And here is "Goth," defined for the two hundred and sixty ninth time. . .
Firstly, the word "Goth" is a label, a false thing intended to categorize individuals into groups, so as the better for Society to "understand" them. This illusion of "understanding" is, at best, superficial, thus also false.
Unfortunately, many Goths do happen to fit their stereotypical descriptions, as do members of nearly every other demographic in Society. If stereotypes were not at least 50% accurate, they would likely not exist. Such stereotypical Goths are usually referred to as "poseurs" or "Mansonites", which indicates that they are generally considered NOT to be true individuals, but rather confused and maladaptive people desperately looking for a group which with they can identify. This state is typically transitory. If the poseur matures and evolves, they realize that "Goth" is a STATE OF MIND rather than a "fashion statement."
Most true Goths do NOT look abnormal, nor do they fantasize about becoming a character out of a bad Anne Rice novel (who, incidentally, has just become a "Born Again"). People who violate this rule are typically just acting out a passing fad. True Goths have ALWAYS been Dark.
"Dark" is not synonymous with evil -- although pea brained sheeple, with their misguided preconceptions, will violently disagree. To them, being "different" is somehow a crime against Society. Darkness, IMHO, is nothing more than realistic pragmatism. Life is suffering (Buddha said that), and Death comes to us all -- often unexpectedly. Darkness is simply a tacit acceptance of facts that the sheeple would rather deny.
A Goth is typically more intelligent and open-minded than the average citizen -- especially about political and theological matters (whereas, the average citizen is neither informed or tolerant of different views).
Goth cannot be defined musically. My musical tastes vary on a regular basis. There are very few "must have" CDs, and even those are debatable. There is no "required" Goth literature or film.
Some Goths feel most comfortable wearing a lot of black -- this is a matter of personal opinion. Personally, I prefer dark green. Female Goths can wear whatever they want (especially if they're hot). Male Goths (who would prefer to be acknowledged as heterosexual males) should definitely avoid: frills, lace, fishnet, mascara, excessive use of hair products, and those ridiculous capes.
Oh, and while many Goths do consider themselves to be tolerant pacifists (i.e., "bully magnet"), quite a few adhere to a much different philosophy. For every "frail and pale Goth wussy", there's a Goth who works out and carries a blade. For example, I can do 50 pushups in under a minute, and am currently carrying a stiletto with a 6" blade (Ti-Lite VI). I have heard of very few Goth bullies (and most of those were surely poseurs), but I've met quite a few Goths -- both male and female -- who, while typically avoiding trouble, will steadfastly refuse to be victimized, and will not hesitate to stand up for those whom they feel are being wrongfully persecuted, regardless of the consequences.
Marilyn Manson is a poseur, NOT a Goth!
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