Emo Kev, 1990


In which I talk about a Smodcast and think about 20 years past.


I listen to podcasts when I walk from my apartment to the Metro, and from the bus to my office. While actually on the bus and Metro I usually do my best to write.

The other day, I listened to an episode of Smodcast where they were listening to Emo Kev.

If you’re not familiar with Smodcast, it’s Kevin Smith’s podcast he does with his friend and long-time producer, Scott Mosier. The format is that they sit in front of a couple of mics, Keven gets stoned, and they talk for about an hour.

Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier talk about Emo Kev

Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier talk about Emo Kev

Smith is a natural born storyteller, and is always entertaining. He seems to have no filters- he’ll talk about whatever pops into his mind without much deliberation, sparing no details about his intimate life while engaging in purile and ribald humor. It’s not for everyone, but then again, nothing is.

Emo Kev is a recording of Kevin he made of himself in 1990 when he was 20 years old. And, like the ramblings of a late-teen, early-twentysomething art student, it’s filled with strained metapohr and peppered with self pity. Smith mocks the recording relentlessly, driven to nearly mad cackling when Emo Kev pontificates into the far distance of his uncertain future.

You feel kind of sorry for Emo Kev, but Smith just wants to reach back and smack Emo Kev silly. Mosier has a lot more sympathy for Emo Kev, justifying the philosophical ramblings as a phase everyone goes though, they just don’t have a recording for posterity.

And it’s really damn funny.

I’m about Smith’s age now, and I wonder what kind of thoughts I would have recorded when I was 20. I’ll spare you the details for now, but suffice it to say that I was in a much more aggressive state of mind back then, though I had a significant emo window of my own.

What would I have said, in my quieter moments, where I wasn’t blazing against the world or drowning in self loathing?

It was a lifetime ago, and so much has changed in the last 10 years that I have trouble putting myself into that frame of mind. Perhaps its so alien to me now as to be impossible to guess.

I can say this, though- if my life had been softer, and there was such a thing as a ‘goth’ scene where I was in high school, I would have made a good one. I know that somewhere in my piles of boxed away papers and letters, (I wrote a lot of letters in college, yes, acutal paper letters, each reply I now have in a box under my bed-) I have a book of poems and some other writing from that time.

I deeply fear it. Perhaps one day I will drag it out and post some of it, with mocking commentary much like Smith does with Emo Kev. But more likely I will find a hot enough fire in which to fling it to ensure no trace of it remains.

What would you say to yourself twenty years ago? I suppose if I did have a message for my 20 year old self, as trite as it sounds, is that simply that things can and do get better.