Henry Sands meets a group of ‘Emos’ — ‘emotional’, black-clad teenagers — who claim to hate his mother for what she wrote about them in the Daily Mail. But they’re not very scary
I was walking through Hyde Park with a friend on Saturday when I noticed some people dressed in black gathering on the other side of Round Pond. At first I thought it might be a school trip having a picnic, but the eclectic mix of young teenagers — many of them with their parents — and peculiarly dressed older people suggested otherwise. A few of these gothic-looking creatures were holding banners and signs. The first I saw read ‘free hugs’. It was being held by an attractive dark-haired girl.
‘That’s nice,’ I thought, but before I could go to receive my hug, my friend pointed out that I was perhaps too old for that kind of thing. The next sign I saw was not quite as inviting. It read, ‘I am not afraid to keep living’ and was being held by a boy of about 15. In normal circumstances this sentiment should not have justified a placard. To me, ‘I am not afraid to keep living’ is as rhetorically powerful as ‘I am not afraid to brush my teeth.’
But among this gathering of netherworldly creatures, this appeared not to be the case. It was the third sign that really took me by surprise though. It read “F**k the Daily Mail’, asterisking the letters to avoid undue offence. This one was being held by a bald-headed man in his late twenties wearing a spiked dog collar around his neck. He didn’t look like someone I particularly wanted a confrontation with. Then I saw a radio presenter and realised what the occasion was. We had walked into the middle of the ‘Emo’ community’s protest against the Daily Mail.