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 A Love Letter To Goth

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PostSubject: A Love Letter To Goth   Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:56 pm

A Love Letter To Goth

Before there was emo, there was goth. And those of us who slathered on the eyeliner and backcombed our black-dyed hair, remember those days with a gentle fondness tempered with a healthy splash of hubris. Because if you were part of the Children of the Night, right now you're concurrently rolling your eyes and saying "Awwwwww!" like you just saw an especially cute kitten.


Subcultures are a rebellion. What against? Whaddya got? And the goth subculture railed against pop music, wearing (ugh) "normal" clothes, and the idea that boys didn't wear eyeliner. Most of all, the goths were beautiful, at least to me, and when I was drawn into the lifestyle as a teenager, it was dark and mysterious and lovely, and my mother HATED IT. It was perfect.

Goth kids embraced romanticism, androgyny, an unrelenting flair for the dramatic, and of course, the music. Who doesn't remember this iconic image? It throws me back to college immediately.

Oh, Robert Smith. Where would we have been without you? You taught us how to wear our hair shoepolish black and shellacked with so much hairspray (Aqua Net for me, the industrial strength kind in the pink can) that we could have burst into flames at any moment. Death-pale skin, heavy dark makeup, and various unique clothing ensembles, mostly in black, of course. This was our armor against the "normals" who didn't like that we had Halloween every day, that sometimes boys wore skirts, that our boots made us six inches taller than the jock who was beating us up that day.

Born from the post-punk movement, goth music was full of synthesizers and pulsating beats, perfect for dancing. But even the dancing was solitary, an ethereal shoe-gazing experience that was so different from the "normals" of the 80s and 90s. We traveled either in somber packs, finding strength in our gentle numbers, or alone, knowing you were staring at us. That was the point. We were playing dress up, black on the outside to match the blackness of our angst on the inside. To say we were dramatic would be the understatement of the century. This, of course, made the movement perfect for alienated teens. Like the greasers, hippies, and punks before us, we put on our uniforms, listened to our music, and found solace in each other as we shuffled on the dance floor, or smoked clove cigarettes behind the bleachers. Did I mention our parents hated it? They haaaaaaaaaaaaaaated it.
Reviled by the "normals," we regularly were mocked and got the sh*t kicked out of us on at least a weekly basis. But we had each other, and our music, and the costumes, nay, the armor, that made us stand out and make a statement without saying a word.

Before there was Edward Cullen: Emo Vampire, there was the Sandman series. Before emo kids were listening to My Chemical Romance, goths were gyrating to Siouxie and the Banshees and crying streaks of Wet N Wild black eyeliner as we played Joy Division over and over till the cassette broke.

We're older now, and look upon the days of goth fondly, if not a bit protectively. We were the sensitive kids, who yearned to be tough but were more at home playing melancholy music and b!tching to each other about how no one "got" us. A recent trip to the movies with a friend brought us upon three honest to god goth kids, loitering in the mall, and my friend and I, too old and world-weary to put that much effort into our appearances anymore, became utterly giddy, whispering frantically to each other that we wanted to hug those kids, tell them everything was going to be okay, and to keep letting their freak flags fly.

I miss those days. But I look back on them with incredible fondness and love, for, like every other subculture, goth existed for those who didn't fit anywhere else. I don't know where I would be today if it wasn't there for me, my friends, and countless others who were different, just like the rest of us.

I found this today.
Kind of strange to read it.
Because I am an aging goth too and occasionally I get that feeling she described in her blog poST.

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PostSubject: Re: A Love Letter To Goth   Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:59 pm

[color=cyan]Goth lovres!!! Yes!! Go gothes!! we rukes!![/colro]
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PostSubject: Re: A Love Letter To Goth   Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:23 am

sosad I was born too late. sad or frown

Guess what song immediately popped into my head when I read "synthesizers".

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: A Love Letter To Goth   Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:39 pm

Ginger, you just Rickrolled us :-)

That was a nice article, I wish I had seen it before my presentation, I would have read it aloud! I was born in 81, just as the subculture was getting started and I wish I could have been a part of it all. But I'm a part of it now, so that works for me :-)
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PostSubject: Re: A Love Letter To Goth   Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:25 pm

I loved that so much - as an elder goth it really speaks to me about my early life experiences with finding out who and what I am. I wouldnt change those days for anything. I loved being the scary, spooky kid Smile Still love being the scary, spooky woman heart

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PostSubject: Re: A Love Letter To Goth   Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:51 pm

Spookiness rules, Helen...I'd rather hang around with spooky people than normals :-)
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