I’m going to ramble here a bit.
When I first started exploring Goth subculture I saw posts that said that Goths come from all walks of life and all political persuasions. However, in my own experience I’ve seen more of a left-wing bent. One link I found (not going to link to it) that purported in a forum to be to “right-wing goths” and had an appropriate sounding URL but led to a porn site. Apparently the poster thought that was a prank worthy of a giggle. I supposed a kinder interpretation might be that the registration on an old domain had expired and a porn site had bought it up invalidating the old link.
In either case, it wasn’t what I was looking for.
To be honest, I tend to be pretty much a loner as a Goth. In the city in which I live there is exactly one “Goth Club” and even that is just one night a week at a club that serves other segments of the community the rest of the week. And since I’m older (and need my recovery time) and have to go to work in the mornings, staying out late to party on a weeknight just doesn’t work.
Maybe “Goth-lite” or “Entry-Level-Goth” is a better description for me. I tried the “Cowboy Goth” look for a while, but in the end it didn’t suit. Recently I’ve decided that, since my religion of choice is Asatru, I should see if I could create “Viking Goth” as a look. My results have been mixed. I’d love to say that adding a sword or an axe to an outfit is always appropriate, it can be a problem when having to deal with mundanes.
Let me give you a little bit of my background as it relates to being a “libertarian Goth”.
When I was a child, for a long time, black was my favorite color. This really wasn’t a Goth thing. It was late 60’s. This was before Punk was even a thing, let alone the various post-punk movements which included Dark Wave and Goth. Still, when you add in that my household were big fans of the original run of Dark Shadows, it was perhaps a sign of things to come.
Time passed, and I just missed the early days of the Goth movement in England in the mid-80’s. I mean just missed it. You see, I was in the Air Force at the time and stationed in England from 1983-1985. I’d finished training and, well, I’d started buying clothes for off-duty wear. Looking back those clothes were pushing in the direction of what could now be called “trad-goth”. Being in the military there were limits on what I could do with hair and piercings were right out. Being a man in the military with even simple lobe piercings is a great deal of trouble. However, I was moving in that direction. Then someone took me aside and “explained” that if I wanted to be attractive to young women I needed to start wearing bright colors and that my darker ensembles were a put-off.
Being irredeemably heterosexual I took this advice to heart.
It didn’t work.
Still, the habits stuck for a long, long time. I slipped into uncomfortable mundanity. (I don’t care, Spell Check. That is too a word.)
During all this time, I nurtured a deep and abiding distrust of government. It started when I was very young but especially blossomed in the years post-Air-Force. I’d always been a fairly small-government conservative. I didn’t so much change as think through my positions more and try to make them more consistent. (Do I still have inconsistencies? Since I’m human that’s going to happen. I try to work things through and make them consistent but that’s an ongoing process which will likely continue to my dying day.)
Fast Forward. Some years back, however, I came several books by John Ringo. He introduced me to music that didn’t so much drag me out of the musical rut I’d been stuck in as blast me out of it with a cannon. Dragonforce. Nightwish. And this group called The Cruxshadows.
Oh. My. God.
The Cruxshadows. Some sources called them “Dark Wave”. Others called them “Goth.” Well, I’m not really clear on the difference. But…wow. Dark music, but music that honors concepts like self-sacrifice and martial virtue that resonated with my own political philosophy.
I expanded from that starting point exploring other bands. Within Temptation. More Nightwish. Evanescence and their “spin off” band We are the Fallen. Bauhaus. The Cure. Souxie & the Banshees (in an interview she swore up and down she was not Goth, but others drop her in that category). Lacuna Coil. Epica.
Well, you could go on and on.
I find Goth Rock (Bauhaus for instance) a pleasant change of pace, but most of what I listen to these days is Gothic and Symphonic Metal (Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, etc.)
And, at the moment, I’m fixing a hole in my musical history knowledge and exploring Sisters of Mercy.
A lot of the music fits with my personal philosophies surprisingly well. And a lot doesn’t but it’s still good music.
But, I encounter so very few people out there who combine both my philosophy of “leave government out of things, no, there ought not be a law” with the enjoyment of the darker side that I get from Goth/Gothic Metal music and subculture that I often feel very much alone.
But that’s okay. Being alone in a crowd that does not understand…is Goth.
And here’s some music to end with: