The Way We Were

The Generation That Weaponized Feelings: What Was An "Emo"?

Emo 4.0 champions Future Islands.

Recently I’ve found myself over-emoting in unclever ways. To keep a handle on things I have decided to call myself emo, although I never used that term as a self-descriptor when it was actually appropriate in the early 2000s. I didn’t even learn what an emo was until the summer of 2005, at debate camp, when a boy with one of those pretentious monosyllabic names like “Chad” or “Brad” or something came into the lunchroom wearing a Death Cab For Cutie t-shirt and blew my mind. I’d heard of DCFC before but had subconsciously conflated them with Hootie and the Blowfish, which [...]


Hello, Welcome To Blockbuster, May I Help You

I graduated high school in 1997 and I went to work at the Winn Dixie deli counter, which totally sucked. I was still living at home and that fall I enrolled at Tallahassee Community College. I was more unsure of my future than at any other point in my life before or since.

A friend from high school had recently been hired at Blockbuster, and he got me a job there too that fall. Blockbuster was a step up. Not only did we not have to handle foodstuffs, but we also got free video rentals—although we didn’t get health care, or vacation, or sick days.

But I cannot overstate the [...]


"Misfits of Science": The 80s TV Show That Only Courteney Cox Survived

No one sets out to make bad art. If a producer approaches a young director and says, "Look here, Sonny Jim, The Hunger Games are a popular film franchise, make me one of those," the young director is going to do his best to make the film his and craft it well. Success is just a matter of being able to work with constraints. Constraints are everywhere. Picture the college writing exercises, where the directions are like, write a three-page play using the following elements: the color red, the number forty-three, have no actors on the stage, and have the play take place over three thousand years.

The problem [...]