Analysis of “Goths – Analysis of a Subculture (By Puppy)”

Goths.  Yes, goths.  What are they?  Well, even THEY don’t really know.  Most of them, at least.

– This isn’t entirely accurate.  It was meant more of as a slam against the pretentious, angsty, “rebel-without-a-clue”, and/or truly nasty people that revel in the lifestyle without caring that it’s all just bullsh1t to them because they’re using it for fun and they don’t actually believe in sh1t.

7/9/12: It is in fact accurate.  However, it is not precise.  My point was to say F you to that portion of the “goth” community that is described below.  I’m not saying it NOW…now, I just ignore them.  I wouldn’t walk up to a cockroach and insult it, by the same logic.  There’s really no point, and it would be a waste of (even a single) moment.

First, a historical and unbiased cultural appraisal.  Second, my experience with those that choose to label themselves “goth”.

– If you want this, look up “Gothic Subculture” on Wikipedia.  It’s irrelevant for my purposes here.

7/9/12: Or, if you want to, talk to some of them.  A person’s true nature usually comes out after brief initial pretenses that some have.  This is an option to consider, not a suggestion.

So, if all this is taken as true, a real “goth” is someone that
recognizes that we all have a dark side, isn’t afraid of that side, and
is disturbed by those that pretend they are somehow “better”
because they follow different ideals, dress differently, etc.

– You don’t need to dress in black and listen to mopey music to despise hypocrisy.  Come to think of it, EVERY subculture hates hypocrisy (supposedly, as is the case here).  We all know (except for the fanatical Puritans amongst us, of which there are FAR fewer than you would be led to believe) that everyone has a dark side, we all know some people who embrace it, some who deny it, some who just control it, some who are somewhere in the middle…it’s got nothing to do with gothique, sorry.  Gothique is a fashion statement, a trend, like 80’s new-wave hair and acid-wash jeans, nothing more.

7/9/12: Perhaps I went a little too far near the end.  But I believe my point is made fairly well.

This is, of course, propaganda.

– Why did I even need to say this???  That’s like saying “1 plus 1 is, of course, 2.”

7/9/12: Repetition.  The key to analysis.  Repetition.

In my experience with self-proclaimed “goths”, I have found that at
least 90 percent of them are either stupid, ignorant, malicious, greedy,
selfish, manipulative, users, abusers, addicts, “victims”(that is,
those that revel in being hurt, the “victim mentality”), fakes, or a
combination of two or more of these elements.

– MONTHS later…ditto.

7/9/12: I didn’t actually make a mathematical study out of it, but this is also accurate, if not precise.

Most “low-ranking” goths I have encountered like to dress in black
because it hides their bellies and emphasizes their bosom.  I mean, if
you weigh 250 pounds, a corset is BOUND to produce some cleavage.

– Ok, this is just mean.  And I’m not insulting overweight people.  I’m insulting the 90+ percent of the female “goths” that are overweight, because they’re all the nasty things listed above…not BECAUSE they’re overweight.  They simply can’t stand being ugly on the outside because there’s very little on the inside.

7/9/12:  See above, and if you have a feeling of Deja Vu when reading the last sentence look up “Jim Jarmusch” on Wikipedia for the explanation.

The “high-ranking” ones are those that have discovered the joys of
reality, be it via a real relationship, a family, etc…and they are a
bit amused by their past, seeing it as more of a post-adolescent angst
period than any real stage of development.

– Yup.

7/9/12: Or, they’ve incorporated the non-abusive/manipulative aspects into their lives.  Just as good.

The true goth, of which there are some, adheres closely to the
definition given above…that is, they admire darkness as well as light,
for are we all not dark in some way? 

– Uh huh.

7/9/12: 20,000 Leagues Deep.

I believe I can summarize the “goth” population as follows-
10 percent like George A. Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’
because it is a bitter, biting social commentary on man’s tendency
to fight amongst ourselves and within ourselves.
90 percent like George A. Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ because zombies eat human flesh and it looks really cool.

– HAHA…yeah.

7/9/12: Not really all that funny, but I wanted to type “HAHA”.  And ‘Land’ is better.


– Yip!

In the interests of not-being-a-rat-unless-someone-betrays-me, I won’t state any names, but…

The predictable response to this will be “Well, you’re just jealous”. 
In a way, I am.
I find “goth” women, by and large (no pun intended) to be absolutely beautiful.  Physically.
However, when I’ve actually ventured into their minds, I’ve found
twisted car wrecks that inevitably out-wreck even my own…quite a
feat, since I’ve been institutionalized.
So yes, I’m jealous that so many beautiful female bodies are inhabited by so many UGLY “spirits”.  Quite sad, really.

– Oh well.  There ARE exceptions…but then again, not ALL human beings are born with a spleen.  Exceptions, you see.

7/9/12: More than that…but not all THAT much more.

The next response will be “Well, they don’t want you anyways”.
This is not true.
I spoke to several “high-ranking” goth women, who assured me they
viewed their “followers” as nothing more than amusing toys, and that
if I wanted to, I could rank quite highly among them.
I’m sure this would lead to lots of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll…and, probably, happiness.
But only at the expense of morality and by using and abusing the weak, scared, hurt, and confused.
I don’t do that.

– Let me correct something…if someone is scared /weak/hurt/confused and is ALSO a scumbag…well…that’s a different story.  You can’t do fcked up sh1t and then go crying home to mommy…grow the hell up, ok?

7/9/12: This is concerning those that abuse/manipulate those that are “easy” to, but turn into utter cowards when confronted with a challenge.  “I don’t run away from bullies”.

I mean, I dated a “goth” that was a pure psychopath (unbeknownst to
me at the beginning) and justified this by saying “Well, I’ve been
horribly hurt, so I get to do it to others…”
This is tripe.  Michael Tripe.  HA!
I’ve been more hurt emotionally than the vast majority of these posers, but if I do something wrong, I take responsibility.
It’s called “growing up”.

– Not exactly accurate…and Michael Stipe isn’t as bad as I thought.  Musically.

7/9/12: Comparing pain isn’t really proper.  And I don’t know the man.

Many “goths” also tend to be Anarchists, Satanists, or LaVeyan Satanists.

– Not exactly accurate, and I forgot Atheists…but that’s neither here nor there.

7/9/12: Replace “Atheists” with “Crusading Disbelievers”.

Anarchists in the pure sense believe in complete and total individual freedom.
In practice, they believe in pretending to believe this to get what they want.
Much like Stalin used the idea of Communal Living “Communism” proposed by Karl Marx to enforce his Totalitarian will.
So most anarchists are exactly the opposite of what they claim.

– Again, there are exceptions…but real PURE “Anarchists” are about as common as “Pure” Psychopaths…that is, less than one percent.

7/9/12: I would say this is fairly accurate.

Satanists believe that everyone is their “Own God”.
That we don’t know what exists after death, so we must be true to ourselves and do what is right, here and now.
In practice, most Satanists believe that they are stronger than others
either physically or mentally, and so if religion is done away with
(e.g. ‘1984’ or ‘Brave New World’ or ‘Animal Farm’) then others, with nothing to hope for, will bow down before them and serve their goals,
which inevitably tend towards greed, manipulation, meaningless sex,
abuse, domination, cruelty, etc…

– This is not correct…it is in fact LaVeyan Satanists (see below) that believe this.  Real Satanists actually worship Lucifer, for reasons I understand but think are stoopid.  It’s not beyond me…I just think it’s stoopid.

7/9/12: “I’m glad you approve.” * “I do NOT “approve”…I understand.”

LaVeyan Satanists are those that are either REALLY stupid and
believe that you should BUY a MEMBERSHIP CARD to a religion
that advocates INDIVIDUALITY (Insert laugh track here)…
They are the ones collecting the money, thereby making them frauds, manipulators, and abusers of “weaker” minds.

– First comment dead-on funny…second one a bit over-reactionary, since it was meant as a joke and if someone WANTS to buy a joke, hey, there’s one born every minute…just ask LaVey.  And one positive point about LaVeyans: They believe that while you shouldn’t love everyone, you should be loyal and protective to/of those you CHOOSE to love, those that you deem worthy.  I agree.

7/9/12: The True believers, that is.  True believers are very difficult to find.

Basically most powerful “goths” prey upon people that have been
hurt or abused, telling them that they really care about them, and
inviting them to join a group…ANY group, because any group is better than nothing.

– Yup.

7/9/12: Repetition.  The key.

Sort of like Ed Norton’s character in American History X. 

– Bit of a stretch there…more like Cam.

7/9/12: Or, if they’re not very clever, the big fat guy.

Luckily, he woke up.

Oh…how many Hispanic, Black, Asian…ummm…Non-Caucasian “goths” are there?  Not many…
What does that say?  Oh, I dunno…
“Be tolerant of us!!!! You aren’t tolerant of us!!!!”
“Can I join???”
“No way man you’re black!”

– Uh huh.

7/9/12: There are a token few allowed “in” for plausible deniability purposes.

I mean, “goths” despising Society for the “Evils” perpetrated on them…
Well, should black people despise society for having been enslaved 150 years ago?
Should Jews hate society for Millenia of persecution?
I mean, grow the heck up, ok? 
Get over it.
Yeah, you’ve suffered.  A single tear rolls down my cheek.  GET OVER IT!

– Ditto.

7/9/12: The key.

Anne Gwish is a goth woman that has her own strip in the later part of the series. Her name is a pun on the word “anguish.” Her storyline is completely unrelated to Johnny’s, though she lives in the same fictional universe. The strips featuring her are largely a satire on goth culture’s tendencies towards pretension.

In most of her strips, you can find puns and parodies on gothic subculture. Like “Johnny the Hamicidal Maniac” (with Johnny as a
pig), “Ditchspade Symphony” (a parody of the band, Switchblade Symphony), “The Shmoe” (a rather obvious parody of The Crow, who proclaims “I stole this look from KISS”) and “The Dirtman” (a Sandman joke).

Vasquez ends the Anne Gwish strip with an aside comment,
“With just a touch of self-mockery,” due to his personal goth
lifestyle as well as the cultural category his comic books are
placed in.

In the back of the JTHM: Director’s Cut, (naming her
AKA “bitch”) it was revealed that Jhonen Vasquez liked the idea of
Anne Gwish being the “most physically attractive” of his characters,
as it “only frames more distinctly how HORRIBLE a person she is inside.” 

 (That’s Jhonen Vasquez, “hero” of the “goth” community, saying what he really thinks of most “goths”)

– Peace

7/9/12: Out.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

The Crow (1993)

Giving goth a Good name.

Plot: Man killed comes back to life and is almost invincible, until his “wrong” has been made “right”.

There’s not much more to it than a series of revenges, but they’re all done brilliantly…if you like that sort of thing.

It’s “style”, it’s “atmosphere”…WITH substance...and there’s no “pretension” here.  Brandon Lee’s death in reality is a fact, and lends an undeniable weight to the movie in which he died(twice) before dying on the set.  The makeup scene in particular is clever (“Mime from Hell”, HAHA) and gleefully foreshadowing.  The film was released during the reign of Grunge, and so in fitting fashion it IS raining…ALMOST all the time.  Good music, too.  The dialogue can be really cheezy…but the cool quotes abound.

Brandon Lee is brilliant as the lead…a true Gothic Hero, not an “Anti-Hero”.  He’s dark, he’s a killer…but he’s a very sympathetic character.  You feel his pain because you do, not because he whines about it and shoves it down your throat.  And he’s Good, in the exact sense of the word that comes back to haunt one of his “victims”…(aren’t we all?…Sorry, I can’t help myself).  The Evil “Devils” in this movie “See Goodness” and truly FEEL how awful it is.

Inspirational Quote: “Buildings burn, people die, but Real Love is Forever”

Grade: A-

In The Mouth Of Madness (1995)

Wherein John Carpenter does Michael De Luca’s best H.P. Lovecraft.

You know it’s a John Carpenter movie because, like fellow egomaniac George A. Romero (although with much less justification) he calls this movie, like most of his, ‘John Carpenter’s *Insert Name Of Film Here*’.  Just a minor, trivial note; but since this is easily Carpenter’s best work since ‘The Thing’ it’s a good idea he made sure to lay claim to it, unlike some of his other “works of art”.

It doesn’t really matter who stars in this movie, they aren’t important…the performances are solid but there’s nothing to stand out either in a good way or a bad way.  They do their jobs, nothing more nothing less.

The POINT is the mood, the story, the fragmentation, the eerie growing disquiet, the descent into either armageddon or insanity, depending on your viewpoint.  And perhaps not even depending on your viewpoint, because what does it matter what YOU think?  It’s not *knock knock* reality.

The plot is thin and disjointed and the script isn’t brilliant, but that doesn’t matter…in a story of insanity, coherence is self-defeating and any faults here can be overlooked by saying “Well, he did that on purpose because it’s about insanity”…did he?  *Shrug*  Who knows…who cares.  Just go along for the ride…it’s creepy, cheezy at points, but mostly scary in an eerie, hopelessly free-falling sort of way.  Reality isn’t what it used to be.

Inspirational Quote: “I can’t, he wrote me this way.”

Grade: B+

2012: Grade: B

5/26/13: Oh, P.S. – I changed my mind, kiss my a$$! Grade: B+

8/5/14: Sam Neill is actually quite good, as the only (then) star. Otherwise no change, although this is a very guilty pleasure at times, even for a very good movie – which it is. Grade: B+

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

This film is very silly.

No, that’s not the entire review, but you get the general idea.  I’m not quite sure exactly how much of it is MEANT to be silly, but I suppose that doesn’t really matter.  Intended or not, this is almost all camp, with some of the best scenes coming in unbelievably macabre and twisted fashion.  Macabre and twisted, but so hokey that you can’t help but snort or snicker, much like ‘Dead Alive’ only without anywhere NEAR as much gore.

The plot centers around a couple of college students on vacation in jolly olde England.  They’re walking across the countryside and come to a little tavern called “The Slaughtered Lamb”.  Foreshadowing?  Who knows.  Who cares?  It’s a silly movie.  Anyways, they go in, and the best part of the movie occurs…unfortunately, right near the beginning.  The reception they receive is grim but turns lively in rather amusing fashion, and the atmosphere is captured perfectly.  Then they leave, and the movie starts to mostly suck.

One of the students (David Naughton) is bitten by a (get ready for a surprise) werewolf, while his friend is bitten repeatedly (translation = mauled to death). 

Naughton’s character David (yes, same name) then slowly starts to “transform” into a werewolf, or so it seems, while his dead friend keeps appearing to have polite discussions about what happened, what will happen, and what SHOULD happen.  It’s amusing in places, utterly ridiculous, vastly overblown, and good for a few chuckles.  Once.  Da End.

Inspirational Quote: “You…made me miss.”

Grade: C

3/21/12: Ok, funnier (cheezy amusing not “haha”) than I gave it credit for, and played straight.  Which gives it a slight edge over stuff like ‘Troll 2’.  Grade: C+

The Princess Bride (1987)

This is a Rob Reiner film, and so the satirical/silly parts go without saying.  The difference between this and, say, ‘Spinal Tap’ (Where Reiner goes for all-out satire) is that not only does the movie totally succeed as a satire on the pretensions of D+D movies that have been dreadful since the dawn of time itself, but it also totally succeeds when it becomes wry, romantic, touching, menacing, dramatic, uplifting, *insert adjective that it goes for here*.

It’s a beautiful, nearly perfect film.  Cary Elwes plays a role that IS Cary Elwes, as he’s proven (sometimes unintentionally and unfortunately) in countless movies since: quick-tongued, charming and yet annoying at the same time, overly dramatic, and hopelessly over-acting.  But here, it WORKS…it’s like if Jim Carrey ever found a movie whose sole intention was to extol the virtues of talking out of your a$$.

Robin Wright is perfect as the perfectly Pure Princess “Buttercup” (Yes, it’s meant to be a silly name). Chris Sarandon is excellent as the Evil yet Stoopid Prince Humperdinck (Yes, it’s meant to be a silly name).  Even Andre the *BEEP* Giant is good in his role…

However the two absolute standouts are Mandy Patinkin and Christopher Guest, who fittingly have a confrontation near the end of the movie that is without a doubt the climax of the movie and one of the most moving scenes in a non-pure drama that I have EVER seen.  And this is seeing it 24 *BLEEPIN* years later!

If you don’t know the script by now, look it up somewhere.  Actually, don’t.  It’s a PURE Fairy Tale…quaint, charming, understated, fun, funny.  A truly great film.  Enjoy.

Inspirational Quote: “I want my father back you sonofab1tch!”

Grade: A+

The Professional (1994)

This is the edited-for-content American version of the longer (and much more explicitly controversial) ‘Leon’, the original film by French director Luc Besson.  Most of the scenes that have been cut from the original deal with the relationship between Leon and Mathilda.  Personally, I’d like to see them because they would show how the two become closer, and even if they do veer more and more towards what is already made explicit in this edited version, they never (from what I understand) cross the line from disturbing into flat-out obscene.

‘The Professional’ is ostensibly the story of a “cleaner” named Leon who saves the life of a young girl named Mathilda.  How young?  Well, she’s 12, as people seem to know for absolutely no reason.  A young boy’s age is also known for absolutely no adequately explored reason, and it’s a bit of a running joke after a while, sort of like everyone thinking “Snake” Plissken was dead(sp?).

Some of the action scenes are somewhat dated(Perhaps ‘Equilibrium”s only redeeming scene should be cut-and-pasted?).  The acting is not as good as the ideas, nor is the writing.  But the ideas are brilliant, and those who complain about Gary Oldman’s over-the-top Stansfield are overlooking the fact that at least Oldman gives his character an interesting persona, beyond what is actually “called for” in the script.

I could wax philosophical about how the movie is not about death and killing but about saving life and Salvation, and while that may or may not be true, it seems to me to be more about slick cinemacraft than either.  Not without its merits, certainly, but as over-rated by its adoring fans as it is hated by its critics.

Oldman’s character displays a creepy fascination for REALLY close physical contact(think of a younger version of ‘Book of Eli”s Carnegie) and is just as menacing in his calm, relaxed psychosis as Pesci in ‘Goodfellas”s “Funny Guy” scene.  Reno plays emotionally stunted and naive perfectly…I buy it, at least.  Natalie Portman does about as well as a child-actor can as Mathilda, out-performing many of the adults.

Oldman’s character Stansfield is in a position of extreme power, which is a bit far-fetched – Odd, Psychotic Drug Addicts seldom rise to that level of power, I would imagine.  And most of his men are INCREDIBLY incompetent.

The “bonding” scenes seem a bit forced at times, again begging for the inclusion of the deleted scenes.

The last third of the movie is easily the best part…everything has been established and the ending is, in its own way, brilliant.  However the whole thing is perhaps a bit TOO well-directed.  Slick, stylish…so slick it loses some of its believability.  Sort of the Reverse-Reservoir-Dogs effect.

Inspirational Quote: “I’m DYING to meet him.”

Grade: B

7/22/14: Parts of it are dumb and parts are too slick and parts are boring, but there are too many great scenes and powerful moments/feelings not to grade this slightly higher.

The ray of light, as if sent down from Heaven in a gesture of Divine mercy, is a fav touch. Arty without being pretentious.

Grade: B+

Pupdate – Acknowledgement of areas of Mediocrity

Having myself gone back, after writing reviews for ‘Lackluster’ and (my favorite) ‘Equilibrium’, I’ve realized that while I’m not a GREAT critic now, I am at least an intermittently witty one with a certain degree of (useful) knowledge.

I’ve also realized that a lot of the sh1t I wrote many years ago is more akin to a high-school student’s homage to a REAL poet than anything of much value on its own. (Robert Christgau rocks my socks).

Therefore, I will be re-analyzing/writing a lot of the reviews I’ve written (mostly musical) over the course of the near future.

Feel free to check back, and if YOU have a band you want mercilessly analyzed in a competent fashion, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

3/2/13: Mission mostly accomplished.  It gets better, slowly…

Why It’s Completely Absurd To Advocate A Lifestyle Of Total Logic – Analysis Of A Trend (By Puppy)

If you’re reading this because you agree with the title, are bored, wanted a potential chuckle, etc…Great.

If you’re reading this because you disagree with the title, I would suggest the following…

Any argument I can make can probably be out-argued by you, because you’re so much smarter than I am in that “useless beyond-genius no-real-value Rain Man” sort of a way.

So just think about the following two quotes, and continue to worship Stephen Hawking as your Deity.

“You don’t understand, and you never will.” – Diane Chambers (A fairly logical character)

“Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them.” – Spock (Also, fairly logical)

-Puppy >.< Yip!

Thank You

To Jenna Greene, for being the truly nice person that she is.

And for sharing with myself (and everyone) her beautiful, mystical music. if you’d like to see for yourself.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

Era Nocturna

Lackluster (2009)

Pleasantly Gloomy.

Alternating between dark-trance and dark-pop, this will be consistently boring or annoying to anyone that doesn’t like “dark”.  To those that DO like “dark”, this will intermittently enthrall/entice and madden/disappoint.

The vocals blend in with the music, or vice versa, rendering them irrelevant on their own, which is fitting for trance and especially goth-inflected trance and the preference of mood and style over substance.

Think of early My Bloody Valentine after a death (or two) in the family and with more of a desire to express ideas and less concentration on fostering (and maintaining) a mood.  The synth seems over-used and the drums seem (by contrast) under-used, which is perfect for trance, but when it veers more towards pop it becomes a problem.

Potential?  Yes.  But for every band that eventually puts out a ‘Loveless’, a masterful work of indecipherable mood music, there are dozens that either never perfected that mood despite repeated attempts or never learned to write consistent hooks (vocal or otherwise) that would make said mood irrelevant.

One of those paths is necessary for any true, long-lasting relevance.
(“If Only I Could”)

Grade: B-

2012:  In an attempt to write a proper review, I sought a band to compare them to.  The choice was incorrect because, as I state in my initial review, there is more a desire to actually express ideas via intelligible words, to be verbally blunt.  My Bloody Valentine they’re not, and they never will be…the wall of sound erected on ‘Loveless’ is, in my opinion, too intricate.  But that’s not the point.  The specialty of THIS band is writing catchy songs with mostly vocal/synth hooks (the vocal ones are actually better than the synth ones, not to insult the synth ones) and an increasing incorporation of drums.  All that being said, I still think this is exactly what I graded it initially…pretty good.  If the writing ever consistently reaches the level of “If Only I Could” and “Beautiful Death” (The playing is already there), then they will have something…no ‘Loveless’, but Dae Noctem doesn’t want that, I think…she wants to express herself in a blatantly hooky way.  And sometimes, she succeeds.  Grade: B-

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Episode 31 (The All-England Summarize Proust Competition)

Summarizing Proust
A Magnificent Festering
Useless!  and Right Out!
Gilliam’s Communist Revolutions
Bloody Gob
Watney’s Red Barrel

Everest hairdos
Fire Brigade Choir
the BBC cutting out Chapman saying “masturbating”

Shoe sizes

Grade: B-

8/8/12:  “Somehow “strangling animals” is ok, but “masturbating” isn’t” – Terry Jones  
Grade: B