Anonymous said: my dumb sister says voltaire isnt goth because the music is upbeat and jazzy! please explain why this is very wrong because its hard for me to define gothic without talking about cathedrals...
Now, I’m not going to give you a definition of Goth because then I’d have to talk about music-roots and aesthetic influences that, although relevant to today’s Goth community, doesn’t successfully encompass most of the community today. We are as diverse a bunch as you will find. If you say you’re Goth, that’s good enough for me, even if I may raise an eyebrow — but then, hell, that’s my raised-eyebrow, and no judgement on you. Power to you. Let’s fist-bump, my Goth-friend, and have a ball.The most obvious answer is: Goth doesn’t equal moody, depressed, glum, miserable, or despairing. That actually sounds a helluva lot more like Emo. Goth has better eyeliner too.Part of me thinks cathedrals too, so I totally get it.But onto the question: how/why is Voltaire goth when he’s hilarious and upbeat?
But if, after you call yourself a Goth, you then go around trying to make people miserable and try to shame them for being happy and upbeat using “being a real Goth” as an excuse, I can tell you, you are NOT Goth. Similarly if you try to pull some elitist crap by telling people they are “not Goth enough,” you are NOT Goth. And for either scenario, I will personally show your puce-wearing poseur-ass the door. There’s no excuse for intentionally trying to hurt people or being a prick.
As for what makes a Goth, and perhaps specifically what makes Voltaire a Goth, there are tendencies and affinities that are widely found throughout the Goth community, although I caution you not to use these as defining guidelines (ie, you must fit 70% of these or you aren’t Goth) and merely accept them as frequent characteristics I have observed in people I know in the Goth community.
- Goths like black. That’s not to say that’s all we wear. That’s not to say that’s our favourite colour. That’s not to say that we can’t own things of different colours. But we do like our black all the same. It’s classic, it’s cool, it’s romantic, it’s badass. Black is everything. We dye our hair black, paint our nails black, and revel in the blackness of our souls.
- Goths tend to be dramatic. There’s a bit of actor/actress in us all. Even if we’re not on a stage, singing bawdy, creepy, morbid songs, walking down the aisle in a grocery store can be stage enough. Goths love their corsets, top hats, petticoats, waistcoats, spikes, buckles, and other delightfully spooky clothing and accessories.
- Goths tend to know that the world sucks. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be optimists, but we still are well aware that the world is an awful place, that people use others, cheat others, and betray others, and that, perhaps a bit comfortingly in view of this, we are all going to die.
- Many Goths have had shit childhoods, traumatic experiences, and have seen some pretty horrible things (Voltaire makes no secret of how much he was bullied at school and about his horrible home-life) and I think this makes Goths more likely to strive to be the best versions of themselves that they can be, more likely to laugh and try to make others laugh, to view things like a joke, because if we don’t laugh, we’ll weep, and we may as well try to improve the world around us however we can.
- Many Goths have intense creative streaks that manifest in every way possible. Goths use their experiences (especially the traumatic ones) as a way to fuel their inspiration, and at the same time, as a method of expression, self-healing, and emotional-release.
We’re not all morbid, or on medication for psychiatric concerns, or misanthropic loners. We’re actually a lot of fun, if only because the world is the joke. It’s no different with Voltaire.
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