Pretty straightforward topic if you’re following along the 666, but a relevant question that is almost never asked directly. With any random search for information about the goth culture, you can immediately find an argument about what is or isn’t goth, and we’ll get to that specific argument one day soon. Right now we need to return to the core of that argument which is “are things around this nostalgia graveyard ever going to change?”
The old stuff is the best stuff and the new stuff doesn’t live up to the standards. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about, the reasoning is always the same, but it isn’t true. As an individual who may or may not create things like music, you can take in information such as the musical (or artistic) styles around you. Your emotional connection to that music (or any medium) will decide whether or not that thing has an effect on what you create. Apply that formula to the thousands of other people in the community and you’ll see that, yes there is some new stuff that lives up to the standards of the old stuff. I’m sorry if you’re missing the tape hiss accompanying the melodic crooning of the classics, but we’ve got to give the culture the chance to evolve it needs to thrive and let the people actually make some stuff.
But if it’s a regurgitation of the old stuff should it count? I think that depends how much pressure we’re going to apply to the idea of copy and paste. With a heavy hand we can say there is nothing new to be said, no original ways to say things, and that’s why we so bitterly cling to the past. With too playful a slap on the wrists, we allow anything, even direct lifting of musical tracks with half assed reworded lyrics, to cruise on by and lodge themselves firmly as thorns in our side. So love the old stuff, and love it hard, so you can love the new stuff for the similarities and appreciate the differences.
But the days of pure, unmishmashed goth are long gone. Is there even “goth” anymore?
Perhaps, as the upcoming generation struggles between originality and individuality, we will use the term purists instead of elitists more. There are people who like what they like and there will always be a blending of interests. To be fair, there has always been a blending of one kind or another. So let me put your mind at ease. There is a scale of goth and not goth and everyone falls somewhere on that scale. As long as there is an archived history that serves as the root of our culture, there will always be people who seek it out and internalize parts of it. By default, there will be people who don’t. All that really means is there are people who don’t share your interests the same way you do. This mucking up of goth that’s going on lately, it will pass, as it has time and time again. If your prize is a legacy, keep your eyes on it. There will always be goth.
So are the pillars of goth meant to be challenged is the wrong question as they are already being challenged. The correct question and the post for the 666 is how are your ideas of goth being challenged or strengthened? Pick anything, a change in how you interact with the community, the style, the music, the literature. Maybe you look at dark table settings with more scrutiny than ever before.
Until next time,
Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.
Zakkarrii Edison Daniels