The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

That’s soooo ‘Emu’

Chris Kemp

Thursday, April 7, 2:27 a.m. – Half asleep, I turned on my laptop to check the old webmail account to see if I had received the e-mail edition of The Spectator yet. I do this just about every late Wednesday night to see if my column made it to print unscathed and to also check my headline. Some weeks I figure one out or offer suggestions to the powers that be (my editors … whom I have yet to meet. They insist that all our interactions are through instant messenger due to their strange obsession with emoticons, j/k J) but for the most part I get shot down like an acne-ridden chubby kid looking for a date to V-Ball (that hit a little too close to home).

I saw the new message in my inbox and proceeded to do the clicking of the double variety. I scrolled down to reach the Showcase section and saw “Canadian twins truly rock,” what was seemingly the title of my column. I proceeded, but not with enough caution. The headline was fine, a bit cheesy but whatever … I was cool with it. Then “they” (the man, a.k.a. my editors) proceeded to kick me right square in the groin with the sub-headline. “Tegan and Sara save gender from sucking.”

I am not even sure if I know what that means, but I do know that it was a battle I am definitely not willing to fight. I stared at the screen befuddled. Twenty minutes passed, still befuddled (Yes! I did it. Befuddled was the word of the day on “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” today, and I just said it thrice times). I couldn’t stop thinking about what people would think, especially the women that read it. Taken literally, the sub-headline stated that I, Steve Sorensen, believe two girl musicians have saved the entire female gender from certain uncoolness. Wow.

The next day I decided to swing by the Spectator office after-hours to see if I could piece together a reason for the libeling headline. I walked into one of the rooms in the back and turned on the light only to find a dry-erase marker board that read “3 ways to make it impossible for Steve Sorensen to ever get a date or have a relationship while living in the city of Eau Claire.” Under that, two of the three had been checked. The first way was to “bribe beautician to cut his hair so he looks like He-Man.” The second was to “have headline on column completely rip and offend entire female gender.” I couldn’t believe it … it was all a set up. Luckily, I found out about it prior to the fulfillment of the list. The third installment of their quest to ruin my life was to “start a foundation in Steve’s name with the entire goal to get Oprah off the air.”

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Joking aside folks, the headline to my column last week was not one of my choosing. I am, although, very sorry if it offended anyone, men and women alike. To clear my name, I must let all women know that I have plenty of girls who are my close friends, I have a great relationship with my mother, I sort of like cats and sometimes I watch “Oprah.” Hopefully that is sufficient. On to the music-related topic … as that is more appropriate for this week.

I get sick to my stomach every time I hear it escape from someone’s mouth. My distaste for this word goes so thick; at times I can taste it. I can’t escape it, and that is the most horrible thing about it. The evil that I speak of comes neatly packaged in a singular word, and that word is emo. What in the Helena, Montana is emo anyways? I can hardly remember the fond days of early high school when it actually meant something to me and my hipster buddies.

Emo used to be a music genre that was an offshoot of punk and post-punk known for its “emotionally” driven lyrics. Back then bands like The Get Up Kids (one of my faves … quick side-note, they are touring for the last time ever in late spring/early summer) and Sunny Day Real Estate reigned in all their awesome glory. But now, the word has been crapped on so many times in recent years, it has become a label for an entire subculture of whiny brats who dawn square-rimmed glasses, black Converse chucks, tight T-shirts, bracelets and messenger bags. I have actually heard people, friends of mine even, who point out things and say “that is so emo.” I just get riled up even typing that garbage. I guess I feel like the Kleenex people who made a product and the name of their company became a household label for the entire industry. Not really sure if that fits, but it is definitely something else that ticks me off.

In closing, fight the good fight with me. Yell at anyone who uses the word emo inappropriately, or at all for that matter. Start using the word emu instead … maybe that will catch on without anyone noticing. I think it would be pretty sweet for kids to describe their style using a word that means “large, flightless Australian bird.” Let us also go the extra mile and help Kleenex out while we’re at it. The next time someone asks if they can have a Kleenex, tell them this … “No, but I will give you a Puffs white facial tissue.”

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