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Why Russia wants to ban emo
Legislators want to monitor emo music fans and restrict what they wear.
 

What happened
Russian legislators are trying to pass a law that would allow heavy regulation of websites devoted to emo music and culture, and make wearing emo or goth-style clothing in schools and government buildings illegal in the Eastern Europe country. The idea was conceived last month at a hearing in Russia on “Government Strategy in the Sphere of Spiritual and Ethical Education.” (Guardian Unlimited)

What the commentators said
This “bizarre” new law proposal “is being driven by overprotective fears,” said Nadia Mendoza in The Sun, but it actually “could signal the end of heavy eyeliner and black nail polish” for Russian fans of bands like “My Chemical Romance and Thursday.”

We’re not too “clued-up on historical knowledge,” said Matthew Laidlow in the blog Hecklerspray, but “we get the feeling that wanting to wipe out a certain culture sounds similar to something that happened in the 1940s.” Emo kids in Russia might want to start wearing “bright pink My Little Pony” coats to “disguise themselves with.”

But there are some reasons to be concerned about emo, said Don Kaye in KBSRadio.ca. “The music has come under attack in recent months in England, where two 13-year-old fans of groups like My Chemical Romance both committed suicide within weeks of each other.” And “emo fans have also been attacked by marauding gangs of teens in parts of Mexico.”

Still, this seems kind of strange coming from “the land of nihilism and revolution,” said Michael Weiss in Gawker. It’s also somewhat ironic: A version of The Office—“a show about depressed industrial workers ruled by an unfunny megalomaniac”—is being made for Russian television. The Office is OK for Russians, but emo music isn’t?

Well, emo kids in Russia aren’t taking this lying down, said the AFP in The Moscow News. “Dozens of black-clad emo music fans protested" recently "in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk,” many of them holding signs that read “Kill the State in Yourself,” and “Why Do We Have To Think The Same?”

 

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