Useful Notes: Subcultures
Say what you want about mainstream Western culture, it isn't everyone's bag. Some people appreciate things that skew differently than the cultural norm. Other people, like younger generations, can't seem to find a role in the culture of past generations, and so set out to create their own. Still others latch on to a new development and try to build it into something big, something that may one day reshape the norm. This is how a subculture is created. On the other hand, some people want to be normal and won't understand why others would pursue something else. They argue the problem can't be that it just doesn't work for those people; no, there must be something weird, laughable, or even dangerous about those people. This meme then gets reused by the media, in the form of investigative reports and special episodes. As screenwriter John Rogers paraphrases: "Anyone who decides to poke their head out of the cultural world of the CBS primetime line-up is a sad, basement-dwelling loner screaming into his Hello Kitty pillow as crackling dubs of the original Spider-Man cartoon flicker on his television." This may be corrected or subverted on occasion, but it's safe to say that any hobby or subgroup that is not understood by the mainstream media will be butchered, one way or another. Just look at the number of news stories which cover comic book conventions, that include at least one photo of a fat man in an ill-fitting spandex costume. Just look at how many times school shootings are linked to violent video games or music, instead of the fact that the shooters were likely victims of bullying. The historical acceptance of war efforts and rejection of peace movements makes this even more ridiculous. This page serves to both provide accurate info on subcultures while demonstrating the ways in which subcultures are portrayed in the media, both accurately and otherwise. Some subcultures have their own Useful Notes topics to elaborate upon their histories, many aspects, and other things that are usually missed out on by the media. We won't list them all, because human cultures nest fractally. Perhaps the biggest irony of the above phenomena is that due to Two Decades Behind being the norm for many media, the "normal people" complaining about subcultures are themselves no longer in the mainstream, and thus can also be seen as subcultures.
Use of subculture as a theme in works:
Some specific subcultures & their telltale tropes:Bikers BDSM Furry Fandom LGBT Individuals Lolita Fashion
- Age-Inappropriate Dress
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel
- Costume Porn
- Elegant Gothic Lolita
- Fairytale Wedding Dress
- Impractically Fancy Outfit
- Nice Hat
- Of Corsets Sexy
- Pimped-Out Dress
- Angst, which is sometimes seen as Narm or Wangst
- Ambiguous Gender
- Anime Hair
- Bi the Way
- Camp Gay
- Camp Straight
- Dude Looks Like a Lady
- Groupie Brigade
- '80s Hair
- Japanese Delinquents - some bosozoku and yankii helped begin the scene in The '80s and they were a fixture until the middle of The '90s
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy
- Occidental Otaku - there is enough overlap, some of it officially encouraged, that many non-Japanese Visual fans are assumed to be this - even if they aren't "weeaboo" and possibly even if they only like specific bands for their ideas or sound and would like the bands just the same if they weren't Japanese.
- Our Vampires Are Different - some people really do go for the vampire aesthetic, and outsiders bashing the scene have referred to everyone as "gay vampires"
- Refuge in Audacity
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
- Wholesome Crossdresser
- Yakuza - because some people actually are affiliated, and at least one outsider bashing the scene extrapolated that to assuming everyone is
- Yaoi Fangirl / Yaoi Fanboy
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
- Widget Series
- Adjacent to This Complete Breakfast
- Evil Vegetarian
- If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You
- Meat Versus Veggies
- Stock Yuck
- Straw Vegetarian
- Pac Man Fever
- Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000
- Hollywood Game Design, in the case of Ascended Fanboys
Use of subculture as a theme in works:
- Many Doctors in Doctor Who are based on some subculture in terms of costume design and interests, with the Classic ones being The Theme Park Version of historical subcultures and the revival ones being 20th/21st Century ones:
- First Doctor: Edwardian university academic.
- Second: Depression-era "Cosmic Hobo", with a hefty scoop of 60s counterculture.
- Third: Dandy.
- Fourth: After some Early Installment Weirdness in his first season which pitched him as a 70s university student, he suddenly becomes a Victorian bohemian.
- Fifth: Edwardian public schoolboy.
- "The Ultimate Adventure" Doctor: the Green movement of the 80s.
- "Shalka" Doctor: a Goth.
- Ninth: 00s skinhead.
- Tenth: 90s "indie-kid".
- Eleventh: 10s Hipster.
- Twelfth: 60s skinhead.