Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Goth Challenge, day 29: the future of Goth?

Day 29: What do you think will happen to Goth in the future?

I have to admit I'm in two minds about the future of Goth. I can't imagine that something so vibrant that means so much to so many people could ever wither and die, especially when you consider that factions and cultures and groups that by today's standards would fit neatly under the 'Goth' umbrella have existed for centuries. I think that Goth will always be around in some form or another, even though it may not always remain the same cohesive culture and community that it is today.

That said, there is and always has been division within the Goth scene; I know we're all real people and won't always see eye to eye but I get sick of people flaming and being unspeakably rude to each other over issues that we are never all going to agree on - music vs. fashion being the most obvious example, with cyber vs. trad running a close second, followed by people who seem to think that listening to genres of music other than Goth somehow counteracts a person's inherent Gothiness. I think that considering the fact that when it gets right down to it we all hold some traits, values and interests in common and we all love the scene we're part of, we should have a bit of respect for each other and at least learn to be polite, even if sometimes that means agreeing to disagree.

I wouldn't like to say that these frankly quite silly arguments (does it MATTER what Goth means to other people? Focus on what it means to YOU) are enough to kill off what we know as Goth, but sometimes I think that the rudeness with which some treat those on the other side of the argument just might. People aren't going to want to be part of a scene with such a strong focus on individuality and independence of thought if they feel that they have to agree wholeheartedly with others' opinions of Goth and fit some sort of behavioural checklist to be taken seriously and treated respectfully by other Goths.

This aside, I do quite look forward to seeing how much further Goth will blossom and develop as we go on. There are already so many previously-little-known subgenres developing or coming to light, such as ice Goth and bubblegoth, I can't wait to see what else will spring from the brow of our subculture. However I have a feeling that Goth will always remain true to its roots: when I first started to become involved with Goth five years ago, cyber was the fastest-growing new faction in the scene to the point that trads and deathrockers were becoming quite concerned that Goth would eventually become unrecogniseably different from what it once was. But in recent years there has been a huge revival of the 'original' genres - Goth rock, post-punk and deathrock - and the associated fashion styles, so now the scene is more evenly balanced. I think it's great that Goth has such a lot of appreciation for its own history and I think this will help keep some form of group identity no matter how else Goth grows and changes.

Source: Goth Underground
Model/photographer unknown.
It has also been interesting to see how Goth interacts with fellow subcultures, whether they simply provide inspiration or experience crossover. When I joined the darkling throng, the biggest crossover causing excitement in the scene was with Lolita - now, of course, steampunk is experiencing great popularity amongst Goths.

Goth and the mainstream are also beginning to enjoy a better relationship; OK, it's probably never going to be perfect but with ranges like Monster High and shops like Claire's providing goodies for us spooky types, the future looks promising. As the Lady of the Manners says, "the mainstream shows its acceptance through readily available consumer goods."

Overall I think the future looks bright - ever more fresh and exciting subgenres of Goth will emerge for all of us to enjoy, but Goth will still keep to its roots and keep showing its appreciation of 'where it all began'. Bigger and better, as demonstrated by the growing amount of Goth blogs, zines, designers, artists - even characters on TV. Personally, I'm looking forward to it. ;-)



If there is darkness in our hearts. Then there will surely be Goth to satisfy us as well. As for music...not too sure what music will be like. cruelty and darkness have always existed. So Goth will also exist too. Trust me Amy.

Nightwind said...

Where I live there are no longer any regular venues for Goths to socialize at. The closest we come to it are regular metal nights; and although they're fun, it's not exactly the same.

Among the few Goths that I do know here I see neither any evidence of judgmental attitudes nor any litmus test that must be complied with before acceptance. This might be due to the nature of the community however, as I'm fortunate enough to live in a place where there is a strong alternative culture. It's not unusual to find people with multiple piercings who identify as hippies and whom are definitely not Goth. On the other hand, you'll be just as likely to see people who look like hippies except that they wear more black instead of tie die. Yet, they're totally Goth.

So with this sort of meshing between the subcultures, and with common activities linking the various groups, such as artist's collectives and writer's and poet's groups, people seem to be more relaxed about things and simply accept one another for who they are. That said, the various subcultures are still distinguishable.

Still, the real Goths are distinguishable from the other groups.

Enigmatica Gothic said...

Nossa que lindo, maravilhoso, perfeito em sua fisionomia, suave em seus traços e mãos extremamente delicadas.

LovleAnjel said...

A lot of this seems to have a ring of "The subculture is dead, long live the subculture!" Yeah, this is not what it was when one was in high school, but would we really want it to be? The cycling between "new" versions and trad goth is a healthy sign. Just like mainstream fashion, alt fashion goes through waves and fads, but if that core sensibility remains, all is well.

And it is fun to shake your fist and tell the youngsters how much better/more difficult things were in the past.

ultimategothguide said...

^ What LovleAnjel said.

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