Gothic as style or Gothic as philosophy?

Gothic as style or Gothic as philosophy?

Posted in the Gothic Forum

Since: Sep 07

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Oct 8, 2007
I've been watching a rift developing within the Gothic communities I'm familiar with, both real-world and online. It seems to me that there are now factions within these Gothic communities that differ greatly in their approach to, and understanding of, the culture.

On the one hand, you have those who adhere to a traditionalist Gothic philosophy. This group tends to ground their views of the culture in art, philosophy, literature, and history. They tend to see themselves as part of a grand tradition of explorers, intent on examining those aspects of human nature most people avoid or ignore.

On the other hand, you have those who see Gothic culture as a singular style that appeals to their appreciation of darker imagery. The music, the clothing, and a certain way of being are amassed, refined and personalized to produce an image that reflects how they feel inside and how they view the world.

The difference between the two? The first seems to be an internal viewpoint that manifests itself externally, while the second seems to be an external, image-driven pursuit that gradually begins to define the person who adopts it.

I'm not here to judge which is truly "Goth"; I'm just curious as to whether or not this is an accurate impression of the current state of the culture. I would especially like to hear from those who adhere to one particular view over the other.

- Heretic

“Welcome to the fourth crusade!”

Since: Oct 07

nevermore@vampirechurch.zzn.co

#2 Oct 17, 2007
So well stated I could cry.

It seems to me that those who belong to the traditionalist philosophy (those that are left) probably either don't consider themselves Goth or don't bother to label themselves at all.

Then you have the Gothic culture where the label 'Goth' is very important to them. So much so that should any other subculture approach this boundary they begin to growl and protect what they perceive as their territory like a rabid dog.

The difference that I see?
The first group does not attempt to emulate anyone. And in contrast to the second group, they would probably be only amused at others trying to immitate them.

NM

Since: Sep 07

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Dec 14, 2007
Nevermore1 wrote:
It seems to me that those who belong to the traditionalist philosophy (those that are left) probably either don't consider themselves Goth or don't bother to label themselves at all.
That reminds me of how bands like Bauhaus, The Cure, and Siouxie and the Banshees felt about being called "Goth bands". It is very interesting to note that these paragons of Goth music never liked that label. I've noted many people who personify the Gothic culture, but never self-identify themselves as part of it.

[QUOTE}Then you have the Gothic culture where the label 'Goth' is very important to them. So much so that should any other subculture approach this boundary they begin to growl and protect what they perceive as their territory like a rabid dog.[/QUOTE]
Life is change. I see this happening with people who are generally resistant to change. Everything evolves, even this subculture. To avoid becoming a parody of ourselves, we have to keep our minds open.

- Heretic

“See beauty in everything.”

Since: Aug 07

United States

#4 Dec 15, 2007
So, does that mean if someone calls you "Goth", are you Goth if you reject it, or Goth if you accept it and think of it as, for lack of a better word, nice?

“Welcome to the fourth crusade!”

Since: Oct 07

nevermore@vampirechurch.zzn.co

#5 Dec 17, 2007
Kristy Aaka wrote:
So, does that mean if someone calls you "Goth", are you Goth if you reject it, or Goth if you accept it and think of it as, for lack of a better word, nice?
Speaking for myself, people can call me whatever they want. It may please me to be called Goth but I need to remind myself; If they called me a neurologist or an idiot that wouldn't make it so. Lables are there only to make other people more comfortable. Try to stay teflon so the lables wont stick.
NM

“See beauty in everything.”

Since: Aug 07

Uniondale, NY

#6 Dec 17, 2007
Nevermore1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Speaking for myself, people can call me whatever they want. It may please me to be called Goth but I need to remind myself; If they called me a neurologist or an idiot that wouldn't make it so. Lables are there only to make other people more comfortable. Try to stay teflon so the lables wont stick.
NM
I don't know. I'm completely confused. I guess all labels should be completely thrown away, unless it to put music into a genre.

Since: Oct 07

Too many to list.

#7 Dec 19, 2007
Labels are unavoidable. Even the words we speak with are labels. Every single one of them. Though I agree with Nevermore, calling someone a label doesnt necisarily make it true.

And as for the thread, I prefer to combine Goth as a philosophy with goth as a style. I'm not going to be taken in by these factions because thats not why I'm here. little cliques should end at grade school. We're not here to find out how we're different. Thats not why I came here at least. I came here to talk to people that I might have something in common with or that I might learn something from. To me I think that Goth as a style should at least coincide with goth as a philosophy otherwise theres really no point for the label to begin with. If people want to act dark to build up an image thats fine I really dont care. its their problem not mine. But if anybody does anything just for the image, then chances are pretty good that they'll just get bored and try something new.

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