Voices Of The Gothic Sub-Culture with Sorrel Smith, Justin "Sully" Meyer, Melanie Garretts and Russell Bornschlagel

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The "fin-de-siecle" phenomenon that arises at the end of each century is expressing itself in the "Gothic" sub-culture. Teenagers dress in black or in torn lace, wearing ghoulish make-up or face paint, as reminders of death and decline. Rather than making them morbid or depressed, however, they say this helps them live more joyfully and creatively. These four teens discuss how they became "Goths," how they express this style, and why. They describe how they are addressing the denial of death in our culture by focusing on "the beauty of decay" as well as immersion in life through celebrating the absurd and outrageous. Says Sorrel, "by giving the appearance of death and morbidity on the outside, I remind myself that all of our joys and sorrows are fleeting, and therefore it's very important to experience the moment fully, to be very creative, and to find joy in life." (hosted by Joan Marler)

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What the Gothic style looks like
  • The need to respect and remain aware of death
  • Honoring the absurd and ridiculous
  • Why Gothic teens are not depressed and morose
  • What characterizes Gothic music
  • The meaning and history of the term "Gothic"
  • The strength of androgyny
  • The attraction of visiting graveyards
  • Samples of Gothic poetry
  • Advice for parents as well as teens who are attracted to this style
Host: Joan Marler       Interview Date: 2/1/1995        Program Number: 2538