Fans of eyeliner-industry darlings MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE are set to march across London by the hundreds to protest the DAILY MAIL’s shitty treatment of the band — and, weird as it might sound, the kids have a pretty good reason to be mad. In recent coverage of the suicide of an emo-obsessed teenage girl, the ultra-reputable rag has made all sorts of hilarious insinuations about the pop group, going so far as to suggest they’re at the helm of some sort of death cult:
One of the foremost of these ‘suicide cult’ bands is My Chemical Romance, from New Jersey. Their first single, “Welcome to the Black Parade,” from the album The Black Parade, was released in 2006 and became a huge hit, going to number one in Britain. The concept album follows the story of a character called The Patient, who dies of cancer. The Black Parade is a nickname for the place where Emo fans believe they will go when they die.
As a connoisseur and frequent purveyor of shitty journalism, I have to applaud the Mail for its tremendous gusto. The most cursory research (i.e., asking any teenager) would have confirmed that “The Black Parade” was nowhere near their first single, even in the UK. Digging a little deeper would have revealed that My Chemical Romance have often been anti-suicide, in both song and interview, and that they’ve also disowned the “emo” thing, calling it a “pile of shit.” Most audacious is the final sentence, which takes such dazzling, whimsical liberties with fact and sanity that I’m a little jealous. These guys don’t just insult the reader’s intelligence — they lambaste it with a full Friar’s Club roast, with Jeffrey Ross in a tuxedo cracking wise about the reader’s intelligence’s mother and everything.
Several more articles about the young girl’s suicide followed, each with further condemnations of the destructive, suicide-glorifying emo lifestyle. Actual headline: “Why No Child Is Safe from the Sinister Cult of Emo.” The article seems to condemn kids just as much as it condemns the music: they’re “naive, misguided or just plain stupid. But then, that’s always been the trouble with some teenagers. And the danger of emo.”
After all this musing about the stupidity of teenagers, we get a dandy little nightcap to the story. On the night of her suicide, “the teenager turned to her [her mother] and said: ‘I feel like killing myself.’ ” Her mother said something like: “Don’t be so silly — we’ll talk about it in the morning.” Case closed! Music’s fault!
Disclaimer: do not interpret the preceding item as a defense of My Chemical Romance. They objectively, empirically, verifiably suck, and the world might be a dweeb-free paradise if they actually did inspire their fans to commit suicide. But they don’t.
But wait, wasn’t this supposed to be a news-in-brief article? Shit! Elsewhere: a month of ecstasy and heartbreak in the music world, packed with so many highs and lows that my head is still spinning and I can scarcely draw enough breath to yowl a “wow.”