Goth: Taking the Human Condition for Granted

Gas Town Goth

Mikita Barthman wrote in today’s edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“Although they may look scary, goths tend to be unusually tolerant and peace loving.  It’s a truism that, despite their fringe status, rejection of social norms, and interest in death, most of those who dress in goth styles tend to be shy and withdrawn, though not necessarily depressed.  Anyone can be a goth; you don’t need to run in a pack (goths are traditionally loners).  And, as teenage subcultures go, it’s unusually quiet and friendly.  Goths are generally hygienic; their piercings are clean and discreet; they don’t stick dirty safety pins through their noses or ride around on motorbikes spitting and swearing.

Goth’s consistent popularity does not mean, as some curmudgeons assume, that young people today are becoming increasingly nihilistic and alienated.  Anyone who feels that way doesn’t understand the essence of goth, which is really all about self-acceptance, self-expression, and creativity.  Taking for granted the misery of the human condition, goth turns depression into an aesthetic, a semi-ironic pose — a perfect style for the awkward and self-conscious.  Pale makeup, for both sexes, perfectly conceals bad complexions; goth clothing tends to cover, rather than display.  And although its dark style was originally taken up as a backlash to the colorful disco music of the 70s, it may, in the end, be goth’s most successful feature.  After all, who doesn’t look good in black?”

London after Midnight: Kiss

Some might experience this as somewhat “jolting.”  It’s, as I myself don’t really like to put it, an intriguing perspective, and certainly deserves further thought and commentary.  So, for the time being please consider this a draft posting, which will receive further elaboration later.  Accordingly, at this point the piece is not being publicized.

However, for now, interested readers will find the entire version of Mikita Barthman’s essay at The Chronicle for Higher Education.

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One Response to “Goth: Taking the Human Condition for Granted”

  1. Arthur Browning Says:

    Good images and reading. I have a friend Giselle Borzov with a new art blog at http://gborzov.wordpress.com that you might also want to check out.


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