Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Goths on the WWW

By Devin D. O'Leary

MARCH 23, 1998:  Is there more to life than reading "Sandman" comic books and listening to Sisters of Mercy? Ask a Goth, and the answer is probably "no." Subcultures seem to find themselves drawn to the Internet and the pale-skinned, black-attired punk subset known as Goths is no exception. So, dye your hair black, put something industrial in the tape deck and get ready to surf the sunless corners of Cyberspace.


Gothic Gardening (www.gothic.net/~malice/)--Alice Day (known to her gloomy pals as "mAlice") has fashioned this lovely, elaborate site dedicated to Gothic gardening. The two activities aren't as mutually exclusive as one would think--Morticia Addams' favorite hobby was gardening, after all. As mAlice points out, there are plenty of black flowers, horrid smelling vines and meat-eating plants to choose from. Grow mushrooms and the like, and you'll never have to step out of the house during daylight hours. Check out such Gothic gardening categories as Theme Gardens (Somber Garden, Night Garden, Witches Garden), Herbalism, an FAQ and some creepy Gothic Plant Tales. The concentration here is more on the aesthetic of Goth gardening, than on hands-in-the-dirt information. Still, there's quite a bit of effort on display here. It's almost enough to make a Cure fan appreciate nature.


Gothic Postcards (www.internetunderground.com/features/postcard.htm)--What better way to say "I hate you" than with a Gothic postcard. Yes, even the Goths have succumbed to the e-mail postcard craze. Visit this page to pick up or send digital postcards bearing such popular Goth images as "The Crow," Nightmare Before Christmas and, of course, assorted romantically photographed gravestones.


Tamagothi Homepage (http://www.gothic.net/~luvcraft/tamagothi/tamagothi.html)--It's a darn good thing that Goths have a sense of humor. If not, they'd make a damn easy target. As it is, though, they're pretty good at shooting themselves down. Witness this much-loved Goth site in which some smirking blackeye has merged the gloomy lifestyle with Japan's most annoying electronic export. Right now, the Tamagothi is just a parody, but in the right circles, I'm betting you could sell thousands of these things. The Tamagothi starts out life as a frowning skull face. Care for your Tamagothi by administering frequent beatings, speed and smack ("a nice dose of smack is just the thing to keep him mopey and content!"). Little pixelated animations mirror the real-life Tamagotchi lifespan with amusing accuracy. Watch your Babygothi grow into a Perkigothi, which could eventually result in the dreaded Raver (whose color picture and annoying "Whoop! Whoop!" cheer quickly burns out the electronics in your Tamagothi). Feed him enough smack, and he'll turn out to be a Mopeygothi, which could end up life as a Romantygothi (prone to four-hour-long crying jags, reading a lot of Milton and listening to Dead Can Dance). Remember: "The more you ignore it, the better your Tamagothi will turn out! He might even write some dismal poetry!"


Gothic Band Database (http://www.gothic.net/~dhouse/band-descriptions.html)--Now what would any self-respecting Goth be without a pile of bootlegged cassettes from Scandinavian noise bands? This simple, text-only site boasts descriptions of over 1,000 "Goth/Atmospheric/Ethereal/Coldwave/Darkwave" bands. "Over 850K!" screams the site's creator. If you can't tell the difference between, say, Black Atmosphere, Black Dahlia, Black Ocean Drowning, Black Sea and Black Rose, then this is the place to be. How many different ways can you describe loud, depressing music? You'd be surprised! Black Ocean Drowning, for example, is "harsh early-'80s influenced sub-Joy Division abrasive German Goth."


devin@alibi.com


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