For a visual version:
It either sings in your bones and electrifies every fiber of your being or it doesn’t. That’s one of the standards of goth right? It seems to be the mantra, the oath we repeat to each other in the shadows of a smoking patio “Goth to the Grave”, but no one can agree on what that even means.
Never mind anyone admitting to it. The three “actual” phases of goth are like baby bat “I’m super interested in goth culture”, actual goth “I remember being a baby bat” and elder goth “transcends past language entirely and finds labels beneath them“. I’m joking, of course. You can’t escape using the label. It’s a point of reference in conversations when you’re asked “so what kind of stuff are you into”, but you came here to drink and dance, not answer silly questions. “You know, goth stuff.” You mutter, looking down, finishing your drink and walking away like you solved all of life’s mysteries for this person and deserve another.
Sorry, got carried away.
I’m getting disillusioned. I mean, I’m fine, I’m not going anywhere, I haven’t gone anywhere. It’s just that feeling creeping in. Have we exhausted our goth surplus and we’re just retracing familiar stomping grounds, nostalgia manifesting as the boulder and we become dutiful Sisyphus. Oh, that’s a hell of an image. But let’s be fair, “new” isn’t a familiar word round these parts.
The problem isn’t a lack of new creations. I know that. You know that. We as a collective know that.
What if I fucked up?
I was one of the people who pushed back hard against the idea of a fairy goth mother, baby bat tutorials, and hand holding. I’m still not excited about it now. It wasn’t out of spite, Oh boo hoo, no one held my hand. I was under the impression the culture would take care of new blood just fine. It took care of us and look how we turned out. Okay, but in holding discovery above some community building team exercise, someone in this room kind of, sort of maybe…is to blame.
If you could just bear with me, I need to walk myself back home, mmkay?
Writing and making videos was way easier when there was a group for it, even though participating was really hard for me, it was much easier to share topics and connect with people interested in doing the same thing as you. Before you know, money became an incentive for it…
I feel like the environment of goth culture changed drastically while I was napping and I woke up in some foreign land. Now everything I love is hidden in these treasure chest buried under the city of Nu Goth and no one’s opened it in ages.
My needs as a goth were always met, a safe place to meet new people, listen to music from a variety of decades, and freak out about other people’s clothing. To not be alone, that’s what it was. Now, I feel alone more than ever and it takes a lot to pull me back into some sense of yes, I am a part of a community.
Not a resentful comment, not a depressed feeling, just standing outside the family house and I’m not sure I want to go inside just yet.
A part of being goth they don’t tell you about once you commit is you’re going to see a lot of people come and go from the scene. Yes, it’s for a variety of reasons, but it shifts the perspective sometimes. It shifts the perspective back to you and what you think of yourself and what you’re doing with your life.
It’s in the leaving, whether ours or someone else’s, that we begin to see some aspects of goth more clearly. Some of us have invested quite a bit into this lifestyle, we can’t just leave. It would very much be the equivalent of just walking out the front door and moving somewhere new with nothing to our name. It would be a nightmare. I think that’s why we have so many sprawling branches now, because of other people’s needs. Goth alone isn’t providing something, or that something it could provide isn’t as accessible as it used to be.
I mean if I’m going to be unforgivably real right now, I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to just curl up with my little Edgar Allan Poe doll, under my skull sheets and watch Blade Runner on repeat and that’s it. That’s your goth life till the day you die.
I want picnics in the cemetery and book signings, more secret weird parties. sigh Preaching to the choir right now aren’t I?
So what should you do if you become disillusioned?
I can’t tell you to stick it out and focus on self-care. I feel like this disconnection feeling comes from having our goth experience saturated with one aspect. So if you’re finding nothing to watch on Netflix, maybe get into YouTube videos. If you’re not so thrilled about blog posts, try a podcast and there are loads of skills that can produce new gothy products for your life.
A goth life is not a passive life.
Until next time,
Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.
Zakkarrii Edison Daniels