The War Against the Mundane

by Sam Baynham

A friend of mine once told me that the reason that there are so many Satanists and Wiccans (yes, there is a difference, and yes, I do know it) on the British Goth scene was because Goth is such a permissive, inclusive culture. At the time, as I was fairly new to the scene, I accepted what she said at face value. However, the more I got to know other Goths, the more the structure of the society started to worry me.

Don’t get me wrong. Most of my friends are on the scene, and when I go out to our local club, I almost always have a good time. But there’s something there now, that wasn’t there before, a kind of edge that fashionability seems to have given it, which perverts the inclusiveness and permissiveness and turns them into something which leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. You probably know what I’m talking about. Every club has a least one of them, and probably a little clique of them. They’ve got lots of names: Fashionistas, Matching-Black Supremacists, Goth Supremacists, whatever. Just that small group of people who feel the need to ignore the principal ideas of gothdom, i.e., that deviance isn’t evil and we should be accepted for who we are, and instead try to turn the scene into one great long beauty contest/fashion show.

“Goth Supremacists judge people on looks and clothes. Isn’t that what mundanes do to Goths all the bloody time?”

Another female friend of mine was nearly driven off the scene because of cruel jibes about her weight from these pencil-thin bastards, regardless of the fact that she’s one of the warmest, wittiest women I know. These people themselves of course, are in great shape in every area except the cranial one. They seem to believe that they can walk in to a place, and then it revolves around them. Nobody really wants their small-minded opinions, but we are constantly exposed to sniping from them. It makes me sick, it really does.

So, let me make this clear to anyone who thinks Goth is about hurting people because of their weight or their dress-sense:

People do not come to clubs to be insulted. Sometimes, yes, they’ll be all dressed up, and you will be invited to comment. If that’s so, just make constructive criticism, or voice your appreciation. (Something Goth Supremacists very rarely do. They hardly ever say, “Yeah, I think that’s a great choice, and it really suits your figure,” do they?)

If people have come simply to have a good time with their friends, just leave them alone. That includes talking about them behind their back. Even if you think you’re only talking to a select group of friends, A: You’re in a public place, and B: You know how these things have a tendency to get out.

Also, Goth is not about being thin as a stick insect. It’s a media image, but it’s not the only image for Gothdom. Just let people be themselves. Weight is a hard thing to manage at the best of times, as I, and anybody else that has ever tried to lose weight, well know.

That’s about it, really. The only thing to explain now is why I called this mini-essay/rant “The war against the mundane.” Well, it’s simple. Fashionistas/Goth Supremacists judge people on looks and clothes. Isn’t that what mundanes do to Goths all the bloody time?

I think its time that Gothdom really looked at this hypocrisy in its midst. If you’re not a GS, I would suggest approaching them when they insult anybody, and confront them with their own hypocritical idiocy.

Right. Rant over. I’m fucking off to become a punk.

Sam B, also known as The Universal Psychopath, can be reached at universalpsykopath (at) hotmail (dot) com. This is his first submission to the, but not his last.