Goths

Examples of social decline, especially in the UK

Re: Goths

Postby Elliott » 06 Dec 2013, 19:54

You seem to be talking about a more hardcore form of goth than the people I was describing, Yessica! I was talking about people I knew at art college. Aged 18 to 26, they were fun-loving people who had little knowledge of anything, really, and they certainly were not old-fashioned. They were nihilists. Last year I had a conversation with one of them - and one of his friends - that went something like this:

goth wrote:I f**king love Russell Brand. He's so cool. He doesn't give a f**k.


Elliott wrote:About what?


goth wrote:About what people say about him. He's just himself.


Elliott wrote:Do you think it's admirable for someone to not give a f**k about how they are perceived or considered by other people?


goth wrote:Dude, not giving a f**k is totally the way to live.
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Re: Goths

Postby Lindsey » 06 Dec 2013, 20:18

As a bit of an offshoot from goth philosophy. I saw this article today :
http://www.visualnews.com/2013/10/09/21 ... al-modern/
I think so long as these people aren't littering or committing crime, I don't have a problem and I can fully understand the desire to fully exit modern society and return to the past, and infact I do so a lot myself. Living within small communities changes your psychology dramatically, for the better, in my opinion. A certain amount of selflessness and self control is needed to keep small societies cohesive .
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Re: Goths

Postby Yessica » 06 Dec 2013, 20:56

On the one hand I do not even like our century so much. I do not like Auschwitz or toxic gas. I also do not like thug-culture or living in big anonymous cities. Like I mentioned before I like reenacting a lot.

OTOH to my mind it is ungrateful not to be thankful for a warm bed, a warm shower, plenty of food, antibiotics. Luxuries most goths enjoy.

+ This century won't go away just because we pretend that it does not exist. If there is something we do not like about it we should rather get involved in politic, community work, whatever than closing our eyes.

I really do not want to put goths down. Do not want to say that I am the most perfect, well-adapted person who never behaves foolish. As everybody who knows me can testify I waste way to much time in role-playing games, reading and so on which is also escapism.
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Re: Goths

Postby Lindsey » 07 Dec 2013, 14:27

Well everybody involves themselves in escapism in one way or another, and nobody is perfect, nor is anybody truly 100% left or right in their values, I think people's inner-lives are a vast constellation of opinions and feelings. What subcultures represent , at their most basic level, is an advertisement that the individual concerned does not agree with the mainstream even if they are not sure entirely what it is they disagree with, they don't like what they see and don't wish to be a part of it.
In terms of aggressiveness, if I see goths, or punks or any of these subcultures in the town centre, I don't feel threatened. I know they aren't going to give me trouble or rob any pensioners, if I see a group of chavs or worse, children, I panic. I find the plainly dressed youths to be dangerous, and I have good reason to fear them, Ive often been a target for being a very small woman, and frequently had to get a taxi back from work as kids used to congregate on the bottle neck of our estate , every night is get grief . I suppose that's why I get zero fear when I see subcultures they rarely attack
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Re: Goths

Postby Yessica » 07 Dec 2013, 15:25

Lindsey,

I am sorry if I have offended you. Some of the things you write about I do not understand because things in my country are different... for example the worst things children will do is throw an occasional snow ball at you. So I can not understand what it is like to live in a country where one is afraid of children.

Could you answer me some question so I understand your opinion better?

1) What is your feeling about escapism? Do you see it as something to avoid which is however still practised by all people... or do you see it as an adequate reaction to our century and the one before?
How do you feel about other methods of "getting away" such as getting really drunk?
2) You said that you have the desire to "return to the past". What are the things you feel that were better back then? Do you see any advantages of the modern times?
3) Do you think a person has responsibility for her society he / she cannot evade?
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Re: Goths

Postby Lindsey » 07 Dec 2013, 21:10

Goodness you never offended me! It must be a bad translation or my not so good writing style! I was agreeing with you on the goths, I like them , as I like a lot of characters in life! And I like my escapism!
To answer your questions ... To be fair I can't say the harassment by kids has gone beyond verbal abuse, or the throwing of stones and eggs, which have never hit (and do gives me the impression that the kids round here are still "decent" enough to deliberately miss) nonetheless , this isn't the best area and violence does occur, children in gangs are frightening, I was stuck in Africa once and surrounded by a troop of baboons and I was less anxious than how I feel around troops of kids in this area I tell you!
I'll write more later, unfortunately the battery on my phone is very low
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Re: Goths

Postby Yessica » 08 Dec 2013, 18:44

Lindsey wrote:o be fair I can't say the harassment by kids has gone beyond verbal abuse, or the throwing of stones and eggs, which have never hit (and do gives me the impression that the kids round here are still "decent" enough to deliberately miss) nonetheless , this isn't the best area and violence does occur, children in gangs are frightening, I was stuck in Africa once and surrounded by a troop of baboons and I was less anxious than how I feel around troops of kids in this area I tell you!


The more I read the happier I am I do not live in Great Britain. If only half of what you all say about the feral children, thugs, foul-mouthness, littering and so on is true (and I do not doubt that all is true) it must be a horrible, horrible place.
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Re: Goths

Postby Paul » 08 Dec 2013, 19:31

Yessica wrote:
Lindsey wrote:o be fair I can't say the harassment by kids has gone beyond verbal abuse, or the throwing of stones and eggs, which have never hit (and do gives me the impression that the kids round here are still "decent" enough to deliberately miss) nonetheless , this isn't the best area and violence does occur, children in gangs are frightening, I was stuck in Africa once and surrounded by a troop of baboons and I was less anxious than how I feel around troops of kids in this area I tell you!


The more I read the happier I am I do not live in Great Britain. If only half of what you all say about the feral children, thugs, foul-mouthness, littering and so on is true (and I do not doubt that all is true) it must be a horrible, horrible place.


How embarrassing for us, but yes, it's true. Might as well admit it. TD himself has commented upon it often. Britain - a place where elderly people are under virtual house confinement at night because they are afraid to go out after dark. A land where adults of are afraid of children, often their own children.
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Re: Goths

Postby Gavin » 08 Dec 2013, 21:20

It is true. I can say in all honesty that the word you are most likely to overhear when you pass a Briton in conversation for a couple of seconds on the street is "f**k". Several writers on here have said how they brace themselves for it even as people approach now, and I am among them. Vulgarity and an air of menace are rife: one of Dalrymple's many articles noting this is Common People (but it is behind a paywall now), wherein he describes the typical assortment of people one will encounter at the airport, or virtually anywhere else. Even laughter overheard often sounds malicious - very rarely happy and good natured.

I would so rather say the opposite of my country, but it is in a shameful state. Perhaps such a vulgar culture with its values reversed deserves to be taken over? Well, it deserves a shake-up of some sort. Recovery or demise. It is very difficult to see how recovery can come about without totalitarian government though, as thugs will riot if their benefits are taken away.

Having lambasted the natives for what I usually experience of them as I travel around the country, I should mention the corrosive effect of multiculturalism too. As I type this, a shaven-headed hard-looking polish man is sitting nearby drinking beer in this public area. He has been talking on his phone at the top of his voice in his own language for the last 20 minutes, frequently bursting into uncontrolled laughter (it sounds slightly spiteful). He's about two metres from me. It's as if I'm not here, and this is not even his country. He's a visitor here. They don't feel like that any more. It's tragic, but maybe they see nothing much worthy of respect any more.
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Re: Goths

Postby Nathan » 08 Dec 2013, 22:23

I think that particularly considering that for some people on here reading this forum is the major or only exposure they have to life in Britain, I ought to provide a bit of a balance to some the negativity on here, some of which I really don't recognise at all from my own experiences.

Saying that though, regarding relations between younger people and adults I'll give a couple of examples of things I've seen abroad in terms of public behaviour which impressed me, and made me think "this wouldn't happen at home":

Standing at a tram stop one evening in a working-class area of Leipzig, there were two teenage girls with a relatively rough look about them by local standards listening to loud pop music through headphones and singing along, again fairly loudly.

When I arrived, one of them had turned round to write something in the condensation on the glass, but as soon as her friend saw me and my somewhat disapproving look - and I really don't look all that stern or imposing, particularly then, when I would only have been about 22 or 23! - she suddenly looked embarrassed and went quiet in recognition that the two of them were being a little bit of a nuisance and the correct thing to do would be to stop, and tapped her friend on the shoulder, who then stopped writing in the condensation and went quiet herself.

Trying to imagine what kind of reaction I would get from two equivalent British girls, I'd say there was a small chance I'd get some aggro, since they were two and I was one and if they felt like being a pain there's nothing I could do to stop them, extra fun for them given that I'm an adult and they are not, and I'm supposed to be in control, but I would definitely say that was a only a small chance. I almost certainly wouldn't get the same sheepish, deferential reaction I got from those girls in Germany.

On another occasion, whilst I was living in Poland, I looked out of the balcony of my seventh-floor flat and saw a fairly typical group of boys, probably about 14 years old, playing football in the playground opposite, while an old lady carrying a newspaper walked on the footpath adjacent. The surprising thing about that was that the woman chose to sit and read her newspaper on a bench by the side of the playground where the boys were playing rather than walk the extra fifty metres or so to the next bench where she would have been unnoticeable.

I cannot imagine an elderly British woman living in a similar neighbourhood doing that. To be perfectly honest, the odds of that woman getting any trouble from an equivalent group of boys over here would be very low, but I would still expect her to go the extra fifty metres to make herself unnoticeable instead just to be on the safe side, and to be able to read her newspaper in peace.

I remember when I was a teenager noticing the instinctive reaction older people have on seeing a group of younger people ahead - hard as it is for me as a fit and healthy 29 year old to put myself in the position of a frail old lady, I cannot see how we could have looked menacing, as we could have been nobody's idea of "the wrong crowd" - was to cross the road to avoid walking past us.

Similarly, after a little lady probably in her seventies had accidentally come in front of me in a shop queue, I could overhear another elderly lady whispering to her "You'd better let that lad back in, you don't want any trouble". The assumption that I would ever have given her any trouble based more or less entirely on the fact I was a 16-year-old boy really was quite insulting.

I don't doubt that the stories that make the news are largely true, and don't doubt that teenagers from other countries seem remarkably docile and innocent in comparison to ours, but I have always thought that the fear that many have here of the younger generation is out of all proportion to the threat they pose, and even contributes to the problem.

As much as we are the country that suffers from juvenile delinquency more than most others in Europe, we are the only country in Europe who ever saw fit to send little children down chimneys or mines, we're the country that continued to use corporal punishment for decades after most had abandoned it, we're the only ones who put children in school at four years old and expect them to be able to sit still and concentrate for long periods of time, and we're the only ones who gleefully lock up guilty ten-year-olds, and then can't understand when they turn out to be maladjusted adults.

When I was about 11, I remember hanging around on a street corner with some new-found friends when an angry woman suddenly shouted from her window that she was going to call the police on us. Thinking about it now, it was a warm summer Saturday evening, about nine or ten o'clock, it would have been too hot in that woman's house without the windows open so she just wanted to make sure of some peace and quiet before going to bed. I can't remember exactly what we were doing that annoyed her so much - quite likely just children being children - but I do remember my reaction: "Ha ha! She's a grown-up and we're only children, but she is that scared of us she can't deal with us herself! Wow, this is fun!"

I can't remember if any of us did anything to wind her up even more other than just laughing at her, but for somebody not used to feeling in any kind of control over anything suddenly feeling empowered, and with a group of friends to play up to, it's the perfect combination that could easily have led to abuse being shouted back at her, or stuff thrown at her house the next time we passed by, which we, or at least I, would never have thought to do otherwise.

Thinking about that now from an adult's perspective, I have no idea what the best thing to do would have been for the woman stuck in a stuffy house having to listen to inane chatter or whatever it was we were doing outside, but I hope I will always be able to see it from the point of view of the younger person.
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Re: Goths

Postby Gavin » 08 Dec 2013, 23:13

That was an interesting post, Nathan, but I should say that I could easily produce audio evidence of the general lack of consideration I encounter on a daily basis here in England, lest there be any doubt of my own reports.

With regard to the children, of course children always played on street corners - I certainly did myself! I would like to think it safe for them to do so. But I think there is an entirely different "feel" across the country now regarding the nature and behaviour of those children. There has now been enough time and enough welfare for a compounded, over-indulged underclass to develop in very high numbers now.

The parents are often as bad as the children, and due to relativism and the threat of violence, hardly anyone dares judge or challenge them. Usually fathers are not in the house: as TD says, a child is more likely to have a television in their bedroom than a father in their house. (This is not always the father's fault of course since women sometimes choose obvious thugs, as TD also catalogues, and they sometimes divorce whimsically or for mercenary reasons.) It seems to me children these days often aren't just naughty an old fashioned "Hardy Boys" way but sometimes they beat adults up, because they themselves are adults prematurely and they "know their rights". Children are adults, adults are children - they even dress like children and expect benefits like children - their pocket money.

Again the disclaimer, this is thankfully not all children or adults, but I do think I describe changes that have actually occurred in our society in the post-war years. There are decent people still, but I think they're hard to find and they often have to make excuses for their decency because it isn't trendy (though PC, a kind of sham decency, is). TD has written of this many times.

When we're chatting about these things, my dad sometimes mentions that society was far too wooden and regimented before - everyone had to have automatic respect; children for adults, adults for vicars or doctors and so on. But we are surely now seeing the opposite extreme, and I think I know which one I prefer, if there must be extremes, anyway.

So, not to be too negative: it is possible for foreigners to come to the UK and have a nice time, a nice holiday, but they would have to go to select places and be quite lucky, I think, to not encounter vulgarity. Maybe they are best sticking to those tourist attractions - there will be hardly any Brits in them anyway, in part because they have apparently been taught to admire other cultures above their own.
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Re: Goths

Postby Elliott » 09 Dec 2013, 06:22

Yessica wrote:The more I read the happier I am I do not live in Great Britain. If only half of what you all say about the feral children, thugs, foul-mouthness, littering and so on is true (and I do not doubt that all is true) it must be a horrible, horrible place.

This comment worries me.

It is difficult to contradict other people's reports of the British public, because there is an inevitable implication that "those other people are being too negative". But everyone's experiences differ, and some people are more alert than others. There's also the fact that I haven't spent any time in England for about six years now, and things there could have declined in that time.

But I am compelled to say that, up here in Scotland, you can easily have a day out in Edinburgh or Glasgow and not feel the victim of anyone else. You will probably see vulgarity - tattoos, chavs, a few thugs, etc. - and you will probably hear a few swear words, but it is not Dodge City. It is not "a horrible, horrible place", at all, and I think we should be careful about giving that impression to foreigners.

The most disagreeable thing that's happened to me in the last month is that a young woman, whom I was going to let be served before me even though I reached the queue just before her, went ahead of me. It was one of those small, complicated things that happens in daily life that are difficult to describe. There was a guy being served. I and this woman arrived pretty much at the same time, although I was just ahead of her. We both stood there, waiting for the guy who was being served to walk away. I was planning to let this woman take my place, out of courtesy. When the man walked away, the woman simply went in ahead of me without even acknowledging that there was any ambiguity about who should go first. As I say, obscure, boring to describe and read about, and a trivial thing - but, yes, in a more civilised time that woman would have looked to me and said "should I go first?" or something like that.

And that really is the worst thing that's happened to me in the last month or so.
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Re: Goths

Postby Yessica » 09 Dec 2013, 08:48

I have to admit that this board is my major exposure to Britain and I might have jumped to wrong conclusions. Sorry for that.

When I was about 11, I remember hanging around on a street corner with some new-found friends when an angry woman suddenly shouted from her window that she was going to call the police on us. Thinking about it now, it was a warm summer Saturday evening, about nine or ten o'clock, it would have been too hot in that woman's house without the windows open so she just wanted to make sure of some peace and quiet before going to bed. I can't remember exactly what we were doing that annoyed her so much - quite likely just children being children - but I do remember my reaction: "Ha ha! She's a grown-up and we're only children, but she is that scared of us she can't deal with us herself! Wow, this is fun!"

I can't remember if any of us did anything to wind her up even more other than just laughing at her, but for somebody not used to feeling in any kind of control over anything suddenly feeling empowered, and with a group of friends to play up to, it's the perfect combination that could easily have led to abuse being shouted back at her, or stuff thrown at her house the next time we passed by, which we, or at least I, would never have thought to do otherwise.

Thinking about that now from an adult's perspective, I have no idea what the best thing to do would have been for the woman stuck in a stuffy house having to listen to inane chatter or whatever it was we were doing outside, but I hope I will always be able to see it from the point of view of the younger person.


I remember when I was a kid how I often had grown-ups shouting at me that something I did (stepping on the grass, crossing the red traffic light, walking on an iced pool) was forbidden. I still cannot see any reasoning behind that other then them thinking "There must be order" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnung_muss_sein) or may be also fearing I might hurt myself which I consider my business not theirs. It clearly did not infringe their rights.
It may be a German thing. When I go to other countries first thing I notice is how few signs reading "Attention! This or that forbidden!" there are.
My reaction was different from yours. I tried never to break those rules when grown-ups were watching.

To say something bad about my own people. I am under the strong suspision that a Germans come up with list of things that are forbidden in their free-time as a hobby. Which - while not thuggish - is really really odd.

I used to live near a traffic light which I had to cross every morning on my way to work. Well the green phase was very short. You could only cross it safely when you waited until it was red, then waited until it was green again and then runned over the street. If you did start crossing it when it was already green you for sure still where on the street when it turned to red. On my way to work I sometimes did that because I did not want to be late.That actually would not have been an issue in most countries as there were hardly ever cars driving in this street.
I cannot even count the nurmerous occasions when strangers told me sometimes more but often less politely: "Hey, You are walking while the traffic light is red. That is forbidden. What if children had seen it? What if you had been hit by a car?" There were no children and no cars... I never did that when children were watching... but never mind. I started wailing my fate to be German when I lived there.


Back to topic. I think as a parent I would tell my child to see it from that ladies perspective. She might have held a job that required her getting up at 4:30 in the morning and you might have disturbed her sleep, she might have a sick realtive to care for. One never knows.

One the other hand it would have been nice of her to come outside and say "You know. My husband, who is trying to find some sleep, has to get up at 3:00 in the morning in order to work in his highly stressful and very demanding job as a superviser in a nuclear power plant where making little mistakes will kill millions of people" or whatever might have been the reason behind her behaviour.
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Re: Goths

Postby Kevin R » 09 Dec 2013, 23:56

I'm very glad Elliott has been free of it, but if all is well, then what are we all doing here?
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Re: Goths

Postby Caleb » 10 Dec 2013, 01:14

I don't know that Elliott is saying that all is well. I think, given his posting history, he would be the first to acknowledge that there are some very grave issues in the UK today. He could probably tell you the places he wouldn't go to, but he is talking about the places he does go to.

To the man with a hammer, the whole world resembles a nail. This definitely applies to me, and probably to many other people here. There is a danger that as we get together to talk about these things (either for catharsis or to genuinely address, and attempt to solve, them), we end up more polarised than before and we simply end up seeing what we want to believe all the time. I know that I am definitely guilty of this.
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