somber tones - they're clearly struggling to keep a straight face.

But it's hard not to feel sorry for the two Utah moms who, on camera, anxiously call their children for information about this horrifying culture. One mother says fearfully, "But that's not you, is it?"

If only the reporter had come to Long Island. He would have found dozens of well-adjusted, upper-middle-class families in which mom and dad regularly drop their emo-crazed teens at The Crazy Donkey, or chauffeur them out to Bamboozle. Just about every emo band out here got started in a family basement. And there's many a parent who has forked over cash to help a kid burn a CD or go on tour. In fact, on Long Island, emo seems downright wholesome.

So cheer up, emo kids. Things could be worse: You could live in Utah.