Oh Kerrang, I don’t want to get into how bad your magazine is, because really I don’t really care if you peddle the latest rubbish fads to some dumb hormonal 14-year-old girls, who 10 years ago would have been ogling over a magazine like Smash Hits. It makes no difference in my life if you fester happily in your own shit. But this week’s issue (15/08/12)… wow that’s just a pathetic cover. No it’s beyond just pathetic; it’s horrific, disgusting and sick.
“111 songs that saved your life.” Really Kerrang? I know you’ve been peddling that shit for years, since My Chemical Romance hit the big time. It’s never been cool. (Aside to the obvious group.)
Even if it’s true that My Chemical Romance said they’d hope their music reaches out to people and it helps to help people going through a rough patch then that’s okay I guess, it’s somewhat cheesy and cringe worthy but it passes through without being offensive. (Being that I don’t like the band, I have no idea if they have ever claimed their music saved millions and millions of peoples’ lives, if they have they can go fuck themselves.) But when a whole marketing industry is set up to sell products by using serious issues such as depression and suicide, it really is not okay. When major record companies and their lackeys (Kerrang magazine) sell depression and suicide, to market their specially designed brands (for example Black Veil Brides) towards people, it cheapens those issues and makes them look like a joke.
My beef with Emo music in particular was that many, in particular teenage girls and boys, out there (and still do) used depression as a fashion statement to be accepted with their friends. (Faux self harm was all the rage in my school. Urgh.) Emo is not really much of a thing any more but some of the image has survived and grown to the point every new fad band in Kerrang has life saving powers. Sure there’s bound to be some genuine depressed people who like the music that Kerrang promotes but even then, I really doubt that listening to My Chemical Romance or, even worse, Black Veil Brides saved their life, they may make their life a bit better but I’m not betting that a MCR song made someone put down the rope. Statements like that are incredibly stupid. Take it to its logical extreme, that would imply, people who committed suicide in the first place, did so because they didn’t get a chance to hear someone like Andy Biersack’s exquisite vocals, if only they heard such powerful music and the message contained they would still be here today. Sounds stupid right? Well that’s my point, the way Kerrang makes depression and suicide fashionable, reduces it down to something unimportant, a trend, someone being stupid idiot, an insignificant trivial detail and that person has to get over themselves. Therefore people who are in need of help, who faces serious depression or thinking about suicide, their problems and their suffering is reduced down to shit like “111 songs that saved your life.” The wider implications is that people with depression are treated like people conforming to a specific fashion within a specific sub-group, that has been manufactured by major corporations to sell products, so they are mocked, their problems not taken seriously because claiming you are depressed is what stupid teenage girls, who buy Kerrang ,with a crush on Gerard Way or Andy Biersack, say and to be depressed is to be as stupid as them.
Kerrang markets itself towards young people, people who may feel down because they are outcasts in their school or puberty is creating ups and downs for them. Kerrang is marketing depression to young people, many of these young people will feel sad from time to time but I doubt most of them have depression. But they are told that they are, their experience is what defines depression so when they make it through the rough times and come out more mature, they themselves will see depression a trivial simple matter, after all they have been there so it’s not so bad after all. And if they were “saved” you can easily be too. While I make no excuses for bullies, you have to remember that young people are very impressionable, the young people around these groups, will be witnessing these people and their fashionable depression, they will be seeing them with a magazine with the headline, “111 songs that saved your life.” They will roll their eyes and perceive them as being somewhat dumb. Depression in their eyes will be connected to an image of people being stupid and if they come across anyone who is actually depressed, then they may be not be very sympathetic or even outright mean because they have correlated depression with acting stupid. When emo was at its peak a few years ago, it was fairly common to see upset people being told things like “cheer up you stupid emo.” Or “Stop acting like an emo.”
“111 songs that saved your life.” Sounds utterly ridiculous to anyone who doesn’t obsess over the rag but as Kerrang pushes ever forward into making depression like a handbag, they may actually be contributing to people’s deaths as their cries for help were mistaken for being a whiny imbecile who should shut up and grow up.
And I haven’t even touched on the point of milking money from a serious health issue that many people suffer with everyday. If I started a cult where I claimed I can cure people’s cancer if they gave me “x” amount of money and then moved on, everyone would rightly call me out for being a sick bastard.