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Recently I received an E-Mail from the New York Post asking what our views (and the views of the gothic public as a whole) were on the tragic massacre of 16 people at a Colorado high school recently. They were also inquiring about the scene as a whole. I have quoted both the original e-mail and my response to this on the GOTH.NET home site. As one would imagine, the hits on this site have gone up dramatically in the days since this happened. I am hoping this will set the public straight on Goths in general, as they have been receiving A LOT of bad media since this event, and the goth scene as a whole has taken a battering all over the world for the actions of two stray psychopaths.

What do I mean by that? Well, Since this event, I've seen articles on the net which serve no other purpose than to slur and slander the Goth image, for example the one written by the Washington Post. I have heard of incidents around the US where kids were suspended from school because they wear a trench coat, or happen be goth. This is both illegal and unfair, but it happens. Anyway, I hope anyone who reads this will realise that not all goths are psychopathic satanist murderers who dwell on the contemplation of the death of their peers. Goth's are just like everyone else, just they choose not to conform to the strict guidelines that make up the "norm" in modern-day society. Is there anything wrong with this?

Original Message:

From: Gersh Kuntzman <gersh@nypost.com>
To: <prez@goth.net>
Sent: Thursday, 22 April 1999 0:06
Subject: goth

Hey:

I stumbled onto your site because I'm doing a story for the New York Post
about kids who are into Goth and Gothic characters. Naturally, this story
is motivated by the shootings in Colorado committed, it seems, by two kids
who were into Goth.

I understand that you are not in any way involved in the shooting in
Colorado, but I do have some questions for you:

It seems that many Goth fans are people who consider themselves outcasts
because they feel excluded from the traditional school cliques (athletes,
science geeks, cheerleader types, brains, etc).

Many write "dark" poetry or song lyrics. But is there some kind of
overarching believe or value system that unites everyone in the Goth
world?

I'm sorry if I sound so fucking "out of it," but, in this case, I really
am. I'm just trying to understand more about Goth.
Please, if you get a chance, email me back with your phone number and I'll
call you to discuss this further.

Thanks for your time.

GERSH KUNTZMAN
NY POST REPORTER

My Reply:

From: "Preston A. Elder" <prez@antisocial.com>
To: "Gersh Kuntzman" <gersh@nypost.com>
Subject: Re: goth
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 10:33:21 +1000

*smile* I'm in Sydney, Australia, so I'll assume the phone call out :)
And most Goth's will agree, that the shooting in Colorado was both a
tragic incident, and a 'black day for gothdom.  Most Goth's out there
are pacifists (at least, here in Sydney they are), and quietly laugh at
the 'jockish' attitude displayed by others in an attempt to ridicule them.

Make no mistake, the Goth scene as a whole (and I think I'm pretty
safe in claiming this) does NOT support the kind of acts these two
students have perpetrated, although yes, many of us do have some
kind of morbid fascination with death, and we do act differently than
the popularly associated 'norm', that doesn't mean we're all murderers.

And in answer to your question, yes, most Goth's ARE outcasts from
most social groups -- some by choice, some because of simple
teenage or human cruelty (does it matter which?).  However, for the
most part, Goth's don't moan and weep about being outcasts, and the
fact they aren't going to win any popularity contests in the near future,
they instead (again, for the most part), revel in it, and sometimes even
seek to make themselves moreso.  Why?  Because when your stuck
with a certain lot in life, complaining about it isn't going to fix it.

This does NOT mean you wont find athletes, or brains, musical talent,
etc in the Goth scene.  Quite the contrary.  Once people get bast the
first glance 'bunch of freaks' image, they usually find a variety of talents,
intellects, and a healthy, active social atmosphere.  In actual fact, the
Goth scene is as wide and varied as so-called 'normal' society.  It has
cultivated its own culture, it has its own fads, it has its own musical
trends, etc.  Normal society has rejected them, so they created their own.

Unfortunately, now it also has its own crime, its own murderers, and its
own pretentious 'elite' groups aswell (just like 'normal' society, after all,
we're all human).  My experiences with the Goth scene (and I've been
involved in it only about 3 or 4 years now), is it offers one thing that 'normal'
society never will be able to match.  Equality.  Once again, I am speaking
from a Sydney, Australia perspective, but I have found that the Goth
scene tends not to discriminate on sexual preference, on how intelligent
you are, on how much muscle you have, on your race/colour, on what
religion you follow, etc.  All they ask is that you wear black along with
them, and treat them as you would treat yourself.  Is the black symbolic?
maybe -- possibly its to symbolise that 'we are the opposite side of the
coin' as far as society is concerned.  The Yang, to society's Ying.  But
for the most part, Goth's just like wearing black, and whose to tell them
that's wrong?  Certainly not I.

In answer to your second question, yes, you will find an increased
amount of 'dark' poetry and songs, but that's both the curse and the
shining uniqueness of the Goth scene.  Goth's have opened their eyes
where the 'norm' society still keeps its blinders firmly secured.  They
(for the most part) have actually thought about what they believe, and
what they fear.  They realise that death is not something to fear, and
therefore have no qualms writing, even dwelling on this almost taboo
subject.  But yes, most of it even makes hardened Goth's gnash their
teeth (some people just try TOO hard to be 'dark').

I would, on a final note, like to commend you.  Most people from normal
society see 'a bunch of freaks' and don't want to investigate, instead
nurturing whatever rumours they are told, willing to believe the worst
of the Gothic subculture, without any investigation.  I am glad there are
at least some people out there who still wish to find out the truth of
things before just reporting it or starting rumours.  Once again, I am
not claiming to speak for the entire Goth scene, as it is so wide and
varied, that I could not possibly accurately speak for them all, I am
instead giving my opinions on what I have gleaned as the general
attitude and atmosphere of the Goth scene from my experiences with
it (mainly from Sydney, Australia, but also from a few other places I have
travelled around the world).

If you still wish to contact me for further information, and feel that
e-mail is not quite enough, then please reply, and I will disclose my
phone number in Sydney, Australia for further correspondence.  As
one would expect, I am wary of just giving it out to anyone.

Blessed Be, and may you find happiness
in the path you choose to travel in this life,

_O_ PreZ :)                         Finger prez@srealm.net.au _O_
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