16 June, 2007, 743 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a strange thing:  credibility.  It really matters when you’re a mall goth, or a mall emo kid or a mall indie kid.  But once you can drive and you care about things other than buying some new gothic/emo/indie nail polish or socks or a new indie shirt and you base things more off of survival than anything else…bare minimum needs and having fun, but not necessarily standing out or being “different” or being in a competition to see what skinny white kid can wear the most black or the tightest jeans or have the straightest hair or wear the most eyeliner, then, my friend, then you’ve got more credibility than someone else.  I used to put my time into looking good and emo for the mall on Fridays, making sure to wear my favourite shirt, jeans, and shoes and to have great hair and makeup, but about a year ago, something clicked.  It was exactly like when I found out that I wasn’t just shy–that I had life-interrupting social phobia.  I wasn’t emo–I was indie.  And my life veered in a different direction.  I was suddenly able to wear the greens and dull colours I’d craved all the time I’d thought I was emo.  I was allowed to like folk music and to expand my horizons and to throw out all those emo/emotive hardcore CDs I’d LimeWired, all heavy on cymbals and whining to the max, which I can never appreciate.  I was allowed to let loose, and I could listen to 80s music and hip-hop and some rap without being shunned, ’cause emo kids despise that stuff, but I’m allowed to appreciate it now, and I don’t have to like screamo.

So here I am now, back from the mall with Derek, safely in my sheltered little room writing about indie cred.   And goth cred.  And emo cred.  Because I see these kids at the mall with hair dyed red and pierced noses and too much jewelry and blank stares and bland voices and way too much eyeliner, and underneath the layers of that onion of a person, I see a scared little attention WHORE.  That’s right.

You could call me a bit of a naturalist.  I hate wearing makeup, jewelry, flashy clothes, hair dye, hats, watches, et cetera.  I’m a bare minimalist.  And you know it’s bad when your mom tells you that you have to wear some makeup today, or that you have to cover up that acne and dry it out even though your skin is already as dry as the desert, or that she doesn’t like how bland your hair is, save for the fact that it’s soft, and that you simply can’t go out in public like that.  Gawd.

No, indie cred doesn’t come from your attire, like from wearing those thick-framed black plastic rectangular glasses or skinny jeans or cool nonsensical tee shirts or hoodies or carrying messenger bags or having straight-ass hair or being unorthodox in your car choice.  It doesn’t come from being vegetarian or vegan or from being fluent in a language other than the one you were born into.  Indie cred comes from not giving a fuck whether or not you seem indie, or even what label you fall under.  And that’s the great thing about being indie.  I mean, you can buy whatever you want, read whatever you want, and listen to anything you want and it’ll only make you cooler to do what you want, but you can’t just be anyone to have indie cred.  You have to start from nowhere and work your way up to general apathy.  You have to have a passion.  And that’s all that matters.  I mean, sure–yes, you’ve got to get the right music to be indie.  But as long as you listen to the vast heart and soul of indie, you’re allowed to dabble in whatever other genres you want, because you don’t care what anyone else thinks because nobody with credibility thinks anything, and because at that point, you’ve got enough credibility to pwn like the Statue of Liberty.  HxC.

Sorry, it’s late, I have thousands of times the caffeine my system normally has, and I thought this post would be a good idea, even though it’s probably confusing as fuck, but I understand it.


2 Comments so far
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i loved the onion metaphor. your description of being indie and not caring- it made me think. cause that is the exact definition of being punk, which i happened to read randomly a while ago. and that’s confusing, both having the same definition. but what i decided on is that i think what everyone wants is to be themself, but everyone’s too scared to do that, and so they find a ‘label’ that they feel defines them but gives them enough leeway to be themself. i wish we all weren’t so scared. of what, i’m not sure. because by labeling ourselves we give people what they are looking for to make fun of us. what they are looking for is differences, and that’s what we had to begin with.
now i’m confused.?

Comment by divya

great post, i love what you said about indie cred. i like so much music it’s unbelievable, but that doesn’t make me any less of an indie and i love it. today i am sporting a lovely bright pink t-shirt, and i fucking love it.

Comment by adam

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