Hello everyone! Following some recent controversies and drama, I thought I would try to explain myself a little for everyone's benefit and hopefully avoid repeating a few mistakes. I am re-capping a bit of this from a conversation that was had last night on EpagomenalMotif's blog which some of you may already have seen, so I apologise for repeating myself but would like to make sure that a few points are clarified.
1. The 'G' word.
No, I'm not going to stop using the word 'Goth' just because EM and others would prefer it if I did. I am, however, going to attempt to use it more accurately. A lot of what I blog about would not be considered Goth under the strict definition of the term (such as offshoots of Goth culture, modern derivatives, etc.) and I am not unaware of that; I also understand that some feel that the term shouldn't be applied to anything outside of that definition, which I suppose for me is where the whole 'dark alternative' bit comes in.
I am informed that in Germany the word 'goth' may be used as a general catch-all term for most things covered by the Schwarze Szene, dark alternative, etc., and, as some of you may already be aware from the direction of previous posts, have been using it more in that sense than referring specifically to the Goth rock music scene. This is, obviously, causing some communication problems, so I will endeavour to be more accurate when using the term.
2. Then why don't you make a new name for it?
"I just don't see why it's necessary to call these things 'goth' when you yourself admit that they don't fall under that definition. why don't you make a new word for it?"
As much as I admit it would be handier to have a catch-all term that is less vague than 'dark alternative', 'dark culture' or even plain 'spooky', I don't think that EM's helpful suggestion of 'Kugelblossom-Bruchenfraulisch' quite rolls off the tongue.
Somehow I also don't think that it would go down very well if some random blogger (that's me) decides to spontaneously rename a large portion of dark culture. I have a feeling that if I piped up with, "Well, a few of these interests and bands are specifically Goth but a lot of them are neoclassical, metal, Industrial, dark cabaret, punk, darkwave, etc., so let's just call the lot *insert name here*," a whole lot of people would start giving it the "WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS" routine.
As stated above, my concession to those who would like to keep the term Goth strictly reserved for things which are Goth precisely, not offshoots, derivatives or vague relatives, is to try to be more precise when using the term. As outlined by an anonymous commentor: "My biggest issues are with those who are adamant about making goth a hodgepodge of genres and still calling it goth. The idea of Schwartze Szene sounds awesome, and I take no issue with goth being included under the same umbrella as other genres; however, I just don't like the idea of other/new genres being referred to as goth."
OK. In my opinion this is fair enough. I'm interested in the things I'm interested in; I don't really mind what we all agree to call it.
3. Being a 'real Goth'.
At the end of the day, I can spend as many hours as I please writing blog posts about what does and does not constitute 'real Gothdom', but it can never be any more than subjective. Any two people who call themselves Goth will have different reasons for doing so and different criteria for the label. As such, I personally tend not to worry overmuch nowadays about whether the Goth label is one that applies to me or not, let alone trying to live up to someone else's criteria of being a 'real Goth'.
There are aspects of Goth music, fashion and culture that I enjoy and so I focus on enjoying them; I also enjoy other, related genres and some that aren't even vaguely close to the notion of Goth. Again, I have been using 'Goth' as a useful piece of shorthand to cover a few of these interests but don't really mind whether others agree or disgree with my doing so.
Once more, as above, I'm happy to be more precise with the use of the 'G' word (at least publically) to avoid causing any offense or aggravation. I really don't feel the need to argue about what is or isn't Goth; I'd like to just enjoy the aspects of the subculture that I have an interest in. I'll stick with 'dark culture' or 'dark alternative' as opposed to specifically 'Goth' for the time being to avoid further confusion.
|Just happy being spooky ;-D|
Lastly, thanks to everyone concerned for the help, support and advice. Comment moderation is turned on for the time being, because while I don't mind receiving constructive criticism I have no wish for flame wars all over the place. All comments will still be posted unless they are obviously offensive or inflammatory.