welcome to the abyss

Category: Goth Subculture (Page 1 of 4)

List Of Items That I Use In DIY Projects

Photo of one of my boot boxes filled with DIY materials that I use for projects.

I originally shared this over in several goth communities on Reddit but I thought that my darklings who read this blog was also appreciate it.

I do a lot of DIY projects. I get my ideas from films, dark clothing websites, Etsy and even Vogue magazine. Don’t ever dismiss something outright as inspiration because there are techniques that you can glean just from the construction of ‘regular’ clothing. I actually taught myself how to dart clothing and I was able to make two different corsets fit my chest better by doing that technique.

Personally, I have never felt comfortable using a sewing machine so I hand sew everything. That may sound daunting but once you practice enough it can be done fairly quickly. All clothing was hand sewn before the invention of the sewing machine, so if somebody stitched a hem by candlelight you can also do it! Honest! All it takes is some practice.

With all of that being said I have two boot boxes filled with the supplies that I use in DIY projects. I have purchased most of them from Etsy. That website is a treasure trove of DIY supplies. I will not name the companies I have bought from because it costs a fortune to ship items across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans right now. Always buy from stores on Etsy that are on, or near, the same continent that you live on. Almost all of my items come from the UK or the EU.

I hope this inspires you to start some DIY projects because it is a lot of fun and you end up with an item that is uniquely yours.

STUDS/SPIKES There are a ton of stores on Etsy that sell these and most of the time they are very affordable. They even come in colors which you don’t actually see on most ready made studded and spiked items. I own a wide variety of them: green pyramids, black pyramids, silver pyramids, skulls, silver studs, black studs,etc… Some Etsy stores also sell beginner kits that include instructions and tools. I also own an awl to punch through leather and a flat headed tool for pushing the ends of them down upon the object.

FISHNET I bought multi-packs of fishnet tights in different colors and with holes of different sizes. These can be used to make fishnet shirts. Just cut out the crotch, put it over you head, put the legs on your arms and make holes for your fingers. A much cheaper option than paying £30 for a ready-made fishnet shirt. I also will be using them in other projects, such as layering a jacket collar with it, and safety-pinning it to the sleeves of a jacket.

Some of the many different pairs of fishnet tights that I have for my DIY projects.

NEEDLES AND THREAD You can get small kits that include different colors of thread, multiple sizes of needles, thread rippers, small scissors, measuring tape, etc… I personally always double my thread when I hand-sew anything because it will guarantee that the object will stay together rather than rip easily.

A GOOD PAIR OF SCISSORS Those small scissors that come in a kit are okay for cutting thread but you are going to need a good pair of scissors if you want to cut material. You can get decent ones for fairly cheap.

PATCHES Whenever I see a patch I like I buy it and add it to my collection because I know that I will use it in a project in the future. Many dark clothing sites, and other online alternative stores, will quite frequently have them on sale. However, I have bought most of mine from, you guessed it, Etsy. I have my own post-apocalyptic/dystopian goth kind of style going on and Etsy is a treasure trove filled with patches from films such as Terminator, Blade Runner and They Live. You can find band, horror and anything else you like on there. If you are more brave you can even make your own with fabric paint.

ACRYLIC PAINT, BRUSHES, AND STENCILS An acrylic type paint is what you should use on leather and pleather materials. I bought a kit by Angelus specifically for leather and pleather. You can also use just regular acrylic paint, whatever brand you like the best. I also have some stencils of things such as mushroom clouds and pandemic symbols. You can find a lot of them on Etsy, or you can make your own stencils out of cardstock.

BLEACH PENS AND FABRIC PAINT Bleach pens are seriously awesome because you can either stencil or freehand designs onto any fabric object. They were a game changer for me! Fabric paints are very cool as well. Using them is an easy way to instantly change the look of an object.

FABRIC SCRAPS I never throw away any fabric that I cut off of clothing. The reason being is that you never know what you can use it for in the future.

HALLOWEEN RIBBON I live in the UK where Halloween isn’t as popular as it is in the US. I spent my first 40 years in the US and Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. Whenever I see Halloween themed ribbon on sale online I buy it and add it to my stash, because I know that I will use it in my hair or on an item.

SAFETY PINS You can buy boxes of different sizes or packs of the sizes that you really like. I use them to attach items or as decoration on items.

SPOOKY KEYCHAINS I attach these to zipper pulls, belts, purses,etc… You can buy these in bulk for fairly cheap.

That’s all for now. You do not need a lot of money to do DIY projects. Just buy a little here and a little there and soon you will have a whole collection of things you can creatively use.

No, Post-Punk Is Not A Subgenre Of Goth Music

Boy(1980), October(1981), War(1983), and The Unforgettable Fire(1984) were all solid post-punk albums made by U2. Does that mean U2’s music is goth? Of course not.

Before I begin it would like it to be known that both the terms post-punk and goth were not used during the 80’s in the SF Bay Area. If they were I never heard them. I used to buy an 80’s music magazine called Star Hits back then that would feature a whole lot of alternative(post-punk) bands and they never used the terms ‘post-punk’ or ‘goth’ so take that for what you will.

You read that right, post-punk is not a subgenre of goth music. I can’t believe that I even have to write this post, but over the last few weeks I’ve seen younger people insist that all post-punk music is goth and that it has a place under the goth umbrella. NO.

The term post-punk is pretty new and wasn’t even used back in the 80’s. I was a teen then and never heard the term. In fact I don’t ever remember hearing it until the internet came about. The 80’s bands currently being given this name were called ‘alternative’ or ‘modern rock’ in the 80’s. Alternative in the 80’s meant that you were a band whose influence came from punk, glam, electronic or any other earlier genre of music. That is why so many bands sounded different from one another; bands would often have multiple genre influences and create their own sound. They did not sound like all of the pop and rock bands being played on mainstream radio stations during that time, and that is why they were all lumped together. The term ‘goth’ wasn’t widely used until the early 90’s. I personally didn’t hear it until 90-91. So all of the 80’s bands that are now considered goth were originally considered alternative(post-punk). Goth music came directly out of post-punk(alternative) music and morphed into its own separate genre. However, not all bands under the goth banner sounded exactly the same. So, goth is a subgenre of post-punk(alternative) that now has its own subgenres of music. The larger alternative(post-punk) bands, that are now considered goth, such as The Cure and Siouxsie And The Banshees, rode the line that divided alternative(post-punk) and mainstream type music. I saw The Cure in a big arena in 1987, so they have never been a lesser known band. Other alternative(post-punk) bands, such as U2 and INXS, morphed into totally mainstream bands by the late 80’s.

In the early 90’s record execs started to call bands such as Nirvana alternative in order to sell more records since the term exuded a rebellious mystique among mainstream music listeners. You too can be ‘different’ if you listen to these bands! There really isn’t anything ‘different’ about people though if they follow a trend that the mainstream record industry created out of nothing. Grunge wasn’t an actual subculture, it was pre-packaged rebellion. With all of that being said ‘grunge’ and goth never had anything to do with one another. So all of the people running around right now, and the clothing brands, calling themselves ‘grunge goth’ have no idea what they are on about. One is an actual subculture while the other is pre-packaged rebellion. By the time the internet became a ‘thing’ the term ‘alternative’ had lost its original meaning, so people started to call 80’s alternative bands ‘post-punk’ to fill the void that the loss of the tag ‘alternative’ created. Personally I find the term ‘post-punk’ to be kind of strange since punk music never went away, but that is a rant for another day!

So, what have we learned so far?

·  The 80’s bands now termed post-punk used to be called alternative.

·  These alternative(post-punk) bands did not all sound the same.

·  The term goth wasn’t widely used everywhere until the very early 90’s.

·  Not all 80’s alternative(post-punk) bands fit into the goth genre of music.

·  Goth music evolved into its own subgenre, but is still considered alternative(post-punk).

Right now there are many newer bands labelling themselves post-punk who outright try to sound like Joy Division or The Cure. This comes from the belief that all 80’s alternative (post-punk) bands had a similar sound. As you have read above that assumption is false. Since a lot of younger people seem to think that Joy Division is goth they automatically give these similar sounding newer bands the goth tag. Make sure you are sitting down before you read the next sentence. Even when the term ‘goth’ started to be widely used in the early 90’s Joy Division was not considered a goth band. Yes, they made some really dark music; however, just because a band makes dark sounding music doesn’t mean they are automatically a goth band. Danzig, Metallica, Slayer, and a countless number of other metal and thrash bands make dark sounding music. Are these bands goth? Of course not. Joy Division inspired a whole lot of 80’s post-punk(alternative) bands, some of which would later be labelled goth. David Bowie also inspired a bunch of these bands. Is David Bowie’s music considered goth? That would be a no.

All goth music, be it from the 80’s or now, can be considered post-punk (alternative). However, not all post-punk(alternative) music, be it from the 80’s or now, can be considered goth. Since the term ‘post-punk’ has become a very trend oriented tag to use the line between the truth and false assumptions about its meaning have been blurred. When this modern post-punk trend slows down, which is inevitable, the most positive thing to come out of it will be that it inspired some bands to create some original sounding music. Sure, you have to dig a little but that is part of the fun of discovering new bands.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Join A Modern Wannabe 80’s Post-Punk Band

The man, the myth, the legend.

First, let me start out by saying that I am not going to name a single wannabe 80’s modern post-punk band in this post. So, if you are looking for some spicy drama you ain’t going to find it here. If you are a person who has been trying to find new music in the modern post-punk genre you will know exactly what I am talking about. Same thing applies if you are trying to find good goth bands since the line between the genres is very blurred right now. Suffice it to say that this issue is very out in the open for anybody to easily observe.

In music there are always trend trains that some musicians want to jump on because they think it will bring them more attention. For the last few years the 1980’s have been very popular with teens and those who actually don’t remember the decade. It’s a nostalgia trip down memory lane based partially on the music that they think was popular at that time. Joy Division being featured on Stranger Things is a prime example of this. However, what these people don’t realise is that Joy Division actually wasn’t that well known back then. Chicks with huge perms and wearing neon workout gear were not Jazzercising to Joy Division. Trust me. I had a gym class back then that made us Jazzercise to Wham. Yeah, that’s right, most people back then listened to really corny pop music.

What these trend jumpers don’t understand is that not every single ‘post-punk’ band in the 80’s sounded the same. They weren’t all copying Joy Division and many had their own sound going on. Back then you could listen to the radio or a mix-tape and know what bands were being played just by their sound. Instead of trying to sound different from one another many of these modern self described ‘post-punk’ bands think that they have to lift Peter Hook’s bass riffs in order to be included in the genre. I am not saying that every single one of the modern post-punk bands does this, but enough do it to the point that it has become tedious having to wade through an endless number of clones to find bands that have the creativity to actually mix the now stereotypical sound with the music of other subgenres.

All of this has gotten the point in which people ask in online goth communities about how to start a post-punk band and how to copy the sound. I always tell people to create their own sound because there are way too many clone bands around right now. I think it takes a lot of creativity to start a band, however that creativity is thrown out of the window when the musicians in a band play the same bass and guitar riffs as Joy Division.

BE YOURSELF, NOT SOMEBODY THAT YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO BE IN ORDER TO ‘FIT IN’ !!!!! Screw fitting in. Screw music trends. Do you know what is going to happen? If the music industry tries to mainstream the goth subculture yet again I guarantee that they are going to sign these wannabe 80’s post-punk bands. Why? Because they are safe sounding and don’t challenge the listener in any way, shape or form. I was around in the SF Bay Area when pop-punk reared its ugly head, and tons of non threatening bands got signed to major labels. What is happening right now is very similar. Meaning that a more mainstream commercial type sound is being popularized and being promoted as being ‘different’ right now, when in fact it’s about as challenging as eating a bowl of cornflakes.

My Latest DIY Project : A Post-Apocalyptic Themed Denim Jacket

I’m ready for the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

As you can tell from the title of this blog I love anything post-apcalyptic or dystopian themed. I already have my post-apocalyptic pleather jacket but I felt like I needed something for warmer weather. Hence this jacket was born!!

I first featured this jacket back in November. Due to being constantly tired from MS I didn’t touch it for a while. Thanks to a new med I am taking I have way more energy so that I can finally finish this project. Hooray!

Before I get any deeper into this I would like it to be known that I bought this jacket in the clearance section of Killstar’s website. It cost about £30 and it has grommet work and lacing on the sleeves. I’ve never done grommet work so I thought it would be better for me to purchase this rather than attempt it myself. I definitely could have done the ripping and webbing. However, I have done so much to this jacket that it doesn’t look like it’s from Killstar. I find absolutely nothing wrong with buying clearance items from ‘darkly inclined’ clothing sites and doing DIY projects with them. Not everybody lives near thrift stores or can physically get to them. The people who go on and on about how you have to get everything from thrift stores are full of shit.

Front of the jacket.

Here is the list of things I have done to this jacket.

  • First thing I did was browse Etsy for post-apocalyptic themed patches. No matter what kind of jacket you want to do you will find associated patches on that site. Personally, I always sew patches on rather than iron them. Mainly because an iron on patch can curl up more easily than one that is sewn. Using a double thread instead of a single one is also advised. Some people use dental floss, but I have never felt the need to do it that way.
  • I also purchased all of my pins from Etsy. I have more nice enamel pins but they tend to come off more easily than regular pins in my experience. I have way more pins than this but I don’t want the jacket to look too busy. I think jackets look better when they aren’t cluttered.

Close up of front of jacket.
  • I used tools to put on the skull studs that adorn the bottom hem of the jacket. Again, I bought the studs and tools on Etsy. Way back when I would use the point of a knife to stud a jacket, but I wouldn’t recommend that! An awl makes it so much more easy. I also have some pyramid and cone studs that I may use on the jacket. In particular some pyramid ones that are the colour of green toxic sludge.
  • I put large safety pins on either side of the bottom of the jacket and hung some spooky keyrings from them. They are visible in the top photo. I got the keychains off of Etsy, of course. I might put one on the front but haven’t decided yet.

I’ve had a lot of fun working on this jacket and I hope it inspires you. Remember, always work on projects that you like, not what somebody dictates to you. Think for yourself.

Is The Goth Subculture Actually Political?

Sex Gang Children’s newest album is very political, which is a good thing.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about how goth music is political, which in turn would mean that the subculture is political as well. When it comes down to it is the subculture actually politically minded?

Everybody reading this knows that the goth subculture was birthed out of the punk subculture. The punk subculture has always been political to varying degrees. There are famous punk musicians such as Jello Biafra and Dick Lucas who have always talked the talk and walked the walk. When they write songs about supporting equal rights or about how evil corporations are they mean it. They aren’t being political to gain ‘scene’ points, they are being political because they think that speaking against injustices is important and something that must be done.

Do goth bands speak up about injustices? Sometimes, but not as often as their punk cousins. Sex Gang Children have recently put out the most politically charged album that I have ever heard come out from under the goth umbrella. It’s called Oligarch and it speaks up against corporations, religious hypocrisy and fascist politicians. I honestly hope that other goth bands listen to it and are inspired to make their own politically charged art. Christian Death is another band that has openly made politically charged music through the years. Both the Rozz and Valor versions of the band have done this. Then there are modern anarcho deathrock bands such as Mystic Priestess and the Creeping Terrors who make music with a political bent. With one foot in the punk subculture they are carrying on the tradition of speaking up against what is wrong in society.

If you spend any amount of time in online goth communities you will see people ask if they can be right wing and goth at the same time. The goth subculture has always leaned left because of the acceptance of those who society sees as the ‘other’. Are there racists within the subculture? There have always been those in the subculture who think that a person has to be white in order to be goth, which is a load of shit of course. Do some people wear white foundation and try to look as pale as possible? Of course but you don’t have to look like a Victorian ghost to enjoy the music. You don’t have to be a certain weight, a certain colour or dress a certain way to take part in the subculture.

All of this could be called political, but do people in the subculture actually stand up for the rights of others when it comes down to it? I would like to argue that there are some that do, but they are heavily outnumbered by those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. The most important thing about being politically minded is standing behind what you say, even if it inconveniences you. A huge example of this are all of the people in the subculture who will be attending the Cruel World festival, even though the person putting it on is a proven homophobe. They will post about how they are for the rights of those who identify as LGBTQ, but they don’t want to be inconvenienced by missing a show. It’s hypocritical to not stand behind what you say.

Back thirty years ago the subculture was largely not political at all. To the point that Nazi skinheads would attend the clubs and nobody would lift a finger to boot them out. Seriously, I witnessed this shit myself. Back then I weighed 100 pounds and I knew that it would be impossible for me to do anything physically about it. However, there were several times back then that I told Nazi skins off because I didn’t like the crap that they were saying. I did all that I could do back then but when it came down to it there were definitely others who just didn’t care. As long as they could dance to their favourite songs everything was hunky dory.

When it comes down to it the goth subculture can be political, but there are many people in it who need to learn to stand up for what they claim to believe in. Supporting the LGBTQ community online is good, but if it is not followed through with some sort of physical action then that support becomes meaningless. Go to marches and events that are against racism and homophobia, and don’t attend events that are put on by racist or homophobic promoters.

London After Midnight’s Response To The News That Promoter Of Cruel World Is Anti-LGBTQ

I put a link to my last blog post about this whole Cruel World fiasco on multiple band pages and so far London After Midnight has been the only one to respond. It was such a cringe filled response that I made sure to take screen shots of everything, Good thing I did because Sean Brennan, the singer, deleted my post and his responses to it. Does that sound like somebody who is scared that their shit attitude is going to be seen by a whole bunch of people in the goth community? It sure does!

So Phillip Anschutz is an insane bigot but you’ll play the show anyway? Yes, the homophobic prick owns AEG who in turn owns Goldenvoice. Guess what that means? The guy is at the top of a pyramid and all of the money made from festivals such as Cochella and Cruel World is filtered up to him. In the end he is responsible for what happens, so by agreeing to do such a festival you are saying that it’s okay for the top dog to be a homophobe. As long as you gain some fans and some money it’s all good! Right? By golly, don’t you have a set of priorities!

Awwwww………look at all of the whatabouts and gaslighting! I feel like I should give the first part of this response a dog biscuit and a pat on the head for being such a predictable little deflection! No hon, this isn’t about me or Facebook. Rather, it’s all about your shit priorities and your inability to say no to playing a festival that is put on by a known homophobe. That’s it. You are around fifty years old, right? I just turned fifty and through the years I have learned that supporting homophobic creeps is something that a person shouldn’t do, because right wing people will think that being anti-LGBTQ is perfectly fine in the goth/alternative community. Plus, supporting such a person is just plain wrong. It’s only impossible for you to avoid right-wing bigots when you agree to play shows that they promote.

Bullshit. I’ve had people tell me that you used to be very active on Myspace. So, trying to gain credibility by saying that you hate social media is flaccid at best. Here you go again with the whatabouts pointed towards Facebook. What are you going to do once you hit that stage? Complain about how the promoter is a homophobic piece of shit? I really doubt that, because you will be too scared of being banned from playing Goldenvoice shows and venues. How do I know that? By the very fact that your responses are riddled with deflections. Oh, let’s all get together and try to figure out how to fight this? Do you know what would be the first step towards a solution? You not playing the damn show! If you really gave a shit about the LGBTQ community you would refuse to play it. Full stop.

Well, that all folks! I am not going to tell you to like or dislike this band. Judge for yourself how this band has responded to this situation and come to your own conclusions.

Guy Putting on Cruel World is Anti–LGBTQ

Everybody is losing their minds over this festival. It’s the culmination of all of the 80’s worshipping that has been going on for the last ten plus years in society. The fact that PiL and Morrissey are on the bill has scared some people off of it, but there is a HUGE issue going on behind the scene that is even more heinous. Philip Anschutz, the man putting this show on, has been donating money to anti-LGBTQ causes: Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council.

The Washington Post broke this story about five years ago, and the Daily Beast three years ago also wrote about it. The Daily Beast story is damning and really dives deep into the issue. When confronted Anschutz claimed that he didn’t know about his money funding those groups and that he would end it. He stated that his company was diverse and that he is for equal rights. Then a year or two after that it was found out, through his tax filings, that he had indeed stopped donating to those three anti-LGBTQ groups. However, he was now donating his money to two other equally problemic groups Dare 2 Share Ministries and Young Life, a youth ministry. On top of that he has been donating millions to conservative and libertarian groups, including ones linked to the Koch family.

I am really disappointed that some groups that I love are playing this show. I won’t stop listening to them, but it makes me wonder whether they actually do care about LGBTQ rights or not. The same thing can be said for all of the people planning to go to this. I think it’s highly hypocritical to go to this while also supporting LGBTQ rights, because they are handing a wad of cash to a man who has been proven to not give a shit about LGBTQ folks. I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this because I know that not everybody has heard about it. However, if they learn about this and still go then I will be questioning who they really are.

Don’t Spend Upwards Of £20 On Bright Hair Dye

Since very bright hair has become very mainstream it seems like more and more brands of bright hair dye are coming out of the woodwork. This itself isn’t a bad thing because what works on one person may not work on another person. What I personally take issue with is the fact that a lot of companies are charging a ton of money for these dyes, and a lot of people who have no experience with these type of dyes are being gouged in more ways than one.

Before I get stuck in I would like to let it be known that I am not a licensed hair stylist. However, I have been dyeing my own hair for about 35 years so I have a lot of experience. I have dark brown hair that is very coarse and consists of three different types of curls. Bleaching my type of hair is very difficult and time consuming. I would bleach it once and then in a day or two bleach it a second time. This would get it light enough to take in a magenta colour and that’s it. These days I would say that 80% of my new hair growth is white, which means that I no longer have to bleach it and I can dye it purple. My hair has been damaged many times in the past but it has never broken off, so my experiences may not be the same as others who have a different hair type.

With all of that being said there is no reason why people should be shelling £20.00 or more for one container of dye when they can get two, three, and in some cases even four containers of bright dyes for the same price. A lot of people wasting their money this way are doing almost no research on the subject. They are taking the word of beauty ‘influencers’ that are making a ton of money off of them by claiming that their bright hair dye is more ‘special’ than others. I’m looking at you Brad Mondo. I don’t care that you are an internet famous hair dresser, I am not going to pay over £20.00 for your bright coloured hair dye.

Certain brands work on my hair while others don’t, and that is a pretty common issue. The first main brand I ever tried was Manic Panic and it literally washed right out of my hair. These days it goes for about £10.00 a tub. The brand that I had the most success with when I lived in the US was Punky Colour. It was a little cheaper than Manic Panic and would actually stay in my hair for a few weeks. I would always mix one of their reds with one of their pinks to make my own magenta type colour. It is very pricey if you are living in Europe so I now use Directions, which is probably the most affordable brand out there. I have gotten pots of it for as low as £3.20. Their plum shade has the most cool fade that I have ever seen. Some of my hair will turn pink while other strands will turn a bright blue. When I recently went to get my hair cut my hairdresser was shocked that I had only used one shade to get that kind of multi colour fade.

In the end you can spend your money on whatever bright hair colour brand that you want, but just know that you do not need to spend an outrageous amount of cash. Do some research as to how your hair type reacts to bleach, because if you have dark hair you are not going to get a very bright hair shade unless you lighten it first. Some ads will claim that you don’t have to bleach your hair first. Quite frankly that is a load of shit. Also, ask others with your hair type what brand of dye that they use. If you do these things first before buying a bright coloured hair dye you will not only save money, you will also not be giving liars and grifters your hard earned cash.

Killstar’s Definition Of A Romantic Goth

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.

The Killstar Guide On How To Be A Romantic Goth

The Reasons Why The 80’s Actually Kind Of Sucked

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.

Scene from the UK film Threads.

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.

Jello even wrote a song about the pervasive conformity.

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 BANDS AND 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.

You probably wouldn’t know who this band was back then if you had been around.

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.

« Older posts

© 2021 My Dystopian Life

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑