Thursday, February 17, 2005

fed up with 'tuff'

Suppose I wrote the words "cuddle me and slit my throat." You might say that would make a pretty cool title for a livejournal entry. You might think those are some sick lyrics from a screamo band. You might feel that those words ring true. Well, you suck, because that's an example I thought up to illustrate a phenomenon that has got to go. The combination of something cute/affectionate/sentimental with something violent/evil/dangerous to create a conflicted entity. Whether it's a lame metalcore album title or a shitty tattoo, combining cute and evil creates something that is more complex than either one of those elements alone, but is hardly sophisticated or brilliant. Don't worry, I've got plenty of examples. Sure the phenomenon has existed for ages, but it is especially prevalent now. Check it out...

The musical style of screamo alone is a perfect model. The riffs and the screaming of metal are all there, along with soft parts, that bring to mind the insecurities and pain of Dashboard Confessional songs. It's being tough and being sensitive in one package. Brilliant, if you are marketing your product to confused teenagers, bullshit if you are sick of being manipulated by works that aim to be considered 'smart'.

Anyone can take a stencil of brass knuckles and use pink paint instead of black to mix effeminate qualities with brutality. The result is hardly interesting these days, let alone revolutionary. That example I invented, but some hardcore kids would probably think that putting a design like that on a t-shirt would be a brilliant fashion statement. These kids are in thugged-out crews, but wear eyeliner. They will fuck you up (allegedly, but I have not seen any fashioncore kids beat anyone in person) and then go home and cry to a Cure record. Well you can't have your cake and eat it too, pick a side and stay there.

Listen trendy youth of American, I also have discovered that life is not black and white, you learn that when you move out on your own.

I suppose it's no surprise that fashion, music, and trends all contain the elements I have described, since they are dictated by young consumers who are going through times of transition and learning lessons for the first time. None the less, right now I am annoyed, here come the examples of what is played out.

Take the word 'tough', change it to cute spelling, 'tuff'. Do a search on this word and 'emo', they go together. Ok, that's hardly scientific, but here are the results... you will find links to makeoutclub, my space profiles, and hardcore distros. Also this
shitty quiz.

How about this band that plays Love Metal?

Mix the evil pentagram with the heart, representative of teen crushes and sooo complex.

These titles for hardcore/punk records.

Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses
White Doves and Smoking Guns
Palm Trees and Power Lines

I know there are more examples out there, these are the ones I found with a quick look around the record store that I work in. If you can think of anymore examples of something sweet paired with something nasty titles, send them my way.

Here is a mid 90's example, I know I'm trying to talk about a phenomenon that exists right now, but this one is fun. You might not expect someone to get a tattoo of an x'd-up cartoon character these days, but it used to happen. A typical straight edge graphic would be an x'd-up tough guy with a baseball bat running across the record sleeve (I wish I had that record..), but here is one with the twist.

an x'd-up Simba, or a in some cases, a Calvin

In the world of horror, the phenomenon exists as well. Observe the resurgence in popularity of the Gremlins. Those cute little Mogwai turn into viscous killers. Hey, even I was tempted to get a tattoo of Gizmo driving his car. I bet Cub is glad I don't have that.

Stripe, the bad Mogwai, yeah, I like him too.

Anyway, the old me is guilty of trying to come of as cute. I always was the 'friendly' militant vegan. I don't need to go into detail, but I mixed strong convictions with an oh so adorable personality. I had my own dialect, strange sayings, a completely different tone of voice. It went over pretty well, but I'm embarrassed now. If you know me these days, you can see that I'm strictly business! Sure I tell some lame jokes, but I'm not aiming to be the center of attention. So all you kids out there affecting poses, clean up your act now!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very true. i'm fed up with the same things...

10:23 PM  

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