I was just about the right age to be an emo kid when My Chemical Romance first popped up and filmed videos at funerals all in black – they were the epitome of what every emo kid wanted to be but began to court controversy, with newspapers (I won’t name names. Oh heck it was people like the Daily fudgin’ Mail) claiming that the band promoted self-harm and low self-esteem. Now, I think MCR were probably at the upbeat anthemic end of bands that might make you feel depressed. Actually no, they never made me feel depressed and I never thought their lyrics incited anything of the sort. So I wasn’t an emo kid. I don’t have any MCR songs. But I can see why the emos where so incensed by the whole shebang.
I will say though that I’ve seen MCR supporting Muse live. It was the closest I ever got to buying into them.
Flash forward a few years and it’s now 2010. Gerard Way has died his hair bright red and is looking more like a pretty biker than the zombie-esque creature he portrayed himself to be during The Black Parade. Oh and they’ve got this new tune called “Na Na Na”:
You can see that it’s like the Banana Splits if the Banana Splits were angry. Oh right. I remember now: that happened in Kick-Ass. “Na Na Na” is actually pretty good. I don’t know whether it’s the video or the fact that they seemed to have gone pop-tastic and aren’t still moaning on that makes me like it. But I do.
So to the point. This week’s NME features Gerard Way on the cover, and a very good article about the band by Luke Lewis. Everything was going swimmingly, everyone was getting along famously, Lewis kept saying how much he loved the new sound that the band had… The only (barely) catty remark was about one band member’s “doughy love-handles” although I took this comment as to say that it was a good thing the band looked healthy, as they are meant to be a role model for young people.
And so the floodgates opened….
The next day Lewis became the subject of a Twitter hate campaign. An account was set up with the username “ihatelukelewis” while numerous MCR fans sent threatening letters to the NME man. He was called, and I quote, “a diddle-headed twat” while others threatened that “they WILL attack”. Others threatened to zap him with a raygun while another wanted to shoot him and eat his soul (no, seriously!)
That last one didn’t seem quite right to me. I could barely understand why people were upset, let alone be enraged enough to bombard the poor bloke with tweet after tweet of threats and menacing, Death Eater-esque rants. So when I read that someone wanted to eat his soul I thought “hang on, you ain’t doing your cause any favours here.” After all, this is a bunch of people who’ve been, wrongly, linked to the occult, but for those of us who have never been an emo kid then what do we really know? The level-headed of us would simply brush this aside, thinking that we’ve all been particularly defensive of a favourite band at one time or another – even if it wasn’t to this extreme.
But maybe a comment like this could spark hysteria among people once again that this sort of music causes teenagers to go crazy and worship the devil – no doubt the Daily Mail will once again pick up on this point if they had a chance and the cycle would start all over again. Personally I can’t understand how on the one hand a group can claim that they’re misunderstood and on the other make comments that appear to confirm what the conservative media are thinking about them. The comments made to Luke Lewis are not only hateful (although some, like the ones about his forehead, are weak enough to be slightly laughable) but also send out the wrong message of what the MCRmy are all about. I doubt Gerard Way would be happy about this kind of behaviour, as he always comes across as a nice guy who is actually pretty intelligent.
So well done: in harassing a man who pointed out a tiny, almost insignificant detail about a band member during an article that couldn’t stop praising the band you’ve undone all your hard work in trying to be more understood. MCRmy, I salute your hypocrisy.