Where do I even begin with this? I am on their mailing list and today they sent me an email that contained the above photo along with a link to an article on their site that describes what a ‘Romantic Goth’ is all about. Get ready to be schooled by Killstar!
Do I long for extravagant clothing? Sure! Personally I have always wanted to be dressed in corsets and black velvet and lace while wandering the halls of a spooky castle holding a candelabra that lights my way. All the while suffering from consumption, my deathly coughs echoing through the empty chambers, my bloody spittle blending into by black clothes. Since it was a simpler time there were no antibiotics so I would slowly die. Neat!
Yearn for arts, music and literature from the 1800’s? By golly gee you know I do! Nothing stirs me more than the Pre-Raphaelites, Mozart and Dracula! Wait, I’m not doing this right because Mozart was from the 1700’s. Shit. Oh, but I really love the hell out of Dracula! The Christopher Lee portrayal because he was a better actor and Hammer made the best Gothic type of horror film. I know I’m supposed to say Bela Lugosi but I cannot betray my heart!
So, a Romantic Goth is a classic type of goth fashion? Way back when, through the mists of time, wearing velvet and lace was just considered goth. In the 90’s different ‘types’ of goths were thought up to poke fun at the goth community, it was an inside joke that nobody took seriously. Am I supposed to be taking this seriously, because I have some velvet and lace items! Should I stop shaving part of my head and learn how to make elaborate buns out of my hair? I don’t know what to do! Bauhaus, Type O Negative and The Cure are to blame for the surge of the Romantic Goth style? Oh dear, somebody should tell them because I think some of the musicians in those bands will be very embarrassed. Break the news to them slowly because some of them aren’t in the best of health. Romantic Goths are some of the most commonly betrayed goth types in the media? How tragic!
Velvet and lace are a match made in hell? What’s hell got to do…got to do with it?
You mean I should be wearing baphomet necklaces, belts, and rings? I was wearing all of my lace and velvet clothing the wrong way? I now feel like I haven’t lived up to the required Romantic Goth angst level. All of those Hammer films lied to me! LIED!!! Damn you Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt…damn you! *cries dramatically and flings her cross laden jewellery across the room*
My heart is only semi dark, will that do? If I start spelling words with exxxtra x’s will that make my heart grow darker? So, there are more boxes to tick besides the Romantic Goth ones? If they involve the objectification of goth women I want to be all up in that. There is nothing like being a big tiddy goth girlfriend. Nothing.
First you call it Romantic Goth, now you call it new wave romantic fashion. Funny, I spent the last thirty years daring to think that New Wavers, New Romantics and Goths were all slightly different because those music genres weren’t exactly the same. Wait a second, are you trying to tell me that Goth has nothing to do with music and is just a fashion choice? Thank you for schooling me Killstar and for leading me into the light. Wait, am I supposed to say darkness because that would be more spooky and evil, right?
Do you want to learn more about Romantic Goths? You know you do! Click the link and you will be transformed into the Romantic Goth you knew you could always be.
Within the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in anything having to do with the 80’s. Everything from endless posts about mediocre 80’s ‘post-punk’ bands to people asking questions as to how to directly copy the look of ‘trad’ goths litter the internet. Then there are the truly special individuals who constantly talk about how cool the decade was and how they wish they could have lived back then. They should never wish that. You want to know why? Because for the most part the 80’s was a hellish landscape of conservative neo-liberal politics mixed in with a highly conformist society that punished those who were in any way different.
I was a teen in the 80’s and graduated high school in 1989, so I spent pretty much the entirety of my teen years in that decade. I was very politically aware during that time and paid attention to the world events going on around me. For example, I went on a trip with some classmates to Washington DC in late 87 that was called Close Up. Teens from all over the US go every year to learn about politics. You get to meet your representatives and talk about important issues with others. We got enough free time to wander about the area exploring and one day two friends and I were walking near the Capital Building when a motorcade appeared. During that week Soviet officials were there to draw up the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty along with officials from Reagan’s cabinet which included the Secretary Of State George Shultz. I hated, and still hate, Reagan with the burning heat of a thousand suns so I was obviously not a fan of anybody serving under him. The first limos going past us had Soviet flags attached to the front, rolled down windows and Soviet guys waving at us with smiles on their faces. Seriously, it was as cool as it sounds. We smiled and waved back of course. Then the limos infested with the lice off of Reagan’s head rolled by and not one of them rolled down their windows. However, it was easy to see through the tint that one of them contained Shultz. I started yelling to him that he sucked and gave him the finger with both hands. Yes, I told a high ranking US official to basically go fuck himself. My friends were panicking telling me to stop but I wouldn’t. To this day I am still proud that at the age of 16 I had the balls to do something like that.
Now that you have learned a little bit about me I will now tell you a little bit about what it was really like to live in the 80’s.
THE COLD WAR AND THE CONSTANT FEAR OF NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION
I don’t think that younger people right now quite realize just how close we came to all being killed in a nuclear war. This fear was largely due to the constant posturing of Reagan. He would call the USSR the evil empire and threaten them on a very regular basis. Frankly I was way more afraid of Reagan back then than I was of the USSR. To the credit of the USSR back then they didn’t give in to Reagan and start a war. I honestly think the professional war mongerers who stood behind Reagan wanted an all out war with the USSR because they would have made billions from that. Both empires fought a proxy war in Afghanistan when the USSR invaded the country while the US backed and trained the rebels. By the way one of those rebels was Osama Bin Laden.
Nuclear war was such a possibility at the time that two powerful tv films were made about it happening. Threads in the UK and The Day After in the US. Since I was living in the US at the time I saw The Day After when it was first aired in 1983 when I was in the 7th grade. It freaked my friends and I out so much that we went to our vice principal and asked about whether the school had a nuclear fallout shelter. Think about that for a second. Imagine being a young teen and having that kind of fear hanging over your head on a constant basis. It sucked. A few years ago I finally saw Threads and it shows the reality of a nuclear war; people being burned alive and the unsanitized reality of what would happen after a nuclear conflagration. If I had seen it back in the 80’s I would have had full blown nightmares.
IF YOU WERE IN ANY WAY ‘DIFFERENT’ YOU GOT CONSTANTLY SHIT ON AND CONFORMITY WAS A WAY OF LIFE
I always see younger people in online goth communities say that they wished that they could have experienced an ‘alternative’ subculture back in the 80’s. With confidence I can say that the vast majority of them wouldn’t have been emotionally equipped to have handled all of the shit that they would have gotten from others. It wasn’t just the ‘normal’ people that you had to deal with back then, you also had to deal with intense pressure within the alternative community to fit in by liking the same bands and behaving the same way. Woe onto you if you actually acted happy or liked a band that wasn’t considered cool. People think that ‘gatekeeping’ is bad now? They have no idea.
There was a huge amount of pressure back then by society to fit in. Reagan constantly preached about how America was better in the good old days, which were actually not good for anybody who wasn’t wealthy and white. If you didn’t go along with his not so hidden racist agenda you were seen as unpatriotic and a traitor. I am not exaggerating. You had to hate the USSR, be scared of black people, and look just like everybody else. If you didn’t have a perm, didn’t dress in the trendiest clothes and didn’t listen to the latest pop bands you didn’t fit in so you were considered fair game to tease and even physically attack. Luckily I was never physically attacked but I know that lots of people were. Far more violence happened back then than now. However, I had things yelled at me on a constant basis, for doing such things as simply walking down a street. In high school I was even told by a teacher that I wouldn’t have as many problems if I just dressed like everybody else.
IT WAS DIFFICULT AS HELL FINDING OUT ABOUT BANDSAND SHOWS
There was no functioning internet back in the 80’s. There were some bulletin board type communities but computers were expensive as hell so most people did not have them. There were thee ways of finding out about bands back then. You could be one of those lucky people that lived near a radio station that actually played alternative and punk music. These were usually college radio stations, but sometimes pop stations would play less popular music in the the middle of the night. There was a pop station in my area that did this. So much so that by the very late 80’s they became an ‘alternative’ station. However, by that time they played more radio friendly bands than experimental ones. However, I did learn about some bands by listening to them. Another way to learn about bands was by getting mix tapes from your friends. In early 86 I got one from a guy, who then ghosted me. There was no track listing written down so it took me literally years to figure some of them out. However, I had another person introduce me to Joy Division by handing me a tape with Unknown Pleasures on one side and Closer on the other. The last way to find out about music was by cold buying it. You would see somebody cool wearing a mysterious band shirt and you kept a log of those band names in the back of your head. I actually cold bought November Coming Fire by Samhain using this method, and more times than not I had really good luck.
On top of all of this there was a code of silence that the uber goober type people would pull when you would ask them about what bands they liked. Seriously. There was some sort of strange code that some weirdos lived by that made it very uncool to share musical knowledge with anybody. It was as if they were going to be killed by an evil cabal if they dared to utter the sacred names of bands. These were the same types who would try to dictate how you behaved in clubs.
Wanted to see your favourite band play a show? Good luck! Most of the time the only way you would find out about shows was at club nights, but if you were under 18, and sometimes 21, you weren’t allowed in them. I actually went to one that let you in of you were 17 or older and another that was all ages so I was lucky when it came to that. However, that didn’t mean you would find out about all of the shows because venues were usually total shit at advertising shows unless they were some of the better known ones that also hosted metal shows. There were some ‘alternative’ weekly papers where I lived so I would find out about some of them that way, but there were two times that I accidentally saw bands because I thought it was going to be a regular club night. I saw Meat Beat Manifesto and The Call that way which looking back on it was pretty darn cool.
Well, that’s it for today. I realise that I have probably broken some hearts and crushed some dreams but the amount of misinformation about the 80’s really needs to be balanced out with a reality check. I don’t look back at that decade with rose coloured glasses, even though I lived through those years. It could be fun, but it was also really difficult. If I had the ability to go back in time to those years I wouldn’t.
Tramp Stamps are quite possibly one of the worst wannabe pop-punk bands I have ever heard. Considering how many bad pop-punk bands that there have been in the last thirty years that is really saying something. Many are calling them an industry plant, while they say they came up with everything themselves.
The first thing that you need to know about these women is that each of them was involved in the music industry before the band was formed. Up until around mid 2020 singer Marisa Maino was a run in the mill pop singer who looked totally normal. Both her and guitarist Caroline Baker have song writing publishing deals with Dr. Luke’s company Prescription Drugs. The drummer Paige Blue is a commercial music producer. Dr. Luke was the guy accused of abusing the singer Keisha and is not exactly a guy that an actual female feminist punk band would do business with. Being involved in the music business in itself is not a bad thing, because other people in it have made really good music. The issue here is that these women were never involved with the punk subculture before this in any way shape or form.
What is this band all about and why are people so pissed off? Here is their ‘about us’ statement from their website. Yes, this is a real statement:
Whip-smart and wildly irreverent, Nashville-based band TRAMP STAMPS are introducing a fantastically unfiltered new voice into today’s pop landscape. With a lyrical style that’s equal parts social commentary, soul-baring confession, and brilliantly profane storytelling, singer Marisa Maino, guitarist Caroline Baker, and drummer Paige Blue speak the truth on societal ills like white-boy privilege and fragile masculinity—all while revealing their warped sense of humor and untamed joie de vivre. And with its high-energy collision of pop and skate-punk, TRAMP STAMPS’ sound fully reflects the raw catharsis that fuels their songwriting. “All our songs start with us going on rants about stuff that pisses us off, shit we wish were different, stories that have happened to us involving fucked-up guys,” says Maino. Adds Baker: “It’s the kind of stuff women talk about all the time with their friends, but no one’s ever put it to this kind of music before.”
This sounds so contrived. Seriously, it sounds like some old music industry promoter sat down and wrote what they thought was hip commentary about the band so that kids would totally be down with. If the women actually wrote this it really doesn’t make it any better because it would show just how out of touch they are with the punk subculture. Actually, the quote by Baker at the end pretty much sums up this whole debacle. They think that women have never made social commentary type punk music before? Oh hell no! It’s insane how out of touch Baker is and she proves that even if a person has access to the internet that they can still be a completely clueless idiot.
It’s obvious that for these women punk is nothing but a costume. Dye your hair a funny colour and put on some ‘alt’ style clothes and that makes you punk! I can understand that some teens do the same thing, but they are teens. Most teens try different things until they find something that fits them. These women are in their twenties. In fact Paige Blue is twenty-nine. No joke! That makes this whole thing even worse. It looks like Dollskill threw up all over them, and that is something nobody should ever want to achieve. I feel like a mom when I look at them because I have a huge urge to spit on a hanky and rub all of their make-up off.
In my opinion somebody that they have collectively known suggested that they start a band together. This individual told them that they could make a lot of money and get famous if they pretend to by an angry pop punk band. Could they have come up with this on their own? Sure, but everything about this really reeks of record company involvement. One of their songs is called I’d Rather Die and one line goes ‘I’d rather die than hook up with another straight white guy.’. Guess what, one of them apparently wants to die because she is married to a straight white guy.
Their whole shtick is not only highly hypocritical it reeks of fake outrage about subjects that mean a whole lot to people. People are mad about white straight male privilege, so let’s write a song about how we will never fuck any of them! That’ll teach those evil white men! It morphs an important social construct that negatively affects a lot of people into some trite crap that speaks to absolutely nobody. Political punk music has been around for over forty years, and this lame attempt to jump onto that train falls flat.
That’s the huge problem that this ‘band’ has. They came out of absolutely nowhere with professionally made social media accounts, a slick website and a backstory recounting how they met at a bar and decided to make music together. Bands do not normally come out of nowhere like this, especially when they are any shade of punk. It takes time and money to build a career. To come out of the gate as a fully formed punk organism is not normal, especially when it involves a subculture that is all about doing things yourself. Yes, bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash were formed by managers to make a buck, but in the case of the Pistols all of the members were actually involved with the newly emerging punk subculture before being in the band. They weren’t pretending to be punk because they actually were punk.
So, what is to become of this band? The audience that they are trying to reach online largely knows already that they are inauthentic so trying to cater to them is pretty much a lost cause. They could go down the trolling route and make themselves into a joke kind of band, but I don’t think whomever is behind the scenes is going to be into doing that. I could actually see them pivoting over to a more ‘goth’ sound, but they would have the same sort of issues because of switching music genres so quickly. They would have had more success if they had just done a ‘goth’ type band in the first place, since a lot of younger people don’t understand exactly what goth is. They could have sung about wanting to be a vampire and some of that target audience would have definitely bought into it.
I’m all for people making the music that they want to make but this just really rubs me the wrong way. People have literally been murdered for looking punk, goth or alternative. Pretending to be a part of any subculture just for the fame and fortune aspect is gross. Instead of pretending to be punk they should just be themselves. Adult women should know better than this, especially ones who claim to be feminist in nature. Pretending to care about social issues is never a good thing, and it is actually worse than looking like Dollskill fashion victims.
Recently the wannabe version of the Dead Kennedys questioned a woman who was wearing one of their shirts as somebody who probably didn’t listen to their music. The woman did in fact listen to the band and they lost a fan. Jello Biafra even stepped forward and said that what they posted was crap and that he would never assume something like that. This whole thing really pissed me off because for years women who enjoy listening to punk or metal bands have had to deal with this sort of thing. Now even bands are saying this crap?
There has been a trend that started within the last decade of regular chain stores selling punk and metal band shirts. This in turn means that regular people buy them to wear without knowing that they are actual bands. A good example of this is the Misfits fiend skull. It’s seen as just a symbol by some people. Is that a little sad? Sure, but do you have the right to go up to that person and grill them about what their favourite Misfits songs are? No. If they want to look like a fashion victim that is their choice and none of your damn business. If you want to be mad at anybody be mad at the bands for selling out. I’m looking at you Jerry Only!
When I started heavily getting into punk and wearing shirts from bands such as Samhain, Misfits, 7 Seconds,etc… I would occasionally get guys coming up to me and grilling me on albums and songs. Sometimes they would even ask me if I just wanted to fuck the band. No joke! As a woman I had to prove time and time again that I was really into the music. Once I listed off the songs and albums I liked that would usually shut them up and they would slink back to the sewer from which they came.
The funny thing about all of this is that I have known more about punk bands than anybody I have ever dated. Seriously. That older woman who is wearing a Samhain shirt while walking down the street may know more about the band than you do and she might be such a fan that she has been listening to them for over thirty years; longer that you have been alive.
I feel that the guys who perpetuate this are insecure when it comes to their knowledge about the bands that they like. They are scared that somebody might actually know more about their favorite bands than they do, and it would especially be harrowing for them if that same middle aged woman wearing that Samhain shirt knew facts that they didn’t know. Middle aged women aren’t supposed to be listening to punk! Instead we are supposed to be wearing mom jeans and ferrying a bunch of kids around in a minivan all day.
The best thing to do when you see a chick wearing a punk or metal band shirt is just to smile when you see them and keep walking. If they initiate a conversation because they sense that you could also like the same band then that is awesome! You’re not being an asshole in that type of situation and you could possibly make a friend. Isn’t that better than making baseless assumptions about somebody just because they are a woman wearing a punk or metal band shirt? If you think otherwise then you are indeed being an asshole.
Before I begin I would like to state for the record that the names of the people involved in the Portland Oregon and Washington DC ‘scenes’ mentioned in this post have been changed. I changed some because I honestly can’t remember them, and I changed others in the hope that they have at least evolved a little bit over the last twenty years. I have also changed the names of clubs. If you ask me who these people really are I will not answer. If people haven’t changed they will say I am lying and will pretty much be outing themselves, which will kind of prove my point. I will post their real names, if I can remember, and such responses in this blog for the whole world to see if they occur.
I thought long and hard about writing this. There are so many women out there spinning right now, and that makes me very happy. However, it makes me sad that some of these women are experiencing some of the same sexist crap that I encountered twenty years ago. After hearing really fucked up stories I feel like I should tell my own.
I moved to Portland in 2002 after a really bad relationship went south. Before that I had been in a really disastrous marriage so emotionally I felt like I had to get out of the area I was living in. My mother had moved to Oregon about ten years before so I thought that Portland would be a good choice for me. Back in the 80’s and 90’s Portland had a reputation of being infested with WAR (white aryan resistance) skinheads. When I went there in 1991 I had a run-in with one, but by 2000 they were long gone.
Before I moved to Portland I had never been a DJ, so I brought none of that baggage with me. Nobody knew who the hell I was so nobody had any preconceived notions about me. During that time I dressed up a lot when I went out, which was about the complete opposite of how I had dressed ten years before. It was partially due to being newly single and stretching my wings. There was definitely some jealousy that reared its ugly head pretty soon after I moved there. Most of it came from a chick that I’ll call Esmerelda. Esmerelda got most of her wardrobe from Hot Topic and her main goal in life was apparently becoming the ‘scene queen’. I didn’t think bad of her because of the Hot Topic fixation, rather her obsession with scene status alarmed the hell out of me. Oh, and she had the hots for a male goth DJ named Tarzan. Tarzan knew this and perpetually lead her on to make her seem like she had a chance when in reality she didn’t. At one point I hooked up with Tarzan. One of his friends actually asked me if I had indeed hooked up with him. Since I had no shame I said yes. A few days later at a club Tarzan comes up to me and tells me that I shouldn’t have talked about hooking up with him because he likes to keep his personal life private. I, in turn, told him that he ought to get new friends then because they are the ones who asked me. I’m 100% positive that he didn’t want Esmeralda to know about any of this because he enjoyed leading her on. Basically I was slut shamed, so as you can imagine I told him to fuck off. I never spoke to him after that.
There was one other person from the San Francisco Bay Area in the the scene and her name was Davina. I didn’t know her before this because I hadn’t been a fixture in the SF Bay Area scene, however we knew of some of the same people and we both hated the uber gooberness of some of the clubs there. She was a DJ, and offered to teach me since I showed an interest in it. It really wasn’t that difficult and I begun to spin at the same club every once in a while. I actually had fun doing it, and I tended to spin music that the other DJs either didn’t have or didn’t know even existed. Remember this was the era in which really shit EBM and synthpop music was taking over the clubs. I was one of the only people in that town at the time who was spinning deathrock and goth rock. I even spun some of the deathrock revival music that had started to come out during that time.
One night I spun and barely anybody danced. I was a bit drunk and said kind of loudly in the club to some friends that a lot of people there had a shit taste in music. Not everybody could hear me and I didn’t direct that statement towards a specific person, I just meant in general. Should I have said it? Maybe not, but I was speaking the truth. What most of the people wanted to hear was repetitive boring crap. Well, apparently two scene queens from Seattle who were visiting heard me and complained to the self appointed goth scene king Urkel. Urkel was a DJ who only spun the EBM and synthpop repetitive crap. Being the passive aggressive coward that he was I didn’t hear about any of this until the next day when he sent me an email demanding that I apologize to the two women. I had no idea who these people were and since I did not direct my ire at them at all I didn’t feel like I owed them anything. Fuck that. Urkel didn’t like that one bit. Not only did he say that deathrock sucked he also threatened me with goth club banishment. Seriously, he told me that I would never DJ in Portland ever again. I think there was definitely some sexist bullshit going on because he was used to people bending their knee to him, but when a woman wouldn’t do it they deserved threats of banishment. By the way it was Urkel who screwed up when Convergence was held in Portland in 2007. He failed to book some venues and some of the bands were decidedly not goth in nature. A couple of years after I left he started to DJ deathrock music, because of course he did.
Around the same time as all of this I met somebody online who lived in Washington DC. I flew there to visit, everything went fine, but when I moved there he suddenly had the urge to tell me that he didn’t like me in ‘that way’. I was pretty heartbroken, but I stayed in DC because I had a lease and didn’t want to shell out thousands of dollars to move out early. At this time I found out about a goth club called Gothik and I went one night to investigate. The music was just about the same crap that was being played in Portland which was pretty intolerable, but I did meet a few cool people so it wasn’t all bad. I talked to the promoter of the club, Edwin, who was a guy in his 50’s about wanting to guest DJ there and he said I could. Well, I spun my usual kind of music and some people would dance so I did okay. I would get people coming up to me saying that I spun really good music but that the local scene was filled people who had a bad taste in music. Their words not mine! You know things are bad when various people tell you exactly the same thing about a local scene.
During this time I was also a guest DJ at another club night that was run by a guy named Dizzy. Dizzy had a girlfriend but I and others were made to believe that it wasn’t serious, so I messed around with him a bit. Then he ghosted me. Seriously, the guy was a piece of shit and I wasn’t the only one he did this to. Since he was one of the only goth scene promoters there was almost no way of getting DJ gigs, except for the club Gothik. Around this time a resident DJ spot opened there. I interviewed with Edwin and the one resident 22 year old DJ named Sophia. Sophia only ever spun synthpop and EBM so I told them that I would be a good fit since I spun music that just about nobody spun and that fact would attract more people to the club. Some people didn’t like the club expressly because the club’s music was boring, so I made a good point. Did I get the gig? Nope, and you know why? Because I didn’t own enough synthpop music. Wahahahaha!!!!!!
What made that whole situation even more funny was the fact that Sophia never bought any of the music that she spun. She illegally downloaded 100% of the music that she played. Her excuse being that she was a poor student and couldn’t afford to buy music. She actually told me once that if I wanted to hear goth rock and deathrock music that I should make some CDs for her because she didn’t know about that kind of music. I’m not even kidding about that. Oh hell to the fucking no. It’s her job to know about the damn music and I was not going to give her a rope to climb out of her cesspool of really crap synthpop. There were quite a few special people in that scene, so here is a short list of them.
-A male DJ named Dinky who promoted himself as a professional DJ, but all he would do was load a pre-mixed CD into the player and just stand back for an hour. Like Sophia he illegally downloaded all of his music. Proven by the fact that he claimed that Cry Little Sister, from the Lost Boys soundtrack, was by the Sisters Of Mercy. He also thought that all goths got into the music through Marilyn Manson.
-A male DJ named Binky who could never get gigs and said that I only got one because I was a woman. He was so bitter that he told me this on several different occasions.
-Edwin, the promoter, was very creepy and it was well known that he would hit on the young women who went to the club. I didn’t fall for his crap because I was over thirty.
-The group of DJs who opened a goth club night the same night as Gothik, which was just down the block. An example of how promoters worked against one another instead of together.
I decided to leave when my lease was up because the scene was so damn toxic that there was no way I would ever be happy there. After all of that I was never a DJ again, because all of that drama was just way too much for me to handle on a regular basis. Both cities had very toxic goth scenes and I truly feel sorry for the young people who wanted into the subculture during that time. Please don’t think that everybody was a narcissistic jerk in both cities because they weren’t. However, a lot of the people were too afraid to ever speak up because they didn’t want to lose their scene cred. In my opinion those particular people were just as guilty.
I really hope that things have changed in both of those cities. Do I still hate all of those people and wish them a horrible death? No. The reason being is that some people do change over time and end up the exact opposite of who they used to be. I’m all for people redeeming themselves, because I have changed a lot. I am now in a happy marriage and living in the U.K.. Plus, I have opened my mind a bit when it comes to electronic music in general. Do I still think that some EBM and synthpop bands suck? I will never willingly listen to VNV Nation, and if you ever see a positive review of them on this site you know that something bad has happened to me.
EDIT: Just noticed that I actually wrote about this film earlier so I guess this would be a part 2? That must mean I really like it.LOL
Before I get started talking about this film I want to let my new readers know that I don’t do strict film reviews. I like to talk about the social ramifications of films, what they can teach us and how they fit into our current dystopian hellscape. There will be SPOILERS.
I am a John Carpenter fangirl who loves his films and his music. With that being said this is my all time favourite film of his, because I feel like it actually ‘gets’ me. It takes a very sharp look at capitalistic consumer culture and what it does to a society who lets it take control of their lives.
This is not a very complex film, in either message or tone. A group of people living in poverty learns that the world around them is being controlled by Aliens who, through the use of subliminal messaging, bombard them with words such as obey, sleep and reproduce. When you think about it it’s an ingenious way for an alien species to invade Earth. Instead of having a military battle, in which many lives would be lost, they slowly tighten their grip upon society until people are so brainwashed they they really don’t care what is going on. If they can buy their new car, pop out a baby, and stuff themselves with food then everything is fine.
I was a teenager in the 80’s when this film came out and to say that the 80’s was a decade of conspicuous consumption is an understatement. If you were poor in any part of that decade you were made to feel like you were totally crap for not having the nice shiny things that everybody else had. Yes, this has happened throughout history, however it really peaked during that decade. I remember once wanting a pegged legged type of jeans and the only pair I could find were by Guess. As soon as I got home I ripped the label on the back pocket off. When I wore them to school people were asking me why I ripped the label off. No joke, people were befuddled as to why I didn’t want to wear clothes with blatant labels. I didn’t want to be in the part of society that worshipped brand names like they were gods.
The downtrodden rebel group in the film start making sunglasses that allow people to see what is really going on around them. When worn you not only can see the subluminal messages, you can also see what the aliens really look like. The aliens have disguises that allow them to look human and they are everywhere; bank tellers, politicians, policemen,etc… They have infiltrated into every facet of life in a capitalistic consumerist based society, and their presence assures that things will stay exactly the same. People in the society are so conditioned not to question authority that when offered the sunglasses they will fight to the death rather than accept the chance to see what is really going on.
The themes in this film still hold true today. A whole segment of society will believe whatever they are told without question, and if somebody has a worse life than them it’s their own fault for not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Since these people don’t have the money to buy nice shiny things then they should be forgotten. In this film people actually sell out and turn on their fellow humans because the aliens promise to make them wealthy for doing so. Gaining wealth is so important in that society, and in this one, that people will do anything to achieve it.
The 80’s was a very wealth obsessed decade, but with the advent of the internet new ways to perpetuate this line of thinking have come to fruition. ‘Influencers’ on social media perpetuate all of this. They basically want to be famous for not having any sort of talent, other than getting others to buy the products that they are promoting. They are capitalist consumer conmen. They promote products to their wide eyed audience as if they too can be an influencer someday if they also buy the product. Aspiring to be an influencer is seen as an actual career path by some of these people. Why go to school when you can get cash and free shiny things while having no discernable talent? Remember folks, acquiring shiny things makes you a vital part of society and better than those who don’t have them. The aliens in this film would be very happy about this state of affairs.
John Carpenter has stated that he made They Live as a statement against Reaganomics. He saw the American middle class being harmed by economic policies that only helped the wealthy and felt that he had to say something against that. What he ended up making is now considered to be a cult classic, a film that is as relevant today as it was over thirty years ago.
I would like to start this out by saying that I do not think that Disney World should be open right now. However, from what I have seen online, they are very strictly enforcing their mask mandate and are throwing people out of the park for taking them off. I’ve seen footage of this happening. They have been crowding the Florida parks too much though and that does piss me off. Disneyland Paris has been closed for months and won’t reopen till April or later, and I applaud this. It’s because the leadership in France isn’t as stupid as the governor of Florida. Has the French government done dumb shit? Of course, but in this case they are doing the correct thing and I applaud them for that.
Late next year I am planning a trip to Disneyland Paris for my husband and I. I am turning 50 next month, but since the park is closed I cannot go there for my birthday. This has me sad and pissed off at the same time. Sad because my 50th birthday is going to suck, and pissed off because a bunch of idiots can’t handle wearing a mask or socially distancing themselves from others. Now we are more than likely going to go in October of next year, since most people will be vaccinated by then and Halloween is our favourite holiday. I know that some of you think that Disney sucks, and I do take issue with some of the things they have done over the years. However, I haven’t been to a Disney park since the early 80’s and this has been kind of a dream of mine. Plus, I have MS and I want to go soon because I might not be able to walk in a few years.
With all of that being said I have been watching various Disney themed YouTube channels because I want to be full of excitement and knowledge by the time we visit the park. I have come to discover that there are many content creators on there that actively hate Disney so much that they make video after video of anti-Disney material. Most, but not all, of the time this is tied to the Star Wars franchise. I have absolutely nothing against people criticizing Disney, but many of their loudest critics also spout alt-right talking points. The fact that Disney is trying to become more inclusive really pisses them off.
Why would people be pissed off about a company actively trying to be more inclusive you may be asking. Could it be because they are stuck back in the 1950’s and don’t want the world to change? Are they bitter because Disney took away their press credentials so that they aren’t privy to new Disney news any longer? Do they hold Star Wars to a certain ideal and are permanently pissed off that Disney hasn’t achieved their level of perfection? Do they think that social justice warriors are evil and have ruined both Disney and Star Wars? The channels in question usually fall into one of these categories, but in truly special cases they fall into several of them.
A common thing that the anti-Mickey Mouse Club shouts over and over again is that Disney is failing and that they can’t wait for it to happen. Disney is cutting the racist crow scene out of Dumbo? ‘They are losing all of their supporters over this and are going down!’. Disney actively casts more women in their Star Wars films? ‘Disney is filled with swjs bringing the company down!’. Disney hired Krystina Arielle for The High Republic Show, a web series all about Star Wars: The New Republic? ‘Disney is going down because they hired a black woman who is racist against white people!’.
Yes, you read the last entry correctly. I listened to one YouTube channel in particular that went on and on about how Krystina was racist against white people because of some of the things she posted during the height of the BLM protests. Want to know what she posted? Here you go:
And I was in such a good mood. White People: You do not get to absolve people of racism. You do not get to point out their “Growth” when they say black lives matter after treating us as if we don’t. You don’t get to accept apologies on our behalf. That shouldn’t need to be said
I am assuming that all of you reading this are aware of what the term ‘racist’ means. If you don’t here you go:
the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another
How the hell is she being racist towards white people? The reason why these idiots are accusing her of racism is because they are projecting their own insecurities onto her. In other words the people in question are themselves racist. They are pissed off that a black woman got hired to host the show. They think that Disney has been taken over by sjws, and that their attempt at inclusion is to the detriment of white fans of both Star Wars and Disney. Also, they deem anybody who disagrees with them to be a paid Disney shills. Seriously. I wonder when my check is going to arrive?
Notice how I am not naming the guilty offenders of all of this? If you take a leisurely stroll over to YouTube it doesn’t take a very long time to find these channels. I refuse to name them because that is exactly what they want. They are like spoiled brats who think that all attention is good, even when it is negative in nature.
Please don’t think that all people who are into Disney and Star Wars are like this, because they are not. There are many fans out there who may dislike some aspects of Disney and Star Wars but they are not being racist and sexist bitches about it. I think constructive criticism is an awesome thing, and when done brilliantly companies do seriously listen. What Disney is not going to do is listen to are anti-sjw tirades that bring nothing to the table besides hate, jealousy and anger. If I can see through that crap then you can bet that Disney can as well.
Despite all of this I still love Star Wars and want to go to Disneyland Paris. I’m not going to let a bunch of racist narcissists spoil my fun!
EDIT: As I finish this article a negative YouTube channel that I have mentioned is now bitching about Disney wanting to deplatform them and other channels like them. I don’t know…maybe this could be the case because these channels have been constantly using alt-right talking points and have been openly racist and hateful towards people involved with Disney and Star Wars? Hmmmmm……………..
We are all aware of the Trump supporting domestic terrorists who stormed the Capital Building and trashed the offices of various politicians, with the visible help of the police. This event was a staged coup brought about by Trump, make no mistake about it. He riled them up, and like the stupid lemmings that they are, they obeyed him. When asked to send in the National Guard Trump refused to do so. Of course he did, because he wanted his gang of terrorists to hurt and possibly kill his perceived ‘enemies’. This whole event was meant to scare the politicians, and the American people, into submission so that he could hold onto his power, rather than get arrested the moment he leaves the White House.
I’m not scared. If anything this whole twisted event has galvanised me into making my opinion more widely known. Even before he was elected I would go onto his Facebook page and call him a racist lying fascist pig. There are those who say that he, and his staff, don’t read the responses to his posts. Well, about two years ago his staff blocked me from commenting not only on his posts but also from Pence, all of the White House staff and also his relatives pages. I had only ever commented on Trump’s posts so I must have really, really pissed somebody off big time. They also did the same thing to the press and others, so the ACLU threatened a lawsuit. Like magic I got my commented privileges restored. I wear all of this as a badge of honour and I’m proud as hell that I pissed off the fascist pigs.
Despite all of this the congress and the senate still confirmed Biden. That is except for the Republicans, over one hundred in number, who still contested the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. These seditious morons took the side of the terrorists and gave them what they wanted. Every single one of these politicians who voted against a democratically elected candidate ought to be named and shamed and ejected from office. Sedition is not a difference of opinion, it is an act of treason that goes against the will of the people. I would like to point out the fact that these white domestic terrorists were only able do this because they had a massive amount of privilege. If they had been black, or any other colour that is not white, they would have been shot dead and there would have been a pile of bodies on the front steps. The difference between how the domestic terrorists were treated by the police and how the BLM protestors were treated by the police is stark as hell.
Do not let a group of terrorists scare you into submission. Fascists, such as Trump, only gain power when nobody speaks up against them. Speak your mind loudly and often. Fuck Trump, his Republican bootlickers and his domestic terrorist thugs.
It really seems to be ‘in’ right now to act like a raging toddler who screams ‘You’re not the boss of me!’. Rather than actually listening to health professionals who have spent years working with infectious diseases people will now follow the lead of some random anonymous person that they follow on social media.
How did we get to this point in history? The simple fact is that a certain percentage of the population are dumb cunts. People who think that their ‘freedom’ is more important than the lives of others. Screw helping vulnerable people avoid getting the corona virus and dying, they’re going to go to a bunch of stores without wearing a mask to show the world how much of a dumb cunt they are. They are like the kids in your grade school who would brag about picking their nose and then show off their huge boogers to the whole class. LOOK AT ME!!!!
This phenomenon isn’t just happening in the US and UK, it’s pretty much happening everywhere. The most common large maskless gatherings seem to be either church services or parties. So these cunts think either their chosen God will save them, or that they can’t catch it while being young and dancing drunk. This proves that being a dumb cunt doesn’t happen within just one age group or social economic class. You’ve even got dumb wealthy wanker cunts jetting off to go on vacations and then escaping from such places when told to socially isolate. Remember folks, it’s perfectly okay to be ignorant cunt when you have money.
Are you a dumb cunt who is reading this and getting pissed off because I’m calling you out? Good. If you get the disease because of not wearing a mask and not socially isolating I will not feel sorry for you at all. Seriously, why should I feel sorry for a person who chose to act like a dumb cunt? It is perfectly okay not to feel sorry for people who choose to act like spoiled toddlers.
Personally, I think databases in countries should be started on the people who refuse to wear masks and socially isolate. If these people attempt to go to hospitals after getting sick they should automatically be relegated to the parking lots and get treatment after everybody else. Spain is actually starting a database on people who refuse to take the vaccine, so I feel that this is a step in the right direction.
Don’t want to be considered a dumb cunt? Stop acting like a self righteous spoiled brat and wear a damn mask and socially isolate when you are told to do so. The end.
I’m writing this having lived in three different areas of the US in the past, and witnessing really awful people be given free range to do deplorable shit in the ‘scenes’ of all three of them. I noticed the other week that one of these people is still a promoter and a DJ in one of those cities and I am disgusted but not surprised.
As some of you know I come from the more punk side of things in terms of music and attitude. Meaning that if somebody is an asshole I will loudly point them out and confront them. I don’t care if they are in a band, a DJ, or a promoter because I won’t back down and I don’t actually give a crap about losing goth subculture clout. This has gotten me in ‘trouble’ through the years, but I’m still here listening to the music and supporting those who make the music who aren’t assholes.
An issue that the goth subculture has always had is that of people being very passive aggressive. Instead of voicing their opinions people will whisper behind their hands trying to start behind the scenes drama. When somebody does something really awful, such as being sexually aggressive towards others, people won’t confront them. Instead they’ll say things such as ‘That is just who they are.’. Seriously, I’ve heard that exact phrase used about a scene predator before. Those who say such things are enablers and in my opinion are as guilty as the predator.
If the asshole in question is a DJ, musician or promoter the more likely people in the scene are going to kiss their ass and ignore the crap that they have perpetuated. The case of Andy Deane, from the band Bella Morte, is a really good example of all of this. People ignored the stories about him for years until there were so many women coming forward that the evidence couldn’t be ignored any longer. People who still support this asshole are evidently perfectly okay with women being treated like garbage.
What needs to start happening in the goth subculture is that when people do heinous crap to others they should be automatically kicked out and not welcomed back. This happens very frequently in the punk subculture because people aren’t as afraid to speak their minds. Why are some of the people in the goth subculture so afraid to speak their minds? Because they don’t want to rock the boat and lose their precious ‘scene’ status. ‘Scene’ status is deemed more important in the eyes of some than confronting an abusive person. They worked years to achieve their title of ‘scene queen/king’, to have people grovelling at their feet for admittance to the goth subculture. If they speak up others might not look up to them any longer, and that is a fate worse than death for them.
The goth subculture can sometimes be its worst enemy, but it really doesn’t have to be. If you think maintaining ‘scene’ credibility is more important than calling people out who exhibit really abhorrent behaviour than you are nothing but a scene social climber. I’ll put it this way. If you find out that a person who regularly attends your local goth events raped somebody would you keep silent, or would you be proactive and work on getting that person banned from attending any local goth event? If you think that it’s none of your business then you are part of the problem and not the solution.