The Reason Why Goths/Punks/Freaks Don’t Greet One Another Any Longer

Gothpunk/freak fashion has gone mainstream folks, get used to it.

Goth/punk/freak fashion has gone mainstream folks, get used to it.

Why don’t weirdos greet each other any longer when they are out and about? I’ve heard that question asked time and time again on the internet. The answer is very simple; the visual differences that used to identify weirdos have gone mainstream, and you can never tell these days if somebody is merely copying the fashion or is truly strange.

I’m going to sound old, I know that and accept it. ‘Back in the day’, if you were a weirdo of any kind, you could be walking down the street, see another weirdo and give them a smile, wave or whatever and be acknowledged in turn. It was really easy back then to identify another of your species because they dressed funny like you and had funny colored or shaved hair. Seriously, it was like a club. I made friends back then with all sorts of freaks, from SHARP skinheads and Mods, to skaters. There were so few people in each distinct subculture that you kind of huddled together for safety. There weren’t the divides between the subcultures like there seem to be now. Also, I knew people from a lot of different areas within the San Francisco Bay Area.

What changed? The elements that made each subculture different have been co-opted by the fashion industry and popular culture over the years. When I first dyed my hair magenta in the very late 1980’s not very many people were doing it. Of course, I knew I wasn’t doing anything new, but it wasn’t exactly popular either. The only people who dyed their hair rainbow colors back then were weirdos. The same goes for dressing in strange outfits. Studs or spikes, that used to be seen just on punk gear and leather jackets, has now been stuck on everything from purses to sweatshirts. It’s to the point where I won’t wear studs or spikes because it’s become sort of crass to do so in my opinion.

This is crass folks.

This is crass…and I’m not talking about the band.

Where I am living now everybody from teen moms to pensioners are dyeing their hair every color of the rainbow. It’s so normal to do that here that I feel kind of strange dying my hair purple these days. Well, I did it before them, so there! There are also people who dress in black with their pre-manufactured spike covered gear walking around who for all intensive purposes are pretty much fashion victims just trying to follow some sort of ‘underground’ trend that they think makes them look unique. Um…no. They are known on the net as nu-goths, which is ridiculous since they don’t listen to Goth music. I mean, if we were going to label everybody who dresses in black a Goth does that mean that nuns and priests are God-Goths?

I personally don’t feel comfortable acknowledging any of the above mentioned types because I know that I will have absolutely nothing in common with any of these people. Yes, I’m making some assumptions, but really it isn’t worth the bother these days.

Why The Sex Pistols Deserve More Respect

I love these guys!

I love these guys!

The husband and I rewatched the great Sex Pistols documentary The Filth And The Fury and it reminded me what a great band they were, and how the teenagers of today don’t respect them enough.

What I am always seeing online are kids who compare The Sex Pistols to a boy band because of Malcom McClaren putting the band together. The main HUGE difference between boy bands and the Pistols is the fact that they wrote all of their own music. Usually it was John Lydon writing the lyrics while the rest of the band played something they had just made up. When have boy bands played their own instruments or written all of their own music? Yes, I just told you to sit the hell down! These same kids will go on and on about how much they love The Clash, which by the way was directly formed in order to compete with the Pistols. The Clash were a huge band and played stadiums. In fact I remember a totally normal classmate in junior high who bragged going to one such event. Now, who were the sellouts?

Not only did they influence a ton of bands, everyone from The Damned to Siouxsie And The Banshees, they also paved the way for people to feel comfortable being a freak in a society that they didn’t want to be a part of. Up until that time there wasn’t a musical movement that told people that it was okay to be different, that you didn’t have to follow what everybody else did because they told you to. Yes, there was the counterculture of the 1960’s but that was all about peace, loving everybody else and growing you hair long. Punk, originally, was about expressing yourself, no matter how you chose to do it. Later it did become a uniform, one in which I think it’s crass to adopt these days.

The danger element in what they did should not be overlooked. What band signed band today would have the balls to play a song called God Save The Queen? Go ahead….I’ll give you a moment. None. They created songs that went against the status quo thinking of the time and this pissed a whole lot of people off. Malcom McClaren claimed that he orchestrated all of this, which is a huge lie. When it comes down to it he didn’t know what the hell he was doing the vast majority of the time. It’s no surprise that he stole the band’s money, but he got frightened when he realized just how pissed off people were. John Lydon, among others, were physically attacked while walking down the street simply because of who he was. In fact, it was damned dangerous to be different back then. I would like to argue that this aspect has still not gone totally away, with the murder of Sophie Lancaster by a group of assholes a few years ago.

No surprise, I’m a huge fan of The Sex Pistols and saw them live on their 25th anniversary tour in the US. Lydon went on about how bands like Green Day aren’t punk and never will be punk. Agreed! I started listening to them in 86 and they were my gateway band into not only punk, but into Goth. Without punk there would be no Goth subculture, and don’t you forget it!

The Cult Of Alternative Modeling Bothers Me

What I like to call Gothic Booty magazine.

What I like to call Gothic Booty Magazine.

What is it these days with every other goth/punk/deathrock chick wanting to become an alternative model? WHY? Is it because they simply want some attention? If that’s the case they should get a puppy, because I hear they like people. Is it because they think their look is so different that their presence will launch a thousand ships? Everything ‘different’ these days had been done before. Whatever the reason it really annoys the hell out of me.

Alternative models may have brightly colored hair and tattoos but at the end of the day they are more than likely white and skinny. Let’s not sugarcoat this mess, because that is the way it is. What is the difference between that and the so called normal modelling world? Nothing. Slap on some hair dye, get one of those nautical star tattoos and BAM you’re suddenly an alternative model. If alternative modelling is all about being different then where are the people of different ethnic backgrounds and sizes? I’m sure that there are alternative models who fit into those two descriptions but they are totally outnumbered by people who are considered conventionally attractive. Even if they have piercings or tattoos it doesn’t matter, because publications and websites will still choose mainly white models over others.

Some of the big fallout from this is that there is a whole group of people out there who now set out to fetish all women who look alternative. This may not seem like a big issue but let me explain. Instead of now being just considered freaks there are a lot of women, such as myself, that are looked upon as freaks that others would now like to fuck. All of a sudden it’s alright for these jerks to say online, and in real life, that they would a piece of Goth/punk/deathrock ass. Suicide Girls, among others, have perpetuated the notion that all alternative women are basically sluts to be looked down upon. For some reason dressing strangely is now equated with being sleazy, which it shouldn’t be.

What most disturbs me about all of this is seeing girls online who get tattoos and piercing just so that they can fit into a mold and become an alternative model. Changing your appearance for anybody else but yourself is a bad idea, very bad. Before the internet came into being I remember people claiming they were Goth models, but all that meant in the 80’s was that your friend took photos of you in a cemetery. I still find that deeply funny and kind of endearing, however I never knew anybody back then who drastically changed their look just to become one. One reason being was that there wasn’t a real market for it. With the advent of the internet everybody and their mother signed up to alternative modeling sites in hope of being discovered. Discovered for what? I have no idea! The best they are going to do is being on the cover of a magazine that nobody takes seriously anyway, so why even bother?

Am I writing this just because I’m jealous? Hell no, I was a freak before a lot of these kids were born and I will be one way after they take out their piercings and go back to their natural hair color.