Modern-day teenagers sure are confusing. Coming to grips with the suicide of two Melbourne girls means wrestling with this whole new-fangled subculture thingy. From The Age today:

While mystery surrounds the apparent suicide pact of Melbourne teenagers Stephanie Gestier and Jodie Gater, attempts to blame the ’emo’ subculture … appear baseless.

Most of the music references on Jodie’s page are to rap and R&B artists, including Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas, as well as goth-rocker Marilyn Manson and My Chemical Romance, currently one of the most popular “emo” bands in the world… The suggestion that the girls were immersed in a dark subculture that could have contributed to their decision has also angered some of their friends, many of whom are posting tributes and comments on the social networking site MySpace

Last week, Jodie’s father, who made a public appeal for information about the girls, said he feared the internet could hold the key to their disappearance.

What is this emo of which they speak? Who is Beyonce? Is she a beyotch ? For your guidance, Crikey presents its teen glossary. But, like, whatevs.

Whatevs: (abbr of “whatever”)

  • Term used by prematurely aged people trying to sound hip.

Emo (noun; plural emos):

  • A young person who is considered to be over-emotional about imperfections in his or her life. — Wiktionary
  • Archetype: Hamlet . — Shakespeare
  • Ditto Romeo “Ay me, sad hours seem long” Montague. — Shakespeare
  • Member of a hard-core “emotional” music subculture. — Herald Sun
  • Punk music on estrogen. Often acoustic guitar with soft, high male vocals that dwell excessively on the singer’s feelings, especially melancholy remembrances of past relationships/mistakes in life. A form of music that diverged from punk in the ’80s, the name “emo” is derived from the emotive style of the lyrics and music… [Has] spawned a subculture which conforms to certain conventions in dress such as tight sweatshirts, tight band T-shirts and horn-rim glasses. Adherents profess to excessively melancholy temperaments. Males that adhere to the emo subculture are sometimes confused with metros-xuals; indeed the line between the two is somewhat blurred, though both groups claim to be in touch with their emotional side. The ephemeral and hackneyed nature of emo songwriting suggests that its audience will be restricted largely to teenagers…

    girlfriend: C’mon, lets have s-x.
    boyfriend: I’m too sad to have s-x.
    girlfriend: I’m sad too; lets have s-x and cry.
    boyfriend: I’m already crying. —
    Pureblarney , Urban Dictionary

  • Emo fashion: aka “some of the sillier stuff emokids do in order to not look like all the Green Day/Rancid and Strife/Hatebreed clones out there”.
    • The Emo Romulan look — short, thick, greasy, dyed-black hair with bangs cut straight across the forehead, and cut high over the ears.
    • Actually, any greasy, dyed-black hair. Bangs in front and spikes in back is very emo, too
    • Horn-rim glasses, or at least thick black frames
    • Bald head, furry face (boys only). Goes especially well with horn-rims
    • Heavy slacks, often too tight and short
    • Thin, too-small polyester button-ups in dark colors, or threadbare children’s size t-shirts with random slogans. Button the collar if you got one
    • Clunky black shoe
    • Scarves
    • Gas station jackets. This has diffused a lot over the years though, it’s no longer exclusive to emo kids. Nowadays, you may want to select a nice corduroy denim jacket
    • Also classic outerwear but quickly diffusing to normality: the famous Blue Peacoat
    • Barrettes on boy
    • Make-up (male or female)
    • Too-small cardigans and v-neck sweater
    • Argyle
    • Anorexic thinness. Veganism helps here. — What the heck *is* emo anyway?,   Fourfa.com
  • Like a goth, only much less dark and much more Harry Potter. — Lockesly , Urban Dictionary

Goth (noun; plural goths):

  • Someone who likes the darker side of things. They usually listen to death metal and goth music, such as Dismember and Bauhaus. Marilyn Manson is NOT goth. He’s just…weird… Goths are fun to be around and aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves every so often. — Me , Urban Dictionary
  • That thing that lies at the opposite end of the spectrum of society to the chav. — Stray, Urban Dictionary

The internet (noun; plural there is only one):

MySpace (noun; owner Uncle Rupert) :

  • A social networking web site based in Beverly Hills, California, USA. — Dictionary.com
  • The pre-eminent virtual hangout for “Generation @”. Where to go “when you need a friend to nurse you through a breakup, a mentor to tutor you on your calculus homework, an address for the party everyone is going to. For a giant brand like Coke, these networks also offer a direct pipeline to the thirsty but fickle youth market.” — BusinessWeek
  • A place for stalking with consent — Love_kills, Urban Dictionary
  • The ultimate game of testing your ego. It becomes a competition of seeing who has the most friends, so you add everyone you’ve made eye contact with in the past 6 years, constantly posting bulletins telling people to comment on your NEW PICZ PLZ or die. Also a way for every garage band ever to make a MySpace Music profile without even have [sic] talent and/or experience as other bands have. — Brett , Urban Dictionary

Beyonce :

  • One-woman pop phenomenon.
  • Unlikely to collaborate with…

Marilyn Manson :

  • Musician. Also the name of his band.
  • Proud owner of a MySpace page ; has 93,111 friends.
  • Ohio native: he takes his last name from a cult leader, Charles Manson; he is a member of the Church of Satan and tears up bibles onstage; he sings about rape, murder, blasphemy and suicide, and he has been known to expose and mutilate himself during concerts… Everything Marilyn Manson is doing has been done before, much of it better.  — Neil Strauss, New York Times
  • The sickest group ever promoted by a mainstream record company. — US Senator Joseph I Lieberman
  • Upcoming album, Eat Me, Drink Me , has the songs 1) If I was your vampire; 2) Putting Holes in Happiness; 3) The Red Carpet Grave; 4) They Said That Hell’s Not Hot
  • Used to be called Brian Warner. Often rumoured to have played Paul Pfeiffer, nerdy pal of Kevin Arnold in saccharine TV show The Wonder Years , a myth debunked by The Observer .

My Chemical Romance :

  • Band formed shortly after September 11 and soon released their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
  • Music is often labelled as emo, though TCR has rejected this term. They say their music is more rock or “violent, dangerous pop”.
  • English band Kasabian reckons the emo kids who listen to their music should get out more.
  • A snapshot of songs from their last album,  The Black Parade (2006)

    1. The End
    2. Dead!
    3. This Is How I Disappear
    4. The Sharpest Lives
    5. Welcome To The Black Parade
    6. I Don’t Love You
    7. House Of Wolves
    8. Cancer
    9. Mama
    10. Sleep
    11. Teenagers
    12. Disenchanted
    13. Famous Last Words
    14. Blood / Hidden Track

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Help for troubled young people is available here:

Lifeline: 131 114 (cost of a local call)
Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800 (free call)
Suicide Prevention Crisis Line: (02) 9331 2000.