Sunday, March 08, 2015

The really useful crew

When I first saw this video cruelly skewering the pretensions of underpass Goths, I was of course tempted to react with amused contempt. I hate Goths; who doesn't? People used to accuse me of being a Goth and I loathed that. Those po-faced, self-important, whey-faced losers! The style has remained amazingly unchanged for the last 30 years: the I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself pout, the over-egged black-is-how-I-feel-on-the-inside melodrama, the black lipstick, the stack heels ... Particularly in this clip, despite some decidedly non-canon outfits (neon? White?), the self-importance is quite overpowering. What's not to dislike? On the principle that the best way to attack someone is not to attack them, but to make fun of them, what better than a humiliating soundtrack comprising the theme fromThomas the Tank Engine to accompany their earnest, yet supremely self-conscious bopping?

But on reflection, I couldn't help feeling a bit sorry for them. A bunch of misfits, universally execrated wretches, chronically misunderstood, a cohort of loners and losers, having a bit of fun the only way they know how and expressing their feelings of angst under a bridge... Not really harming anyone, and maybe my contempt is just another version of the bullying they have experienced all their lives?

(Not you, Marilyn Manson - you saw all that and you wanted to make money out of pretending to be part of it.)

Maybe my contempt is just another manifestation of the epidemic of hate and polarisation that the Internet amplifies. So I have thought better of it. There are worse ways to spend your time - maybe "being in a gang called the Disciples, high on crack and toting a machine gun".

I've got to comment from a purely aesthetic point of view, however - that really is taking the concept of "dancing" and making it into something ugly.

(It is also an extremely funny video.)

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