Monday, 5 December 2011

Why not all Goth bloggers are net.Goths, and why being a net.Goth isn't a sin

Those of you on Facebook may or may not be aware of The Goth and More Blogging Community where forty or so of us Goth bloggers get together to chat, exchange news and info, have a laugh and talk about random crap. Via this community, I heard from SaryWalrus (of The Walrus Room) that a fellow blogger (don't ask me who, I was late to the party and don't have all the gossip) feels that those of us who write informative Goth blogs do so to make up for our lack of involvement in the real life Goth scene.

Of courrse I am biased and I have a few things to say about this, but first enjoy a picture of Faith and the Muse.

Source: Deathwaves
1) Whilst you won't find me at a club every weekend due to a lack of funds, massive shyness and an even bigger lack of a local Goth or alternative scene (meaning expensive travel), I do make sure that every month or every couple of months (depending on what events are on and how much overtime pay I have been getting) I make a pilgrimage to some sort of Gothy festival, concert or club night. If the fact I don't feel the need to bankrupt myself doing so every single weekend whilst I blog every day (give or take) makes me a net.Goth, then so be it.

2) Not everybody is ABLE to take part in the Goth scene outside of the internet. Young Goths, Goths in countries where they are one of only a handful of spooky types, Goths who cannot afford tickets and travel, Goths who have problems such as social anxiety which may prevent them from enjoying or feeling comfortable in such situations - all have perfectly 'legitimate' reasons for not going to clubs or other events and shouldn't have to explain themselves anyway. If the only way you are comfortable or able to communicate and connect with other Goths is via the internet (in this case more specifically blogging) what's wrong with that?

3) Why should blogging automatically signal that one has no contact with the Goth scene outside of the internet? Blogging could provide a handy platform to arrange events, meet people in the local scene who you could go to clubs with, find out about new and upcoming events or arrange meet-ups. I think I am right in thinking that our very own Green Fairy and Kitty Lovett originally met via Blogger?

4) Some elitists and ubergoths seem to think that the only way one can hold a valid Goth card is to be out at the club every week. But not everyone in this subculture actually enjoys the Goth club scene. Some prefer picnics, meet-ups, and other events not revolving around dance, drink and loud music. Some would rather stay at home and read poetry. There isn't anything wrong with that! Not everyone needs to be a social butterfly and the club scene is not for everyone. There are plenty of Goths who have different priorities than getting Gothed-up and having a night on the town. I don't think that remarking on someone's reticience to attend Goth social events should ever, ever be used as an insult because there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting or choosing to do so. We are all different after all, why should we enjoy the same pasttimes?

Personally? I enjoy clubs, concerts, and festivals although it's not possible for me to attend as often as I would like; I write this blog primarily for my own enjoyment and possibly to help, amuse, or entertain others too and fail to see how doing such makes me any more or less Goth, no matter how much involvement I have with the scene offline. Frankly I will agree that I am a net.Goth in the sense that I am a Goth who spends a lot of time arsing around online, but last I checked that wasn't a crime?

And just for the record, I am likely to be travelling four hours by train to attend Inclusion in Oxford next week with my friend Mia. So there. XP


BallerinaDark said...

amen! :)

CatacombKitten said...

I couldn't agree more!

Minakitty (Mary) said...

I think there are snarky types (or those who just don't know) who take for granted that since they have clubbing options, then everyone else must as well. Here in my small city we have a club that is open 3-4 nights PER WEEK with goth and/or goth friendly music. I don't think a lot of folks here realize just how rare that is, given that even in large cities, goth nights are rented at venues that can just as easily have hip hop the next night.

Music and attire first (your level may vary, of course), then everything else falls into place when it can. :)

Nightwind said...

I totally agree with you and truth be told, I don't even think it's necessary to qualify yourself against assertions such as the one cited in today's essay. You are who you are. You're a person with her own likes and dislikes. If other people disagree with your lifestyle and how you choose to express your gothiness it's their problem. None of us all like the same things.

If there were an active club scene here in my own community I would go once in awhile in order to stay in contact, but I probably wouldn't go all the time. I often prefer to stay home where I can listen to my favorite music, write, read a good book and maybe watch a movie.

Goth Mary Poppins said...

Haha, that's why I started blogging! My favourite goth club (I mean the only in my city) closed up, because babyrats. No, they are not babybats, they were rats. I went there, and when the selector put in "Temple of love" one asked "The f..k is this?"

They were really into the fashion, but had more money, than brains, caused accidents at the club, were rude to the prostitutes around (see, it wasn't in the nicest part of the city).

...I shall stop here, I could write pages about this unfortunate changing of the subculture, but I have to save it up for Juliet's Lace Goth Challange. ^^

akumaxkami said...

There really isn't a Goth scene on my campus or in my hometown, much less Goth nights at any of the clubs. So that's just sort of...out for me even if I was the sort of person to like that kind of event. Which I sort of...don't.

So I started a blog to express myself whilst finding other like-minded spooky individuals. I don't see anything wrong with that. It's not like I'm pretending online to be someone that I'm not in real life. This is me, digital format.

Bane said...

Clearly I'm out of touch. :P When did "net.goth" become a derogatory term? It began (about 15 years ago!) as a name for people who frequented the alt.gothic newsgroups. It meant you were on alt.gothic; your involvement (or lack thereof) in offline goth activities was unrelated. I guess it is now being used to describe goths who are only goth online?

Anyway... opining that I blog in order to make up for something implies that there are specific goth qualifications that I'm falling short of. No such qualifications exist. If someone wants to think I'm not a Real Goth (TM) because I don't meet the minimum weekly clubbing requirement, that's fine. None of us should feel compelled to defend ourselves.

Lulu said...

I have never believed that you "have to" go to clubs in order to be "proper goth". Your reasons are very valid, also I have never been a clubbing type myself (whether goth or non goth clubs); I just don't have interest in drinking and smoking events in general. I'll prefer reading or listening to music at home and for going out I definitely prefer going for a walk or to a trip to nature.

Anonymous said...

I just don't go to clubs full stop, goth or otherwise. I've been to a few and the whole idea of clubbing just doesn't appeal to me at all, and plenty of other goths that I know feel the same way. Give me a gig or a few pints at the local indie bar (which also serves absinthe and will happily play the Sisters of Mercy for you if you ask nicely) anyday!

The people making these assumptions must be really short-sighted if they think that attending club nights is the only way of keeping the scene alive.

Jessie Aaker said...

I can relate to this in both the gothic scene and lolita community where I live. Both are pretty small and as I'd love to attend every event, gathering, concert, etc. sometimes life gets in the way. As much as I love getting dressed up and going out every chance I get, it doesn't mean I should ignore all my other responsibilities and intrests.

Nina Wum said...

I'd just love to attend a Goth club every weekend. Alas, there is only one such club that I know of, it takes more than an hour to get there - and I'll have to do this on my own. Dancing alone (not to mention traveling back home in the middle of the night) is no fun in my book.
My man isn't interested. My friends' idea of having fun is to sit down and have a beer every Thursday of so. In an old, dusty, quiet, very geek-oriented (SF books and RPG players galore) pub.
To be honest, the only other Goths I've seen here in Warsaw is a bunch of teenagers who seem to hang around the underground station. Their fashions rather shoddy-looking, their hair not so tidy. They smoke quite a lot and laugh a bit too loud for my taste. I keep telling myself that there must be others - twenty-somethings, like me. Maybe I just keep searching in all the wrong places.

Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

I don't go to clubs or events a lot even I've been recently at the Gotham XII festival on saturday in London, travelling all away from Scotland. I'm more of a quiet, introverted person than always too chatty and I do speak depending how I feel and comfortable I am and settled in whether situation such as new events, I'm also a net.Goth and a Gamer Goth in my own person.

Ashlee said...

It's not *my* fault that I'm only 17 and live in a city with no Goth scene (although we *might* have a small punk scene. I know we have punks.)

My Real Life Goth Participation and Not Making Up For A Lack of REAL Participation By Blogging (er, past blogging. Now it's more of journaling) will have to wait until I can move to The City (aka Seattle, a few hours away).

Toxic Tears said...

I go to a local goth night here occasionally, and while its fun to catch up with friends and somehow end up with more free drinks than I can physically drink for fear of exploding, its not my preferred activity.

Getting dirty looks from every other female (Not even joking, almost all the girls in that place seem to try to be murdering me with their eyes every time I'm there), trying to explain for literally the tenth time that I cannot hear this person over the music, only for them to repeat themselves AGAIN, and thinking to myself "If that drunken whore doesn't back the fuck off of my boyfriend pretty fast I'm going to hit her over the head with my platform" - Not something I want to do on a weekly basis.

I really wish there were more things arranged like goth picnics, rather than the ONE per year we have on world goth day.>O< People here are barely involved in the scene outside of this one club night we have thats twice a month if you're lucky, try to arrange anything else and no one turns up.¬_¬ I hate it here sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Oh for cripes sake! Is this argument still alive?!? sigh ... This "gothier than thou" crap is just that -- CRAP. I'm sorry, but at (almost) 40 with a demanding career (professor and art history extraordinaire) I don't have the time or energy to drag my butt out to a club every freaking weekend. Hell, I haven't been dancing since July!!! We used to go every weekend because we could. Now we can't and that doesn't make me less goth. Clubbing is not a requirement for any subculture.

As for net.Goth -vs- real Goth, I really thought this argument died the moment everyone had internet access, FB, etc. Seriously, net.Goth was originally used for people who had the internet (while the rest of us didn't) and who never left their house because they were too busy existing on-line. Now that everyone is on-line it's a little ridiculous and a lot stupid to even call someone a net.Goth! We are all technically net.Goths!!!

I blog because I like to connect with people from all over the world. It expands my community in ways not possible if I just existed in the here and now. I like being able to read what you, Amy, have to say across the pond. I like to picture Natalie in Australia dodging holiday decorations in the middle of summer. I like to know that there are kindred spirits across the globe. And hey, I like to see what everyone is doing. Information like new bands gets passed quickly and easily, expanding our worlds. It's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! Thank you for talking about this. It's sad that this ideal still exists. I can always tell the Goths who think along these lines because they'll ask me, "So, how's your local scene?" or "Do you go clubbing?". That question is always a trap as they're trying to gauge my "importance" in the scene and hence how well they'll treat me. *rolls eyes* Sad to say, on a few occassions I've been treated like dirt simply because I have little desire to go clubbing. One guy even said to me (in a snarky tone), "You don't go because you don't want to". As if that's a bad thing? ;)

I'm extremely poor these days. When I do have the money and time to get out it's to go to a concert with some friends. I simply cannot afford to go to a goth club every time it's open. Honestly, I don't think I would if I could. I much rather talk to someone over a cup of coffee. Or even at a gig. I LOVE gigs. I've met plenty of nice goths there. And, if you get there early enough you can stand in line and have a nice conversation. Maybe even strike up a conversation with other people there.

I really hate this idea that club goers have some sort of secret enlightened knowledge about being Goth that you cannot achieve anyway else. Goth clubs are no different than "regular" clubs. People go there to dance, have a drink or two, and sometimes hook up. I really wouldn't go there intending to make friends. As sometimes that can go quite awfully. One guy I know got horribly snubbed when trying to strike up a friendly conversation with another guy at the club.

Chloƫ Noir said...

I love this article :) This is exactly what I wat thinking about lately.
I have a slovak blog, where I post about goth subculture, and of course I´m not alone (I made even a Goth Blog Community for Slovak and Czech goth bloggers).
But, we had some negative comments from some other goths.
True, I don´t go to goth clubs and I never was on a goth concert or festival...not that I don´t want to...but the nearest place where gothy concerts or night are is on the other side of my country, or abroad. And I just don´t have money for that. I only go to punk concerts some times.
And yeah, I hardly know goths in real life, because there are just few here :D
I hang out more with otakus and friends from school :D
I made a goth picnic...and we were six, and only two goths...that´s how it is.
That´s why I´m thankful for blogging community and even for facebook. :)
When I get out from here, I want to live in Germany, so I hope I will get to WGT someday :D
I´m a net.Goth...and still proud :D


I too suffer from this terrible thing called shyness. It is so difficult to do what others take for granted. Some of us just do not have the confidence, to go alone to a Goth club etc. Yes, I do need to be with friends. But they have to be rather special friends, that will understand me. Plus I have other family commitments as well.

goths said...

i like to wear black all black it feels so unique , feels so alone i can see my self in the dark.

MissGracie said...

Aww, can I join the facebook group too?

ultimategothguide said...

MissGracie - aw, I'm sure we'd love to have you! Steph and Kitty are the admins, it's here:

InfiltratorN7 said...

Goth clubs that are open 3-4 nights a week!!! You are lucky indeed Minakitty. Where I'm from goth nights are monthly and you're right, a lot of them are based in non-goth venues which have them by the balls. My favourite night lost its own venue and now has to rent the space somewhere else so we now have to walk through crowds of pervs and the like trying to pull the 'sexy deth chix'. It's such a cliche I couldn't help rolling my eyes when seeing it in action. Where I used to live there wasn't anything for alternative types at all. If I wanted to go to a goth night I had to travel to a city. The last train meant leaving after just two hours so I didn't see any point in going and the taxi fare was prohibitive even between three of us. I only went when I was staying somewhere closer to the venue.

Another factor as you get older is other commitments. Sometimes I have to pass on going out even if I'm absolutely bursting to see one of my favourite bands because I've got such a heavy work deadline or I promised to spend time with my non-goth friends. e.g. special occasions, events, etc.

I don't see any issue here. Not everyone is into clubbing and shouldn't have to go just to 'prove' they are goth. What happened to open-mindedness and acceptance? Besides, having a blog or running a website does not directly indicate that you don't participate in the goth scene offline. Some people who blog might not go to clubs (either for not wanting or lack of access) and some might. Why should it matter either way? Not going to clubs does not make you less of a person. We shouldn't be having hierarchies in the subculture.

The HouseCat said...

Intrusion Oxford used to be my local clubbing haunt :D And I was planning to go south for that night, but finances got in the way. We missed out on bumping into each other! My local monthly goth club is on hiatus because the venue closed :/ I'm thinking of starting a goth picnic/meet-up in the city once the weather stops being FREEZING because we goths need some kind of social.

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