Friday, 6 February 2015
"MAAAAAM! WHERE YOU PUT MY CRUSHED VELVET PANTS AND MY GOOD CAPE?!"
It's every parent's nightmare. Their apparently well-adjusted child suddenly comes home with hair the colour of a coalface, a face whiter than anything made by Dulux, and announces, "Mummy, I'm a goth." However, according to a new study, parents of goths will probably end up boasting about their son/daughter the doctor, lawyer or bank manager.That is the surprising finding of Cockblock University's Dave Thumb, whose doctorate in 'Looking At People With Funny Hair And Eyeliner In London, Brighton And Leeds' has become the industry standard guidelines to all things Goth.
'Most youth subcultures encourage people to drop out of school and do illegal things,' he says. 'Most goths are well educated, however. They hardly ever drop out and are often the best pupils. The subculture encourages interest in classical education, especially the arts. I'd say goths are more likely to make careers in web design, computer programming, knitting and Wicca.
In addition to their studies, hours are spent by the Goth adopting the requisite air of mysterious gloom, reading the spines of Dostoevsky novels, and gazing forlornly at spots. (However, similar experiences can still be found among people in much more respectable professions.)
Goths are like masons I have also been told. 'They're everywhere!' But rather than blaming some sinister conspiracy, let us look at the reasons people become goths in the first place. According to Mordin Grindle, formerly of goth band 'Baroque Back Mounting' but now running a dentists surgery in Vauxhall, "I loved the bands, but it wasn't a pose - I felt authentically depressed. I was a teenager in Great Yarmouth, where I felt that people didn't like me. I drank cider and mulled wine and painted my nails a lot. I just couldn't understand why nobody liked me?' Amazing. He goes on to add that Goth is a non-violent subculture. 'Goths are more like hippies. I don't know any goths who are into graveyard destruction or cat slaughtering. They like their graveyards and they love their cats.' Nor do drugs seem to be much of a problem. 'Speed is a goth drug because the ideal is to be skinny,' says Grindle. 'But for most of us it was Blue Nun wine because Wayne Hussey drank it.'
So perhaps parents shouldn't be too worried that a new generation of goths is cropping up again. There's a goth couple on Hollyoaks and for some goths, enterprise is automatically thrust upon them especially if born within a 2 mile radius (as the bat flys) of Whitby and their biannual Gothic festival for there's untold riches to be made by selling 2nd hand Harry Potter books, broken hair crimpers, henna dye and cheap vampire related tat to other synchronised non-conformity practicing nobs dressed as Ray Reardon.
Is your boyfriend/girlfriend a goth? 10 tell-tale signs.
1. Drinks snakebite. Former or closet goths still display a lingering thirst for snakebite - half a pint of lager with half a pint of cider, sometimes with blackcurrant. Snakebite is the worst thing the goths ever did after their invasion of the Roman Empire in AD 268.
2. Penchant for eyeliner. It seems everybody's wearing eyeliner these days, but a goth's make-up is a smidgen more extreme: the skin is powdered white, and black eyeliner is used on eyes, brows, lips and sometimes - to draw cobwebs, probably - the skin. NB: goths do not use bronzer, rouge, or St Tropez self-tan.
3. Cape. Capes have been fashionable this winter, but don't let that confuse you. A goth wears a cape so long it grazes the floor. Looks a little incongruous over a business suit.
4. Went to Leeds university. Strangely, Leeds has a nigh-on magnetic attraction for goths, and there are more cape shops per capita in the city than anywhere else in Europe, Transylvania included.
5. Whistles Fields of the Nephilim/ Sisters of Mercy/ March Violets/ Subway to Sally songs. This is why no goth ever had a successful career as a milkman.
6. Strange hobbies. Many of your colleagues will spend the weekend at B&Q, drinking Lambrusco and playing five-a-side. Not goths. They read preposterous fantasy books, do a spot of Wicca and anything "a bit medieval".
7. Black clothing. Though both wore a lot of black, it is easy to differentiate between the goth and the 80s throwback by asking this simple question: can you imagine this outfit in a Robert Palmer video? The Goth's predilection for black clothing is a reflection of the Black Aesthetic - taking those things society regards as evil or wrong and making them beautiful. Many items in the longtime Goth's wardrobe may now have faded to a sort of charcoal shade.
8. Disturbing dancing at Christmas party. The goth sticks rigidly to the routine of two and a half steps to the front and back again, while gazing at the floor in an affected fashion and waving hands around mysteriously.
9. Disarmingly pointy boots. It is a little-known fact that inside their shoes, goths' feet are just as pointy as their winklepickers.
10. Drives a hearse to work. And doesn't work at a funeral parlour.
Till next time.
Big love. Mark X