The great feast is almost upon us, America, and as usual we're looking forward to a lot of home cooking and a carbohydrate overdose induced coma in the papasan chair while old Bela Lugosi flicks play on the TV... or maybe it's Texas Tech football. It's getting hard to tell the difference between the various dead people sometimes.
Though this whole shebang started because some nutty bird thought that getting everyone to gather around the family dinner table would end the Civil War, it has become a grand tradition, particularly the looking back over the past year to see what you should be grateful for. For us, we've seen some of the best goth performances in years, got a shout out on the Rachel Maddow show, was used as ammunition against DC Editor Jim Lee, and just in general has a good time. Sure, lots of bad stuff happened as well, but it's Thanksgiving, not O'fuckmeday.
We decided to check in with all the friends we've made this year on the Gothic Council and ask them what they were thankful for. Joining us this week is Sarah Fanning of the blog Night's Plutonian Shore, author of Starblood Carmilla Voiez, DJ Martin Oldgoth, author of the Encyclopedia Gothica Liisa Ladouceur, co-creator of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, Jvstin Whitney of the band Chvrch of Melkarth, stylist Carol Simmons, doll maker Ugly Shyla, Regen Robinson of the Space Radio podcast, fashion designer Batty, living historian Morrighanne Burns, and hearse enthusiast Desiree Stark.
Sarah Fanning: I'm still thinking. 2011 has been such a shitty year for me.
Carmilla Voiez: Like Sarah, 2011 has been my worst year so far, but I am thankful for my friends. My crazy, freakish friends. Friends I wouldn't have had, I suspect, if I'd tried to be normal.
Sarah Fanning: Ok... like Carmilla, I am thankful for my friends. I'm also thankful that being goth is being able to really be me, to fully express who I am through my aesthetic and life style. As for what happened in goth this year, well I'm thankful that the Council was created.
Martin Oldgoth: This year has been a good one for me, I do a lot of work with the Whitby Goth Weekend and the feedback from this years two festivals has been very positive, with people commenting on how they felt like "the old days." Musically there have been some fantastic new bands coming through from both the goth and post punk/dark indie scenes along with new festivals and clubs playing a higher percentage of "proper" goth. All in all I reckon it's been a good one.
Morrighan Burns: I'm thankful for Siouxsie Sioux, she'll always be my heroine and was the style icon that I copied when I first started wearing black and lace 25 years ago. I'm also thankful for the art, clothing, fiction and architecture that inspired the movement and that I can share with my spooky daughter who will probably grow up to be as straight as I am out there.
Liisa Ladouceur: It's not Thanksgiving in Canada! We've already had ours. But the thankfulness is certainly lingering for me this year, with the publication of my first book I have much to be grateful for. My goth points seem to be at an all-time high as well. In the greater gothdom, I am grateful for the return of Peter Murphy -- the new album is worth a listen and his current live show is a winner. I am grateful he still sounds great and is no longer performing in sandals.
Alethea Carr: There is a deep, wide vein of gratitude to the goth subculture running in me. Finding it was like being beamed up to the Mother Ship or being transported to my native land, so anything I can do to support it is a way of expressing thanks. This year, in particular, I feel tremendously grateful to be involved in the Age of Decay festival. Experiencing the enthusiasm of bands who are on the bill and goths who are eager to attend just blows me away with the vitality and camaraderie of the goth community. The subculture is a fantastic place to be: invigorating, comfortable, and a family, all at once. I love it more than I can say.
I saw Peter Murphy live last night, and it struck me anew how very, very fortunate we are to all have each other. He gets a large part of the credit for the beginning of this wonderful dark family, and looking out at the crowd as he sang -- I am not ashamed to admit it -- moved me to tears. Definitely giving thanks.
Jvstin Whitney: This year sucked and you're all bad friends. I guess I'm thankful That Batty left Houston, and Carol got married so she won't have as much time to destroy the scene.
Carol Simmons: First and foremost I am due a name change here on ye olde Gothic Council, and for that I am truly grateful. I am thankful for finding some one to love that is so excepting of all things spooky. I am also thankful for the wide acceptance that goth has seen over the last couple of years. As much as it annoys my inner uber-goth to see things I cherish part of pop culture, it has made it a lot easier for me to get my hands on it.
I am really thankful that they finally made the last Twilight movie, and we won't have to suffer through anymore of that sparkly fangtard shit.
Gothtopia: In that vein, we're thankful we don't have to look up the spelling of your last name anymore... though now we're stuck with Ladouceur so it's not much improvement.
Ugly Shyla: I'm thankful that I have had the backbone since I was 15 to now 31 years old to be able to stick to my guns, not be a sell out to society and continue to be hopefully a part of keeping the subculture in general alive and fighting.
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Regen Robinson: I have been thankful this year for all the great album releases which continually remind me why I love this sub-culture so much. This has been a pretty tough year start to finish so I think I am most thankful about being goth because it gave me a very appropriate outlet for my 2011 angst. And Carol? I agree about the Twilight ridiculousness. My next podcast "Team Razor" rips it apart just in time for the movie premier. I think this is only part 1 though. It will never end!
Batty: I'm thankful that I discovered someone just as spooky as me to share a home with and who doesn't discourage all my gothiness (thanks Toby!) I am also thankful that I discovered the awesome band The Drowning Season and the band Angels of Liberty who are some of the bands helping to bring back goth rock with a vengeance.
Desiree Stark: I am thankful the source of the grinding noise on my daily driver has been identified and should be fixed by the end of the week. I prefer my hearse to deliver a more conceptual kind of ominousness and death anxiety, not literally because you can hear the drive shaft falling off.
In the broader picture, I haven't heard one drunken rant this year about how said artiste is planning to "save the scene" with their personal music/movie/poem/douchery. This is probably because I haven't gone out much, but still. I consider that a good portent.