The Imp is has acquired some potentially very visible, big, impressive (if I do say so myself) self-inflicted bruises and a cut or two: hmm. They would look OK on a 9 year-old, but on a quasi-respectable woman, they might raise some eyebrows. But she’s done worse: two smashing black eyes and a gashed-up forehead in June ’04, a back-belt of purple ‘n’ blue from opening 101 canal locks in ’01, not to mention the ant-hill head bumps collected in her days of playground olympic pole-body-swirling. Yes, very technical.

But, oh, God, I’ve just found a sneaking pleasure in Marilyn Manson (thanks, Last FM) and it (and the bruising) remind me of yimpish goth days. Everyone (parental) thought we were self-harming, suicidal, depressed, junkie, unhinged, sickly weirdos. Actually, my goth friends are – c20 years on – still my friends, in great comparison to the straight guys I went to school and university with [day one, imp college: everyone in Arran junpers and blue jeans; Imp in biker jacket, shorts, DMs and tights, eye of Horus and a bat hanging from her right ear. Existential angst.]

The same panic’s now doing the rounds about Emo – thanks to the broad-minded tossers at the Daily Mail (big Arran jumper / blue jeans fans, I hear). They call Emo a suicide cult, paint teenage music fans as weak-minded sheep – when in fact these are often the kids who are most independently minded. Yes, I am sorry, of course, that some children decide to end their own lives, but it’s not music or teen culture that causes it. Being a teenager can be shit, but condemning any individuality they might feel brave enough to express is hardly going to help. Rant over.

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