Oh well. They don't let things go, do they? Or to put it another way, here's a tedious and shit follow-up piece to the Mail's miserably pisspoor articles on emo, attempting to claim it's a 'suicide cult', which is blatantly obviously not the case to anyone with an actual brain who cares to really find out about things rather than starting with a predestined conclusion and attempting to find evidence to hammer into shape.
Suicidal? I wasn't before I saw how shit the Mail's journalism could be. Now I'm putting the revolver in my mouth. But before I redecorate the spare bedroom with brain and blood, I might as well have a quick look at the utter dogturd of doom, fearmongering and total tat that is masquerading as some kind of journalism in today's crazy mixed-up Hate Mail.
Mail reporter Andrew 'M Beat Featuring General' Levy had a pop at emo the other day in a spectacularly ignorant and thoroughly disgraceful article cashing in on a young girl's suicide and pathetically linking it to a certain teenage style. It was a nonsensical thing to do, which was in my view insulting to the memory of a dead person and exploitative of the grief of that person's family. But they couldn't leave it there, could they? Here they come again... this time it's Tim Rawstorne with the bullshit, bollocks, fear-spraying, ham-fisted conclusions based on no evidence whatsoever except base prejudice against young people and a desire to scare the shit out of parents and grandparents across middle England.
Once again, appallingly, the method of suicide is detailed, even though it is irrelevant to the story and adds nothing to our understanding of it, and would appear to be a mere decoration which could have serious consequences. Once again, that's in contravention of PCC guidelines. But seeing as the Mail seemingly don't give a shit about PCC guidelines - showing a nice big photo of a dying man yesterday, intruding into the shock and grief of his relatives - and seeing as Paul Dacre was for many years a big player for the PCC, I wonder whether they're going to get in trouble?
What if a teenager were to kill themselves in the same way today, having read about it in the paper? What would Rawstorne and Levy have to say about that? Would they shrug their shoulders in that way that journalists do when they've fucked someone's life over by getting something wrong, pretending it's 'nothing to do with me guv'? Or would they actually imagine they were, in some way, responsible for that, by doing something they needn't have done, merely for titillation or shock value? No, people don't 'just kill themselves anyway', if that's the counter-argument (and it's the only one I've ever heard). The research, such that there is, points clearly in the opposite direction. That if suicide methods are detailed, and a potentially suicidal person uses a method that succeeds rather than one that fails on a particular occasion, having read about that method in the media, then that is one more person dead who may not have been dead. It is a grave responsibility on the media. A serious responsibility. One of the most serious things a journalist has to think about in his or her working day.
Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo
It pains me to read such ignorant twaddle passed off as fact. It makes my heart sink to think that this is what journalism has come to. Talking shit about teenage subcultures to frighten parents. Is that what Rawstorne and Levy did their journalism qualifications for? Is that the sort of thing they thought they'd be doing when they made it 'onto a national'? Are they proud of what they're doing?
In the unending bleakness of the weeks that have followed, the couple have fought to make sense of what happened.
Why on earth did their daughter — a popular, intelligent and attractive girl — do such a thing?
They could find only one clue: Hannah was what is known as an "emo".
It's terribly sad and your heart goes out to the parents. As I said the other day, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be able to see where they're coming from. They are trying to make sense of something senseless. They do have just the one clue, and you cannot possibly blame them for trying to reach out for answers, and that's understandable, and legitimate, and that is something that no-one should question.
But what of the Mail? Where's their agenda in all this? See if you can spot the textbook Mail phrase in here:
On the surface, it all sounds typically teenage — angst-ridden, over-dramatic and tribal.
No different, in fact, to the Goth subculture that first emerged in Britain during the early 1980s.
There is, though, growing concern that there is a deeply unhealthy undertone to the emo movement.
Yes, of course, you got it. It's the brilliant use of 'there is concern' without any evidence whatsoever of where the concern's coming from, who is expressing the concern (apart from scaremongering pricks at the Mail) and whether, above all else, the concern is justified. Oh no... let's just create a sinister impression by saying 'there is concern'. Is there, Rawstorne? And where might that concern be coming from?
When they questioned her about it, honest and open as ever, she told them she'd inflicted the wounds herself and that it was part of an emo "initiation ceremony".
But she was wrong. There is no 'emo initiation ceremony'. To say more would be to speculate too much, and maybe it's wrong to speculate so soon after a death. Well I say 'it's wrong' but it's clearly not wrong for the Mail, is it.
New figures show that the number of children admitted to hospital due to injuries inflicted on themselves has risen by a third in five years.
In 2002/03 there were 11,891 such admissions; in 2006/07 this had risen to 15,955.
In both periods, there were more than three times as many admissions of girls as of boys.
I don't dispute the figures (though maybe I should do, given that it's the Mail) but where is the evidence this is linked to emo at all?
Crucially, those who self-harm are more likely to go on to attempt suicide. While there is a multitude of reasons for this epidemic (exam-related stress and bullying to name but two), it is hardly surprising that the emergence of a sub-culture that appears to glamorise self-harm and even suicide is being regarded with alarm.
At least Rawstorne tries, I suppose, to look at a slightly bigger picture - before bringing up 'being regarded by alarm', yet again attributing mass fear and concern to no-one at all. Who is concerned? Who is alarmed? Just you, Andrew?
"Emo has become an easy target for ridicule like this; but the bottom line is emotional does not mean suicide."
That is true, of course. But as any parent will tell you, adolescent children can be highly irrational.
They are also easily influenced and may be illequipped to deal with powerful emotions that can be magnified by a sense of "membership" to a sub-group that revels in self-pity.
That is true? You've spent the entire article trying to make out the exact opposite! And where's all this bollocks about adolescent children being easily led? Where does that come from? Evidence? Facts? Or just some pat conclusion to make everything fit neatly together in your narrative of emo=suicide, except maybe it doesn't.
It is something that Lorraine Harrison is all too aware of. She has three daughters, the youngest of whom is 11-year-old Levi, a girl who classes herself as emo.
Recently, Levi asked her mother: "Just why do people kill themselves?"
"When she asked me that, it made me shudder," says Lorraine, 46, from Alston in Cumbria. "I managed to keep calm and explained to her that people's minds are very disturbed, and often they don't really want to die. But inside I felt sick with worry that Levi is thinking about such things."
And what's wrong with children asking parents about emotional, complex issues? What the hell is wrong? Isn't that the sign of a healthy family relationship - that a child would want to discuss deep feelings with her mother, safe in the knowledge that these discussions were private and wouldn't be written about in national newsp... oh. Fucking hell, the poor kid. Having that dragged up in the national press - wow, I bet it was a fun day at school the next day after that.
"Levi seems to have gone from being a lively girl who enjoyed having friends around, to someone who has become quite introverted."
I'll bet she'll be really delighted to have all this shit in the papers about her, though. And how do we know the daughter really wanted to take part if, as Rawstorne is convinced, teenagers are 'easily influenced'?
Anyway, you can see what's going on here. We'll find a couple of people who are slightly worried about emo, and therefore everything we've said, all the bullshit conclusions we've come to, are all justified and good, and everything's all right then, isn't it? Isn't it?
No, it isn't. But let's plod on a little longer. Here's a reformed emo talking about emo.
"In hindsight, I can see that being involved with such a cult can be dangerous if you are a vulnerable personality.
"There is a very dark side to being an emo, which is about dressing in black and listening to music with very deep lyrics. That could tip a vulnerable person over the edge."
Well, that's her opinion, I guess, and that's fair enough. Strange how the comments saying emo is OK are just cribbed from a website - Rawstorne clearly struggled to find a real person to flesh them out but just couldn't, the poor lamb - while those about how it's bad, mmkay, come from real people.
Anyway, there's some shit about social networking sites, utterly pointless as it's nothing to do with emo at all, an interview with the headteacher, who comes out with some shit, an attempt to blame the internet for bad things (on a website, oh the irony - what if the girl was reading the Daily Mail website and then killed herself? What then? Would that be proof that the Mail is evil? No? Of course it fucking wouldn't), and then Rawstorne completes this parade of utter shite with this rather nasty passage:
But not everyone seems to have learned the lesson.
In a tribute book set up at Hannah's school, one pupil left the following message: "I hope you enjoy the black parade."
Naive, misguided or just plain stupid.
But then, that's always been the trouble with some teenagers. And the danger of emo.
No it isn't, Tim. The real danger around here comes from people like you looking for scare stories and writing rubbish about them. Trained journalists who blithely imply causality where there may be none. You mention admissions to hospital in an article about emo, but there's no evidence they're anything to do with emo. You mention 'the danger of emo' but you have no evidence whatsoever to show that emo has changed people from being anything other than what they would have been already. You mention someone being on the internet, but you're working on a multimedia digital platform - this story is on the internet. Is anyone who's reading this going to kill themselves, and if so is the big bad INTERNET to blame? You mention social networking, and get an academic source to say something vaguely negative, but you don't have the wit to examine it more clearly. You interview one real emo to find out their feelings, but quickly dismiss their views, while supporting everything that anti-emos say. You imply there is 'concern' and 'alarm' but don't say where it's coming from; yes parents are concerned about suicide and what their daughters are wearing; does it really go any deeper than that, or are you merely trying to justify the bollocks and bullshit that Levy crapped out of his ring the other day? You have a few anecdotes, and that's that. That doesn't show the danger of anything, other than jumping to the wrong conclusion. And the danger of shit journalists.