Friday, May 28, 2010

Pack Mentality: San Antonio Youths Think They're Werewolves, and It Has Nothing to Do With Music

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM

By now, many of you have likely seen the news report out of San Antonio regarding the rising trend of teenage “werewolf” packs: groups of teens with a post-goth sort of aesthetic roving about in leashes, fangs, white contact lenses and tails. Yes, tails. Life imitating art imitating life, you might say. While most of the kids in the above video aren’t being labeled as any sort of threat, Wolfie Blackheart — also of San Antonio … go figure — did come under some scrutiny for allegedly severing and cleaning the head of a neighbor’s dog. The dog, she claims, was already dead. Also, when asked about burglary charges she received a while back, Wolfie claimed she was found not guilty, because she was “in the woods nearby. [She’s] always in the woods.”

Here’s the thing about this "werewolf movement": Though it bites (pun intended) a lot of things stylistically from the whole unsightly modern goth-emo thing — which I refer to as “Gothmo,” and which varies quite drastically from “Popmo” — it’s very different from most teenage fashion/style movements that have come about in the past few decades. The werewolf movement differs from the origins of hippies, mods, punks, new wavers, grunge kids, metalheads, goths and juggalos in a pretty specific way: It didn’t find its genesis in music. To be one of these kids, you must operate under the delusion that you are part wolf. Literally. Seriously.

Are JEFF werewolves? Is Infinity Cat a pack?
  • Are JEFF 'werewolves'? Is Infinity Cat a 'pack'?
Now, these werewolves obviously gravitate toward certain types of music; no trend that involves teenagers in vast amounts of flair is completely divorced from shitty music. In perusing the werewolf children’s various social networking profiles,* I saw mention of bands including Senses Fail, REO Speedwagon, StapleGunned, Owl City, Ludo, Rise Against, Anti-Flag, Shinedown, Seether, Rammstein, Tantric, Stain'd, Lit, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Tool, Hoobastank, 3 Doors Down … the list goes on and on. But it’s all kind of scattered, really — shitty metal, awful active rock, terrible emo and pop punk … REO Speedwagon.

The Point: These kids aren’t united under some philosophical movement that’s rooted in music or art. They aren’t seeking free love and listening to artists that promote it. They aren’t wearing liberty spikes, spray-painting anarchy symbols and affixing Sex Pistols patches to their clothes. They aren’t wearing keyboard ties and dancing about to the latest sounds produced by a newfangled synthesizer. They’re wearing tails because THEY THINK THEY’RE FUCKING WEREWOLVES. Whether or not you want to blame Twilight for that, it’s significantly lamer than even the lamest things about goth, and that makes me scared for my children and my children’s children. Future grandchildren: If you're reading this, be into any kind of music you like, but accept the fact that you're a human. It's very important. You're just another lonely, sad-ass human like the rest of us lonely, sad-ass humans. But try listening to The Velvet Underground. That might make you feel a little better.

* "In perusing the werewolf children’s various social networking profiles" is definitively the most awful phrase I’ve ever written.

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