Monday, April 19, 2004

The Republicans' mission: Get those Goths!

I doubt that anyone since the days of ancient Rome has actually spent money in an attempt to combat the Goths. Until now. The Republican-controlled Congress, as part of what we might label the "Fundamentalist Full-Employment Act," has earmarked $273,000 for just that purpose.

According to the Examiner, a newspaper published in Eastern Jackson County, Missouri, the money was given to the Youth Outreach Unit, a program sponsored by the police department in the small-ish town of Blue Springs, Missouri. The specific purpose of the grant: combating the Goth menace -- which, it is said, fosters drug abuse and mutilation.

As the article notes, that kind of money in that kind of burg could probably buy every Goth kid in town a small house.

Many are under the impression that Goth is mostly a fashion trend. To be frank, I always considered Morticia Addams one of the most fetchingly-dressed women in popular culture, and I do hope Uncle Sam doesn't force her to switch to pastels. Other earmarks of the Goth subculture would include an interest in Victorian cemeteries, Anne Rice novels, horror movies, and unintentionally hilarious pseudo-Poe verse. I don't consider any of those "menaces" worthy of federal concern, with the possible exception of Rice's mummy book.

My ladyfriend and I once toyed with the idea of sponsoring a "Bad Goth Poetry" contest. Every entry would begin with the words "The darkness is dark." As in:

The darkness is dark; the crypt doors creak
Beware my wrath when prey I seek.
Embrace despair! Forswear the sane!
Let madness rule o'er mortal brain!

She and I would come up with reams of that material during long car trips, back in the days when we could afford long car trips. The contest idea is now on hold. Wouldn't want to arouse the attention of the Department of Homeland Security...

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