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Thread: Who are the goths among us?

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I have been running into some Goths recently. How would you describe Goth?

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    A gothic person? Well when you say that to me I usually think of people dressed like Harry Houdini all in chains and 8 million earrings with black clothing.

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    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    little Marilyn Manson wannabes or pretend vampires.
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    Adherents to a certain type of music, a certain way of dressing. IMO...punk morphed into goth.

    I have respect for goths/punks. Always.
    \"People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,\" Jamie Raskin, to Senator Nancy Jacobs.

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    cockroach's Avatar
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    I'm one.

    "What is goth" conversations often get repetitive or lead to arguments. My personal feeling is that "goth" is an overriding aesthetic, which incorporates music, fashion, the visual arts, literature, and, to a lesser extent, philosophy.

    There have been some fascinating anthropological studies done, which have found interesting things like goths have a much larger idea of personal space, and will always spread out to take up the space on the dance floor.

    There's a musician/animator/writer living in New York called Voltaire (not to be confused with the dead one) who is a goth, and was motivated by people asking him the "what is goth?" question that he wrote a book about it. Its called "What is Goth?", and for the curious it is both entertaining and informative.

    Finally, I'm personally not a vampire (or a mummy or a werewolf or anything like that, nor do I believe that I have supernatural powers) and I don't care for Marylin Manson. Most goths I know (and I know lots, go figure) are in their late 20s - late 30s, and vary from struggling artists to professionals working in everything from computers to medicine.
    Slave to vegetable hunger.

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    Why, cockroach, how dare you bust up stereotypes! They're so mindlessly obtained...so hard to dispell!
    \"People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,\" Jamie Raskin, to Senator Nancy Jacobs.

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    cockroach's Avatar
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    Second time around I noticed the "how long has it been around?" subtext. The easy answer is a few decades, that goth came out of punk (or was punk internalized). Certainly many of the early goth bands (Siousxe & the Banshees, Alien Sex Fiend, etc) centered around the Bat Cave in London, as well as the ones in LA (Rozz Williams Christian Death) were moving out of punk and into what later came to be known as goth. It is not verified but commonly accepted that Siousxe herself coined the term. Goth, more or less as we know it today, started back in the late 70s. And yes, there are 50-year-old goths. They're really jaded.

    The etymology of the term is as follows. Rome was sacked by Visigoths, or Goths. No, they weren't into fishnets, absinthe, liquid eyeliner and bad poetry. But they were connected (I forget how, perhaps geographically?) to the gothic arch, which was the heart of gothic architecture. A lot of people thought gothic architecture was pretty spooky, and some people started, in the Victorian era, to write spooky novels about spooky things which often took place in spooky settings like gothic cathedrals. Thus the terms "gothic novel" and "gothic literature" were coined to describe these stories. And a "goth" has become someone who reads too many of said stories.

    Goth has also been connected with Romanticism; it has, in fact, often been refered to as "new romanticism". I kinda hate to admit this; I thought "The Sorrows of Young Werther" was awful. But the main tenets of Romanticism find pretty direct paralells in goth. But the ideas of man alone in the face of nature/the universe and empathy/intuition above reason find pretty direct correlation.
    Slave to vegetable hunger.

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    swords's Avatar
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    I'll go with Cockroach for the most part there. The kids people like to call Goth or who even have a big black sticker with a frowny face on their car saying "goth", are NOT true Goths in the sense of the subculture. They have nothing to do with the scene which has been operating since souxie and the Banshees back in 1977.

    The term "Goth" comes from gothic rock. Typified by groups such as Christian Death, Morticia (from Minneapolis), Alien Sex Fiend, SPK, Throbbing Gristle (ok they're industrial), Present, Joy Division, and there were quality labels such as Cleopatra, Project, World Serpent, Cuniform, etc. The real Goth subculture is still alive and well but very underground and marylin manson didn't get invited! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

    It's a real shame that the word "goth" or "metal" is used so frivolously by these kids, the media & radio, it allways makes me cringe when they really have no clue. I don't know what to call the bands that are being called those things these days but "cr ap" comes to mind!

    For those who might be interested there is a book out which is a decent general history of Gothic Rock scene:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec....s=books
    Unfortunately amazon doesn't have a description of the book.

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