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Defending Emo/Gothic Culture

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What do you think of when you see skulls and crossbones? What do you think of when you hear the word 'cult?' What pops into your head when you think of rock music? Most of you would probably say the devil for skulls and crossbones, and Voodoo and Witchcraft for cult. For those non-rock listeners, you probably pictured head bangers demonically screaming about Hell in your head. But what do they all really mean?

People are criticized everyday for wearing skulls and crossbones on their shirts, or hats, Band CD's, etc. Recently my friend was accused of not being a real Christian because she wore skulls on her T-shirts. When I heard this, I was literally in shock and disbelief. On the website for the band As I Lay Dying, a person accused them of not being a real Christian band because they incorporate skulls and crossbones on their CD covers. So where does all of this criticism come from?

Personally, I believe it stems from the belief that skulls and crossbones are a sign of the devil, when in fact, it's merely a symbol of death.

Death is everywhere. It will eventually happen to everything and everyone. It is a part of life that can not be escaped, no matter how hard we try, and almost every Holy Book in the world practically glorifies it. Knowing death is an inevitable fate, there is no reason to be afraid of it. In all honesty, I think it's something to embrace. If you ask me, I believe wearing skulls and crossbones is just a way of peacefully excepting the inescapable. So why not where skulls and crossbones on your T-shirts, or in your ears, or wherever you want to put them? Why not just embrace what eventually is going to happen to you?

Another thing with a bad reputation: cults. If you think about it, the only thing we know about cults is what we see in the media, and when can that ever be fully trusted? A lot of people are under the impression that just because it is labeled 'cult,' that automatically means it's something evil, and bad, without even knowing what the word cult means.

When something is labeled a cult, it merely means the belief doesn't have enough followers to be classified as a religion. Does that mean it's automatically something to be shunned? No, it doesn't.

Now on to our last topic: rock music. Most people who don't listen to rock believe it's all about Hell, and suicide. This, however, is not the case.

While there are many bands who sing about suicide, death and destruction, and Hell, there are also many that don't.

The band Disturbed has a song called Land of Confusion, which is about how corrupted today's politics really are. Breaking Benjamin – Home: this song is about The Wizard of Oz. Rise Against – Help is on the Way, and Ready to Fall – these songs are about natural disasters an the people affected by them, and how we are killing the planet. Shinedown – The Crow and The Butterfly: this song is about a grieving mother who lost her son. Breaking Benjamin – Into the Nothing: about persevering through hard times. Skillet – Hero: another Christian band, this song is about how Jesus will always be there to save you. The list can go on forever.

People victimize rock, when at the same time, mainstream pop, hip hop, and R&B drowns in sex, greed, weed and other drugs, and disobeying the law. How is that fair?

When you take a step back and really look at things, Emo/Gothic culture is just another part of life, and should not be criticized, or labeled as evil.



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