By middle age, most punk rockers have retired their safety pins and ravers have tossed their giant pants. But a lot of goths stay clad in black, reading sad poetry, well past their twenties. Dr. Paul Hodkinson, a sociologist at Surrey University who has been studying goths since the 1990s, explained why the angsty subculture has such staying power:
“[Although the aesthetic and clothing are important, the primary tenets of involvement in this subculture mean being] thoroughly passionate about goth music and style, and some goths would tell you they have an interest in the dark side of life, and a natural tendency towards a degree of angst …It’s a relatively middle-class subculture, so despite all the going out and being into the music, goths have always had a fairly positive view of people who are also achieving academically.”
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Manchester, home of the original goth Morrissey, is the first city to recognize alternative subcultures as motivation for hate crimes. Just last week the police force announced that it will now be illegal to harass or harm in any way goths, punks and emos. The police were inspired to protect these groups against hate crimes after 20-year-old goth girl Sophie Lancaster was attacked in a Manchester park in 2007 and died. Keep reading »
Talk shows in the ’80s and early ’90s were obsessed with sussing out the latest subculture and parading it on display for the entire world to gawk at. Whether goth, punk, club kid or something in between, shows like Phil Donahue, Maury Povitch and Ricki Lake steadily trotted out what they considered “freaks.” Take this clip of a crew of (actually very notable) punk rockers who appeared on “The Morning Show” with Regis and Kathie Lee in 1986. Among them was Raymond “Raybeez” Barbieri, founding member of the Lower East Side punk band Warzone, and Todd Youth, of the band Murphy’s Law (who later played with Danzing). These guys are so cute, but Kathie Lee is terrified.
Every generation has its own version of rebellion — so when club kids came around a decade later, flaunting looks and music that was the diametric opposite of punk, nobody should have been surprised. But talk show pundits ate that up. Just like they did a few years later when Marilyn Manson’s brand of manufactured goth horror came into its own.
Looking back at those kids, and those shows now, they seem delightfully tame. Check out a small collection of some of the best moments of punk rock, parental outrage, club kid mayhem and Manson fanaticism ever captured on the talk show circuit. Keep reading »
Scenic picture time! This is a shot from a recent, very special Goth Day at Disneyland. Now in its 12th year, “Bats Day in the Fun Park” is an annual outing of area goths to the West Coast’s largest amusement park. Because why not? It sure looks weird, and they do have a haunted house there, so hey, Disneyland does have a wee bit of goth magic running through it, too. Click through to see some of the most awkward candid shots from Vice you could ever imagine. [Vice]
What do you get when you combine celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and a backhoe? This sounds like the beginning of a raunchy riddle, but it’s totally real, and the answer may surprise you. Apparently Oliver was excavating a basement for a new restaurant in Manchester when he stumbled upon some legit buried treasure, including the predictable cache of guns, gold, and jewelry, and one not-so-predictable discovery: Joy Division and New Order master tapes. The total value of the basement loot has been estimated at £1.1 million (nearly 2 million dollars). Oliver has donated all of his findings to the treasury, so it’s unclear what will happen to the haul, but one result of this post-punk surprise is certain: Gothpocalypse! [NME]
I’m looking forward to to seeing Sean Penn’s upcoming film, “This Must Be The Place,” where he plays a rich, depressed ’80s musician married to a fire fighter. His character, Cheyenne, is loosely based on director Paul Sorrentino and Robert Smith of The Cure with a dash of Iggy Pop and David Byrne — which means he’s a goth. Yesss! Even though some might say guyliner and Doc Martins are not the most flattering on Sean, his bravery to go goth makes him hot to me. “I’m quite convinced that there will be plenty of audience reaction [to my look] that is — I’m going to use the word ‘challenged.’ But there was a choice to make, I made it,” Sean said. That’s right Sean, goth is a choice. And you wear it well. I’ll always have a soft spot for a goth man. So sensitive, so depressed, so sexy in black, so skilled at doing the pain dance. You can take the girl out of the goth club, but you can’t take the goth club out of the girl. I’ve rounded up some of the hottest goths onscreen. Keep on clicking for your daily dose of goth porn. [NY Times]
Here’s another one to add to your list of ridiculously amusing Tumblr blogs: Goths Up Trees, which documents the fascinating phenomenon of, well, goth people sitting in trees. It’s only a couple weeks old, but already well stocked with photos that are graded on a 5-star rating system, taking into account such important factors as fog, velvet, eyeliner, tree height, and presence of a rat. [Goths Up Trees]
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that blonde, blue-eyed beauty Cate Blanchett went through a goth phase. Really? I mean, I went through one, too, but I never would have expected that from prim and proper Cate. When asked in an interview about how her beauty regime has changed over time, Blanchett admitted, “I’d go to bed with my makeup on if I’d been out. And I went through a big gothic phase, so my pillow was always covered in black mascara and white pancake makeup.” Never would have guessed.
After the jump, some more unexpected celebrity phases.
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There are so many things involved in attraction. From clothing to chemistry, a never-ending list of items can be turn-offs. But sometimes differences are a turn-on, from magnets to men, you know what they say: opposites attract. Still, some things are so repellent, they’re dealbreakers.
When my friend introduced me to a man who was over a foot taller than me, pale as a sheet of paper with pitch black hair and black leather boots laced to his knees, I fell head over heels for this grown-up goth. I’m sure we looked like a bit of an odd couple, or the cast of a horror movie (me being the girl that would get killed first) but he was sweeter than the little pink dresses I wore. On our dates, he was so cute and surprisingly funny, all I could do was giggle and find ways to show off my cleavage.
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