Goths

Examples of social decline, especially in the UK

Re: Goths

Postby Gavin » 10 Dec 2013, 01:22

Could it be possible that TD and I travel around more than many people do? It's easy to be secluded. I think I can say that I have in my time been exposed to a wide cross-section of the British public, from private functions at the Kensington and Chelsea Conservative Club (several) to living in Haringey. I now live among the native underclass in the north-west (right in among them, in one of the most "deprived" areas in the whole country) and also spend time in Surrey and again in Kensington. Bizarre but true! I was raised on a pretty standard middle class housing estate in the Midlands.

I've stayed at hotels from the famous Milestone opposite Kensington Palace (no. 1 on Trip Advisor), where even pets are given mineral water, to the Tampa Hyatt, Shinjuku Hyatt for one month, Park Hyatt, and numerous low grade B&B's and Premier Inns - and currently the Travelodge! I attended a low-end community college in a 90% Muslim area for two years and a top British university among the privileged of the land for three years. Worked nights cheque processing in London with 90% black and Indian people for several months. I then worked in a Labour-inspired government quango on Lower Thames Street for two years. I also worked in a town library for many years, for the Financial Times and for global advertising agencies at Canary Wharf! That's not to mention training hundreds of individuals from all around the world.

I'm just reminiscing here and could have mentioned far more variety above. My point is just that I get around quite a lot both geographically and throughout the social spectrum, so hopefully have a fairly wide perspective on society. I do meet decent people but what concerns me the "general direction" of society and the frequency of vulgarity now. There seems to be no escape from it when in public, because values have been widely reversed. This is one of the first things I mentioned to TD when I met him. I just said "You're not alone - I see the same things you do". I hope he liked that - I guess he probably did.

I nearly forgot. There's a great deal I don't mention because one does not want to sound like a stuck record. A point made occasionally, cathartically, is enough. However, I made an exception due to this thread today! On my way to work I pass a primary school. I saw some mothers in their saris, here in Surrey (known as a very desirable part of the country), and - quite possibly from us natives - this lying on the pavement not far from the school.

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p.s. I quite like goths! A bit mopey, but I always found them more thoughtful and interesting than your "jock" types. Maybe times have changed, but I guess it depends on the individuals. If people are polite, I generally like them.
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Re: Goths

Postby Yessica » 10 Dec 2013, 09:20

Wow. You worked for the financial times. I am quite impressed.

Gavin wrote:p.s. I quite like goths! A bit mopey, but I always found them more thoughtful and interesting than your "jock" types. Maybe times have changed, but I guess it depends on the individuals. If people are polite, I generally like them.


Goths are friendly people. That's true.

What is a jock? According to my dictionary it is a sportsman... could be something like the guys we called "Fritz" were I come from.

Fritzen are relevant to this thread because they are a little bit like the opposite of goths.
Like the goths Fritzen are friendly people, come from middle class backgrounds* and attend good schools / colleges. They take great pride in doing poorly there or even being kicked out.

Unlike the goths the default mood of a Fritz is cheerful. He dresses in bright colours. His hobbies include sports, getting drunk, cursing loudly (though they hush that when women are present), going to eateries where they eat boring things like backed potatoes and think it is the best thing they ever ate, talking in a very loud voice - nearly screaming - to the others Fritzen about the last soccer game or other things like that.
Things Fritzen never discuss include politics, career and anything remotely intellectual.

A Fritz will think that everything is fun. Like "Wow. I played rugby and got my nose broke... what a party."

I have to admit that Fritzen are really esay to get along with as long as you do not expect a a deep conversation.

You could breed a Fritz with a goth girl and would end up with a person with normal mood.

I sometimes wonder: If there would be a giant earth quake or something like this. Who would be more useful in rebuilding our country? The goth-population or the Fritz-population?
My guess: None of both populations would be of much use... but after the Fritzen had stopped telling their buddies what great fun the earth quake was they would make themselves useful in one way or the other while the goths would say "Germany sucked anyway. The earthquake did not even make it worse".

* Friedrich shortened to Fritz is a traditional name where I was born
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Re: Goths

Postby Elliott » 10 Dec 2013, 12:30

Fritzen sound awful, Yessica! I don't think we in Britain have a similar archetype, except possibly upper-class rascals who couldn't handle university and had enough family money to just drop out and maybe help with the family business when they could be bothered. But there really aren't many such people.

Yessica wrote:You could breed a Fritz with a goth girl and would end up with a person with normal mood.

:)
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Re: Goths

Postby Nathan » 10 Dec 2013, 18:55

Gavin - Wow, you certainly do seem to have led an interesting life!

My post from the other day was not particularly written in response to anything you said, but to a post from a little earlier on which said that elderly people in Britain feel under house arrest at night and that adults are scared of children.

I think a foreigner reading that with little or no first-hand experience of this country could easily get an excessively negative image of our society, as I honestly don't think that situation is typical for more than a small fraction of the population, and even then in my experience the fear of younger people that many older people have is often unnecessary.
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Re: Goths

Postby Gavin » 10 Dec 2013, 19:56

Thanks, Nathan. Yes, it has been varied but I'm sure everyone has their story to tell. I suppose I should be planning it more by now though, with "targets", short, medium and long term.

“Jocks” were known as “rahs” at the university I attended, Yessica. They’re people who are usually not particularly academically interested but are there for sport and tend to be rather arrogant and overbearing. “Alphas”, I suppose.

The Financial Times job I had was with a subsidiary company of the group, providing transcription services. It was night work - in my early years I did a lot of night work. I still do, sometimes - it's so quiet, I find I can concentrate well.
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Re: Goths

Postby Mike » 10 Dec 2013, 21:52

Gavin wrote:“Jocks” were known as “rahs” at the university I attended, Yessica. They’re people who are usually not particularly academically interested but are there for sport and tend to be rather arrogant and overbearing. “Alphas”, I suppose.


"Masters of the Universe" was our term for them when I was at school. There was one in particular, who was captain of the first cricket team and first rugby fifteen, and was appallingly arrogant (from an old-money family, naturally). Shortly before the final exams he was caught in his parents' car going over the harbour bridge at 50 km/h over the speed limit (!) and at twice the legal blood alcohol level. His parents duly picked up the pieces, so to speak.

Compared to people like him, Goths are delightful.
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Re: Goths

Postby Paul » 10 Dec 2013, 23:29

Nathan said:

My post from the other day was not particularly written in response to anything you said, but to a post from a little earlier on which said that elderly people in Britain feel under house arrest at night and that adults are scared of children.


It was I who posted that. I agree that it may be seen as rather too melodramatic, scare-mongering, pessimistic and so forth.

I agree with Caleb in that the more you dwell on these things, the more re-inforced becomes your opinion of them. Is your glass half-empty all the time, or half-full?

Still, TD has said things using not too dissimilar wording in some of his articles. One wouldn't say that he was being sensationalist for the sake of selling his work.

Nonetheless you are correct and it is wise to temper the gloom with the observation that in no sense is everywhere a basket case and bad news. There are still some lovely areas in Britain and things to see, attractions and so on. Personally speaking, liking rurality and scenery, there are few nicer places than rural Scotland, and to a great degree Wales, though many parts of England are also still nice.

But, there are many places now that I would not go, some not even in broad daylight. Certainly not alone and on foot and definitely not after dark. Large and unknown housing estates would be just such places. Lower class ones I mean. The suburbs of all the big towns and cities will be the same. Large immigrant areas will be the same.

That's not to say either though that such places don't exist all over Europe too, and of course America and doubtless everywhere. They have always existed too, but there has been an alarming rise of such places in (in the UK) the last 25 years or so, after finally subduing pre-20th century barbarism and becoming domestically civilised.

I went to South Wales recently for a week to do some work there. A nice area, nestling in the valleys of the Brecon Beacons. A neighbour of a friend I have there, upon discovering I was down from Lancashire (but he said Manchester - aargh), exclaimed - "Oh don't move down here, please!"

She said it with a half-smile but I could tell it was half a worried smile too. I was more amused than insulted. Inextricably, in her mind, she thought - 'Manchester - guns and drugs and crime!'.

Now why would she think that?
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Re: Goths

Postby Lindsey » 11 Dec 2013, 15:27

I think we are all living in the same area of the North West!
To be fair, I do feel TDs articles highlight too much of the negative and give an unbalanced view. It's worth remembering his caseload was people who have come to the attention of authority either for mental health reasons, criminal behaviour or both. For example in one article he noted how he had never seen any evidence of cooking in the homes he visited, but I'd think that was a symptom of poor mental health than simply being lower class, as I have only ever met a small minority of people who didn't at least cook basic food, and that includes men as well women.
I'm going off subject a little from goths here.
Most places I feel ok in daylight , but bus stations at night I feel vulnerable in.
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Re: Goths

Postby Yessica » 16 Dec 2013, 21:42

May I bring the thread back to the topic of goths?

Lindsey, a while ago you wanted to answer my questions when the battery went low. As you know I am German and we are not polite so I ask you if you forgot about that :)
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