When Rivalries Go Out of Control

Last year, metal and punk fans ran amok in Mexico beating up emo fans. It got so bad that the emo kids had to get police protection. It seems that the metalheads got so pissed off at the emos constantly talking about how life sucked and suicide was better that they decided to help them along:

Via the Austin American Statesmen, several postings on Mexican social-networking sites, primarily organising spot for these “emo hunts,” have been dug up and translated. One states: “I HATE EMOS!!! They are not even people, they are so stupid, they cry over meaningless things… My school is infested with them, I want to kill them all!”

Another says: “We’ve never seen all the urban tribes unite against one single tribe before… Emos, their way of thinking is for crap, if you are so depressed please do us all a favour and kill yourselves!”

The whole thing has two important implications.

The first is that Richard Dawkins is wrong. Do you remember how after 9/11 he had an essay which said that religion is a convenient label for identity formation and so drives violence? But alas, identity formation doesn’t depend on religious indoctrination by your parents. People find ways to choose their own identities (metalhead, punk, goth, emo), and then cheerfully slaughter each other over them. So it goes. (Kunal also helpfully points me to this pertinent Penny Arcade quote: “Policing the output of our cultural apparatus for wrongthink is a pleasant occupation for young men with surplus energy.”)

The second implication is that we in India have dodged a major bullet. Can you imagine if the Lata Mangeshkar/ Asha Bhosle rivalry had spiralled out of control? If it was fought not between O P Nayyar and Naushad but gangs of fanatical fans, ready to spill blood (their own or others) over the issue of who had recorded more songs or whose pitch was more controlled? The result would have been sheer carnage.

Even more horrifyingly, it would eventually have resulted in a Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story sort of situation. A guy from the Lata didi fan club would fall for a girl from the Asha tai fan club. After five acts, they would both die, but not before Bappi Lahiri too perished in the violence, shouting “A plague o’ both your houses!” with his dying breath. Then finally the two fan clubs meet and their differences are mediated by a Kishoreda fan. But unfortunately by that time the plague would have incarnated as Himesh Reshammiya.

0 Responses to When Rivalries Go Out of Control

  1. Satya says:

    Bappi da is too cool to shout. He would have sung ‘A poksh on both your houshes’, to the tune of ‘Chiro diney’.

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