Pete Wentz corners the misery market

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By Sandra Diaz

By Sandra Diaz

Pete Wentz isn’t an emo poet.

He is a smart, business savvy entrepreneur.

Wentz is the bass player for the pop-punk outfit Fall Out Boy, as well as the mainstream media’s mysterious, angst-ridden poster child.

In an attempt to help campaign the launch of Halfofus.com, Wentz participated in an online interview with college journalists to discuss his battle with mental illness as well as his band’s new album “Infinity on High,” and headlining the Honda Civic Tour.

Halfofus.com was created by The Jed Foundation for college students to gain information about various issues concerning depression and mental illness since college students are at higher risk of becoming depressed and possibly committing suicide due to the everyday demands and stressful environment.

As a part of Halfofus.com, Wentz and other celebrities like Mary J. Blige, as well as college students shared their stories in dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts on camera.

Rather than using the time to speak up about depression and his feelings and experiences dealing with mental illness Wentz either gave vague explanations or played dumb opting for questions about his band Fall Out Boy, their new CD or anything concerning his image.

Wentz told Rolling Stone magazine that the bands recent tour was postponed for three weeks from its original kick off day on April 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina due to “personal issues beyond the band’s control.”

“We’ve just been going at an insane pace and need some time to decompress,” Wentz said about the situation.

Clearly decompressing doesn’t involve taking time off at home.

It’s more like a get away weekend clubbing at JET nightclub in the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas with Ashlee Simpson.

Wentz stated in the interview that he “didn’t want to glorify depression,” but that is exactly what he is doing.

He isn’t just selling albums; he is setting a standard for people to live by and marketing his products to them.

Wentz may not be glorifying depression but he is definitely capitalizing on the teenage counter culture.

Writing about embracing dark thoughts about everyday problems Fall Out Boy is cashing in on emotions and situations that most teenagers and young adults feel at one point while growing up.

Not only does he sell them music with his band and record label, Decay Dance, giving them a social clique of like minded “edgy” peers, he dictates what they should wear.

Wentz’s clothing company, Clandestine Industries, sells T-shirts, hoodies and tote bags to today’s “in crowd” for large amounts of money.

The tote bag alone is ninety dollars.

There may be an air of truth to Wentz’s depression, but he’s using it like an extension of his image in order to sell more records.

It seems as if by contributing to Halfofus.com, Wentz is targeting a college audience by supposedly empathizing with the problems of college students.

Never before has an artist contributed so much to a youth culture and gained so much profit off of them.


To read the complete chat transcript with Pete Wentz click here

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