Topic C, Part 1: "Emos, or 'emotional people'"

I don't have the words...

Just wow. Has the generational divide ever been deeper? A yawning chasm never to close again? Not since Elvis' hips have the squares been so far off the mark (actually, the critics of Elvis were pretty on the mark - bringing a new, frank sexuality to the mainstream? Check). But by failing to recognize that some of what they report is in fact parody of the topic in question, they ruin whatever credibility a backwater local newscast might have enjoyed.

Things aren't much better in Rochester:

Emo is admittedly a strange beast. I don't pretend to fully understand it. I vaguely remember when it referred to Slint and Embrace and Minor Threat. I don't like Fall Out Boy; I do admit to occasionally falling for My Chemical Romance's "six songs in one" approach (in a sing-along-because-it's-on-the-radio sense). So yeah, I'm kind of clueless (not as clueless as Officer Maygra, mind you), but I'm pretty sure that when my daughter is old enough to have such interests, no youth movement to which she may pledge allegiance will be worth my wigging out to quite the same degree as the folks at WDAZ.

Rap music - which I was heavily into as a 15-year-old - genuinely frightened my parents. It was about black politics and empowerment and seemingly had very little to say to a white kid from suburban Ottawa. But I drew Public Enemy logos on my binders, and memorized the lyrics. I enjoyed it for several reasons, not the least of which was the danger it represented. It was exotic, and angry, and charged; it was the antithesis of my daily existence. The language was strong, the images sometimes violent, but my parents had the wisdom to let me draw my own conclusions. And now I am neither a militant nor a thug, but a free-thinking, often curious and (I hope) non-prejudiced lover of all music, someone who still loves hip-hop (but who wonders where the urgency went, the sense that the world could be changed - next topic suggestion: Why Hip-Hop Sucks in '07).

I'm a parent now, so I suppose I understand the confusion and fear involved here. We naturally want what's best for our kids, and the easiest way to imagine what's best is to imagine what we know. So here's a suggestion: know more. Ask questions. And don't assume the folks at WDAZ (or equivalent) know what the fuck they're talking about.

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