Re: Respect Your Elder Goths! (Article)
Nice article, but I disagree with Brian Gardner's statement that steampunk is "part of the evolution of goth."
While there is undeniably a lot of crossover between goth and steampunk, they are still two different things, and steampunk has been around as long as the goth subculture. In fact, I know many steampunks who would take exception to the suggestion that they might be some kind of "evolved goth."
It sounds a bit like to the way some people some years ago were talking about rockabilly being "evolved from goth"
man what i don't even
The Stray Cats evolved from Goth? Wanda Jackson evolved from Goth? That's what saying "rockabilly evolved from goth" is saying --that people who never had anything to do with a scene, who were doing things long before that scene even objectively existed, somehow "came from it".
I did something terrible because of this. I'm blaming the fever I'm running and not getting any sleep last night. "You are old, Grandpa Munster," the baby bat said
"And your roots are growing in white.
Yet you refer to yourself as a 'goth.'
Do you think at your age this is right?"
Complete aside, I stopped enjoying The Munsters
when I graduated from Sister Zoe's kindergarten class. The reason for the longevity of appeal in The Addams Family
while The Munsters
survives solely on kitsch factor is simple (sort of):The Munsters
was an allegory for race relations, it was essentially Leave It to Beaver
with a Black family, except they weren't Black, they were a parody of how Middle Amerika saw a middle class Black family in 1962. The whole humour of the show is about The Munsters trying to fit in, and their neighbours being freaked out over their most benign actions, whilst begrudgingly accepting Marilyn (who's a stand-in for the light-skinned family member who "passes"
), even assuring her that she's very pretty, occasionally urging her to move out --but she's loyal to her aunt and that part of her family, so she brushes off the neighbour's pleas.The Addams Family
, in comparison, revelled in how weird they were, celebrated it. Carolyn Jones' interpretation of Morticia seemed completely oblivious to the fact that the neighbours thought of her family as kooks, and was probably a better person for it. Seriously, this is the show where the parents were actually worried, afraid their boy might be sick
when Pugsley wanted to join the Boy Scouts. Lillian and Herman encouraged Eddie to do those things and were confused when the other boys were afraid of him. The comedy on The Addams Family
a parody of class relations
, with The Addamses being a lampooning of upper-class eccentrics, but it's still too subversive and odd to be as perfect an allegory for that as The Munsters
are for race relations. And when you consult the source material, the typically single-panel comics of Charles Addams (who did
loosely base the strip on his own upbringing), a lot of the dark and morbid humour was actually toned down for television --which is saying something.
Also: You very rarely see Gomez & Morticia's bedroom, and never them in bed together. On The Munsters, Herman and Lillian were often-enough shown in the typical twin beds television couples of that day had. Allegedly, the writers on The Addams Family
didn't think that it was at all believable that Gomez and Morticia could be in their bedroom for long without engaging in "marital relations", and that the chemistry that Jones and John Astin had on the show would make it hard for the audience to believe those two had twin beds.
Oh, and Jackie Coogan's voice as Uncle Fester also has a story: The characters in the comic were still unnamed at the time of show development, and a working name for Uncle Fester was Uncle Alistair. Unfortunately, the little girl cast as Wednesday had a hard time pronouncing "Alistair", so it was shortened to "Fester", but the voice Coogan had been working on stayed. The voice is based on recordings of Alistair Crowley.
Fifty years later, The Addams Family
is still genuinely funny, while The Munsters
may still have a moment or two, and almost always concentrated on the character of Grandpa.
Also, to any fans of The Dead Milkmen in the audience: If you ever get a chance to talk to the band after a concert, ask Rodney about The Munsters
versus The Addams Family
--I guarantee you, the results will be hilarious.
Sadly, the mainstreaming has also resulted in rising levels of fashion snobbery and cliquism in Steampunk.
You mean to tell me that Justin Beiber video doesn't accurately represent Steampunk? Nor that Luann
I am crushed.