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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finding Emo

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First of all, Walski apologizes for disappearing from the face of the web for the good part of the last week and a half or so. Yes, it was due to work. No, it’s not because he’s been Raptured – which, apparently, was supposed to have happened yesterday at around 6pm local time everywhere around the globe, starting, apparently, with Kiribati.

Suffice it to say, apart from the random earthquake (via and a sad landslide tragedy (via The Star) closer to home, there was no Rapture, as such. At least, no Christians Walski knows personally disappeared without a trace yesterday.

In any case, this post is not about the silliness of this Rapture business, but about something totally different. But probably equally as silly. And it all started with this tweet from real-world friend and Twitter buddy @CKGord (do follow him, by the way – he’s one really cool and interesting dude).

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A short exchange ensued, namely about how Walski thought that Emo Metalheads weren’t the first Emo people on the scene. Walski contends that Emo Phillips (more about the guy later) was around first, long before them sob, sob, sob metalheads. Gordon, though, was adamant that they were.

When situations like these arise, it becomes incumbent upon Walski to do some research. And a totally inconsequential blog post, naturally. 
(Emo, Emo, on the wall, who’s the first Emo of them all, and more, in the full post)

Urban Dictionary, according to one of about 5 definitions you can find there, claims that Emo Metal is a non-existent genre. Walski hasn’t broken this bad news to Gord. Yet. But Urban Dictionary being Urban Dictionary, Walski decided to delve a little bit deeper into this. No, can’t be that it’s a non-existent genre if everybody’s talking about it, right?

Then again, you have Ibrahim Ali screaming the light fantastic about Malay Rights and the Federal Constitution. And nowhere in the FC is ‘Malay Rights’ even mentioned. Inferred, yes, but one really needs to stretch the noodle to buy Perkasa’s extent of understanding the august document. In any month of the year, in fact.

But Walski digresses…

And then you have trendy (or so they think) kids with nothing better to do than to become Japan – meets – Emily Strange – meets – the Doraemon generation – meets – badly-dressed fashion terroristas… oddly enough, called Emo Kids.

Image originally from Mr. Wannabe, image hosting by Photobucket Image originally from Mr. Wannabe, image hosting by PhotobucketIdentities obscured to protect the badly dressed...

But if you thought Emo Kids were bad enough, Walski uncovered something even more sinister:

Emo Cows...

Image originally from Malaysia Ke?, hosting by Photobucket

… that bear a strange resemblance to Ju… Oh, nevermind...

The point is that there is something more to this Emo thing that meets the eye. Particularly the part about Emo metal. Had Gord uncovered a strange phenomenon of Rapturous proportions? Or was Gord just being his usual silly self? This is stuff of the Richter-scale magnitude Mastika uncovers month after sordid month.

For sure, Walski had to find out more.

Surprisingly, as it turns out, all he really had to do was to Google up “Emo Metal”, instead of getting all emo’d up himself. Surprise, surprise, but there really is indeed a genre of music called Emo Metal (via Spirit of Metal).

When did this genre emerge? According to sources that undoubtedly know better than Walski, Emo ‘originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement of Washington, D.C., where it was known as "emotional hardcore" or "emocore" and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace(via Wikipedia).

And what good is a genre if it doesn’t spawn sub-genres of its own, right? Walski also stumbled upon the fact that out of Emo came Screamo. You cannot make up shit like this, folks.

Hmmm… mid-80s, eh? It so happens that it’s also in the early to mid-80s that another Emo emerged – one that Walski contends is the original EmoEmo Phillips. If you’ve never heard of this comedian, here’s a taste (from 1987).

Some might find him annoying. Creepy even. Especially when Emo still maintains his style till this very day (ok, he may not work Sundays, but…) – imagine a 50-plus year old doing the style of comedy you see above. Heck, better yet, watch this skit, from last year in Edinburgh.

Be that as it may, to Walski, Emo Phillips is truly one of today’s living comedy geniuses. Which other comic do you know who can work Archimedes’ Principle of Fluid Displacement into a comedy skit? None, Walski tells ya. Emo is absolutely the most brilliant comedian he knows of.

Well, it appears that Emo Phillips started his career in the early 80s, doing the Chicago comedy club circuit, at the start of the Comedy Boom (source: The New Shayne-Michael.COMedy). That got Walski thinking… early-80s versus mid-80s for the rock variety of Emo… the question of who came apparently would remain inconclusive.

So, Walski reckons that in the case of himself versus @CKGord, the two of us would have to settle for a draw. That said, Walski knows he’s right. Much like how time flies like an arrow, and how fruit flies like a banana.

Walski’s somewhat Emo but not meaning to be judgmental footnote: As far as those Emo Kids are concerned, Walski doesn’t particularly care that they’ve chosen to dress the way they have. While he may think they’re silly for dressing up like that, he’s not at all being judgmental. They can be silly all they want, and have every right to be badly dressed. That said, Walski using them as the butt of a joke is one of those occupational hazards that come with bad fashion sense. So don’t get all Emo over it, okay?