you know what’s sad?
i think in this case i’m “them”.
maybe that’s not so sad.
friday night, on a whim, i headed off to san antonio to check out nine inch nails. again. this was the third time i’ve seen them this year (stubb’s in austin and the s.b.c. center in s.a. being the previous venues). the bauhaus opened. can you picture more of a goth kid’s wet dream?
depends on the age of the kid. that’s where the night got interesting.
at the stubb’s show the crowd seemed a bit older. same with s.b.c. later in the fall of last year. but this one? i was definately a “them”. i didn’t blend. and i can give you a saturday six pack as to why…
1. i was old enough to buy booze legally.
2. my head is shaved all over, not just in parts.
3. despite having as much, if not more, tattoo ink than the average patron, as well as a few piercings, NONE of them were done to spite my parents.
4. i have a really good relationship with my dad.
5. i have not owned (nor will i ever own) chaps, a cape, knee high doc marten’s (those might make the closet if it weren’t for my above average sized calves) or those ultra baggy raver bondage pants things.
(and this was the big one)
6. i wasn’t wearing black.
now, that last one is a bit atypical. i have plenty of black stuff. pants, coats, boots, shirts – TONS of black stuff. but yesterday? i just happened to not be wearing any. it made me stand out a little. and took me back to a conversation i had on a hill in austin many years ago…back in the day, the building at 222 east sixth street, which is now the hard rock cafe, was a dance club (the first one i was a regular at) called “curfew”. it was where the “goth” crowd hung out, except back then that term hadn’t been conceived. this was back in 1989. a large portion of the regulars there never went inside, ’cause they didn’t have money for cover (five bucks, by the way – only three if you had a v.i.p. card). one time i walked up the hill between 6th and 7th streets (which was the side walk beside the club where most of them would gather) and sat down in the center of a large group of them. we chatted about the usual bullshit, and brought the conversation back around to appearance when i asked them point blank why they dressed the way they did, did their hair the way they did, etc, etc. all answers could be lumped into two generic responses…
a. it’s how i express myself
b. to look different from the “preppy fucks”
(on that last term, keep in mind we’re going back a few years here – back when people other than ME said “cool beans”…)
then i pointed out something that made me unpopular in their eyes – ’cause sometimes the truth hurts. i pointed out that the way they made themselves different, and expressed themselves, made them all look the same. they almost had a uniform – gelled up (or back, or out) hair, ragged out jeans (or flowing black whatever), docs of some sort, and the ever present (even in july) black leather motorcycle jacket. they might as well be in pastel polos – ’cause they all looked alike.
they didn’t like me very much for this…i didn’t care.
what’s scary is that the uniform hasn’t changed – they still wear the same crap, with the same hairstyles, and same makeup, except now there’s less shock value (at least to me). when i see those folks now it just looks like they’re stuck in 1989 – which is funny, because there are other people i know in the same position…
…the “preppy fucks” from high school. the ones they tried to be different from – even though their appearance, for the most part, has changed (though not always), mentally they’re still in high school (kinda like uncle rico from napoleon dynamite). they still talk about stuff they did back then like it was yesterday, since that era was they high point of their lives…which is sad. and to me, the goths look the same way – mentally, and in their case visibly, stuck in a time warp.
(as an example, i ran into a “popular” guy i graduated high school with at a head shop in austin called “planet k”. he was buying a bong. when he saw me, he had a look on his face like i was his mom and i had just caught him jerking off…in a nervous stammer, he looked at me and said, almost authoritatively, “don’t tell anyone you saw me here, okay?”. i responded with, “dude, nobody gives a fuck – high school ended fifteen years ago…”)
but i guess as long as there’s a hot topic in every mall in america where they can buy their garb, they’ll continue to party like it’s 1989.