Not having much experience with goth subculture, I've long wondered about its appeal. Why embrace morbid fashion, white pasty skin, strange piercings, dark art, and the like? To make sweeping generalizations about goths would be foolish, but a recent quote from Anne Lamott shed a glimmer of light on this topic for me, and I think I now have a little more appreciation for their journey.
Recalling friends whose daughter was stricken with cystic fibrosis, Anne said, "...I offered them the gift of No Comfort — of not foisting happy spiritual horseshit on them, such as the idea that God never gives us more than we can shoulder. WHAT A CROCK. I know that a great blessing for people who are scared and sad is to have friends nearby, just sitting with them, walking their dog, being willing to feel like shit with them, and not have a lot of answers. That’s what I have to offer."
Maybe some people choose dark corners in reaction to hypocrisy that, for whatever reason, has overwhelmed them--the false comfort of materialism, the shallowness of pop religion, the no-win double-binds thrust upon them by people who seemingly have it together. If so, then I get it. Dark corners are safe places--set apart from culture's shams and offering the company of others who are also stepping away from the insanity. In fact, those who have navigated to dark corners may, in some ways, be more self-integrated and authentic than the rest of us, with more finely tuned B.S. detectors, and a unique willingness to shun stupidity for the sake of self-preservation. That's something I can respect.
Model: Shannon Watson
*Interview with Anne Lamott, Salon.com, Nov 3, 2014.