Some other views on the subject of gothdom

This is a collection of things I've seen in my travels that I thought someone else may get something from... rants, jokes, anecdotes, whatever. Of course, this is about as ad-hoc as you're going to get, it's just stuff I found lying around on my HDD at the time or grabbed from a newsgroup.

I've kept the post details where I could do so, if I've used something you said and haven't attributed it that's the reason. Don't get all excited! :) I'm not trying to take credit for it. I try to find people and ask for their express permission prior to using it here, too.

OK, here we go... someone asks what makes people become goths, the replies are plentiful :)

Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Causes of becoming Gothic
Date: 28 Mar 1996 01:15:48 GMT
Organization: University at Buffalo

I just have a question to throw out into the field here. What causes one to become a Goth? When/how does one turn to the Gothic lifestyle/subculture/philosophy/whatever?

Furthermore, what does it mean to be a Goth? What is the significance of gothdom and what purpose does it serve to become a goth. In what ways is the gothic scene preferable to other more mainstreamish scenes?

Not all goths dislike "normals", but why do some goths dislike mainstream types? And how does such a goth function successfully in larger society?

Just a few quick questions I had to get off my mind, while I'm here posting articles around. Please volunteer all responses and opinions!

-Mike Griffis


Some comments from Persephone, who's posts I have enjoyed on many occasions. She makes some great points here.

From: Jen Radon
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Causes of becoming Gothic
Date: 28 Mar 1996 15:28:59 GMT

Michael J Griffis wrote:
: I just have a question to throw out into the field here. : What causes one to become a Goth? When/how does one turn to the : Gothic lifestyle/subculture/philosophy/whatever?

Who knows? It's different for everyone. I am the way I am because of the traits I was born with, the way I was raised, and the experiences I've had. I spent most of my life as a loner. Most of my peers thought I was "weird". Then one day a friend told me she had something I just had to hear, and she played "This Corrosion" for me. That lead me on a search for more music with that wonderfully dark feeling, which lead me to people who share the same tastes, and low-and-behold one day someone's labeling me a "goth".

I don't feel like I turned to the Gothic lifestyle, but rather that I was drawn to it. Ever seen one of those charity "wishing wells" where you drop a coin in and it swirls around and around, slowly at first and then ever faster as it gets closer to the center? (ooo... new thoughts... turning me on... ) I feel kind of like the coin. I've wandered around and checked out a little bit of everything in this world, but I'm continually drawn to things that are considered "gothic".

: Furthermore, what does it mean to be a Goth?  What is the significance
: of gothdom and what purpose does it serve to become a goth.  In what
: ways is the gothic scene preferable to other more mainstreamish scenes?

Personal preferance. That's all it is. Either you like the gothic scene, or you don't. If you like it, then it has meaning for you. You could have a million personal reasons, or it could be as simple as it's just where you're most comfortable. But, if it's not your cup of tea then it's just another subculture for people with similar tastes and experiences.

: Not all goths dislike "normals", but why do some goths dislike mainstream
: types?  And how does such a goth function successfully in larger society?

OK. I'm going to define "normal" or "mundane" as I see it. A "mundane" is not necessarily someone who wears the latest or normal fashions and does the in thing. A mundane is someone who treats you like you're a freak of nature for expressing yourself and not conforming to "society", when they're obviously being lead by the nose and can't even decide what their favorite color is without checking the latest issue of Elle to see what's "in". So you see, "mudanes" or "normals" always look like your every day average person, but not all people who look that way are "normals".

A normal will look down their nose at you and gasp in horror at your hair color, piercings or clothes. They'll turn to their friends and say, "Look at that 'FREAK'," and they'll walk away snickering. That's when you can safely identify them as a "normal". And if you can't tell from that explanation why they're disliked, then you're probably a normal yourself. (No offense please.)

As I see it, most of the people who are really a part of the gothic scene couldn't care less about what you think if you start labeling them ("goth" or otherwise), and they'd prefer to be left to their music, musings, and friends of choice. Their lack of desire to be assimilated into whatever is considered "mainstream" is often persceived as self-rightiousness. In fact, they know what they like and only wish to be allowed to live the way they choose without being persecuted and attacked for being themselves and minding their own business.

If you truely enjoy the gothic scene/subculture/whatever then I'm sure you'll be welcome. If you don't like it, that's OK too as long as you don't come stomping in screaming about how pretentious and rediculously mopey and full of ourselves we are. Goths aren't out to recruit anyone or take over the world. They just want that little dark corner of the world in which to live comfortably as it suits them.

-Persephone


Short reply, and I've gotta say I love this guy's .sig :)

From: Vijay Gill
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Causes of becoming Gothic
Date: 28 Mar 1996 10:47:09 -0500

In article <4jcp84$rkb@azure.acsu.buffalo.edu> (Michael J Griffis) writes:

   What causes one to become a Goth?  When/how does one turn to the
   Gothic lifestyle/subculture/philosophy/whatever?

The vast majority of humanity is uninteresting at best and actively boring at worst, so I pretty much tend to ignore it. Then I met a group of people who had my perverted sense of humor, wore black, and listened to fucked up music, and were interesting to talk with.

   Furthermore, what does it mean to be a Goth?  What is the significance
   of gothdom and what purpose does it serve to become a goth.  In what
   ways is the gothic scene preferable to other more mainstreamish scenes?

No idea, and don't care. I am not into the scene per se, I just like the people and the music better.

   Not all goths dislike "normals", but why do some goths dislike mainstream
   types?  And how does such a goth function successfully in larger society?

I don't dislike normals, I just ignore uninteresting people, whether they are normals or not is irrelevant.

-- 
Vijay Gill                         |The (paying) customer is always right.
                                   |                  - Piercarlo Grandi
http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~vijay      | Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get
These are my opinions only.        | sucked into jet engines.


From: Hardrock Llewynyth
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Causes of becoming Gothic
Date: 28 Mar 1996 19:30:57 -0800
Copyright: (C) date of message by D.Harland

Thus saith Vijay Gill the Unworthy, in the Year of Our Lord 28 Mar 1996 10:47:09 -0500 :

> What causes one to become a Goth? When/how does one turn to the > Gothic lifestyle/subculture/philosophy/whatever? > The vast majority of humanity is uninteresting at best and actively > boring at worst, so I pretty much tend to ignore it. Then I met a > group of people who had my perverted sense of humor, wore black, and > listened to fucked up music, and were interesting to talk with.

I just had a rather interesting comversation with a co-worker on this very subject. He is a preppy, corporate-slave type and asked me about the whole Goth thing one day when i went to work dressed as gothic as i could get away with (black jeans, turtleneck, trench, boots, and my dog-chain around my neck; no makeup unfortunately).

He hypothesizes that people get involved with fringe groups like gothics because they are running away from some kind of pain, or finding a group that understands their pain. He says that just about everyone involved in some sort of fringe group; whether it be punk, goth, raver, club-kids, etc; is there becuase of suffering some kind of hurt from mainstream society (eg. abused as a child).

He believes that all the reasons for being in non-mainstream groups are negative ones.

What do people here think about this? In my particular case, i "left" mainstream society because i wanted to express a creativity not possible or permitted in the highly comformist atmosphere i was experienceing. I became a Goth because that was the group that had an aesthetic most closely resembling my own, and was diverse enough for me to not have to worry about presures to conform to a specific image.

What are your thoughts?

-- 
                             Hardrock Llewynyth
                             http://kendaco.telebyte.com/dharland

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of it's victims
may be the most oppressive.  It may be better to live under robber barons
than under omnipotent moral busybodies.  The robber baron's cupidity may be
satiated for while, his appetites temporarily satisfied; but the moralist
will continue his efforts unceasingly, with the full support of his
conscience.                                                    --C.S. Lewis


From: NightEyes
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: Causes of becoming Gothic
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 1996 04:45:04 GMT

(Michael J Griffis) wrote:


>I just have a question to throw out into the field here.
>What causes one to become a Goth?  

For me it was not so much as "what caused it", as a natural progression. As a young teen I became hardcore punk, as I was attracted to the visual eccentricity of it and the raucaus rhythms. As I became older I slowly drifted toward the Gothic fashion and music scene, gently side-stepping the philosophies that didn't speak to me and accepting aspects of the ones that did.


>When/how does one turn to the
>Gothic lifestyle/subculture/philosophy/whatever?

Again, it just happened. There was no deep underlying cause, save my love for theatrics and individuality. My parents accepted my decisions all along, so it was not rebelling from them at all (BTW, a big thanks to my mom for introducing me to the Cure when I was sixteen!).


>Furthermore, what does it mean to be a Goth?  What is the significance
>of gothdom and what purpose does it serve to become a goth. 

I'll save this one for the others .


>In what
>ways is the gothic scene preferable to other more mainstreamish scenes?

For me the scene as a whole offers me nothing. In my book, "scene" = clique. But on an individual basis it offers me everything. I am transported by the music, revel in the fashion, and I've met some of the kindest and most intellectual people that share my Gothic enthusiasm.


>Not all goths dislike "normals", but why do some goths dislike mainstream
>types?

It depends on the individual. Accept me, and I'll do the same for you. Cop an attitude, and fuck off .


>  And how does such a goth function successfully in larger society?

I function quite well because I don't go through life expecting the worst, or carrying a chip on my shoulder. I can laugh at myself up to a point. But I don't allow others to manipulate me.

~ NightEyes
(***) Some things must be believed to be seen. (***)

A post about comments on Robert Smith's voice leads to thoughts on life, the universe and everything...

From: "J. Hoerler"
Newsgroups: alt.music.thecure
Subject: M on Robert's woeful voice
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 1996 01:09:20 -0700

Today I recieved yet again, another smirkish comment about Robert's "whiny" voice. It was unbearable, and had it not come from my sister I think there would have been a perfect murder in my neighborhood this evening. Often, too often, the voice of Robert is (almost unbearingly) criticized for being "whiny" and "obnoxious". "Why does he always sound like he is crying, how can you listen to that?"--I am SO SICK of hearing such rude and ignorant (well, perhaps they are observant, but still rather rash and judgemental) commentary about the vocal of the Cure.

Then I pause to think-what ARE they thinking in thinking that it is not a beautiful sound, they must be thinking something odd--What??

As I took a walk around my neighborhood-past the closed up-shut up houses in which the happily represed victums (and/or inhabitants, and/or contrubutors) of an economically dominated society sit and watch their consumer-aimed TV shows and eat up all the propogandic shows which in turn eat up thier finite time in this particular world, I thought: 1)what makes them so happy any ways, and 2)of all the ways to be happy, why is there a seemingly same general concensus of millions about the meaning of happiness? And since there is this generl concensus, how come I cannot find my way into subscribing to it? A-Ha, now I understand the whole reason for pyhciatrists-to aid in the turn-out of happily re-trianed (or brainwashed?) minds to participate in this consumer-dominated society. (excuse my bitterness here, some history of mine overlapping here,)... Well, I guess my whole experiance spills out in every part of this note, or rather, my thoughts.

Any ways, what makes this society run in such a tragic way? (consumer and economically-dominated)? The consumers, that is, people. Namely other humans, perhaps MOST LIKELY those who think Robert a thieving sniveler selling his sob stories and laughing all the way to the bank Why, now I understand this opinion, that money is in Robert's grand scheme of things:to, like a whore, sell his feelings and his emotions for mere profit. This is an opinion of a victum and contributor to that grand economically-driven sociatal dilemma.

I see the true modern experiance of our existance is denial, the obsession of happiness and death. What odd things to obsess about, if that is acceptable coming from a "clinically diagnosed" obsessive-compulsive disorderely person. I still think I'm fine, better than most:) This view is, of course, just mine. I wouldn't call it pessimistic, nor realistic (becuase such a view would be impossible for me to obtain), but rather perhaps...well,intuitive? Perhaps it's best not calling it anything.

None the less, I don't think it is just me,(and I am not saying my opinion is the absolute right,) but happiness should not be ignorant. You should be fully concious of your feelings, and I belive listening to the Cure helps makes me become more greatly aware of my state of happiness-especially the voice. Well, maybe not -especially-, but Robert's voice is definantly a neccisarry component of the Cure's music. I couldn't imagine the vocals any other way, and what's more, I wouldn't want them any other way. And I don't see it as "whiny", though I do see there is a beautiful melodic sadness to be found inside, and this reverberates around in your self for a while, that is one of the coolest parts of experiancing thier music. I think so. M votes: "Perfect voice, that of Robert's" Thankyou, I think I am thinking too hard and I better stop before I go on for pages/ (thinking too long, unfortunantly, of happiness, truth, etc.= brain meltdown)

****"If everything, without exception, in heaven and earth is doomed to pain and suffering, then a strange form of happiness is possible"***

                    -That's Camus, I'm hooked!!
           M

Some good points from Belegdel... I forget who he was replying to...

I've snipped parts of the message for the sake of brevity, and reformatted the main part of the message to make it easier to read.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 15:51:03 +1000 (EST)
From: "Belegdel"
Reply-To: brisigoth
To: brisigoth
Subject: Re: Brisigoth Pool Party

At 01:50 AM 12/5/96 +0000, you wrote:

>> MopeyPerkyexVampyAmbiPolyLumiPaganDocAustraNetBiSemiNotaGoth Gamer
>
>so I have to ask... if you are not a goth then why are you on a goth 
>list?

What's a goth?

I wear black pretty much exclusively. Like to wear jewelery, have an odd hair-cut, wear make-up when I go out. I get called a goth. I also get odd looks from "goths" when I do something particularly "ungoth" like claim to rather like Richard Marx, or waffle on about wargaming or garble about how hateful goths are or wave my arms about and pretend to be an electric death penguin or refuse to drink because I think alcohol tastes like shit or express my opinion on NIN and associated fads. All of which are anathemic (is that a word) to some peoples "definition" of "goth". I go to goth night-clubs because I can tolerate (even like) the music and adore watching the people (because I think black is an especially attractive colour).

A lot of the actual people I find generally annoying.

Oh, and because most of my friends go there also.

I find the people on this list are less interested in "being goth" as they are about being who they are, which in most cases touches on the gothic subculture in some fashion or another. I take the name "brisigoth" to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

The others here are quite capable of correcting me if I'm in error:)

Sometimes I identify with being "goth", sometimes I don't. Sometimes I feel the label doesn't apply, mostly I guess it does. Hence it's "SemiNotaGoth" meaning I'm confused about the whole issue but figure I'm close enough to whatever it is to claim some association with it.

I am, however, definately a Gamer.

--
Belegdel                <*>| "Too few cares have I
                           |  As the world turns sour
                           |  I was blind but
                           |  Now I'm still blind." - The Sundays
MopeyPerkyexVampyAmbiPolyLumiPaganDocAustraNetBiSemiNotaGoth Gamer

From: HiRez
Newsgroups: alt.gothic
Subject: Re: what makes one goth?
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 08:12:01 GMT

On Tue, 22 Apr 1997 07:32:00 -0700, Marina Leone had this to say:


>Why do you all call everyone sheep when you yourselves all conform to
>the same style of dress and music?  Like it or not, you are still
>conforming. 
>
>Soraya

So are you, lassie. I mean, you're breathing, eating food and going to the bog afterwards. If you're so bleeding alternative, toddle off back to your anarcho-veggie-punk commune and write more letters to Crass about how they're bastards for selling out...

Anyway. (God, these webtv piss-pots are even less interesting than downloading NT service packs.) YOU! Alternateen couch-potato person with the noddy domain and the 'sweeping generalisation' button nearly worn out on your multifunction remote. PAY ATTENTION! I'll post this only once, (no doubt people will only see this 'cos they were grepping for Sexbat in the first place.) and ask QUESTIONS later.

To whom it may concern: [1]

I, JH-R, being of probable unsound mind, increasing body and not having anything better to do 'til there's summat good on the telly,[2] would like the following known...

1) Sheep are the fluffy, white things you sometimes see in the enclosed, green things that they have when they've stopped building malls.[3] They're not people, dear me no. Wrong number of stomachs for a start.

2) People, on the other hand, read books, have conversations, argue about compiler design and Virginia Woolf in the same sentence[4], go out and get drunk, make friends, form meaningful relationships and generally try to experience as much of life's richness as they can grab with both hands. When someone says 'go and get a life', that's probably the sort of thing they mean.[5]

3) On the other hand, we have the mean-spirited, tediously analytical (and largely peer-driven, I'll warrant) teenagers[1] who've yet to work out that finding your own path doesn't necessarily mean body modification, unlistenable 'industrial' music[6] and a staggeringly annoying attitude. Grow up. Do your English/Psychology/Art course and get the existentialist angst out of your system. Yeah, life can be shite. There's good bits as well. Yin and Yang. Balance. Deal with it.

4) If people want to call me a goth, that's fine by me. It's a splendid excuse for going out lots, associating with people dressed far beyond the nines and basically leading the life of Riley when by sensible people's estimations I should have a wife, semi, Escort and ulcers. In point of fact, I'm about as goth as Tony Hadley[7][2], but there you go. Nobody's perfect.

5) I'll stand you a beer when you get a clue, but since you're more than likely just here on the wind, (And there's a thing I never understood.) I daresay my money's more than safe. A pity, I feel.

-- J "Bored. Tiddly. Mouthing off. There's a surprise.[2]" H-R

[1] That's you lot with the crap domains.
[2] Self-deprecating Gloucestershire humour. You are not expected to
understand it.
[3] Or whatever the fuck you call them.
[4] I forget why.
[5] Anyone caught mithering about the computery bits has clearly
misunderstood the purpose of the devices and will need to throw a
double six to restart.
[6] When I were a lad, we had Neubauten.
[7] Spandau Ballet.

#!/hhof/goth/quotes

$heretic