Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ooh look, a survey.

I've seen this around. I like surveys (stop sniggering at the back, I do!). I thought... why not? 

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4 and write the sentence here: With his free hand, Mackie reached for the suction catheter and plunged the tip into the abdomen. ((Well, isn't that just delightful.))

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What's there? My radio alarm. Switched off. 

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV? I can't remember, I don't watch much of it. Think it was various oddments at my mate's house this morning. We ended up flicking from Formula One to The Big Bang Theory to Nickelodeon. There really was nothing on. XD

4. Without looking, guess what time it is: 1:30

5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? 2:04 ((Displaying my wonderful sense of timing there))
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? I can't hear anything besides the computer, so I'll cheat. A song called Au Revoir by Malice Mizer, being played on YouTube. 

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? This afternoon. My other half's Dad had a flat tyre, and I went out onto the front step to have a look and offer useless but well-intentioned advice. 

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at? A blog belonging to someone who did this survey. And youtube. 

9. What are you wearing? Pyjamas :3

10. Did you dream last night? Yes, but I can only remember fragments. An old folks' home where people kept getting ill and dying; big buildings that... I think we were driving away from them? A load of Police sniffer-wolves we had to barricade ourselves indoors to avoid; and getting heckled by chavs whilst doing something with wool on a bridge. 

11. When did you last laugh? This evening, no idea what at. Could have been anything XD

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? Wallpaper on one wall. And possibly an insect or two. ((Yes, my walls are dull. Shoot me :p))

13. Seen anything weird lately? Plenty. Anything anyone did at my mate's picnic on Thursday, for instance. Also, an insect with a rudder. 

14. What is the last film you saw? Lord of the Rings- the Two Towers. I was on a LoTR rush, and wanted to compare with the book. 

15. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? I'd probably be annoyingly practical and use it to buy a car, somewhere to live and cover my university fees. I'd then stick a load in my savings account and give a fair bit to charity, before taking what was left and spending it on... shoes and ships and ceiling wax, and cabbages and kings. And a top hat. 

16. Tell me something about you that I don’t know. Some people already know this, but what the hell. When I was little I had a much-beloved giant plastic brachiosaurus called Nora. I used to take her into bed with me, and attempt to dress her up as Mary Poppins from time to time. ((I was an... imaginative child))

17. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change? Let's unleash our inner hippy and make the world a less judgemental and more tolerant place... 

18. Do you like to dance? If I could dance, I'd probably enjoy it a lot more. But I can't, so I just find it a bit awkward really. The best I can hope for is to do an Axl Rose and dance badly in a way that sort of works somehow, but I'm not holding my breath even for that. 

19. What do you think of the Prime Minister? Cameron? Let's just say he's safely ensured that I'll never even consider voting Tory for a long, long time, and leave it at that.

20. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? There are a lot of names I like, so I'm not sure. I''ll just sum it up: Unusual- good. Traditional- won't rule it out. Tacky- bad. Cutesy- very bad. So popular my kid will share his/her name with four classmates- very bad. 

21. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him? See above ^

22. Would you ever consider living abroad? Yes. I don't want to go anywhere right now, and I'm not sure it would be ideal at any time in my life, but I would if I had to. Which I will if I get onto a decent languages course...

23. What do you want to say to God when you reach the pearly gates? If I arrive in front of a God, my first reaction would be surprise, followed by a grudging apology for being wrong. :3 ((atheism GO!))

Friday, 22 July 2011

I suppose I can call it my subculture.

My decision to identify as Goth didn't come lightly. For four years after I first became attracted by alternative clothing, music and viewpoints, I refused to label myself, mostly because no label ever fitted. In my early teens I looked emo and got referred to as emo from time to time, and yet I... wasn't. Not really. I remember being told I looked too 'planned'- that is to say, the emos looked like they just threw on whatever was on the floor at the time, I looked liked I made conscious choices about what to wear and put some effort in. I wasn't the same. 

After a while, I began to move on from that, and I briefly shifted into a not-mallgothy stage. I was one by a lot of people's definitions, but I never called myself 'Goth', didn't act the oh-so-angsty part (on the contary, I spent a lot of time Stepford Smiling in an attempt to hide my actual depression), and was really too aware of how I came across to count. I was quite self-disparaging of it too, never feeling I'd got 'it', whatever 'it' was. quite right. It was from this moment on that I really started to understand the differences between the various subcultures and consciously shun them. I spent ages describing myself as generically alternative, not really belonging to any particular group. 

However, as I pulled away from my more Mallgothy image and started listening to a wider variety of music, I noticed I was a lot closer to Goth than I was to anything else. In fact, the looser descriptions of what Goth is seemed to fit me pretty well. It took me a while even then, and I think in the end I only started self-identifying as a Goth because I ran out of reasons not to. Once I'd realised that labels were shorthand, and that you didn't have to be restricted by them; that I fitted too many of the so-called 'criteria' to get out of it on that account; and that my taste in music, while still eclectic, was drifting ever closer to Goth and Goth-friendly genres, I started to feel as though I may as well just... well... go with it.

"Screw it, I'm Goth." Not the most elegant way to join a subculture, admittedly, but that's basically how it happened, and I don't think anything's the worse for it. It certainly didn't stop me walking uncertainly into the Head of Equality and Diversity's office to point out some subcultural discrimination in a French exam paper and ask if something could be done about it, please. I say uncertainly because I half-expected to be laughed out. My relief when she took my complaint seriously was immense. 

A lot of people think joining a subculture means conforming, but it doesn't, not if you don't let it. While it's true that people will try to impose their standards, but there's no rule stating anyone has to pay heed to them when they do. It's also a fact that some people regularly try to bluff themselves extra cred. They listen to bands they've never heard of out of insecurity, or a desire to appear 'in the know' or fear of setting off the spider sense of some self-important git who fancies zirself as the Poseur Police. They do things for no reason other than that most of the rest of their subculture does it. But they're a minority. Most people who join subcultures do it because it already fits them, not because they aspire to fit it. I mean, when I became Goth officially, I already liked the music. I already felt like 'me' when I wore the clothes. I was creative, and have spent the vast majority of my life making up stories, if only for my own entertainment. I have a love of weird and subversive things that can be traced back to early childhood. I'd shied away from major attempts DIY fashion for due to a lack of hand-eye co-ordination, but I'd been doing little bits and pieces for years completely of my own accord, and I genuinely want to go for more ambitious projects in the future.

I, like most people who made the same decision as me, fit without even trying. I don't fit perfectly, no, but then again, who does?