Naturally, the discussion as a whole inspired me to blog about it! The point of this post is to highlight some of the interesting comments and discussion that took place. I think the whole thread reached close to 300 comments so I am not going to quote anyone or anything.
I guess you can say that the conversation became interesting when someone commented that they got branded as an elitist because he/she personally doesn't like helping babybats and has little to no tolerance towards them, in fact that person said that he/she was downright rude to them. I found that sad because so many people in the community looked after me with great care and patience when I was a kid. A lot of my friends were older than I was and cared for me like I was their baby sister, it made us a family. After much questioning and sharing my personal experiences of when I was younger, I learned that a lot of us didn't have the same positive experiences when dealing with babybats. According to this person, it appears that a lot of babybats don't want to learn about the subculture at all and about it's roots. They only care about the aesthetics behind the scene.
Although I disagreed with the fact that someone can be rude to another person because of their age, I did start to somewhat agree with what some of the other people were saying: at least know some of the trad goth bands and listen to some of them! Learn the roots of the subculture! I know some people might not agree with this mindset but I do.
I also think it is healthy for the subculture to change and grow too as long as we have a general idea from where the goth scene started. You may not like all the bands and songs that came out back then but at least know who Peter Murphy and Siouxsie Sioux are! Listen to some of the music! Know who The Sisters Of Mercy are!
Some of the more elder goths who were around since the beginning of the subculture chimed in the discussion.They regaled us of tales on how every one accepted everyone else no matter what style they fell in; be it a metal head, goth or punk, they were all united under the whole misfit banner. It didn't matter what music preference they liked or how they dressed, they all stuck together and had fun because they all had something in common: they were social outcasts. Some of them gave me the impression they didn't seem to mind whether or not these kids bothered to learn about the founding music, as long as the goth culture was kept alive and moving forward. Some of them even like to see how the culture has evolved over the years.
|This is a perfect substitute since I didn't have any other cool pics to post! It is a baby bat, after all!|
On the other hand, some can argue about the whole evolution of the goth scene. Just look at the latest "trends" (ie. nugoth, pastel goth) they may not necessarily have any substance aside from aesthetics. I guess this all depends on the view point. Personally, I really don't care about these subgenres, after all, I am from the generation of Mallgoths and even I was a Marilyn Manson Spooky Kid at one point! I think a few pastels are just par for the course. Who knows, maybe they will get their own identity at one point? Look at how well the steampunk culture seems to be thriving. They seem to have their own identity and music. I am not going to speak for the nugoths, pastels, etc because I personally don't know much about them. I even tried doing an Internet search to learn more. I wanted to know what how it all began and I didn't get anywhere. I think it is more of an aesthetic fashion trend that kids are adopting.If anyone can correct me on all of this, please do so!
As for elitists, some of them are often falsely accused of having this title because they have the same mindset I do: know the roots. A subculture is based off of music. Know how it came to be. My advice to my peers: don't be a douche. Please have patience with the younger crowd, we were ALL there at one point! I like to think we are not completely doomed as a society and there are a few good, smart kids out there.Let them listen to metal bands and parade around, some of these kids eventually "grow out of it" and I like to think that the ones that do stick around, care enough about this subculture to learn about its roots. I was one of them that wanted to know about its roots from very early on. I do not think anything productive can come out of being rude to these kids. I also don't think we should go parading around in clubs trying to "educate" the younger crowd or anyone else either. We don't hand out "goth membership cards" and there are no kings or queesn of goths - despite what anyone believes. There are no elder goths sitting in the dark corners of the club while drinking bloody mary's and deciding whether or not you are permitted to join in the exclusive club of Gothdom.. Hell, I work full time as a receptionist and collect Hello Kitty merchandise. I tone down a lot for the job and I can still write a goth blog without getting flamed for it!
I am not saying that anything goes. You slap on some black lipstick and voila, "Insta Goth!" I think a subculture is just that - a subculture. There are certain guidelines that help differentiate from the mundane everyday society. I am not trying to set rules, that is not my - or anyone else's place to do so. I am not trying to imply that you need to jump through hoops to be part of the subculture or it is an exclusive club but I like to think that a subculture goes deeper than just merely aesthetics. It is a culture with a great history. It is not my place to be rude to people who don't agree with me, we are all entitled to our opinions.
I want to thank the members of that community for taking time out to express their opinions and making me, a new member, feel welcome. In the end, let's all take this example and come together. If you see a fellow goth walking down the street, let's bring that "knowing nod" back. Let's stop trying to figure out who is a poseur and who isn't and just enjoy what the subculture has to offer. Let's stop worrying if we are "goth enough" and who isn't. Let's stop worrying about whether or not we fit in with the other Goths! After all, isn't being goth about non-conformity anyways? Let's embrace change because without it, I think the subculture wouldn't last as long as it did. I can understand being goth is something we can all identify with, it is part of who we are, therefore, there are some strong emotional attachments to it but coming towards it with a lack of respect does just as much as damage as a mallgoth or any dark clothed shooter who is labelled as one of us by the media. It only takes one person to ruin the public's view of us and a good dozen of us to fix it. Even at that, it may not work. Being an ass isn't going to do anything positive for the subculture.