Tragic Kingdom
May 14, 2018 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Bats Day in the Fun Park aka Bats Day aka Goth Day has, for two decades, been an annual gathering of goths at Disneyland. Sadly it seems the event will not carry on in its current form (blame Trump), but hopefully some sort of similar, if curtailed, event will continue lurch on in undeath.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (32 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Loving this quote from Noah Korda in the Vice article:

“Honestly, I want to say goth pretty much died out around 2005 [or] 2006,” he explained. “Really, what the goth community was, it was all about the music. And unfortunately, due to the lack of new goth music coming it, it’s sort of metamorphosized into sort of like a, I guess you could say, like a style.”

Looking down on the newbies until the bitter end? Ave atque vale.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:29 AM on May 14 [10 favorites]


What about health goth?
posted by thivaia at 7:39 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Well, if you're willing to travel for a goth-con, there was Whitby Goth Weekend in April of this year, so it sounds like goth isn't that dead.

Also, if the scene really died over a decade ago, why keep meeting? I think it's sour grapes about his preferred sound of gothic music, because the mid Aughts had a different sound than years (and decades) past. Though I'm not actively looking for new gothic music as I once was, I went to a fantastic dance night in Phoenix, which has eight different goth/fetish clubs and events, and the DJ played a good mix of old and new "alternative" songs (as described by PHX Goth), all suitably dark IMO. I just stumbled across Mount Kimbie - Four Years and One Day (Gerd Janson Remix) that is probably on the border of being too upbeat, but there's some great gloom to it, and I could see it playing in a less restrictive goth club.


What about health goth?

Dontcha know, that's the wrong kind of goth. ;)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:44 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


I've met Noah a number of times. He's a good guy and I'm bummed that Bats Day is no longer, but Bats Day also used to be the only big black market (goth vendors) around Southern California and now with Midsummer Scream, Monsterpalooza, and SpookShow, there's plenty of other places to get your goth on.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:44 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


i thought we all agreed that health goth was both over by 2014 and simultaneously never actually happened
posted by halation at 7:46 AM on May 14 [7 favorites]


I've actually been to a few of these back in the earlier days. Especially when season/annual passes were still cheap and/or it was easier to sneak in or do a handstamp transfer. (Yeah, yeah, we're the reason you get your fingerprints scanned with your tickets now.)

I don't think it's weird that goths want to go to Disneyland. There have always been a bunch of rides and attractions that are dark and spooky plus the neo-Victorian nostalgia, and the there's the whole theatrical nature of Disneyland as mentioned in the article. And goths, punks rockabillies and other alt.culture.whatever have been hanging out at Disneyland since at least the 1980s.

This is why Disneyland tried to start the Videopolis night club/space, and why it was actually a success for a while despite the lack of a bar. There was already a bunch of youth and youth culture hanging out there, and since it was SoCal in the mid 1980s to early 1990s they had a lot of disposable income.

What I've never been able to figure out is why they've held it at the start of summer. Being a goth in SoCal is miserably hot and sunny, and Disneyland in the summer is effectively a scorching hot asphalt parking lot jam packed with people.

Disneyland in the summer is pretty much the last place you want to go full goth with heavy pancake makeup and layers of dramatic black clothing.
posted by loquacious at 8:08 AM on May 14 [8 favorites]


I always followed from afar, keeping up with the Cupcake Gothmother from Gothic Charm School. I adore her obsession with the Haunted Manor.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:26 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]




Disneyland in the summer is pretty much the last place you want to go full goth with heavy pancake makeup and layers of dramatic black clothing.

This seems like the right place for one of my favorite music videos (note: song is not Goth).
posted by thivaia at 8:31 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Disneyland in the summer is pretty much the last place you want to go full goth with heavy pancake makeup and layers of dramatic black clothing.

Can't believe I forgot Irn-Bru Goth Holiday
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:02 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


A couple weeks ago I went to the Zola Jesus + Alice Glass show in SF; goth's not quite dead...

(Also, on the off chance that anyone's not heard the mountain goats 'goths' album, it's a fantastic tribute to bands past.)
posted by kaibutsu at 9:09 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


LOLOL. No, goth is not dead. If the organizer of this event thinks that goth music has died out, he's seriously not paying attention or he just needs to turn over the reins to someone who is actually interested in the scene. (Or he needs to move to the east coast, maybe? We've got plenty of gothiness going on.)
posted by desuetude at 9:15 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


I want to say goth pretty much died out around 2005 [or] 2006
...
LOLOL. No, goth is not dead.


P'shaw. Everyone knows goth died in 1983 when Bauhaus broke up. Kids these days, amirite?
posted by tclark at 10:05 AM on May 14 [11 favorites]


I read about this last week, but was too lazy to make a post!

Speaking as someone who's been to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World at that time of the year, I'd sooner dress up at the former than the latter. Maybe it's because I live in a generally cold, damp climate, but the relative lack of humidity in SoCal makes all the difference. I wore khakis and a cotton, 3/4-sleeve button-down shirt to Disneyland and was perfectly comfortable, while soaking through Madras shorts and a thin tee in Orlando.

While it's sad that the convention events are gone (before I ever got to enjoy them!), dressing up and meeting others in the park seems like the funnest part, and that can go on as long as people are willing to pay the ever-increasing* ticket prices.


*I remember my father flipping out like Fred Sanford at the $14 one-day ticket price to the Magic Kingdom in the early 1980s. The Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator says that's $35.69 in today's money, compared to the current $119 ticket price. Granted, there are more attractions there than 30-40 years ago, but jeez.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:20 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Since the 1990s: Goth the music is dead, undead, undead, undead.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 10:27 AM on May 14 [6 favorites]


I guess Ian Curtis will have to ride rollercoasters in a different amusement park now.
posted by item at 11:44 AM on May 14 [9 favorites]


LOL, Bless Their Little Hearts.

“Honestly, I want to say goth pretty much died out around 2005 [or] 2006,” he explained. “Really, what the goth community was, it was all about the music. And unfortunately, due to the lack of new goth music coming it, it’s sort of metamorphosized into sort of like a, I guess you could say, like a style.”

"No, goth is not dead. If the organizer of this event thinks that goth music has died out, he's seriously not paying attention..."

"Since the 1990s: Goth the music is dead, undead, undead, undead."

Spooky Kids the Lot of 'Em. Spooky Kids, Vampires, Emo ... two doors down on the left.

Goth died along with Eternal September and the influx of Spooky Kids.

me goes off to polish my Ankh and listen to Johnny Cash and maybe do some cartwheels while wondering if a 20 year old computer named after a 30 year old "Nice Boots" is goth or not.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:26 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Disney needs a Juggalo day.
posted by 4ster at 2:53 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Disney needs a Juggalo day.

Oh, this is just a glorious idea. Main Street would run with Faygo and blood.
posted by loquacious at 3:30 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


For me, and for a lot of people*, the end of goth was in 2010, when General Mills discontinued year-round production of Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula year round, relegating them to just seasonal availability.

* probably
posted by aubilenon at 3:33 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


Goth never died.
The following just got older.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:08 PM on May 14


Goth has been dying for as long as it has been around. The old-school UK-goth fans claimed that the NIN/Manson kiddies in their Hot Topic T-shirts killed it. The goth rockers and old-school harsh-noise industrial fans claimed that all this ravey, trancey EBM/“futurepop” and all the kids with pink dreadlocks and Cyberdog gas masks killed it. I imagine that a decade or so earlier there were probably Goths from the Batcave claiming that all these post-punk bands from Leeds were ruining the scene with their monochromatic, rocky interpretation of it.

Though in another sense, Goth as a subculture has become less vital and viable, in the same way that, say, Mod or punk or similar. The decline of indie/alternative snobbery/obscurantism/tribalism has a lot to do with this. For youth to choose a tribe, and be locked into it, adopting its dress at the cost of the derision of outsiders, hewing exclusively to its cultural markers, and maintaining “cred” which could be punctured at any moment if they were caught humming along to a song from the top 40, seems bizarre and anachronistic now, like mediaeval sumptuary laws or something. All of pop culture is a bazaar, lying open like Noel Fielding's dressing-up chest, for one to pick and choose from. Take a deep dive into classic gothic rock one day, and yacht rock the next. Or, if forming a band, why not mash those up? (You'll probably sound a bit like Ariel Pink or something.) Talk knowingly about something super-cool and ultra-obscure like, say, some 70s Costa Rican psych-rock band, one moment and about how great the new Taylor Swift single is the next, revelling in the freedom of not having to maintain alternative cred. In such a sense, becoming a Goth would be like keeping a LiveJournal. It'd look a bit odd and you'd feel a bit lonely doing it.
posted by acb at 5:22 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


My 15 year old niece recently discovered my trove of London goth stuff from Ken High street market. There's no way I could ever wear anything that fit 30 years ago, so I was thrilled that she wanted it. And now, Dallas has a new baby goth, in the most amazing vickie velvet you can imagine. She pairs it with neon hair and boots and it's so adorable I could almost smoke a clove.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:22 PM on May 14 [9 favorites]


MetaFilter: it's so adorable I could almost smoke a clove.
posted by loquacious at 10:26 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Maybe, I don't know, about a year ago I was talking with my mother about the black costume and skull jewelry I was making to sing at Wizarding Weekend. And she said, "You know, when you were younger I thought you might grow up to be one of those Goth people. What is it they worship, anyway?"
I said, "Mom, we grew up celebrating our birthdays on Halloween*, you sang us to sleep with "Poor Jud is Daid," you always pretended that the big bowls of stewed tomatoes you were canning was open-heart surgery, you baked ghost and skeleton cookies in October instead of gingerbread men in December... if I was a spooky kid, I learned it from you, Mom!" She laughed and said that was fair.

*We had one big Halloween party in October instead of individual birthday celebrations in September and November. And these were big, elaborate affairs, with a haunted house, themed scavenger hunts with Mom and her friends dressed up as the characters you meet along the way, awesome homemade decorations (there were no pop-up Halloween stores with racks of prefab plastic tombstones) and special effects, pumpkin-carving, the works. Cider from our own apples, homemade doughnuts, and extra ghost cookies for kids to take home. We had a ball.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:00 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Goth was over in 1797 when Horace Walpole died! (Though it had never been the same since it was replaced with Renaissance architecture in the 16th century)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:12 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Complaining about how goth is dying is probably one of the most defining charafteristics of the goth subculture. Also the most tiresome.

Goth is fun and goths are nice and I dig the aesthetic even if I no longer aspire to it, but the exclusionist grousing is just exhausting.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:36 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I can’t think of a more appropriate memorial to Pauley Perrette leaving NCIS.
posted by ovenmitt at 6:24 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


Goth's been dead since it started. That's rather the point, innit?
posted by evilDoug at 7:35 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


> Goth's been dead since it started.

Undead undead undead...
posted by desuetude at 12:49 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


How do you get a goth out of The Tree?

Cut the music.
posted by loquacious at 3:37 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Though I'm not actively looking for new gothic music as I once was, I went to a fantastic dance night in Phoenix, which has eight different goth/fetish clubs and events

A friend showed me the Vice article at most likely the very same dance night Wednesday night. We had a good chuckle about the continuing demise of goth.

The Phoenix scene really has an embarrassment of riches right now. We have a few really great DJs and promoters who have worked really hard over the years to keep the scene fresh and thriving. I think the thing making it successful is the expansion of "Goth" to include things like witch-house, dream pop, dark trip hop and the like. It still all feels like goth to me, and since I've been in or around the scene for 25 years now, I feel like I'm a pretty good arbiter of what fits.

If goth is alive (or undead) here on the surface of the sun, I'm pretty sure it's doing ok.
posted by Lapin at 6:51 PM on May 15


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