Bram Stoker on his 170th Birthday

Bram StokerThe Irish author Bram Stoker would be 170 years old today, a respectable age approaching that of his most famous creation, the alpha vampire Count Dracula. Published in 1897, the novel ‘Dracula’ would eventually be counted as one of the greatest gothic novels ever, on a par with Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ or Radcliffe’s ‘The Mysteries of Udolpho’.
So it was a delightfully dark pleasure to attend a discussion of the man himself by his great grand-nephew, Dacre Stoker. Dacre has committed to extensive investigation of his famous relative’s life and career and I am grateful to Northumbria University for accommodating him during his tour, lecturing on Bram Stoker and making available his latest book Dracula: The Un-dead.

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Abuse, Assault, and the Goth Scene

The entertainment industry has been rocked by the overwhelming media coverage of accusations against Harvey Weinstein, culminating in a court case where he will answer for his alleged crimes against women. The case has exposed a culture of abuse, intimidation, and other examples of disgusting behaviour that sadly surprise no-one – even when one considers the breadth, depth and severity of the culture that protects predatory men.

It’s not surprising because it runs like sewage throughout human culture. The joint efforts of bloggers Adam Williams (amodelofcontrol.com) and RockstarDinosaurPiratePrincess (best blog name ever) (CW/TW) led to three articles soliciting and publishing the anonymous experiences of women at gigs, clubs, and as musicians and performers themselves.
It sadly should go without saying that this comes with a significant trigger / content warning for abuse. Reading the many, many many submissions these bloggers wrote is upsetting and infuriating in the extreme.

https://samanthaabruxa.tumblr.com/post/67806163791There is a rich vein of horrendous behaviour stretching from glitzy Hollywood right into the poky, smoky clubs of the goth scene itself, and for all we don rose-tinted sunglasses (at night) the scene is not the beacon of tolerance and safety we think it is.
Very recently, singer Jessicka Addams of riot-goth band Jack Off Jill  came forward to publically share her experiences of abuse and rape during a relationship with bassist Jeordie White, aka Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson’s band. A statement from the band has announced a severing of the partnership with White (CW), who has yet to make any statement himself.

It took a long time for Addams to come forward and disclose her experiences (CW), which is unfortunately but understandably common in such cases where doubt and victim-blaming are all too frequent, and it appears she was actively discouraged by her record label at the time who seemed to act from a chillingly businesslike viewpoint.
That level of opposition would be difficult for a successful artist like Addams to overcome, let alone fans who may also have been attacked and have no voice, no audience and no hope of being heard or believed.

Increasingly we are uncovering evidence of widespread perpetration of abuse, followed by denial and cover-ups, from huge international stars down to the people you know at festivals and clubs.
The #MeToo campaign was a viral success story of the worst kind, that only echoed the heart-breaking experiences collected by Adam Williams and RDPP. Women worldwide followed this up by asking men who professed to be allies – “What will you do? How will you help? What can you do to change this?”

  • As the owner of a social space online, I can police my community and promise to respond to any woman who uses The Blogging Goth’s social media or website channels, who feels they’ve been made uncomfortable by someone. My website, my Facebook, my Twitter, my Tumblr, my Instagram, my YouTube… all should be considered spaces free of the threat of abusive and aggressive men.
  • As the promoter of a goth club night, I can police my event and promise to respond to any woman who feels they’ve been made uncomfortable by another. I enjoy a very close relationship with the venue, and their six-foot punk bar manager and resident DJ will ensure any situation is resolved quickly and effectively.
  • As a member of the goth community, I can police my scene and promise to respond to any woman who feels they’ve been made uncomfortable by someone. I will listen to, trust and reassure someone who shares with me an experience they have had. I will – and this is crucial – pursue my suspicions of the behaviour of people and call them out if needs be. Even more crucially, I want to do this as part of a community, where we support and protect one another and make the goth scene a safer and more enjoyable place for everybody.

Please consider what you can do to fight back against abuse in the scene.


Help and advice for women who have experienced rape or sexual assault:

Rape Crisis England & Wales
Helpline – 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30)

NHS Choices – Help after rape and sexual assault

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Goth Weekend at Live Theatre, Newcastle

Firstly I must thank the staff of Live Theatre for their generous invite to come and watch Goth Weekend, a clever comedy about a family in the North split down subcultural lines! Following the performance on October 19th, I’ll be joining Dr Claire Nally of Northumbria University for a discussion and Q&A about the goth subculture, so please do join us. It should be recorded and made available online after.

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October Occurrences from The Blogging Goth

What I’ve done so far, and what’s yet to do, really deserves an update – so here’s a quick check-in from The Blogging Goth as I bounce from event to event in this most specific of seasons!

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Snapgoth: Pitchfork introduces ‘Goth’ filter for Facebook Camera

Ever wanted to look like archetypal goth Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure and owner of the world’s most untidy cat he keeps on his head? Now you can in true Snapchat style, thanks to a brand new feature on Facebook camera, introduced by Pitchfork magazine.

Accessible on the Facebook app for Android and iOS, the filter gives you Bob’s infamous exploding-dandelion hairdo, as well as panda eyeshadow and that classic smudged lipstick mouth with a dead-pale complexion.
Raise your eyebrows, and black tears trickle down your cheeks (a gift from hell for the DeviantArt crowd). Open your mouth, and bats hurtle out, like Pete Murphy with a Hunger hangover. A most suitable selfie for Samhain, some might say!

The Bob-ing Goth

Introduced in March of this year, Facebook’s camera feature is the latest idea poached from their partner Snapchat, with the added innovation of user and community designed filters.

Facebook also allows ‘Stories’ – 24-hour image diaries – to be posted to timelines, so expect your feed to be dominated by a terrifying tribute act of relatives slaughtering hits like ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘Lovecats’ very soon.

Let us know what you think in our poll below, and leave a comment.

 

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