Thursday, November 5, 2009



Clad in dark from top to bottom, listening to ambient Gothic music as well as metal of some sort, fascinating with death, and engaging with darkness. These are the basic description of a Gothic person.

Joining and learning from the masses, listening to the music of struggle, becoming "red" and fascinating with struggle. These are the basic description of an Activist.

These two at first may consider absolutely different, different in a way that the former engaged in the supernatural while the latter engaged in dialectical materialism. Somehow these two are same, since they are resisting the flow wherein the former is against the mainstream scene in a cultural basis while the latter is against the mainstream scene in a socio-political emphasis. And I, upon thinking regarding this, simply calling them as compatible in creating a socio-political-cultural resistance against the system which is enslaving.

Just like Jose Maria Sison's poem "The guerrilla is like a poet" and the "Bladed poem", somehow it shows how the Gothic scene, like a guerrilla fighter, is trying to resist the flow culturally through music, fashion and other culturally motivated action. However, most Goths are generally apolitical in nature, and few from its ranks are politically motivated by history, realism and perhaps dialectical materialism through the learnings of "Onkels" Karl Marx, Frederich Engels, Vladimir Ilych Lenin and Mao. And unlike the hippie and punk movements, the Goth subculture has no pronounced political messages or cries for social activism since the subculture is marked by its emphasis on individualism, tolerance for diversity, a strong emphasis on creativity, tendency toward intellectualism, and a mild tendency towards cynicism, but then, even these ideas are not universal to all goths.

And perhaps few may also understand what I have written this socio-political and cultural kind of thing that came from this humble mindset. The subculture I belong is an escapist type due to its nature, but then how come they resist the flow culturally without knowing the system clearly? The subculture may consider politics perhaps as a personal matter, and as I expect, very few are "left" and even adapting some of its ideas despite differences between the subculture and of the struggle. Well... are all of their music usually speaks of death? Of gloom? Ya, but still-NOT ALL.
And why?
How come Jose Maria Sison's poems show a bit of gloom? Of mourning despite its left tones like "Requiem for Lubumba" and "Rose for a waking woman"? Or the songs being played with its Gothic-ness like "The Guerrilla is like a poet" and "The bladed poem"? Joema is not a Goth, but his works somehow show influences of classicism just like some Goth poets do!
And secondly,
Goths used to listen to industrial music, and somehow industrial music reminds of marches just like the RKKA (Red Army), the Nationale Volksarmee of the DDR and other armies in the red bloc, and perhaps they are quite inspired after listening into it, creating remixes for their jamming in every bar courtesy of a Disc Jockey-but few are quite understood much about the Workers and Peasants Army whose sound really came from except for uniforms and guns perhaps.

But then,
despite differences, somehow the subculture and the struggle shows its compatibility-the Goth shows creativity same as the activist, especially in music and poetry, and somehow the tone of gloom may share with the tone of rage; and the color of night may share with the color of blood. Goths may think most of black as color of death, but not noticing that black, in a political sense is the color of the ranks of hungry people and symbol of defiance against the state same as the red flag that symbolises not just mere blood, but of the blood of the struggling masses calling for a massive insurrection!

I simply remember some of my friends who are both Goth and at the same time an activist. One of them joined in a peasant organization and often see in the streets of Mendiola in manila. As what I expect, that person who listens to death and black metal also join in the chants of the poor, who wore black and enjoying the company of darkness also joins into the company of the oppressed peoples, whose blood sweat and tears are in the soil that still under the hands of the landlords and of the comprador bourgeoisie! Well... How sweet to see a a Goth romanticizing the peasant struggle similar to a guildsman whose heart was in the workers, or a Student like Marx whose heart was with the masses!

Becoming a Goth and at the same time an Activist carries enough compatibility and contradiction, but somehow compatibility will always strengthen its bound to the core; and through it may also give meaning to another kind of horror, of having people expecting darkness from the slums, the field, and of the factory to counter the darkness of the high rise buildings and of the high class subdivisions, and through it the ghosts of the revolutionary martyrs, of slaves, of oppressed may haunt every living oppressor-to a point of a certain death! As what Joema's poem said:
"An endless movement of strength,
Behold the protracted theme:
The people's epic, the People's war!"