Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fashionably Goth

Letter to my daughter, Jessicca
Fashionably Goth
C L I C K     T O     E N L A R G E

Picture:  338 x 400 at 300 dpi  -  Cool Style Fashion

I've got a tiny pebble in my shoe to keep my mind off things.  Not really.  I’m just looking at the fashion side of Goth and that was the first thing that came to mind.  Our minds bored their way to the surface and we call them eyes.  That was the second thought I had.  Every wardrobe needs a touch of nightmare in the closet.  I could just keep going this way but I’d have to pay you to listen. 

Picture:  500 x 693  -  Reddit

Why do we dress the way we do?  It’s pretty ho-hum stuff when we’re talking most people’s sartorial motivations – comfort, budget, dress code, what’s clean and doesn’t need ironing.  We don’t create much stir.  If our outer appearance expresses our inner selves then we’re mostly out to pasture, chewing contented cud.  We’re a sorry lot without imagination.  What if, and this is the big if, we passionately felt our appearance was a remarkable canvas for us to express our inner life?  Just looking at you, people would appreciate your Existential angst.  My God, you’re tortured but it comes off so beautifully exotic.  If we were a billboard announcing how we really felt and thought, we’d save so much useless conversation and get right to the point.  An exchange among colleagues at the office copier might hold the revelatory experience we now reserve for a carefully chosen few during moments of exhausted vulnerability.  We would have our fill of drama.

Picture:  440 x 635  -  Gothic Makeup

There’s little call for theatrics while we’re busy assembling widgets for the masses.  Libraries are filled with books about what lies beneath that placid smile of greeting we encounter each day.  Your client wants to know about the house your showing.  They’ll leave sharing psychic scars and joys for their spouse.  Still, it’s great to have a few among us burning incandescent with imaginative, emotional expression.  They mirror a lot about ourselves we are no longer inclined to see.  Our lives have become less a canvas and more a spreadsheet.  Raising a family is a business that requires tending the needs of everyone else first.  Personal inquiry of any kind may be attempted, but of short dosage: while showering for work, stalled in commuter traffic or the occasional late hour when nothing stirs about the house. 

Picture:  620 x 400  -  Edmonton Journal

We aren’t mimes.  The audacity of personal expression is willfully traded in for the appearance of whatever is called for in what it is we do as workers.  In the grand scheme of it all we are each of us more a contribution to a group project than an individual identity.  Flamboyance is for the young and those whose living it is to entertain us – replenishing our undernourished playfulness with the magic they find in life.  Civilizations feed their population and produce monuments as milestones for the ages.  Societies call upon the unpredictable, unrestrained, wild card nature of the individual to provide us with art we can breath in and embrace.  The appearance of our expression changes with time and circumstance… Goth, Punk, Hippies, Beatniks, Flappers – but the need stays pretty much the same.  If we’re free then we will express irreverence, rebellion, audacity, imagination.  It’s how we remake ourselves as new and continue on, always turning the page.


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