Goth's consistent popularity does not mean, as some curmudgeons assume, that young people today are becoming increasingly nihilistic and alienated. Anyone who feels that way doesn't understand the essence of goth, which is really all about self-acceptance, self-expression, and creativity. Taking for granted the misery of the human condition, goth turns depression into an aesthetic, a semi-ironic pose - a perfect style for the awkward and self-conscious. Pale makeup, for both sexes, perfectly conceals bad complexions; goth clothing tends to cover, rather than display. And although its dark style was originally taken up as a backlash to the colorful disco music of the 70s, it may, in the end, be goth's most successful feature. After all, who doesn't look good in black?
From a fascinating (well, if you're into goth) piece by Mikita Brottman in the Chronicle of Higher Education, via Arts & Letters Daily. Wonderful to be reminded that goth is funny, in an Abbot & Costello Meet Dracula way.
And calling all Robert Smith fans: Whatever happened to the cult of the chubby goth?
Headline allusion here.
Where have you gone, Nik Fiend?
In reason, Grant McCracken on plenitude, the "quickening speciation" of social types, including goths.
Also in reason, Damon W. Root on when anti-goth hysteria runs riot.