Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The scene is dead...

Here's yet another rant repost (is it just me or did I go through a bit of an angry phase for a while back there? Yikes!), this time covering an age-old topic, 'the scene is dead'. Now that I am a little older (and hopefully wiser), I can empathise somewhat with the jaded 'Goth is dead' mindset - despite my love of modern Goth music, I do find myself wincing a little when confronted with labels such as 'dark trance' and 'neo-Goth'. (Not that I don't listen to some of those types of music - but speaking personally, they're far from what I would consider Goth. I'm open to debate on this subject, but for me as soon as it becomes indistinguishable from trance and techno, it should really lose the 'Goth' tag...)

Cybergoth fashion doesn't really do it for me either, unless you can actually see where the 'Goth' part of 'cybergoth' came from. Full-on yellow neon spandex and glowsticks tend to make me shudder, but dip it in black and add some Dulce Liquido and I'll feel much better about it. (Dark electro - Goth or not? Probably not, but never mind...)

Anyway, on with the show.


A couple of things have recently occurred to me.

1) All those elder goths complaining that 'the scene is dead' are wrong. The scene is stronger than ever - there are so many new styles emerging and new events popping up every year all over the globe. I'm only just beginning to realise how many of 'us' there are. The Goth scene is thriving, and very much alive. It's evolving, it's adapting, and it's definitely different, but it isn't dead.

2) There is one thing which will kill the scene if people don't drop the attitude. It's elitism. Or, to be more precise, it's eldergoths, old-school Goths, and those who wish they were old-school Goths, constantly sneering at babygoths, cybergoths, Goths who discovered the scene through emo, emos interested in becoming part of the scene - basically anyone who didn't live through the eighties Goth scene but still wants to be a part of the subculture.

Yes, mallgoths and Mansonites can be bloody annoying. But, seriously, how is being rude to them going to make a difference? They're still going to go on talking about how Goth they are, and the rest of the world is still going to believe them. Everyone has to start somewhere. If, everytime some kid sticks a toe in the murky waters of 'Goth', some elitist attitude-wielding ubergoth bites it off, there will be no newcomers to the scene (no 'fresh blood', as it were!), no new ideas, no new bands, and eventually the scene will die.

I mean, I hate to sound all 'I know everything', but I'd like to make a small suggestion. Next time a mallgoth comes up to you in the street, or even if you just spot one wandering around (just look for the Marilyn Manson t-shirt) why don't you reccommend them a couple of good bands? And no, I don't mean, "You know MM aren't Goth, right? Why don't you listen to some real music, like The Birthday Party?" I mean something along the lines of, "MM are quite cool, you might like The Birthday Party as well. They're an old Goth band, you've probably heard of them."

Now, if the MM t-shirt is actually hiding a fully-fledged Goth (appearances can be deceiving. I love my sort-of boyfriend's old Slipknot hoodie...), they'll probably come back with, "Of course I have! What d'you think of Hannah Fury?"

Otherwise, god knows what response you'll get! But, on the bright side, you may have just introduced someone to the *real* Goth scene (if there is such a thing). Ergo - one new Gothling joins the fold.

Oh, and here's another point for you to ponder on - if we're all about being individual, and being our own unique selves before anything else, then why does this kind of thing matter? Why can't someone listen to Evanescence and The Rasmus, and, heck, Britney Spears, AS WELL AS trad Goth music and still consider themselves Goth without being ragged on by other, oh-so-hardcore members of the scene? I don't remember a rulebook saying that someone has to listen to non-stop Goth music to be part of the scene. Or dress in head to toe black, come to that.

Yeah, EBM and the cybergoth style are pretty different from the 'original' Goth look and sound, but surely, as fierce individualists, we should be pleased that some genius has given us a new way of dressing, a new way of expressing ourselves? And some pretty kick-ass new music! No, it doesn't sound like The Sisters of Mercy. But neither do The Cruxshadows, or Cauda Pavonis, and I don't see anyone questioning their Gothy credentials.

What it comes down to is, things need to grow and adapt if they want to survive. And our subculture is no different.

Source: YouTube
I still agree with most of those basic points there. But on the other hand, what would the Goth scene be without those old-school sneering elitists? It's kind of traditional to have at least one jaded eldergoth bemoaning Linkin Park on every Goth internet forum going. If at the first hint of 'you're not Goth enough', the wee babybats shed their black clothing and run, screaming, for the hills, the subculture is probably going to wither and die from lack of spirit anyway.


sweetcyanide said...

I definitely agree with you. We just have to find ways to keep the scene moving in the ways we want it to.

I'm loving the blog, and just wanted to drop by and check that you don't mind if I copy one or two of your makeup articles? I know your dislaimer says you don't mind but I'd like to copy them pretty much in their entirity to go on the alternative makeup store that I'm putting together -

I think it would be great to have your eye makeup/lipstick tutorial from your other blog on ther in particular. Fully credited to you and linked back to here of course :-)

I won't be open for a little while, but hope to see you over there when I am!


The Green Fairy said...

I have been lucky to not really encounter any elitist elder goths. Everyone in the goth scene I have sort'a moulded into wouldn't really have a problem if someone played Britney at 'Shallow Nation' or 'Chrome' We probably all laugh and start dancing :P I know they're played Michael Jackson before :p

I'm sure they're out there in Aus somewhere though. :P

..I like the Rasmus :P

But yes, evolve or die is very true :P

ultimategothguide said...

@ Ellie - I have tried to e-mail you, but for some reason the message kept bouncing back. I don't mind if you'd like to use any of my stuff from the new blog, but some of the stuff on the old Piczo site was, unfortunately, heavily copied from other people's sites (forgive me, I was younger and stupider!) and I want to be sure I'm not being credited for other people's work. Also, some of my original articles from the old site have already been repurposed by Mookychick for their website, such as this one: and I'm sure you don't want duplicate articles.

Other than that, I'm highly flattered, and as long as you are crediting then please do help yourself! Is there anything in particular you would like me to attempt to knock together a post on? Thank you for the link to your site, it's just the kind of thing I'm interested in so I will be nosing around quite often, I expect. =)

sweetcyanide said...

That's fine, I much prefer your more recent posted anyway so have added you to my rss feed and try and only use stuff from this site rather than the old one.

Sorry about the email bouncing. That's because it's a new address which I got slightly wrong- it's at the same domain as the site so you can get in touch at :-)

Any kind of goth makeup tutorials would be good. Especially about how you can still get really good looks using high street rather than just alternative brands- it's really good to see that you're another goth who doesn't mind going high street! Once I do launch if we get particular requests through the forums, our I think of particular topics I'll let you know. It looks like you do routinely post things that will be useful to people using the site, so thanks very much for letting me use bits.

I'm glad it looks like your kind of site, shouldn't be too long until we're open for business :-)

Alice said...

My aunts one of those ex-goths that believe the scene is dead, and I have kind of inherted that attitude- I know that sounds horrible and i'm desperately trying to stop, but I don't think I can accept cybers as goths. I love the fact that it's evolving and it's all different, I just think cyber, this is really hard to explain without sounding gothier-than-thou!!!!
But each to thier own, I hate people hating me for that reason so I don't hate them.

Mark said...

Yes. I went through a phase where I was so paranoid about the Goth scene being dead. I also shudder at the thought of yellow and glowsticks. When you are a Gothic lover, then you want to hide away in the corner, with lots of true and proper Goths. Not say, I'm here in yellow! I think yellow and orange are terrible colours.

Anonymous said...

Amen, amen! How I love you so, my dear girl! Goths are goths because we like what we like and that's that. Goth is about not putting yourself in society's box. Heck, I'll come out and admit right now that I absolutely adore Coldplay and Beyonce, right along with Clan of Xymox. I do some metal on the side, as well. Good music is good music, people. And I have a very ecclectic taste.

Anonymous said...

When people say "the scene is dead" that's a translation for "the scene isn't the way I want it so I'm taking my toys and going home". Many people are too lazy and fearful of actually doing something to change the situation they dislike. So, they rather sit back and bitch about it from that darkened corner of the club they complain about so much (or in recent times in online forums). Truth is, the scene is only as dead as you make it to be.

Also, from my experience folks who cry "the scene is dead" often are victims of their own elitism. There will always be someone more pretentious, cattier, more elitist, and a lot more rude. And, when Karma comes round to bite them in the butt they resort to the "I'm taking my toys and going home" routine.

Those folks always miss out because there is something good in every generation. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching and perhaps a bit of self made magic of your own to make it happen.

Louise said...

YES. I've often wondered why more people couldn't see the huge logical flaw in celebrating individuality and being your own person, yet ragging on others for not fitting your particular ideals of what Goth is. For complaining about the scene being dead, yet looking down on potential newcomers, potentially scaring them off. Attitudes like that have never made the slightest bit of sense to me, and I find it sad that they seem so widespread. It's just unnecessary, and it doesn't really benefit anything.

F.C. said...

Sometimes I feel as if I'm a complete outcast in the Goth subculture because I love Marilyn Manson. (I'm not trying to be rude to you, but you seem to have said a lot about us Mansonites not being Goth in the past). I grew up listening to his music and I find him to be a very intelligent and talented man (along with the rest of his band) but if I wear an MM t-shirt I instantly become a Mallgoth and it quite makes me upset. I'm torn between two things I love and I refuse to give up either of them. *Sorry was just stating that. Hope I didn't offend anyone!*


Some mall goths are OK. But a lot that I have come across are just time wasters etc. But there are very deep and thoughtful mall goths out there. There must be.

ultimategothguide said...

F.C. - Point taken, but I do draw a line between Goths who like Marilyn Manson (you're certainly not the only one, I love MM and will put my hand up to owning four or five MM T-shirts) and Manson fans who think that liking Manson makes them Goth. Does that make sense?

Some people will roll their eyes at other Goths liking MM, but really that's their problem as a lot of Goths do like him. But just to clarify, MM isn't Goth music although there's nothing at all wrong with loving both.

I'm sure you didn't offend anyone. You didn't offend me at all, anyway. :-)

Anonymous said...

I liked what you said about how it shouldn't really matter what kind of music we are listening to other than just trad goth music, if we are supposed to be a scene that celebrates complete and total individuality. Ironically, Marilyn Manson is one of my all-time favorites, but so is The Birthday Party. Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure and other so-called "true goth" bands will likewise probably always be high up on my list of favorite bands ever, but so will Angelspit, Big Black, Garbage, The Genitorturers, Nirvana, H.I.M., and, as shameful as it may seem to some, Justin Timberlake.

Many people will say that this means I'm not a true goth, or they'll lop me in the "mall-goth" category, whatever that really even means, but I choose to be an individual.

I have never understood those in our scene who want to pigeonhole everybody and tell them what music, movies and book you should be into or what clothes you should wear in order to be goth.

An important part of the goth scene is about being different and CELEBRATING being different, not trying to find an identity to mold yourself to so that we can all be the same.

The author of this article seems to get that... you don't have to like only goth music or obsessively wear ONLY black all the time.

I don't even wear makeup at all (not even eyeliner), and although I do wear mostly black almost all the time, I don't feel the need to pigeonhole myself like a lot of the people in the goth scene do. If one day I feel like wearing a white Sid Vicious t-shirt instead, I will happily do so. It doesn't phase me at all when people tell me something I'm doing is "not Goth" or makes me "a poser." That mentality goes against the exact kind of open-mindedness which attracted me to the goth subculture in the first place.

Good article!

Anonymous said...

i would legitimately have more respect for someone in a manson t-shirt than a cruxshadows t-shirt. that band are awful.

Anonymous said...

Elder goths are lovely, especially online. All these "modern" ebm obsessed crowd? Yeah right. Good luck getting them to talk to you. The are the most elitist, obnoxious people I have ever seen in my life. I've had fans of Gangsta rap treat me with more respect then they do.

Andrea said...

for sure there's a lot less people around.
I remember coming to London in the first-mid of '90s and Goths where everywhere.
Something hard to spot now.
There used to be the Gossips in Soho during the week, which would attract decent or good number of folks; now nobody will go anywhere during the week. Maybe 'cause everybody quit with Speed? LOL!
But it's good to see that loads of people turn up on some gigs, there I see all the ones that won't go to clubs/pubs anymore :)

Anonymous said...

yea you're definetly right about babybats and mall goths are extremely annoying. i still cringe at the days i thought goth was all about black clothing, being pale, and vampires. and i thought evanescence and linkin park were goth bands. i'm glad my friends, who were already goth before i was a babybat,helped me find real goth bands like cocteau twins and the cure and told what being goth was really about.

midnightpaw1313 said...

You are right. If the elder goths make fun of babay bats, or any one makeing fun of a new commer, we are no better than the avgerage person that calls us goths or alt. culture people "freaks."

The elder goths can give us advice because they have been around longer. We underdogs need to support each other. :)

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