Happy World Goth Day 2014, readers! It’s delightfully grey and cold here in Leeds, England – breaking a surprising and inconvenient sunny spell, and letting me dust off the leather and waistcoats of winter. Last year, we talked to WGD organiser Cruel Britannia, so today we’re watching the dark shenanigans unfold!
We also dipped into media coverage, which was the usual mixed bag of space-filling and trend-chasing journalists looking at each blankly, saying “Goth? Is that still going?” Some articles we visited included a great music compilation by a South-East Asian social media site called Rappler, and a wry piece in the Telegraph (we’re as surprised as you!) by Dr. Tim Stanley that also addresses concerning new data about self-harm amongst alternative teenagers.
The authors of this study are to be commended for the way it is written, with such statements as:
“The scientists were clear the research does not ‘prove’ that identifying with alternative culture ‘causes’ teens to self-harm. Rather it is equally likely that isolated teenagers struggling with emotional difficulties are naturally drawn to a musical (sub)culture that expresses these feelings and membership may even have positive social or cathartic effects.”
Uneasily straddling the divide between great reporting and, well… Dani Filth, is Kerrang! radio. Sadly, at 11pm the Cradle of Filth front-man will take over, but on the up side you can listen again to their discussions about Goth culture, including some great conversations with the dedicated people behind the S.O.P.H.I.E Charity.
Granted, arguing about ‘What is Goth’ is our equivalent of the chicken and the egg tale, but Dani Filth is reviled by a great many Goths, and has himself in the past scorned the subculture, preferring to market his band as making whatever music will propel them forwards – or failing that, just making offensive shirts. At least Eldritch hasn’t compromised on his vision!
Further down the spectrum of decent journalism were efforts by TIME magazine who seemed to show a lot of people on Twitter laughing about their ill-advised, badly-executed forays into Goth in the past. Another glossy magazine, Vogue, decided to frankly terrify readers with revisiting a Marilyn Manson style makeover, committing two Goth faux pas in one!
Also guilty of mixing up the shock-rocker, alternative-scene embarrassment originally known as Brian Warner is The Guardian. When we read this article, we took to twitter for a few choice comments.
— The Blogging Goth (@TheBloggingGoth) May 22, 2014
It’s not like we haven’t noticed this problem with The Guardian before – a paper that you’d assume would be sympathetic to the middle-class British institution of Goth has been making mistakes since we started blogging in 2011 – along with most other major news outlets!
Conversely, regional titles seem to cover it best. Early today we read an article in the Plymouth Herald that stood out for one good reason above all the national competitors. It talked to actual Goths, and the comments below this – and many other stories – have been some of the best reading we’ve done today.
That’s what it’s about, of course. Those of us who know it isn’t a fashion trend, or celebrity fad, or even celebrating ‘one day a year’. Fly the flag today, for sure, but don’t put it in a cupboard and forget about it until next May 22nd. As Ministry remind us…