Criminalizing Emo: Russia Looking To Ban Goth And Emo Music
Russian Parliament is apparently in the process of drafting a bill to outlaw goth and emo music. Evidently they're operating under the misconception that, by eliminating the outlet for negative feelings, they will somehow be eliminating the feelings themselves.
Last month a parliamentary committee was convened to discuss a draft proposal of the Russian government's Government Strategy In The Sphere Of Spiritual And Ethical Education bill, the details of which were leaked to The Moscow Times. The newspaper subsequently reported that, among other things, the draft bill dubbed the musical movements a "dangerous teen trend" and called for emo and goth websites to be regulated and young people dressing like emos or goths to be banned from entering schools and government buildings.
The newspaper interviewed one of the bill's authors, Igor Ponkin from the Russian Interior Ministry's Public Oversight Council. Ponkin called emo a "social danger" and "a threat to national stability" and said the bill is a reaction to teen suicides such as the tragic death of British teenager Hannah Bond.
"This type of behaviour is a crucial part of emo ideology," said Ponkin. "Of course there are emo teens who just listen to their music. But our actions are not directed at them but rather at those who also hurt themselves, commit suicide and promote those acts."
The history of modern culture is littered with examples of older generations freaking out and having moral panics concerning the culture of younger generations. In the US, while much of the focus these days is on video games and social networks, in the past it's included certain types of music and comic books as being threats to children.