Monday, June 24, 2013
Lynette June 24, 2013 at 7:31 AM
This seems like an interesting blog. I like the questions you are asking and the topics you are engaged in. However, I'd love to see more personal analysis rather than the collection of various dictionary definitions. Even a summary of what worth and value mean to you would be great. Also, I'd love to see a follow up on the actual questions you asked- as they are interesting- and what some of the possible trends are.
So, if we want to go down that rabbit hole, fine, let’s talk about it a little bit. I must also say that I write on another blog which is more or less like my own diary.
It is every bit as Gothic as this one.
Gothic worth and value to me is something the cookie-cutter, club-nonsense, and modern Goth culture will never understand. Gothic clones are a dime, a website, a stupid band, and a social network a dozen.
To me, I feel I live in the real sense of “Goth”. I define “Goth Life” as having a high awareness of life, and understanding of the impermanence of life. The aesthetics of Goth (from the primitive barbarian tribes to present) give history and character, and expands upon Goth in such a way that, vast, almost encyclopedic volumes could be written.
But, no Goth has truly lived long enough to see the riches of the culture they claim to be a part of –even me. Sadly though, most are generally stuck to the finite filters of their own awareness, their geographical location, and the times in which they exist. I think it is very hard to define something that is constantly changing and evolving (just like language and technology).
Most people involved in Goth (to me) have no more originality than all the pictures they voyeuristically enjoy, the empty meaning and message of the music they sing to, or how some like to play dress-up in order to justify something they can’t wrap their heads around. I am not saying this is true for all Goths, or the music, or the other gothic-luxuries that can only be indulged in after our necessities for survival are met first.
The modern Goth culture (parts of it like splinter-cells) want to lay no claim to the past historical violence, art, and lineage from whence they have come. As if saying something critical about Goths would impact their “Etsy, Mp3, and other D.I.Y. market sells” in a negative way, would be much like a serpent swallowing its own tail.
Goths (in this day and age), can we do nothing better than sell a fantasy, or, are we genuinely living a life of Goth, even by our own definitions(seriously)?
In a way it is rather hypocritical I suppose, if you consider the type of nihilistic and horror laden entertainment diet, that has become the staple and trend of the “Gothic-blind-leading-the-Gothic-blind.”
Whatever happened to the light, beautiful art (non-horror filled and blood-spattered), and the fact that you can be entirely “normal-looking” and yet still be a Goth? Is that idea to much for you to handle? If so, then what do you really know about Goth?
It is not unexpected with the modern Gothic ego(some, not all), as they think that they are somehow entirely original, and would love the chance to say that, “They are self-created.” Honestly, that is bull-shit, and the fact of the matter is that we all come from somewhere, influenced by something, changing, editing, and redefining our program as we go through the motions of life.
One of the most “Gothic thoughts” I have ever had was in the 1st grade. I remember looking around at my classmates and thinking, “Which ones of us will make it (live), and which ones of us would not (die).”I believe that came from watching animals kill one another in the wilderness. It made me see the rest of my life through filters of “hard-core, realistic reality”. It also allowed me to deprogram myself from the brain-washing of child-hood indoctrination, and learn to think “for myself”. The ability to think for oneself is one of the most important of “all Gothic-traits and values.”
From a very early age (5 yrs.), I knew I was different, would always be different, and would more than likely walk and live the life of the damned (nothing more Gothic than being damned). The house I lived in was decrepit, falling apart, built upon developed swamp-wasteland, changed over-time for those who couldn’t handle the raw untamed wilderness.
There were nights that we didn’t use light, but used candles at night time. We did have electricity, but when you grow up in poverty –you learn to conserve, everything. There was no air-conditioner or modern ventilation system. I loved to keep my window open all year long to look at the changing seasons of nature, the stars and the moon, and a board running from ground to window seal, so my cats could come and go as they please.
My Grandmother grew a garden in the backyard, raised chickens, and my favorite thing to do was raising wild, feral kittens. The thing I loved about feral cats is that, they would choose you –not the other way around. They were excellent killers and would take care of themselves, but if they loved you –you knew you were loved and would have a companion for life.
I learned quite a bit about life through learning about a garden. It makes you wise about the seeds that you sew. Sometimes, I would take all my clothes off and run naked through the garden, eating whatever I wanted, while playing in the rich-tilled earth. How romantically Gothic is that? To be able to throw your clothes upon the ground and partake of the fruits of the earth, is supremely Gothic.
I also learned that wild feral cats would kill chickens so quickly and methodically, from the view of a child’s eyes, you come to learn that the lines between life and death can be broken instantly –with or without reason. It was odd, but very true (in my eyes) that the ways animals murdered each other was no different from humans (or their reasons).
Growing up in a highly white-racist land, hurt compounded with bible-belt interest, on top of 50’s influenced peoples modest conservative values does in no way inspire one what-so-ever. But, you do learn pain –and, it just seems common place for American society’s culture to shame its own kind. Oddly enough, the ideological ethics and morals espoused by the status quo in no-way meet up to the hard, cold reality of the truth of the human creature.
I’ve never been rich, and the life I grew up in was entirely impoverished, without two loving mature parents, yet, I was raised by an old woman holding on to the last few dust-like remnants of her own life.
My Grandmother raised me most of my life. Her, and her senior friend who lived in a old cabin across the street, who was from another chapter of history, made my clothes. We never had money to buy new clothes, let alone all the monetary delights of the grocery store. I never realized how many bloody, pin-pricked fingers, bled upon cheap cloth, and with all the love for me that, they would suffer without complaint.
I can tell you that every article of clothing I had as a child, was hand-made, baptized by blood, and forever sewn into my heart, and the masterful stitches that never stop bleeding.
In an old closet, and all over the house, were old books. Some were from the 17th century and forward. So, while other children had toys, friends with the same, and parents who gave them everything, I was usually reading. If I wasn’t reading, I was in the deep forests paying homage to ancient trees, discovering groves of trees and cemeteries you won’t find on maps. But, in the forests, the same violence that I saw in people was the same violence that I saw in the viciousness of animals. It was at that time that, I knew there was really no difference between humans and animals, no matter how enlightened either group claimed or demonstrated.
I learned to play piano early on. We had an old upright piano, whose keys when played upon sang as sweetly as the ghosts who sung their death songs whilst I played. Have you ever heard a piano key sound the harmonics of the beauty of life and death? Have you ever sang a song that had no key, and yet every key was a song in and of itself? Do you know what it is like to play an old upright piano in one room, while your sacred beloved is literally dying in the room, right behind the wall? Rest well my love.
My life, life memories, and the love of those who have past –they were all highly Gothic in nature. I remember dancing with a red-haired fairy, under purple moon-light , on the ice of her drive way. Of all the people around me, she was the only one who wanted me, and would take me to the edge and back. She loved my own difference; my strength to be who and what I was directly in the face of bible-belt society. She begged me not to go once. Little did I know there would come a day that she would be dead, and I would permanently scar my knees falling upon a gravel drive-way screaming her name.
The Value of Goth,….. is that it allows me to more fully realize life. And, has always been an influence upon me musically and artistically.I find worth in Goth-life because I know I have lived an actualized story of all the splendors of the Gothic life and death, and am amused when you think there is anything to benefit of. Forget not, if you are damned to live a life as a Goth, you will suffer, and, there will be much suffering. It is entirely romantic, but never in the way you think it will be, and when your days are at an end, you “might” understand what I am saying.
Culturally speaking, Goth (to me) has always been one of those proverbial "under-dog" societies (exactly like me). Artistically , musically, and in literature, there will be those certain creators who play out everything Goth because it is the taboos that scare them, and unfortunately is the hidden underworld of fetish and desire. The "norm society" wants to have these experiences, but like any repressed society, uses and abuses those life-characters and experiences, then damns and curses all of it in the same breath. Just like what has been done to me in my own life. I think the biggest difference between my life of Goth, and others is that, I didn't consciously choose this path, but god-damned if I haven't suffered, enjoyed, lived and died every fucking moment of it. But really, who is to say what is, or what is not Goth? You? Me? Who then?
Goth, I lived there, I died there.