Last week, I was surfing YouTube and found a video from 1983 of Ministry playing at First Avenue in MN. The first Ministry album, With Sympathy, is the basics of any 80s Goth Teen. So this sent me on a pilgrimage to find other Goth Bands from the 80s, and a complete redesign of Myspace/Facebook profiles followed. I've been sent off in a Goth direction to deal with the stress of work and life. Thus, my second Goth Phase has officially begun.
Now, keep in mind I'd like to forget I'm almost 40, and people are rumored to have a mid-life crisis about now.
And Goth or Dirge is a style of music and dress popular with teen-agers back in my old school days. It's the ultimate dark rebellion and goes hand-in-hand with punk and pirates. Goth is not dead, since I still see teens in black trenchcoats going down the street near the high school I drive past to work everyday.
So, I wondered, if I'm in a second Goth phase, it must be triggered by some sort of rebellion, some sort of frustration in life. Then it hit me. My day job is a teacher, and really, teachers have little or no power in education. It is all ruled by administrators and the government. Which, right now, is in a panic because of No Child Left Behind Law and the state cuts for California. There is talk of heading to Sacramento and protesting at the capitol again.
So, is that what mid-life crisis is about? Rebellion against what has happened or what is going on? Or just frustration of where you are in life? Or just life in general? When younger, it's about trying not to be placed in the same category as everyone else. You rebel against society's expectations. But right now, society/politicians are not being reasonable towards children and the teachers that are trying to teach them. So, digressing and going inward into a safe world of Goth might be my mid-life crisis answer.
Ok, I was never a truly dark goth, like suicidal. I always enjoyed the rebellion and way of dealing with stress through music, dance, and dress. It helped I worked in a Goth Dance Club in the 80s too. So, where does that put me? With a downloaded album of "With Sympathy" on my Ipod. A Gothic Playlist on my Mac of Souxie and the Banshees, Strawberry Switchblade, Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, and Soft Cell. Entertain Me by Soft Cell starts out with "Trying to please all these people around, is trying to reach for the moon." It's nice that you can think this, nodding to who you have to deal with at work, and secretly thinking that your black sweater/black pants and black/blue patterned sweater has a secret message.
Tonight, I go for sushi and while waiting for my food, I feel compelled to walk down over to Cost Plus/World Market. This store is a staple for Goth designs since it has alternative/culturally different non-American items. And who is behind the register but one of my best friends from then and now, who is like a sister to me. My friend Tracy and I hug, and I go on my shopping spree for international nibbles. But I notice as she's helping check out, she's got her hair dyed black, and she's dressed all in black. I tell her, working at Cost Plus is the dream/cool job we both dreamed of when younger. We secretly knew that both of us had wanted to work there, and I remember applying back in the 80s too. I ask, "Tracy, are you in a second Goth Phase too? You're wearing all black?" And she says, "Yeah, maybe, I've been listening to lots of 80s stuff and went back to school. I'm going to West Valley now(A Local Jr. College)." Maybe after raising 2 kids, getting married in 92', she's ready for her second Goth Phase.
If that is what it takes to help me sort out life as I turn 40, bring it on. I'm ready to go Goth again.
Dedicated to my good friend Pam Fulton, who when I first met her, was my close Goth friend. She entered the ultimate goth reality on Sept. 19, 1997. I know she's in a better place wearing her leather jacket, dyed her hair black again, and is dancing to "Everyday is Halloween."