So okay, most probably, this is going to be a long post... (yet, I feel a bit lazy to do this, but I think I have to..) ... most people these days, still can't understand what a goth is. Why? Because there are so many answers... Why are there so many answers? Because, there is the Goth (which is a member of the Germanic Tribe), and there is the gothic subculture, Goth (a boardgame), Goth (which is an ancient Teutonic race), Gothic art and architecture, and more that I guess, I haven't mentioned.

So, let's begin with stuff that I found in the web that may help you understand what the word means (of course, I'll be putting here stuff that I think, are the most accurate answers)[let's focus on the gothic subculture.](p.s. I'll just comment on some parts -- enclosed in *...*):

What is Goth?

This is probably the hardest question any goth could try and answer, one may as well ask 'what is society?' as it has so many facets it defies any definitive explanation.

Goth in its simplest form, is a subculture. A group of people who feel comfortable within each others company. There is no specific thing that defines what you need to do or be to fit into the goth scene (except of course the implied black clothing). People in the goth scene all have different musical tastes, follow different religions, have different occupations, hobbies, and fashion sense.
*Uhuh... but about the 'implied black clothing," though this is applied to Goths, that doesn't mean that you should always wear black. Then there is the "different musical tastes"; don't think that one likes metal, then one is into R&B (wtf? that isn't gothic.) Let's say a goth is into metal, and the other is into industrial, and another is into gothic (genre)*

The gothic stereotype

Many stereotypes of goths exist these days. It seems everyone has their own way to define 'what is goth'. From the stereotypes based on clothing to music right up to the stereotypes of all goths being satanists or part of some kind of cult. Categorically, all of these are false.

The goth scene is just as widely varied as society in general. There are many different professions represented in the scene, from highly skilled professionals like doctors and lawyers, to tradesman, to technically minded people to clerical workers. Many different musical ta stes exist (and not all of them goth, there is a HUGE 80's following in the goth scene for some reason). The fashion varies vastly from goth to goth from the traditional flowing victorian style garments to the buckled and studded style regalia (also called industrial style, which is often closely related with goths, and have come to an understanding of co-existance, if uneasily at times).

* Yeah... there are a lot of gothic stereotypes these days...*
* (Click on the image to see it on a larger view)


But they think weird!

Ah, but this is the beauty of goths. Most subjects that are taboo in 'normal' society are freely discussed and debated about. Death, religion, magick, mysticism, and many other topics that are only roached carefully outside of the gothic community. Most goths have realised that fear is only a reaction instilled in us by dogmatic propaganda, and once you realise there is nothing to fear from the topic, whats to stop you discussing it?

Goths often revel in the fear given to them by society as a whole. Often the behavior exhibited by society to them based on society's perception of them from stereotypes, rumour, etc are a constant source of entertainment. Of course, most of the rumours are totally unfounded, goths are people like everyone else, however when you already have a reputation, going for the shock factor is often far too tempting to see how much society at large is willing to believe (or deduce) with only a little encouragement.

This does not totally fall away once you get inside the scene unfortunately, and goths are all too often tempted to try for the shock factor within the scene (which turns out more tacky than shocking). Goths when you get down to it can be a rather pretentious bunch, trying for those extra 'goth points' on the gothier than thou scale, but it adds to the enjoyment.

*Yeah... that's the nice thing about goths. Goths are really nice and normal once you get to know them. It's just that, other people spread rumors about them that makes them have a bad reputation. Anyway, what's wrong with discussing death, religion, etc..?*

History of Goth

Modern goth (ignoring where the name itself originally comes from) started in the early 80's as part of the punk subculture (which is itself was a rejection of most societal values, and anything considered part of the 'norm'). The phrase was coined by the band manager of Joy Division, Anthony H. Wilson, who described the band as 'Gothic compared with the pop mainstream'. The term stuck, and as punk eventually died, Goth survived and became its own subculture. The punk clothing and hairstyles mellowed, and the core 'rejection of society' attitude alone lived on in the gothic subculture. Over time this itself has been modified to be more of a 'no more blind acceptance of society's values' as opposed to rejection because it was there to be rejected (and because you could get away with it!).

Movies such as The Crow, and bands such as the Bauhaus helped establish the gothic image as dark, depressing, and even evil. As more and more 'dark' movies came out, numbers in the gothic subculture expanded, and there is now a gothic community in almost every major city around the world, and quite a number of towns have their own representative contingent. Nowdays there are more goth bands around than ever, and it has turned from an 80's phenomenon into a 90's way of life for many people. Unlike the punk subculture that it spawned from, there even exists a class of mature goths, still following the scene around even past their 20's and into their 30's and beyond.

*Okay, that's all for now... I'll just update this if I have more time.*

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