the ‘real emo’ copypasta

“Real Emo” only consists of the dc Emotional Hardcore scene and the late 90’s Screamo scene. What is known by “Midwest Emo” is nothing but Alternative Rock with questionable real emo influence. When people try to argue that bands like My Chemical Romance are not real emo, while saying that Sunny Day Real Estate is, I can’t help not to cringe because they are just as fake emo as My Chemical Romance (plus the pretentiousness). Real emo sounds ENERGETIC, POWERFUL and somewhat HATEFUL. Fake emo is weak, self pity and a failed attempt to direct energy and emotion into music. Some examples of REAL EMO are Pg 99, Rites of Spring, Cap n Jazz (the only real emo band from the midwest scene) and Loma Prieta. Some examples of FAKE EMO are American Football, My Chemical Romance and Mineral EMO BELONGS TO HARDCORE NOT TO INDIE, POP PUNK, ALT ROCK OR ANY OTHER MAINSTREAM GENRE

The above is a copypasta* of uncertain origin, circulated and referenced in informal online discussions of emo music from around the mid-2010s onwards. It takes the voice of a kind of online poster type character with a distaste for what they view as ‘fake emo’ and they attempt to articulate the parameters for ‘Real Emo’. Though obviously ironic and not intended to reflect actual opinion around muddy history and arbitrary genre boundaries, it’s not uncommon to see attitudes echoing those in the copypasta defended as fact. Below is a wonderfully 2010-YouTube-core example that almost certainly pre-dates the copypasta, but which outlines some of the positions which are being ridiculed by it. (see more of these positions in the comments below the video)

The creator of this video has managed to include a clip of Embrace (dreary British 90s-00s Britpop/rock blokecore) when they actually mean Embrace (Ian MacKaye-fronted hardcore punk, proto-emo Washington DC band from 1985-6) in a video setting out to clear up emo/not emo confusion. Unsure if this is intentionally ironic or an actual mistake but either way it is very good.

Anyway, I do find the voice in the copypasta to be interesting – in the way it feels so forceful, frustrated and stemming from personal and specific grievances, and also the futility present in how the speaker attempts to draw strict boundaries about extremely niche interests.

Seeing and working with this text over the past few weeks has had a strange effect on my brain where the text feels both like it has lost meaning and like it is inscribed on the inside of my skull. I can no longer listen to emo or emo-adjacent music without my mind flicking back to the real emo/fake emo dichotomy. I’m ok tho promise x

Below are some real emo memes.

*for those lucky enough to not know what a copypasta is, they are chunks of text that are ‘copy-and-pasted’ (that’s where the word comes from) around social media, messageboards or comment sections. They usually have the look and feel of spam, but the poster (and often the audience) knows that it’s being used ironically, for humour or to annoy other users. copypastatext.com has an archive of almost all the copypastas you could ever wish to read, usually with some context about each one.

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