EMO ISLAND by Joseph Suglia
As many of you know, I have gathered a great deal of attention as the host of the reality-television program Emo Island, which premiered last Monday on FOX. The show has brought me both envy and admiration; I am, it would be fair to say, the most reviled and revered man in America. Ryan Seacrest, look out!
“Controversial” is the most common epithet used to describe the program, which has drawn equal hostility from the Religious Right and the Warm-Hearted Left.
The premise of Emo Island is a complex one. Seven emoes (three girls, four boys) are shipped to Easter Island, the ghastly South Pacific haunt of stone Moai and anthropophagous tunnel-dwellers known as the “kai-tangata.” The kai-tangata prefer their seclusion. When disturbed at night, they strike out, thrashing the air with spears and ivory knives clenched between rodent-like teeth.
The emoes are given minimal shelter: huts, open hangers, and dilapidated barns. They have almost no weaponry to speak of. Their only mechanisms of defense consist of a.) shrieking a primal screech that the kai-tangata find intolerable; b.) spraying bottles of Windex that do not, in fact, contain Windex at all, but rather water tainted with a luminescent blue dye. The skin of the kai-tangata dissolves when brought into contact with the dyed water.
Yelping and gasping, the emo tribe, donning square-rimmed spectacles with black frames and dirty woolen sweaters, seethes with a peculiar brand of suburban middle-class self-pity. The girls quote Amelie (2001) and name themselves “nerds.”
This sort of melodrama quickly whips the kai-tangata into blank submission. They cannot endure, it seems, and are unprepared for, the emoes’ “specialness,” their intensely exaggerated version of unearned misery.
I’ve been mockingly imitated for declaiming the program’s slogan and mantra, which is: “LET’S GIVE THE EMOES SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!”
The original musical soundtrack for EMO ISLAND was composed by Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World, Sleepytime Trio, and Sunny Day Real Estate.