It’s important to emo. Sometimes, all by ourselves, we’ve got to brood, worry, fret, mope, think, and rebel simply because that is our human right to do so and because we must see life for what it really is sometimes–a big, fucking ball of shit. So instead of shrugging and popping another taco in your mouth, emo! It does no good to deny it. Emo! (No whining though. ‘Nobody likes a whiner,’ a famous clown once said).
So today, I’ve compiled five of my favorite things to read when I want to emo all over the place.
(Or don’t. I don’t care. Whatever. The world will be better off, believe me. Why was I born? Where’s my verde sauce?!)
5. The Starvelings, Thomas Mann
Emo is about lashing out in a complex whirlwind of emotions. Duh. So here is this piece from Thomas Mann which shows in perfect style the conflicting urges of both acceptance and independence which every one of us has experienced (no doubt from grade 0 to grade 36). Brilliant.
4. On the Suffering of the World, Arthur Schopenhauer
Not only are we supposed to suffer, but we’re not supposed to be. That’s right, we are a mistake and the quicker we realize that, the better. No seriously. Since, says the cynic philosopher, the quicker we see ourselves as fellow suffers, the easier we can accept all of the shattered expectations and disappointments that oversalt our lives like so much Danish licorice and get on with the world. Great broody emo stuff. Perfect for walking tall and flexing your middle finger at bosses, bus drivers, and ex-girlfriends alike.
3. Love is a Dog from Hell, Charles Bukowski
Speaking of impossible expectations and fairytale love bullshit–Bukowski! Listen: Love sucks, life sucks, and yes, even your only true love, writing, sucks. What helps? Sex, alcohol, and a good poem, but only if you’re doing it right (and not by much and not for long). The man was emo better than any emo out there. And the man that invented existentialist emo wrote…
2. Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dosty is a giant in the history of Lit because of his delving into the conflicting soul of the human experience. This little piece is his most popular. Though not my favorite, it’s what got me into Fyodor and also helped to acknowledge my awkward teenage self better than Salinger ever could. Spiteful, stubborn, and anxiety-riddled, the nameless narrator shouts to us in a voice that we only wish we could shout in, to everyone and everything (WHERE’S MY FUCKING VERDE SAUCE!).
1. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
What’s better than fighting when you’re emo? Reading about guys fighting because you’ve never fought a day in your life because all you do is scribble stories and read books! More than just a novel about a club of fighting guys (with rules no less), Chuck addresses the deeper emotional wounds that all young men hold in their psyches. Because we don’t have anything to fight for back then, we fight each other, we fight our fathers and we want to be cut like Abe Lincoln and we are essentially two different people all time. Emo!