Saturday, September 20, 2008

Subcultures that never die

Goth appears to be one of them:
The goth subculture, however, for those who live it, is more than the sum of its chicken bones, vampire clichés and existential pants. It remains a visual shortcut through which young persons of a certain damp emotional climate can broadcast to the other members of their tribe who they are. Goth is a look that simultaneously expresses and cures its own sense of alienation.
Of course if someone had told me there would be goths in the early 21st century, I would have thought them delusional - and yet there it is as visible subculture. Yeah, I went through my own phase hanging around in goth circles at some point in the 1980s, and actually if one gets past the dark clothes, music, and the cynical posturing, goths seem to be surprisingly (to outsiders) well-adjusted. I used to chalk it up to a an open acknowledgment and embrace of facets of existence that most of our cohort studiously avoided: the inevitability of decay and death (check the way just about any Joy Division tune ends for a sonic rendition of that basic fact of nature).

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