~The following article does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Belfry Network and its affiliates.~
So my PC died. It took the articles I was working on with it. I also lost all the source files for promo for Cybermorph's new venue.
All hope isn't lost as its all still on the hard drive. When I buy a new boxI can wire it up to salvage the data and then use it as a secondary hard drive. In the meantime I'm using my DJ rig's laptop and I can write new stuff from scratch.
So yeah I'm pretty miffed by the current state of things. Miffed enough its a good time to have a good old fashioned bitch about some stuff I don't like.
Selfies for Sophie
I have seen people sharing a couple of articles about this on Facebook.
Andthis one (blatant re-write clickbait)
Last year I wrote this and my opinion has changed little since then. Doing all this stuff for awareness is about as useful as offering artists unpaid jobs for "exposure". It doesn't really help anyone aside from making some people feel good about themselves. The social media thing of sharing to make you think like you are helping isn't really any help at all. I covered all that sort of stuff last time.
Anyway, thats not the point behind why the selfie stuff doesn't sit right with me. My issue is the way its presented. They are asking "music fans" and "selfie-lovers" to goth up, take photos and post under #gothupforsophie. In effect they are asking them to put on a costume and play goth for a photo.
Why is this bad? Goth is being treated like a throwaway costume. They are referring to this as a "challenge" like all that other stupid crap like the ice bucket challenge and neknominate. But I guess we should be happy they aren't planking and mimicking corpses... yet.
While this is supposed to raise awareness for alternative victims of "hate" crimes, it does so in a manner that completely disrespects the goth subculture by trivializing it.
Hell look at this picture from the newspaper website :
Look at this shit. Are these the best examples they could find? Really?!?
The top left looks like someone dressed in the sort of clothes her attackers would have been wearing. And the teardrop? Do they even know what that means as a prison tattoo? That looks more like support for her killers. And the SOPHIEbottom centre mustache... ugh. The others aren't too bad for kids (bottom left is passable if not a little plain) and we all had make up disasters when we were new.
Don't get me started on them using the awful gothic font (Gothic? Get it? For goths! Ahahahaha!) on the logo. I have always hated that logo because of that. Looks so tacky. Looks like the sort of crap a gang member or bogan (redneck or chav for you internationals) would get tattooed on themselves.
Dare I actually look for #gothupforsophie on Facebook? Do I really have to?
Fine... but I'm not doing Instagram or Twitter. You want that shit go do it yourself.
I'm not going to use any photos here (that wouldn't be fair and they aren't in public media) but its the usual suspects for the bigger facebook groups (eg - World Goth Day) and alt models (posting professional photos? That's not a selfie!), regular goths posting pics taken by other people (nitpicking to be sure but again, not selfies). There are some selfies but a few aren't even remotely goth. Some of the selfies are quite well done admittedly. But wow - how many businesses, artists and Facebook groups are using this for clickbait and exposure!?! Talk about looting the dead!
Fair disclosure. As far as I'm aware, The Belfry Network doesn't make money. I know there is Patreon stuff for Cemetery Confessions though and that finances that, maybe paying for the website upkeep too. I am also not paid to write articles here. Just thought I'd mention that before people started crying hypocrite at me. Besides no one sees my shit anyway because I'm not young and attractive on youtube.
So yeah. If this were targeted at goths/alternative people it would be fair enough. But as open as it is for people to wear goth as a costume to keep up with the memes its pretty shitty. But hey - you want to do it go right ahead. I choose not to.
Fucking leghumpers! You know the types - men from outside alternative culture who try to score alternative ladies because they are seen as exotic, kinky and easy. To be fair this can happen to attractive alternative men too but its usually targeting the ladies. This happens online and in real life.
Recently a friend of mine posted about a recent leghumper incident where someone contacted her on Facebook and assumed her and her boyfriend would do threesomes because goth. Someone said she was starting drama talking about it. It started a bit of a back and forth from both sides.
Personally I'm all for exposing people who do stuff like this. From what I've heard talking to a few alternative ladies, as well as a few "normal" ladies, men behaving like this is way too common online. Its as if they feel since a woman is there, they have the right to make unwanted sexual advances or bombard them with dick pics.
As for real life incidents they can be scarier than online as a direct threat can be there. A common thing is for a man to buy a lady drinks, then expect her to put out at the end of the night. Women are not vending machines you can pour alcohol into in exchange for sex. Of course if that's a prior arrangement that's a different story but that will seldom be the case with complete strangers. So ladies if a man you only just met is plying you with lots of alcohol its likely this is why. Though some menare generous and just like to have the company of a lady and have a drink with her. It can be hard to tell them apart until later in the evening if the hard word comes.
Also you get the types who have the mentality that picking up alternative ladies is easier and they are kinky and will be easy to bed. What they don't realize is the ladies are usually attracted more to alternative people like them than "normies" off the street. This isn't the case for everyone but it is common. Turning up to an alt venue to pick up a "freaky suicide girl" will likely end in disappointment and no one likes unwanted sexual advances.
If ever there were a reason for why the world needs feminism this is it. No one should be harassed like this. Being alternative is not an invitation for open sexual advances by anyone. Wearing revealing clothing is not an invitation for sexual advances. Hell posting artistic nudes is not an invitation for sexual advances.
The sad part is these men probably don't even realize that this tactic doesn't even work. But if they do know, why do they still do it? Hope? Nah. More likely its about power. They can't control their own sad little lives so they try to control the lives of others by taking what they assume the universe owes them. They may see alternative ladies as being damaged or weaker, hence an easier target too.
For the ladies out there here is a little secret about how men think. We all think we can have any woman we want. We all think we should get any woman we want because we deserve it. Its how we are wired. But that does not mean we should act on it, nor do we have to. There is a choice.
Of course all of the above can also translate to other gender identities and other sexualities too. Its just that its usually straight men putting unwanted advances on women.
Requesting Inappropriate Music
One for the DJs. We all know this one. You're in the booth playing music that's on genre, and guaranteed someone will come up and request stuff completely inappropriate. Think along the lines of bands like Metallica, Disturbed, Cradle of Filth and so on. That list gets even longer if you are playing at a more genre specific night such as a goth night or an industrial night.
Granted some bands do blur the lines and I have been known to play the odd off-genre song just to see how it goes. But I do follow a general method to my madness. You have to be able to dance to it unless its on genre or a joke song at the end of the night.
So I have pulled such crazy maneuvers at mixed genre events such as playing HIM's Wings of a Butterfly and Satyricon's K.I.N.G. Many people were pleasantly surprised, many others went into raging "That's not goth!" mode. Most notorious of this was playing The Lonely Island's I'm On A Boat on a goth cruise as we cast off because it was apt (we were on a boat) and it was funny as hell. If I recall right I played an Alestorm track that night too for appropriateness. The list of tracks I'm forbidden to play has grown over the years.
Would I do that at a serious goth or industrial event? Very unlikely. Besides they have on genre joke tracks that work just fine as is. Ask me to play Marilyn Manson at either and I won't do it. An industrial remix at an industrial event? Possibly, depends on the mix and the source. But you don't get goth remixes so that stuff tends to remain pure outside mashups. Even then its usually goth music mashed up with other goth/related music.
Until I made this...
I deserve to go to hell for that
Conservatives in Alternative Culture
Oh. My. God! What is with all the conservatives in alternative culture of late? Talk about not getting the point!
It is true that we attract people of all walks of life but the blatant conservatism that has been growing since the early 00s (likely 9/11 had a big impact on it) is astounding. My guess is this is why more conservative (by goth/punk standards) styles of dress came into being like pin-up, corp goth and gothabilly.
Corp goth I get - you are working and need money to live. So you tone down for the workplace. That's fair enough if your workplace will allow it.
Pin-up I can't recall seeing a lot of prior to the burlesque reviving though it did have an influence. Bettie Page was technically alternative for her time so I can see the appeal there. But it was also a rather mainstreamy thing. Will we see the alternative scene dressing up as Playboy bunnies next? Oh wait, some already do.
Rockabilly. Do people realize that rockabilly greasers would have beaten up goths back in the day? So we style like them and mash it up to make gothabilly. The Cramps did it and kept that air of flamboyancy but for the most part you don't see this in regular gothabilly attire. Oh look, a black swing dress with skulls on it. Wow. Rockabilly truly is the place goth goes to die.
Then we have the politically conservative types who dress alternative and freaky. What the hell! How can you be conservative and maybe a little oppressive of minorities when you openly play at being a minority yourself? A lot of these people are anti-Feminists too. I don't understand why when alternative culture (in particular goth) has always had a strong sense of equality and gender fluidity/androgyny.
Top 10 Goth Icons
Ending with a reaction of sorts. This is what I wrote (well... typed) as I watched it. Taken from a post on Facebook.
My reactions as I watched :
Peter Murphy #10 WTF??? Should be much higher.
Crowley? Are you kidding? Sure, all goths are occultists.
Siouxsie at #6 feels a little low.
Alice Cooper. Oh fuck off! Unchallenged my arse.
Oh of course Manson is #3. My hopes for top 2 are rapidly dwindling.
Tim Burton. Ok... I guess some of his movies sort of count. But not a goth icon as such.
Honorable mentions... nope, nope, yes (kinda), kinda if you squint hard
Robert Smith. Hmm. Well his early stuff maybe. And his look. Peter Murphy and Siouxsie had far more impact over the years though.
I made a post on Facebook asking people for ranty ideas. There were so many responses I only used a couple in here, the rest will likely be used for future articles.
-Aytakk has been active in the goth scene since the mid 90s both online and in real life. He firmly believes in the old line "if you don't get the joke, you are the joke". As well as this he produces music for a couple of music projects: Corpulence On The Catwalk (goth/darkwave/coldwave) and Hypnophile (aggrotech/power noise). He is also a club DJ and nemesis of DJ Jelly.