City/State/Country of residence:
URL (if you have a web site):
Length of time in the scene: 18 years
Occupation: university professor
Education/academic achievement: ivy-league Ph.D., academic publications, Fulbright scholar
Musical taste and favorite bands:
Virgin Prunes, Current 93, Faith and the Muse, Cure, Bauhaus, Dead Kennedys, Camper van Beethoven, Diary of Dreams, Miranda Sex Garden, Tear Garden, etc. Goth/Punk/Batcave/Postpunk/NewWave/GoodM
Describe your personal look, style or distinctions in your appearance:
Asymmetrical, naturally-curly hair, ear and lip pierced, armband tats from the Gundestrup Cauldron, ruffled shirts and regency-style attire with an occasional modern twist
Hobbies, activities, interests:
Travel, adventure, romance, teaching, writing, archaeology, art, reading, playing guitar/writing music, dancing like a demented ragdoll, DJ'ing, weightlifting, coffee
Spiritual/philosophical/religious affiliation (if any):
No affiliation, leaning toward work-related pagan material, but far from a religious mentality
Goals, dreams (long/short term, personal/occupational):
Tenure, continued research productivity, refining and recording my music, continued marital bliss
Do you consider yourself gothic? Why or why not?
Sure, because the scene was the first "perfect fit" I found for someone with my tastes and interests. I don't think we need to shun the use of the "g-word," but rather defend it.
How/why/when did you become freaky/gothic?
It was always a tendency of mine...from a fascination with skulls, mummies, and medieval things when I was about three, to excavating such things since I was about twenty-three. The interest is more in the past than in death, a modern morgue has no more interest for me than for any average scientifically-inquisitive person. When I was about 16, my girlfriend introduced me to her goth friends, and I was surprised to learn I was not the only person my age with interests outside the typical "beer, drugs, and sports" mentality that characterized the high school mainstream.
In your opinion, what is Goth?
First of all, it is not a "dark lifestyle." There's very little dark in the lives of most goths I know, and when there is darkness, they, like everyone else, hope to move on and get over it.
Importantly, it is an expressive aesthetic. It's one thing to like sturm und drang, the romantic poets, or even cheesy halloweeny-stuff, and quite another to have a "dark lifestyle." Artists, poets, and philosophers, and intellectuals have always seemed "dark" in the eyes of the common people, but that is merely because they intend to recognize the human condition for what it is, instead of blissfully drinking the kool aid of self-deception. But this doesn't mean moping about it. Sadness for the state of things is a useless response unless channeled into creative expression. Being depressed about reality doesn't change it any more than Hippie jam sessions reformed the government. My pontificating does nothing about it either, but it makes me smile, so I won't refrain from such self-indulgence.
Any Additional comments:
Thanks for creating this survey. There is so much misinformation about the goth scene out there, and it's terrible to see such a wonderful world of aesthetics so maligned. The media have largely ignored the role the goth scene plays as an alternative to a mainstream culture that is often vapid and degenerate, misogynist, and sleazy.