Thursday, 21 September 2006

Eyeliner and girls' jeans are TOOLS OF EVIL

Whilst I should not expect any common sense or accuracy from The Daily Mail, my jaw has dropped big time at their news story about the new "Emo" craze (which gives you some idea how slow they are to catch up on these things).

I reckon my jaw is halfway to Hades, at the staggering amount of bullshit propagated in this terrible article. The full thing is here - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=400953&in_page_id=1770 - and I'd like to thank Amy for alerting me to it. You don't have read it, because I'm going to dissect it for your pleasure, or something. It'll be a change from whining about myself, anyway...

So, "one of the key looks" of current fashion "especially at the younger end of the fashion spectrum, is Goth" says professional liar Sarah Sands, who is a 'journalist' for the paper. The whole thing reads like a piece of satire in Private Eye, only more exaggeratedly false.

"Fashion acknowledges those of us who lived through it first time round - Elder Goths, as opposed to Baby Bats, who are the under-30s. It even nods to a working population, permitting Corporate Goths, who wear black trouser suits."

Right, I've heard it all now. Any work colleagues in black trouser suits? They're goths they are. The Daily Mail, that bible of happening trends, says so. Tony Blair? Goth!

"The Emos - short for Emotional - regard themselves as a cool, young sub-set of the Goths" - they may well do, but no-one else regards them as cool. They're the ones sitting on the steps outside Birmingham Central Library, getting in my way.

On the subject of self-harm, we're told that one "governor of a famous boarding school told me that it was as serious a problem as binge drinking, but rarely discussed for fear of encouraging more girls to do it". Well, good job you're not condemning the practice in the nation's second most-read newspaper then, eh?

The inaccuracy gets even more ridiculous, reaching the levels of ficticiousness you'd only hear from Iraq war apologists, or mobile phone salesmen...

"The internet has many sites dedicated to Emo fashion (dyed black hair brushed over your face, layering, black, black, black), Emo bands (Green Day, My Chemical Romance), Emo conversation (sighing, wailing, poetry)."

Green Day are an emo band? These days they're more like U2 in eyeliner, and their previous heyday - the Dookie era - while praised by almost everyone I knew, came across as a poor man's poor man's Buzzcocks tribute band. Granted, some people foolishly described them as punk rock back then, but that's closer to the mark than "emo". I believe My Chemical Romance recently declared themselves out of the genre too.

Sighing, wailing and poetry is "emo conversation"? So basically, anyone doing a Whitney Houston cover at the local karaoke bar is talking exclusively to people with layered black hair. Normal folks' ear frequencies just won't pick up the signals.

"The Instant Emo Kit site gives advice on identity. Wear a child's T-shirt with a slogan such as 'Unhappy Chick' and drive a Vespa."

At what point does this woman need to be locked up? If you wear a child's t-shirt and drive a vespa, you'll look like a homeless mod who's been raiding the skips behind Mothercare. Is that 'in' for this season?

Sarah Sands then quotes a line from a so-called "emo" song: "Don't jump around when I go to shows, I must be an Emo". By now, parents of Westlife fans will be shocked at this (although they should be shocked at their choice in 'music').

"'Stop my breathing and slit my throat, I must be an Emo". No, you must be a murder victim.

Let's get this straight - that song, which is actually called 'Emo Kids', is a piss-take AGAINST Emos. It's comedy rap, from a comedy rap duo. Here's their official MySpace page, have a listen - http://www.myspace.com/adamandandrew

Sarah then stops quoting from the tongue-in-cheek song (which she takes seriously as genuinely 'Emo', maybe she reckons Sandi Thom is the second coming of the Sex Pistols), and continues writing her bile...

"The courting of misery and death is a long-established teenage tradition. How many bedroom walls have been plastered with posters of drippy pre-Raphaelite heroines, or Marc Bolan or Kurt Curbain?" What!? Has this woman ever listened to T-Rex? Marc Bolan wasn't a doom merchant. He happened to be in a car that went into a tree, that's how he died. Hey, should all teenagers put up posters of Princess Diana?

More black-is-white-isms are in abundance. "The word femme-fatale is Goth based" - oh, not, say, FRENCH-based? Or have Goths now got a monopoly on the French language? Vous parlez beaucoup de merde, Mademoiselle Sands, vous cul enorme.

"Many of the alluring women of our time - Nigella Lawson, Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Lily Allen - have a touch of the Goth about them."

WHAT THE BLEEDING FUCK!? Hello!? Lily Allen is a bit goth? On what planet? Sophie Ellis-Bextor, gothic? And not the singer behind a cheesy-albeit-floor-filling one-hit-wonder?

I was going to say that the only thing these people have in common with "goth" is black hair, but you can't say that about Debbie Harry. Which would make Victoria Beckham, Lisa Stansfield and Cher more appropriate to fit that list of 'goths', although it resembles the female cast list for the next I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Russell Brand, we 'learn' is "is about 90 per cent Goth". Clearly this hack has just been looking at a picture in a Heat-style magazine and thought "ooh, bloke in eyeliner, that's um, very goth!"

I'm willing to bet a busful of asylum seekers with the Daily Mail, that Sarah Sands has never ever once heard Russell Brand talk or watched one of his shows. He's a massive fan of the Dirty Pretty Things (presumably a goth band to Sarah if Lily Allen has now entered the fold), plays them, The Who and Oasis on his BBC 6music radio show quite a lot.

Having now pretty much summed up an entire musical genre as inaccurately as possible (and you'd be hard pressed to deliberately trounce her article, although I will make two attempts now - Ronan Keating is a Norwegian black metal trio, and Ice T is a Venezualen children's folk choir), Sarah signs off with her 'concern' (her real concern being reaching the target word count so she can get paid for her factually-divorced article)...

"What worries me is that teenagers are less equipped to manage strong emotions and a cult of suicide could have real and horrible consequences."

Well Sarah, it could be worse. They could end up reading the Daily Mail, with its horrific slurs on immigrants (just like German newspapers did in the mid-1930s, not that I'm trying to drop a hint, mein fraulein).

But wait! I still have the most daftest quote, and I haven't mentioned it yet...

"While I loved punk for its energy, Goths were too bloodless to lift a finger."

Right, Sarah Sands there, pretending to have been associated with punk. Got that?

Now read this...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/newscomment.html?in_article_id=398677&in_page_id=1787

If those are the words of a "punk", then I'm off to wail poetry with Lily Allen outside Birmingham Central Library...

Oh, and ending on a personal note, thanks for the feedback on my last two blog articles. I've had a very good message today, no praise in it (thankfully, I don't deserve it, as I said), but from someone who did something similar and also regrets it. I've also seeked treatment, which is on its way.

These incidents have made me realise that prejudice against people with depression and/or mental health issues, is simply not on. Paul Merton, Spike Milligan, Tony Hancock - they have suffered with these things, and yet, became great great people. There are a few people I know personally who have such issues, and now I can emphasise with them.

Now that I've blogged my usual sort of article today, it doesn't mean that I'm feeling "better", I'm still the same, but trying to focus on everyday stuff, because if I lose the ability to do that, my life will be even less deserving of merit.

Do feel free to comment on the actual Emo/Goth bullshit story, as I know the feedback for my last two blog articles remained private (for fair reasons).

On the goth front, I own 'greatest hits' albums from Joy Division and The Damned. I have worn eyeliner, and I've dyed my hair black many times. I wouldn't in a million years describe myself as a "goth", but maybe the Daily Mail have me down as one, alongside Mr Benn (he wore a black trouser suit, y'know).

And isn't ironic that one of the biggest names in gothic music, Andrew Eldritch, went around with bleached blonde hair?

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Gervais - The Board Game

You rightfully sneer at those humour-free people who worship tiresome comedy catchphrases such as "Am I bovvered?" and "I'm a laydee!". Move forward one space.

Wasn't that you reprising the David Brent dance at Live8? Move back two spaces.

You get another universally-mocked faded celebrity on your show and write abusive lines for them to say, which is getting just as tiresome as the bunch of cliched catchphrases you targetted earlier. Move back five spaces.

You find one of Bernard Manning's old joke books in a skip behind the Embassy Club in Manchester. Move forward six spaces but miss your next turn while you think of ways to use the jokes in your next show in an 'ironic' context.