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Real Life

My goth past... years ago (sometime in the early 90s, I think) I saw Diamanda Galas perform in a little barely-restored old theater on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. I think she did the "Plague Mass" -- I've shoved those concert-going days so far into the back of my mind that I can't remember. Anyway, there was this one performance she did just playing a grand piano and singing, and another where she came out in nothing but a long, flowing skirt, otherwise naked except for this bizarre glittery body paint that combined with the usual crap-goth "eerie" (translate: cheap) lighting made her look like a statue made of some weird, other- (or under-) worldly metal that was starting to rot and flake. I don't remember much else about the concert, except of course for her voice, and for the stunned respect of the crowd of local goth kidz, their studied irony and pretend vampirish lives for once confronted by the reality of what they thought they were trying to be.

Anyway, I got to see Diamanda Galas perform. I'm glad to also hear she's still alive and kicking -- considering how many people are dropping all over the place -- that poor trashy celebrity woman, a coworker at my job who went the way my grandpa did -- in for a "minor procedure" and the body just went "screw this, I'm outta here." I'd have gone to the viewing today if I had a car, and didn't have a cat to medicate waiting for me at home. Tomorrow's the funeral.

(Link to Right Wing Trash post via Kathy Shaidle.)

Comments (6)

Steve Skubinna [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Okay, this is only peripheral, but regarding goths: why is that style so attractive to the well fed? Nearly every goth I see looks as if he or she has never skipped a meal, if they are not downright plump.

The sallow makeup and dark eyeliner looks... unconvincing when displayed by somebody so relentlessly bourgeois and stout as most goths seem to be. What's the point of trying to look consumptive when you're carrying twenty extra pounds?

Just wondering, is all. Do these people check themselves out in the hall mirror and say "Oh, yeah, somebody sneezes and I'm wafting away?"

Well, you're talking to someone who's fairly "well fed" herself. Actually I've known plenty of skinny goths, but yes -- the fat goth girl is somewhat of a cliché. (And I was skinnier in my High Goth days, at least. I had to get rid of most of the duds because I couldn't fit into them anymore -- and besides, I resisted the idea of turning into a cliché.)

One of the nice things about the goth fashion, though, is the way all body types can be found in it. (Maybe vampires have to be skinny, but witches and warlocks can eat all they want! And Robert Smith lookalikes.)

prairiecat [TypeKey Profile Page]:

How anyone can conclude that all black clothing plus greasy black/red/purple hair and pasty white skin equals "attractive" has always been beyond me. Conforming to the non-conformity? It pisses me off to be pigeon-holed as a Baby Boomer, big as that group is, much less dressing exactly like others. Plaid polyester pants & blue hair are NOT my thing, either...and probably never will be...but "sensible shoes" really are better for hiking... 8-)

Death IS part of life - I'm sad when people I don't consider "deserving" of death just yet pass away. The death of some lost little celebrity is sad, too, but that's because I think of how the baby will be harmed by the loss of her mother. And the insanity that will now follow her. Poor baby.

I never allowed my hair to get greasy, prairiecat. You did read the first sentence of my post, didn't you? Thanks for insulting me.

prairiecat [TypeKey Profile Page]:

No insult intended, Andrea, sometimes I'm just a dolt at conversation. I'd just had an encounter with some teenage Goth wannabees. Not having a whole lot of experience with such folk, what really struck me was their hair.

The one Goth woman I knew in SoCal was like the woman you posted about - articulate, amusing, & talented. And a lot of fun.

The greasy wannabees just put me off, I guess. Sorry.

I am less irritable now... having thought about it, I know what you mean. I don't care for the goths of today -- what we used to disparagingly call "babygoths" and "Mansonites" (after Marilyn Manson) seem to have taken over the goth scene. In my day [old person cough] goths were among the better dressed of the music-fan groups. The male costume tended towards flowing poet shirts and black velvet frock coats, and the like. I knew several women who sewed their own dresses out of velvet and lace. It was all very operatic -- sometimes the crowd at a goth club looked like the entire cast of Don Giovanni in Hell.

There was always a punk element to Goth, which started as a sub-genre of punk. But the punk element used to be refined by the goth style -- now it seems to have gone the other way around, and the "I just climbed out of the grave and didn't even stop to wash the dirt out of my hair" look is ascendant. I blame the popularity of zombie movies, myself.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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