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Jumper | Emo Kid Thrashings

As I left my neighborhood for work this morning with a mouthful of gyro and tzatziki, I noticed a line of police motorcycles and an ambulance parked between the northernmost Kaiser building (my Piedmont Ave. locale sits on the north side of the various central Oakland medical buildings) and Bay Wolf, a snazzy restaurant. This is all right outside my door.

A jumper had decided to plummet six or so stories from a Kaiser parking structure into an alley. The guy at the gyro joint told me he was dead. I passed by while the police casually walked away from the body. It lay covered under a colossal wall. The amount of cops made me think foul play was a possibility, but I have no idea how cops really work so maybe it's normal that like twenty of these guys show up for every jumper.

I thought about falling six floors; whether that would be spectacular enough for such a vainglorious event as suicide. Then again maybe this guy had a family member who just died in the hospital. Maybe he got to his car, looked over the edge of the structure, considered whomever he had lost inside and saw release in the cracked asphalt below. Unnoticed weeds struggling upwards to his fall.

Anyway. Stuff. I got back to the front of my building later in the afternoon, making an extra sidestep to drop off a recently purchased travel guitar and some LPs fresh from the dusty bin. I had the company car. I was listening to some NPR, which is sounding more like softcore leftist porn every day...(I don't recommend listening to their entertainment interviews, at the very least) and BOY did I hear some relevant shit:

In Mexico, more and more cases of "emo bashings" are being recorded. This is where macho guys, drunk guys, homophobic guys or even metal heads beat someone up, at times in mob form, because they look "emo". Keep in mind that Mexico was primarily, like the rest of the Rocky Mountain and high-desert American states, a cowboy culture. Also keep in mind that girls, not just little dudes, are victims of this sort of violence.

A number of interesting ideas arose in the radio conversation. One is that for those who want popular or subcultural aesthetics to reflect a political culture, much of those with "indy" rock or pop embedded in their psyches are going to disappoint. Some Mexicans committed violence on the grounds that apolitical folks deserve it. Another facet to the situation seems to be political in a different sense of the word: many accuse the "emo" style (the more knowledgeable refer to this as the "hipster" thing) of unfairly jacking styles from other subcultures, other styles of music, and other generations of "hip".

For one metal fan, justice meant beating up someone who was clearly weaker than them, thinking "Frankly, how dare they have pride in touting a pastiche image". Translation: MY identity is authentic. THEIRS isn't.

Is there an older false dichotomy than the pastiche vs. the pure?

Finally, globalization entered the debate, as someone pointed out that these styles had all arrived in Mexico after punk, post punk, hard rock, indy, metal and everything else under the sun spiraled its way outwards from the American/British center...

Then again, if you don't see the overall exchange going on between the USA and Latin America these days [read: PEOPLE], I don't know where you're looking...


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Jun. 4th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
It'll be fascinating to hear if anything actually happens on the sixth of June. I'd like all the "emo" kids to be packing heat, personally. Then we'd see some real culture clash.
Jun. 4th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
Weird that emo-kids are all scattered or influenced to so many parts of the world. But i sensed that it's not going to be long.
Jun. 4th, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
being different
I guess the problem is "as old as the hills". Maybe it is about being different. Maybe it is about our ability to accept things as they are and not as we want them to be... Maybe it is about our ability to be your own true self and not something popular and fashionable at the moment. I don't know. It is awful that violence of that particular sort exists in the world!

How was your day after you almost witnessed a suicide?!
Jun. 4th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: being different
It seems like...I don't know, newer cultural tendencies/newer rituals always threaten the older ones, so people who are accustomed to the older ones fight back...even though they're actually launching a preemptive attack. By the same token, for instance, McCain's take on gay marriage makes me want to throw him a football and tell him to go play around in the backyard while people who understand social democracy can actually work.

It's probably something akin to the Dylan Thomas line, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light": I like to think this is the attitude outmoded thinking (such as homophobia) takes on in light of things like metrosexual fashion, which serve to blur distinctions in sexuality, making people's habits harder to read on their surface. GOD FORBID.

I finished my day with lamb tongue tagliatelle, raw beef and fava bean sauce over crostini and espresso panna cotta. Because being alive is awesome.
Jun. 6th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
being alive is awesome
:) It is. :)

So you celebrated "being alive" on the material/food :) level! How did you enjoy it on the emotional one?

Mmmmmmmmm ... Am I asking too many questions?
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
tell me about stars
You are right on more levels then you know. And I wish i could be half the writer you are. Do you have anything publised if so where?
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
sorry for the random comment
sorry for the random comment. for some reason you popped up in my friends entries and i really like the way you look at the world. So i'm adding you to my friends list, if you dont mind
Jun. 5th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
I generally enjoy doing is blogging about my project. So i most definitely will. What manga do you like??? Right now i am reading Re-Play by Christy Lijewski and Persona 3 which you can download and read here http://gekkoukanhigh.ongakusai.net/?page_id=32
Jun. 5th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Re: something
i like the drawing style in this particular one a lot. i'll take a closer look when i get a chance.
Jun. 5th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)

I am not suicidal but there have been moments that I just don't care if I die like climbing a mountain all by myself without food and water and get lost in the dark. I learned a lot from that. I realize that I may love myself so much less that it deserves. And I don't want to die bcoz I dont want to dissapoint the people who loves and those I loved and dying meant not being able to make your dreams for them and yourself come true.

Let's first love who we are. It is our responsibility to our creator that we need to be the best that we can be. Bcoz it is only by being our best that we can give our best to others.

Don't care about others opinion about who you are. We are the only ones who really knows who we are. Don't mind the people that don't like or love you bcoz they are never going to be part of your betterment.

If I go to Mexico then I will be a standout bcoz I wear lots of diamonds more than a Prince or a King and I don't think those cowboy wannabes would hurt me bcoz you can't put a King down. Only a dummy would do that. I guess thre's really plenty of dummies in the World.
Jun. 6th, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
Who are we? ;)
I am not so sure that "We are the only ones who really knows who we are".
Sometimes we live in our thoughts about ourselves (far away from reality!), sometimes we know just a few things about ourselves (and there is a lot to learn)... New things pop up in the course of life! :) For me it is one of the reasons to stay as alive as possible!:) I guess I am very curious.

As far as not being able to touch a King ... Life can touch anything. So ... be careful.
Though you probably look very interesting and bright and cheerful, so ... people might simply enjoy looking at you and would not touch you in order not to distroy somebody unique. :)
Jun. 6th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
what's amatter with emo's? i love emo's!!! don't descriminate
Jun. 27th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Sad stuff. ):
Jul. 9th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
the Jumper ( Sucide)
the part of your story about the gentlemen who jumped from the parking garage. Maybe he was a Father who was fighting to stay involed in his children's lives but felt that he was beat by the system. Maybe he was just lonley from not being with his children ( if he had any??) I know that I have been and still am very lonely without my two children. And I feel beat by the system and the legal guardians. And yes I have tried to committe sucide many times because of not being a Father and the how the system ( no matter wher u live) beats the Father down and makes him feel like trash, unhaman, or like just a $$$$ sign. So just maybe this person jumped to end his pain of not being a Father.
A $$$$ sign Father.....

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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