Fear is a Fool

The following clip perfectly exemplifies the missed mark between adults and teenagers. The unbelievable lack of understanding and knowledge. The fear that forms a most dangerous wedge between parents and their kids, the media and it's youth.

Mind you, the clip comes from small town North Dakota but I don't see that as any excuse for this unbelievable idiocy-- for the tone and complete mismark. For labeling and using false information based on myspace "quizzes" and online chain-farce, and teenagers who are completely fucking with the newscasters.

Just watching this clip makes me want to regress and hate my parents by default for being adults. And then I remember that I'm an adult so I kind of want to hate myself. I must be emo.

I digress...

We need to open our eyes, people. We ask ourselves why we are so afraid? So afraid for our country and our kids and the "shit" that's out there.

Raise the terror report to Orange. Kids are wearing tight clothes and crying. A point system? A fashion trend turned deadly?

You want an example of a country that grows fear faster than corn? Maybe we should be afraid of ourselves and what we are capable of, disconnected from our children's lives and relying on news briefs and Oprah to tell us what the hell is going on.

Listen to your kids. Trust your teenagers. Don't be afraid to flip the finger to news briefs whose only mission (evidently besides proving their complete lack of today's teens) is to make you afraid of your child. And their tight pants. And hair. And safety pin necklace.

Thankfully, videos like this soon become youtube cult hits. Thankfully the "dangerous emo kids" can respond with eye-rolls and "reporters are soooo lame." My only hope is that they will grow up and REMEMBER what it felt like to be a teenager. Because somehow? The majority of today's adults seem to have forgotten

Hopefully parents can "get with the times" if only to call bullshit when they see it. Because it churns my stomach to think that parents are judging their kids based on the lies the media feeds them on the 10 o'clock news.



me | 9:49 AM

This post is so true. When my kids were young I swore I would never be one of "those" parents. You know, the kind I am now.....It gets so hard to trust and believe your child when you see them growing up and away, and also see their friends making poor choices every day. The desire to trust is so strong, but the need to see them reach 25 is even stronger. I agree our nation breeds fear, but I am not afraid "of" my child or his choices no matter how different they may be from my own. I am merely afraid "for" him. Don't lose sight of the difference between the two.
Thanks for another great post.

Anonymous | 10:51 AM

You have to be effing kidding me, the video is just amazing. How someone can hear the "deadly song" in the background and not know this is farce kills me. I have a few years to go before the girl hits her teens, but good lord I hope I never fall for this crap like thoes folks did.

Amy | 11:26 AM

Holy crap. I guess news producers will try to turn anything into a "crisis" to get attention/ratings. I saw a promo for a similar story on CNN last weekend, something along the lines of "if you have teenagers, they're probably listening to hip-hop, and they're all going to DIE!!!"


It's unbelievable.

Shel | 1:44 PM

*shaking head* while it's hilarious, it's sad. when she started explaining how there were sites where you could go to learn how to be emo and quizzes you could take to see how emo you were, i just pictured all the tongue in cheek sites out there that poke fun. lordie lordie.....

i better watch out if my hair falls in front of one eye. don't want anyone to think i am only 'seeing the world halfway'.

i'm guessing hip hop is no longer evil? :P
(and in case someone out there didn't get it, that was sarcasm!)

Misha | 3:44 PM

Wow. Unbelievably dumb. It amazes me what passes for "news" these days. Which is why I love the Daily Show so much--Jon Stewart does such a brilliant job of eviscerating the news hacks out there (Anna Nicole Smith circus is a case in point).

I remember when "emo" was just a punk-rock term for bands like Dag Nasty and Swiz and stuff. It's also so funny to me how these terms get co-opted and morphed over time. And how afraid 'adults' are made to feel about anything relating to teenagers at all.

I have a 5 week old son and I can't help but think, as people coo over him in coffee shops and on the street, how much things will change between now and his teenage years. They consider him cute now but as soon as he hits puberty they'll be crossing the street. It's ludicrous. How do we get so out of touch?

Thanks again for bringing attention to what needs to be a larger conversation everywhere.

Anonymous | 6:04 PM

hmm i just posted but it didn't show up i don't know what happened. don't feel oike writing it all again (and boy was it eloquent and insightful!)

short version: as a mom to a 12 year old living in NYC i have seen bad things. they do exist. never heard of EMO's but i think it is important to make parents aware of what's out there. a certain fashion isn't necessarily something to fear but there are certain signs and certain things to look out for sometimes. where do we draw the line between making parents aware and breeding fear? ~jjlibra

Anonymous | 6:46 PM

This may seem silly to you, but I wanted to correct you on something. This newscast is from a small town in North Dakota, not South Dakota. I know because this is a newscast from my town.

If you think this story was bad you should see the other things they put on the air. Not a lot going on here, so they make things up.

Anyhow, didn't mean to be annoying.


Oh wow! Not being annoying at all! Thanks for the correct... I'm off to change right now.

Anonymous | 7:33 PM

Message for the person who posted last: I grew up in North Dakota and know that the people there are some of the nicest people in the world. That being said, I hope you escape someday. It's not terriby healthy to miss out on sunshine for 10 months of the year. And there are so many wonderful cultures in this country...but very few in North Dakota.

Shannon | 8:42 PM

OMG that is crazy. And so many people would be so well swayed by that. thanks for another good post. I am becoming a bigger GGC fan everyday. I may have to steal this clip for my own blog to help spread the word, lol. I have a daughter who is called Emo sometimes by the way she looks and it drives her crazy. She is an absolute angel and she had a teacher say to her not so long ago, "why can't you just be a good girl. you're so smart."

Anonymous | 9:07 PM

Be careful those 'crazy' emo kids are coming to get you! Lol. I am sorry that video could be an SNL skit.

Unknown | 6:38 AM

This makes me so sad. I work with teenage girls and they truly do want connection with their peers and adults in their life. Stupid reports like this just widen the gap and making it seem impassable for both adults and kids. All that adult concern just wasted on their outfits and weblogs, instead of their experiences, feelings and needs...so sad.

BOSSY | 9:21 AM

Gee, next thing you know the kids'll be growing their hair long and protesting the Vietnam war. Do the numbers 2-0-0-7 mean anything to you people?Bossy concurs.


Karen- Me too (working with teens)... Which is why it makes me so mad.

Bosyy- Totally. The hypocricy is almost comedic.


Wyvern | 12:03 PM

Oh wow... Not only have the completely failed to understand the internet culture these kids participate in, they're implying that there are large groups of teens who take this seriously...

Suicide, cutting, etc, is VERY serious. But saying that because you wear your hair a certain way, or you drink your coffee black, you must be suicidal, is ridiculous. They did this with goth kids a few years ago, and now that the oomph of that has worn off they've got a new target. The quiz they showed was an obvious joke! They have quizzes like "How Redneck Are You?" or "How Canadian Are You?" that are created by people outside of the group as an attack on those within it. It's not a way for people to gain points and entrance to the clique... jeez.

If these people would open their eyes and see that there are MANY teenage behaviours that are a hell of a lot worse than tight pants, our world would be a better place.

Teens don't need to be berated for being "other", they need their parents to try to understand that they are individuals, and lumping them into a group doesn't help anyone.*sigh*

Cherri B | 12:35 PM

The fact that the story even aired really disappoints me. Granted, parents who were not aware of EMO may now start a dialogue with their kids... but in some cases the dialogue will start negatively because the story was slanted in that direction.

For those interested, I've been watching a great PBS documentary on the relationship of the press, government and public. After seeing that story it seems to fit in with the topics covered... here's a link if anyone's interested in watching. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/view/

Anonymous | 1:31 PM

that's so ridiculous. my entire film school, with the exception of me and maybe six other pastel-wearing Midwesterners, was so full of emo kids i was constantly doing double takes to make sure every black haired mcgoo walking down the hallway with a skateboard wasn't a member of fallout boy. they're harmless. let the emos be, north dakota and the like! let them have their obstructed vision and their creatively combed hair. give them their black nail polish and their ass-hugging jeans. don't touch their skateboards, and their lip rings, and their heavy eyeliner. let people express themselves. seriously. who gives a shit. have we learned *nothing* from Wassup Rockers?


OH MY GAWD, Lauren. Wassup Rockers was amazing! In the most insane way possible. Hellloooo Janet in the bathtub. WTF?

Aline- YES and YES!

Martina- Thanks so much for the link. You rock!

Anonymous | 10:16 AM

This is crazy! I agree, a few years ago it was "all goths are potential shooters" because of Columbine, and before that it was any kid in urban street wear was in a gang. It's news reports like this and the over-earnest, over-fearful parents who are causing more problems than they are helping. The parts about the cutting really disturb me... I've known people who cut; it's a serious issue and needs to be treated, but teenagers in general don't need adults grabbing at their arms to look for cut marks just because they wear a certain style of clothing.

Hey, tell you what GGC... I'll dig up my most "emo" picture from high school and post it, if you post yours.

Jonathon Morgan | 12:34 PM

i'm always amazed at how fucking stupid local broadcast media is. (not that i've lived in every locality...but you know.)

kittenpie | 3:16 PM

Oh good gravy, that is CRAZY! I would totally assume that the website and quizzes they are talking about are jokes and they are missing the satire! yes, there are people who cut because they have inner pain, but those people usually hide it. Kids who do it for fun and fashion? Not many, and will get over it quickly, I'm betting. Gah.

Anonymous | 4:22 PM

I was lurking through your archives, as I do with new blogs I stumble upon, and as I found this post with this video, one thought ran through my mind. "You're shitting me."
Honestly? I get called emo all the time (yes, I'm a 15 yr old girl) and it's because I write poetry. That's it. I wear pink, I wear dresses, I love makeup and flipflops and purses. But the second I post a poem online the 'emo' comments come flooding in. Along with the 'go die, emo' comments.
I go to an art school. EVERYONE there dresses emo. I mean, we have the odd prep, but it's rare. Sure, we've lost students, but it was due to cancer and gang violence. And yeah, some students have attempted suicide, but oddly enough it had nothing to do with their style.
I'm sorry. This video makes me want to go there and smack some sense into people. Wow. Just wow.

Maelstrom | 10:00 PM

I think being a teenager sucks to the point where adults somehow block it from their memory, thus their utter bewilderment when their teenagers start to "act out". It's sheer silliness.