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Goth Kids, Where did they go?

By Johnny Dorrello
On March 6, 2012

Gone are the days when we hear the nostalgic cling and clang of the fabled chain wallet clinking against bondage pants. Lost are the times where rays of the sun could reflect themselves upon the paper white Victorian skin of goth kids with stained red lips.

Today, we have millions of American teeny boppers all declaring their love for the glittery vampire that is Edward Cullen of "Twilight," so needless to say, vampires are now mainstream. Prepubescent mainstream teens have taken vampires from the goths? Did this really get past both Nostradamus and Ron Paul's fortune telling?

Faded in society's long list of trends including: flappers, zoot suit wearers, big 80s hair and jean jackets, the ironic t-shirt guys and the arguably unsavory juggalo, where have all the goths gone?

Many theories exist in Google's realm of infinite internet-dom, ranging from the fantastical, the existential and the theoretically and cynically plausible; the first being the release of "Blade Trinity." Did the triumvirate vampire hunting tour de force of Jennifer Gardner, Ryan Reynolds and Wesley Snipes scare them away? Or is there another theory?

Perhaps the Victorian/gothic themed, sado-masochistic undertoned demographic just went too far from the mainstream that they have ceased to exist on even the most obscure of hipster radars. At least that's what local UWT graduate Kyle Respicio thought.

"They have always been non conformists, straying ever far from the mainstream, but perhaps they just went underground. Either that or they are just hipsters now."

Just then, a young man with an uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Manson hovered past Bertolinos coffee shop. Perhaps it was the black ensemble he was adorning with an almost endless amount of buckles that started at his neckline and continued to manifest themselves to his feet. We both thought the same thing as this rarity graced our presence.

"...Daywalker."

Respicio had a point though, a majority of goths were indeed kids, and just as kids grow into themselves, they dabble in different phases which usually reflect a form of dress and or style. Urban dictionary calls them, ‘baby bats.' This led me to theorize that perhaps there was a widespread diaspora among the goth community throughout the broad spectrum of American fashion culture.

The easiest is the hipsters. Nerd glasses, vintage shirts, jean shorts all juxtaposed with a 1940s greaser haircut swaying in the wind as they weave in and out of Capitol Hill traffic on their vintage road bikes. I could mention the obscure staple bands of note but that would just come off as way too close to home for me. That being said, its plausible goths could have synced their non conforming selves into the ranks of the hipster, but the highly color saturated wardrobe of hipster fashion seems like a death sentence to an ex goth.

Could they have found a peaceful coexistence among the grunge subculture; leather jacket, fish net shirt and a hacky sack in reaching distance. Long past are the days of earth toned hoodies which have the appearance of being made of hacky sacks, as the fashionistas of society only allow this subculture the vintage tee of a band of their choosing. This isn't so much of a stretch as the grunge culture thrives on non-visually intrusive colors and exists in highly overcast cities. That was indeed a reference to vampires.

Then there's a subgroup of the hipsters, who I coined as ‘pioneer hipsters' indigenous to the Pacific Northwest who arguably take the whole rustic aesthetic thing too seriously, gallivanting about in vintage henleys, skinny corduroys, a Mumford and Sons iPod playlist and a general encompassing of the aesthetic of appearing to be the rebellious son of a Civil War re-enactor. This may be the closest lead yet as both goths and  pioneer hipsters are closer to the Victorian era than anything. There is something romantic about the idea of tying yourself so close to the past rather than identifying with people in the present as a means of never having to see any real kind of accountability as your peers are long past. Just me?

Then there's the fashionably indifferent, with their north face jackets, pajama bottoms and valuing of consistency over all else, with the occasional wearing of the school sweat shirt as a facade of school spirit when in reality it's the closest thing to a snuggy.

Finally there's the madmen who are career suit and tie adults, done with humoring the idea of expression through fashion and what have you, allowing only a sliver of creativity to manifest themselves in how much hair product they use. Although conformist, this is certainly an image tribe popular with most as eventually everyone has to set childish things aside and bring home the bacon.

So now that I've single handedly bigoted the world into a few categories, let's go about reflecting on our current pop culture in general. This is a society where effeminate rappers cast away their over sized jean jackets for skinny jeans, shutter shades and techno. With this, stereotyping is virtually impossible. Today, image tribes are all juxtaposed together with various ideals which manifest themselves in quite the awash of mixed fashion choice.

So to answer the question of where the goths have gone, I would, instead of offering the much anticipated answer, offer a more existential copout keeping with the journalistic spirit of not having to have an opinion.

The goths, like all non conformist ideas have lost their popularity due to their impracticality of appearance, but continue to exist in spirit in the hearts and minds of those who would challenge the norm of society, a hipster if you will.

That, or they are on VH1s' "I Love the 90s." 


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