Blue Springs, Missouri, is receiving federal funds for "Gothic Culture Research."
June 25, 2002 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Blue Springs, Missouri, is receiving federal funds for "Gothic Culture Research." "The funding for the proposed gothic program will supplement existing services already in place and allow the city to target additional 'at risk' youth in the gothic culture." Apparently, gothism is a "gateway" culture that may lead to harder stuff.
posted by me3dia (15 comments total)

 
Whoops, jumped the gun -- they're seeking funds, not receiving them yet. The advisory headline was misleading.

I predict bumper stickers saying things like "Goth is not a crime!" and protests involving a whole bunch of pale people in black clothes milling around the courthouse steps looking forlorn.

(Via disenchanted, by the way.)
posted by me3dia at 2:23 PM on June 25, 2002


Sheesh. Only in the Midwest.

[I live in Kansas, I'm not really surprised.]
posted by katieinshoes at 2:31 PM on June 25, 2002


I predict bumper stickers saying things like "Goth is not a crime!" and protests involving a whole bunch of pale people in black clothes milling around the courthouse steps looking forlorn.

Sunlight would make them burst into flames.
posted by ColdChef at 2:35 PM on June 25, 2002


I'm glad my tax dollars are going to something as crucial as this.

Mrs. Lovejoy: "Won't somebody think of the children?"
posted by insomnyuk at 2:41 PM on June 25, 2002


Hmmm... will it stop them from convicting people based purely on their clothes?
posted by patrickje at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2002


"Apparently, gothism is a "gateway" culture that may lead to harder stuff."

Industrial?!

Or even worse... websites featuring gratuitous use of animated torches and spinning pentacles!
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2002


I blame the goth/industrial community for my damagingly expensive CD-buying addiction.

Those Ant-Zen buying sprees can bankrupt a person like nobody's business.
posted by sigma7 at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2002


I linked to a story on this earlier this month. it's less scary than it sounds. kind of clueless...
posted by rebeccablood at 4:00 PM on June 25, 2002


Note the date - this is the same thing we discussed a couple of months ago.

One odd thing about this press release is this quote: "The recent gothic culture movement in the area over the past two years" - so this is new to them. It's not like they're randomly deciding to pick on a subculture that isn't even particularly prominent right now. I guess if Blue Springs, Missouri is some small town in the hills that's never seen fishnet shirts and heavy eyeliner, I can see why they might be alarmed. It's kind of cute, in a way, to think of a place where a music-based subculture still has the power to shock and frighten.
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:26 PM on June 25, 2002


"It's kind of cute, in a way, to think of a place where a music-based subculture still has the power to shock and frighten."

How cute depends entirely on how big the local population is and what prompted the project. This looks to me like an attempt to harass or label a small number of teens who are visible in the community...

The fact that part of the money will go to "surveillance" and "youth and family counseling" to combat what is described as a "potential increase" in negative behaviors only strengthens this impression. In other words: your appearance upsets us, anything that upsets us can be labeled a potential problem, we therefore label you "high risk."

That label - "high risk" - carries real consequences with it in many school districts...so this looks more punitive than cute to me.
posted by 23lemurs at 5:35 PM on June 25, 2002


Missouri, eh? I sense the hand of Gruppenfuehrer Ashcroft behind all this...
posted by alumshubby at 5:52 PM on June 25, 2002


Well, its official a witch hunt now. [STAMP]
posted by howa2396 at 6:02 PM on June 25, 2002


They are asking for funds so they can research who are the "at risk" kids. That's not a bad thing. It sounds like they are trying to protect kids, not throw them in jail.
posted by animoller at 8:08 PM on June 25, 2002


animoller: while that's certainly a good and noble idea, I'm still scratching my head about what ties the goth subculture with at-risk behaviour. At risk for what? Owning too much PVC?

From my six years "in the scene", I can't fathom what's ultimately so damaging.

Drugs? Ok, there have been a few druggies that I've known over the years, but I could literally count them on one hand and still have a finger or two left over. Small potatoes in my book.

Depression/mental illness? Every last person (myself included) that has had experience with depression and other maladies had them before, not because of, their involvement in the scene. If anything (and this is purely personal experience) it's less a glorification of the dark bits of the psyche, and more of a purging and reconciliation. But mostly it's just fun music.

Underage smoking/drinking? That happens. But that happens everywhere. The scene neither facilitates nor condemns these behaviours.

Perhaps I'm oblivious, or perhaps the scene here is too goody-goody, but for the most part, the constituents are generally well-behaved, intelligent, and respectful, though somewhat prone to gossip.
posted by sigma7 at 6:17 AM on June 26, 2002


if you read the story that was originally posted and that rebeccablood refers to, you'll see that to some extent this was a well-meaning grant application that got hijacked by some clueless politicians.

and Blue Springs isn't out in the sticks or anything, it's a typical suburb at the edge of Kansas City's sprawl area.

i think it is more a case of some politicians seeing an opportunity to attach themselves to a big pot of money more than anything.
posted by erogers at 12:54 PM on June 26, 2002


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