Gothtober 2017 – 15th of October / Apoptygma Berzerk – Until The End Of The World

Goths do many things.

Goth is not just music, Goth is also fashion and lifestyle and literature and visual art and worldview and style.

Sometimes it’s subdued, other times it’s transgressive.
Sometimes it’s macabre, other times it’s romantic.
Sometimes it’s angry, other times it’s gentle.

But almost always, it combines more than one thing into itself.

Take this track. It’s sugary-sweet, electro-pop, dancefloor-filler with hopeless, depressing lyrics about a dead (figuratively or literal, that’s for the listener to decide) romance.

It’s a modern, more party-focused version of something Tears For Fears did with “Mad World” back in the day. Which is why for me the Gary Jules cover fell flat on its face when it released: Oh, look. A sad song with sad lyrics and sad instrumentals. How… Interesting. *yawns*

And while “happy music with sad lyrics” isn’t superbly original either, it’s at least /slightly/ more engaging. And it links into the whole “dance on the ashes of a burning world” that I love about some strains of Goth: The kind of abstract nihilism in which you acknowledge that things are fucked up and unlikely to get better, but you don’t actually give up inside. You stay alive. You keep grinning, laughing, dancing. To dark humour, yes. But it’s a way of keeping active. Keeping alive. And continuing to do the small, human doses of good you yourself can administer.

Helping out an elderly neighbour.
Volunteering at a local social center.
Being there for friends when they’re down in the shit.
Giving your last few {insert local unit of currency} to a homeless person to make their day a minimal amount less shitty and horrifying.

Random, small acts of kindness.
They won’t heal the world, but they will make somebody’s day a little bit brighter.

And even if you yourself are stuck in a dead-end job, have financial difficulties, struggle to keep up against your depression, are on the brink of flunking out of university… You still do those acts.

And come the weekend, you put some effort into your outfit, you drive to your favourite club, you meet your friends, you hug and you laugh and you grin and you start dancing. While the world continues to crumble. But you don’t give up.

You keep going until the end.
Because giving up is no way out.
And even a weak smile from a random stranger is worth a lot.

That’s always been a big part of my personal goth experience: Life might /suck/ but you’d always have friends around. You’d always have the club. You’d always have the moral integrity to do the right thin, even though things aren’t perfect for yourself.

That’s why Mage: the Ascension Revised Edition resonated positively with me, even though I still also continued to love 2nd Editions big-picture: The way the Mages left on Earth were depicted, the way the artwork and the text meshed… It struck home. You were now cut off from the most powerful allies, your enemies were on the rise and things were looking fucking /bleak/. But you would not give up. You would not surrender. You would look after your friends, your street, your city and your life. You would keep on going. Fighting. Doing the right thing. And you’d savour every win, no matter how small.

Because even those small victories are important. Not just to you, but also to those they affect positively.

I always loved that.
I always tried to live that.

And being part of the local Goth culture helped me a lot, since the first day I entered it, all those years ago.

Dortmund Hombruch, late evening, 14th of October, 2017

Dortmund Hombruch, late evening, 14th of October, 2017

And yes, this song is a slight nod to the post about “many genres under one umbrella” I made a few days ago. Because it’s just one pitch-shift and a base-drum away from being a former Mayday anthem. ;)

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