Friday, 17 June 2011

Goth misunderstood

I hate to get all 'people just DON'T underSTAND me because I'm SPOOKY' and whatever (most of the time, anyway), and particularly following yesterday's Goths-behaving-badly post I can see the irony, but I have noticed a few articles and whatnot popping up over the web lately (thanks to SpookyWebs, I now seem to be a lot more in-touch with all the latest tidbits of news) that prove just how little the mainstream understands Goth as a subculture.

I think I can sum up this lack of understanding with two examples.

1. The case of the Gothic kittens.
I believe I mentioned in a former post (wayback when) that a woman in Pennsylvania had been taken to court for piercing kittens (yes, unfortunately you did read that right) and attempting to flog them on eBay as 'Goth kittens'. Which is sick in SO many ways. For starters, don't you have to be massively psycho to stick a needle in an animal (vets excepted)?!

Thankfully, this week the news broke that this dumb bint has been convicted of animal cruelty - and the kittens, you will be pleased to know, have gone on to lead happy and healthy cat lives.

Now, the reason this shows a lack of understanding of Goth culture (or so I feel) is this: the target market, surely, for something advertised as 'Goth' would be, that's right, Goths. But no Goth in their right mind would cheerfully purchase an animal that had been tortured; and would certainly not endorse such an act.

Other attempts to make money out of Goth as a consumer market, most considerably less disturbing than the case of the Goth kittens, have misfired due to a similar lack of understanding of Goth. The movie Queen of the Damned, for example, went down like a lead balloon amongst a large portion of members of the scene because Goth is not actually about blood, sex, and rock music. Stamping spooky 'Satanic' symbols all over something is not going to automatically make Goths want to buy it, neither is blood, guts, violence and fetishism simply for shock value.

Goths tend to actually appreciate aesthetic merit and some form of poignancy, satire, wit or intelligence, rather than just painting it black, piercing it and giving it a death metal soundtrack *rolls eyes*.

Also, just because it has vampires on it, does not mean we will buy it.

Amanda Tea
Source: Tumblr
2. The classical music divide.
This year's Wave Gotik Treffen happened to coincide with Leipzig's festival dedicated to the classical composer Bach. Shock! Horror! The media came up with such catchy phrases as 'world collide!' But actually, as the organiser of the Bach festival points out, "The Wave Goth Meeting is a good extension of the Bach festival and vice versa, and a lot of the Goth fans come also to listen to the classical concerts."

What?! You mean spooky and black-clad doesn't mean uncultured heathens? But... but surely leather jackets and skulls must mean that we spit in the street and swear at little old ladies! We're tough! We're scary! We're... well, not, actually. In fact a lot of us like things such as lace, tea, books, quiet churches, and music incorporating piano or violins. But doesn't that sound like someone who might enjoy classical music? Duh.

This sort of misunderstanding of Goths and their often surprisingly refined musical palette was demonstrated ably in Glasgow a few years back when staff at the Gallery of Modern Art played classical music to deter Goth kids from lurking on the gallery steps in large groups. They were most surprised when the attempt only encouraged more of the black-clad types to congregate.

Perhaps they should have played the Spice Girls instead.


Desdemona said...

-shifty eyes- I love the Spice Girls >.> 90's nostalgia.

chaoskitten[DF] said...

Same >_> <_<

We'd all just start dancing and singing along! XD

jessieann13 said...

Someone actually pierced kittens?!?! That's wrong on so many levels. Anywho, great post! (And thanks for following me! *smiles geekily*)

Sakara said...

I actually liked Queen of the was a bit tasty guilty pleasure hehe.

im glad that sick woman got done for her cruelty. Many 'goths' are animal rights advocates and probably are the ones who reported her in the first place.

BallerinaDark said...

The movie Queen Of the Damned wasn't well done but I LOVE the soundtrack.. (ps. I'm in love with Jonathan Davis of KoRn's voice.. :P)

The kitten thing is terrible. Just sick. Makes all of us look like psychos.

Ps. I love the girl in the picture, lovely dress!!and I appreciate VERY MUCH that you posted a picture of a goth "of colour"..I really began to think I was the only one xD it's really important that a successful goth blog like yours makes understand that a goth can be of any race! :)♥

Hayley said...

When I was five I used to dress like the Spice Girls and dance to their music with my twelve-year-old sister. Haha. I think they might still be somewhere deep in the confines of my CD cabinet...

Anyway, I'm glad that you talked about how "painting it black" (in your words) does not make it goth. Whenever I go into a store, my mom's always picking hidious stuff out and saying "but it's black!" when I refuse to try it on.

Aislingchild said...

lol Lovely post :D That woman who peiced those kittens is sick. I'm glad she got done, because someone shouldn't do things like that. I think of those cute little kittens being hurt like that and it makes me want to cry :'(

On a different note, could you possibly do a post about styles of makeup ect. if you have the time because I need some insperation and from the makeup posts you've done I can see you have a nice style :D

Maeam said...

That whole classical music thing just cracks me up. Seriously. Shows what people know, huh...*sigh*

Never seen Queen of the Damned, but I'd like to. Not because of the move itself but just because.

Ashlee said...

... I like classical music very much, and would be SO happy to find out that WGT and the Bach festival were going on at the same time.

Honestly, their attempts at making a consumer market out of us is silly. They obviously don't know what we like or want.

"Goth" kittens, though? That's way to far.

Roxie said...

Ha! I LOVE classical. I recommend Water Music by Handel, btw(that was really random and uncalled for). I was shocked at the kitten thing. I HATE it when people mistreat animals. It is SO unfair.

InfiltratorN7 said...

I'm glad to hear that the woman who pierced those kittens has been convicted. I can't abide animal cruelty. I hope they catch that man who was recently caught on CCTV swinging a cat round by the tail.

Queen of the Damned sucked indeed. Still not as bad Underworld or *shudder* Van Helsing. They were bad, bad, bad.

I get tired too of people's misconceptions that if you're goth you must like x and hate y. Stupid.

Edna-X! said...

Spice girls? I would run out of that building if I heard spice girls! I laughed at that sentence!

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