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Oh My Goth!

 I have followed the recent resurgence of the goth movement for the past 7 or so years.  Here in the south many clubs hosted or attempted to host goth nights with resident DJ's or different theme nights.  A website dedicated to goth events, ncgoth.com, was the place to find something for your dark heart to delve into.  And lo, around 2007, the scene appeared to die.  What happened?  No, seriously.  WHAT happened?!?!  
I had the privilege of asking the opinion of someone who I follow intently.  A highly respected DJ whom I shall not name out of respect to her opinions.  But, I agree with her.  I think goth became several things no one intended it to.  
(1)It became a clique.  
It was high school all over again.  The folks that had been in it weren't accepting of the folks trying to come along and join the fun, blah, blah, blah.  
(2)It was too scary to be mainstream.
Not that we like it to be mainstream.   Consider what the average person on the street thinks about goth.  Devil worship.  Marilyn Manson and devil worship.  Or they watch NCIS and think of the character Abby and still judge her for her looks.  Maybe the mall retailer Hot Topic scares them.  I don't have the magic answer on this one.  I believe there were too many negative connotations for moms and dads to accept their kids liking the scene, the fashion and the music and thus goth has died down....for now.
So what happened to all those folks who enjoy gloom, doom, black humor and eye liner?  They migrated to the Steampunk movement.
I hate to generalize, but Steampunk is safety goth.  People kind of understand the Victorian aesthetic.  The fashion is generally tame.  Plus, I think that many folks enjoy it because it is not so clearly defined.  There are many trailblazers out there defining the genre now as we speak.
In the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina the radio program The Clockwork Cabaret on radio station WCOM is defining what Steampunk music is.  Across the country website Sepiachord is doing the same thing, albeit much differently and with little similarities.
Steampunk has entered the national consciousness thatnks to a recent episode of the ABC drama Castle featuring an episode centered on a murder concerning Steampunk club patrons.
I pose the question - is goth truly gone?  A resounding "NO!"  echoes from some deep dark pit.  The Goths are still here, however they are carrying rayguns and wearing bustles.  Steampunk has opened doors to many more options for people to participate and not worry about judgement from co-workers, family members and neighbors (sad, but true).  The trappings of goth are still evident, but the focus is no longer on being dark for the sake of being dark.  Now the world has opened up to scientific wonder and many other entertainment options have grafted themselves onto the genre.  
I feel there is room for both in our world.  A pastiche of gothic and steampunk sensibilities, culminating in many fun times to be had by all.  Let's see where the journey leads.
I the meantime, I will share the delights I discover with you.  And as the Davenport sisters of the Clockwork Cabaret say "We will force our music upon their ears with the power of bustles and rayguns!"