Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Meems: Does anyone with a better grasp of the Wiki's workings than me know why all the links on this page are red? Even links to tropes that definitely exist?

It happens sometimes if the page doesn't load correctly.

Gemmifer: This page needs to contain a summary what Goth actually is. So far we only have that it isn't a fashion, skin tone or mood. What is it, then?

Anyone else notice that the tone of this whole page is a little defensive?

Nornagest: It's an aesthetic, and a subculture based on that aesthetic, which originally grew out of the punk scene in the late Seventies but has evolved considerably since then. I'd say that musical taste is probably the most important part of that aesthetic, but tastes in fashion, literature, and other media play into it as well. Stereotypically gothy personality traits are not as central to the subculture as media would have you believe, but a correlation exists.

It's possible to appreciate (and adopt aspects of) the aesthetic without identifying with the subculture; in fact, that's pretty common. It's also possible to identify with the subculture without appreciating the aesthetic, but it'll get you branded as a poseur.

How's that for a summary?

i8246i: Its just a bunch of whiny teenagers full of angst trying to Take That! mommy and daddy for "ruining their lives"....its been the subject of controversy, its made headlines both famous and infamous, its spawned a few bands (some which made decent music), and drove parents insane

...just like every other generation of super whiny and angsty teenagers, since the beginning of time, and now the "goths" have turned (or mutated) into "Emos" and "hipsters"

They're also a misnomer of REAL goths, gothic architecture, etc...but who cares anyway?

And as much as I don't want to admit it, if I had grown up in the time of "Emos" and "hipsters", instead of the time of "goths", I would probably have more tolerance for their "anti-culture".
  • Yeah, because heaven forbid that there's anyone who likes the culture who isn't a slightly more sophisticated Emo Teen, amirite?

Sukeban: Hey, for the misnomer you'll have to point at Ann Radcliffe's fans rather than Anne Rice's...
  • I think he/she was making reference to the historic Goths, of the Rome sacking kind. And indeed, there's a big difference between a nomadic tribal warrior and an angsty, black-clad snob.

Anthony Alexander: After reading the article, reading this discussion, and watching several of the works mentioned in the article, I still have pretty much no idea what a Goth is. I know someone who self-identifies as a Goth, and she can't seem to tell me either....and if I ever identify something besides herself as Goth, she assures me it is not.

So perhaps "Goth" is a synonym for "nothing at all?"
Corwin08 : I take offense to that.

I've been a Goth since the time I discovered there was an entire culture made of the tropes that happen to make up my life. Natural born one here. Then some years later I looked around and saw that the other goths, for all their theoretically refined tastes and such, were as stupid as the rest of humanity. Then I stopped making it obvious, but a rock and a hard place to wait for me, between the devil and the deep blue sea. Everything I ever did right or wrong hid out of sight where I belong...

6AM and nothing better to do than be one more random Internet stranger trying to explain what goth is? Yeah, as if to stop wearing black lace had changed anything at all.

Goth aesthetic has been around for a long, long time. I'm sure I could find examples in Latin antiquity, but I won't. I'll begin where it's recognizable : Goth literature. 19th century, The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis, Melmoth by Charles Robert Maturin, and, yes, Dracula and Frankenstein and those before like Carmilla and such. Some architecture before and around that time went the Neo-Gothic way, i.e. 18th-19th century techniques to build buildings in the style of the 12th-16th. ... time skip to The70s. Post-punk appears, having left behind the very dead punk movement in the last throes of heroin overdose and massive hangover for the non-terminal cases, and some bands whose members could actually play rose from these ashes. Some were more into self-pitying misery (Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division), others were more evoking a stirring melancholy with simple songs (Siouxsie and the Banshees), others still were experimenting a lot with sound and obscure lyrics (Bauhaus), and those were the obvious ones... then you have The Cure (era Seventeen Seconds / Faith / Pornography), and from 1980 onwards you had a lot of bands moving in that general direction (Dead Can Dance, Lacrimosa), then less Serious Business types, like The 69 Eyes, London After Midnight, all the beepy-beepy goth-goth electronica (like Blutengel), the Dead-Can-Dance-Like , see the catalogs of labels 4AD and Prikosnovenie, add the label ant-zen for atonal boring soundscapes, and Cold Meat Industry for its wonderful catalogue of Dark Ambient and Neo-/Dark-Folk and this parenthesis can close with a mention of Electronic Body Music which for some reason got lumped in with the goth subculture, like Suicide Commando and Hocico) Side note : Goth-metal is not goth, it just happens to overlap. Anime fans who happen to be goths tend to inflict their senses with Visual Kei too. (I hate Visual Kei almost as much as emo.) Emo is not goth and I won't talk about it, lest I repeat the above comments. There have been Goth movies and movies that Goths love to love, too. Examples : The Hunger (the one with Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie) is a visual orgasm of Goth aesthetic. The Crow is a goth story in a goth setting with a goth plot in a goth city and Brandon Lee that Looks Like Cesare on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for his lost love and life. Yeah, Oh My Goth. More? Okay, old German Expressionist movies. All of them. And all the Tim Burton ones that look like them too. Other media : Witkin, Giger (yeah, the Hans Rudi Giger of Alien fame) and I don't want to write an encyclopedic article in discussion, so I won't seek more references now. Suffice to say, if someone finds out 1. Goth music is telling one's life story and 2. One really likes everything goth without even knowing it is, then yeah, one is a goth regardless of PVC skirt or black lace shirt. (Or Ed Scissorhands' leather outfits, but you get the idea by now.) Now if anyone wants to expand and format this better so as to put in the article, feel free...