Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Style of Goth?~~~~

First off there is something that a lot of young people in the Goth scene seem to disagree on---- They disagree on who is Goth and who is not.

Of course there are the Posers, those who dress in black, with black nail polish, black lipstick, dyed hair and say they are into a certain band or bands.

But there are a number of older Goths who really define Goth as just understanding that nothing in life is a certainty----we do die, but like the “Days of the Dead” we laugh at it, and also understand it.

We celebrate it in a way, we embrace the night side of life, therefore it is important to enjoy life, but embrace the finiteness of it and its dark side, without going into the abyss.

When I was a “Baby Bat” or “Baby Goth” in the late 1950’s I and my Mother enjoyed going to cemeteries and looking at tombstones, as a matter of fact, when we were putting flowers on the graves of our loved ones, we’d look at the nearby graves of our ‘neighbors’, sometimes even clearing away old dead flowers, noticing what graves were being taken care of and which one’s weren’t, we’d even notice if their was a new date of death or a new name.

More than once my Mother would say “Oh, Oh they lost their (son, mother, husband, daughter) and she would look the grave over and say a prayer. Going to the cemetery was visiting our “dead neighbors”, we may not know them, but sometimes it felt like family and yes, if we were there for a long time cleaning graves and such, we packed picnic lunches and eat there, of course it was a long walk to the bathrooms for the adults if we had to use them, sometimes several of the family members would use the car to get there and then come back.

I didn’t realize it but my Grandmother, who was born in 1890, was Goth, living a Goth life style but she and many like her didn’t flaunt it, they lived it differently. She never wore bright colors, especially after Grandpa died, it was always dark colored dresses, either dark blue or black with a dark print, she had three hats, two were straw, one was a black straw with dark purple flowers the other was a beige straw with lavender flowers, mourning and half mourning. The remaining hat was black wool with a wide brim.

She had two coats, the very good black coat for formal occasions, and the other good black coat for everyday use. Even her sweaters were black or dark blue. And always black shoes with lace ups.

The rooms were always dark, except for the kitchen; she’d always say “We need the light to see if the meat is done.” And her stove was an old Buck Stove, that you would see in a Victorian home, she used it until 10 years before she died, then my know it all Uncle had it replaced, the kitchen never felt the same again.

Nothing was ever replaced unless it had to be replaced. It was hard to get anything new into her house unless it was a mattress, sheets or towels, the one break through was the Television set, and it was years before it was replaced and only because the picture tube finally burnt out.

Music only the classical music stations or the Catholic Hour, especially the Rosary Hour, every evening at Sundown, 6 p.m. on the dot.

But that’s not to say we didn’t have fun, we did, playing board games, card games, dominos, puzzles, the puzzles were the best because we could talk about things.

Going to the Funerals was an occasion, there was always someone dying or dead as the case maybe, I got to be a connoisseur of funeral parlors, flower arrangements, churches funerals services, cemeteries, headstones, prayer cards, etiquette for funerals, all of that.

Then back to my Grandmother’s place to critic the funeral service from casket to final prayer.

In a way we were like that Adams Family, but we looked normal but just had this “dark side” outlook on life. And if that is not being Goth then I don’t know what is.

It’s more than music; it is a life outlook, which a lot of young people simply don’t know. Or think they know but really they don’t.

There is one style of Goth that I have not seen, maybe I’m the first to create it or maybe they are out there and thought they had to be Victorian or romantic.

This style Goth is what I call in reference to the furniture style either Art Deco or Art Modern. Some people may refer to them as Corporate Goth, but it goes beyond that.

The films they like are horror films, spy films, Hitchcock or the German noir films of the silent era, and the same genre from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, especially the film noir and Val Luton films---eventually I’ll create a list.

The music they like can be jazz, blues from the 20’s to early 50’s, some big band, classical as well, Gregorian chant eventually I’ll put together a list.

They will attend art galleries, museums, opera, ballet, concerts, and film revivals, explore antique shops, historical locations and homes, auctions, and for fun Flea Markets; they will pretty much shun the extreme modern artists, and love Tamara De Lempika.

They will read spy novels, murder mysteries, history, literature, be familiar with the era of the 20’ through the 1950’s in history, literature, art, fashion etc. even old funeral practices.

Be well educated, dress classy, with makeup and hair from the time frame of the 20’s to the 50’s without looking overdone, always look well put together without it looking fussy, always courteous, refrain from using obscenities, and look neat even at Burger King.

They maybe members of a local Art Deco Society, or Film Society, perhaps a Historic Preservation Society or members of a Tatofile society

In terms of etiquette they will follow Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt but knowing the 21st century mores, but will honor the laws, especially in cell phone and black burry usage.
Be friendly, not aloof but reticent.

The idea is by their presence and example to make and encourage people of all ages to come up to your level not you go down to theirs, this will wake up young people to start dressing better, it may take time but one needs to be a good example.

They will not be flustered by anything, nor allow anything to irritate them, it simply is not done.

They distain extreme vulgarity and tasteless jokes, but are aware that not everyone is at their level, they will have the good manners to not look down upon those with no taste but simply not comment on it.

They can have fun and enjoy fun; they know how to laugh, sometimes to even delight in the very simple pleasures of watching butterflies, cutting out snow flakes, enjoying the expression of children who discover something for the first time.

For the Elderly Goth They KNOW that life is fleeting, that all blossomings are the beginnings of decay.

So I will continue to Explore this Style of Goth, incorporating the fact that they are aging and Elderly, but it will be something for the yearlings aka Baby Bats to learn from.

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