There may be many of these sticky little badges circulating in the basement support groups as the pigment-challenged get sick of seeing their habitual subculture getting wantonly Disney-fied. Recovering goths (from personal experience and observation) may emerge quickly, like a wine-stained moment of clarity (or a post traumatic reaction1) or slowly, even without conscious concerted effort.2 Of course, one is never truly free of the affliction ("You will always be a clove addict: Now and every day, for the rest of your life") and relapse is a constant threat.
Bauhaus, SOM and Cure LPs should be placed in waterproof containers, then buried in the backyard or under the porch for period of at least one calendar year (watch out for the other stuff you may've already interred there). The price of freedom is eternal vigilance : stay away from smoke machines, black lights, boys in PVC, girls named after spices or stones. They will only feed your basest primal compulsions.
You must also remove all tin foil/black lace from windows, paper mache skeletal figures and/or gargoyle figures from doorways, dried roses from walls. Dispense with the insence and candles (at least during the day, in any case). Seek Absinthe Anonymous or FFMA (Friends and Family of Monochromic Accessorizers). Sacrifices must be made (no, not those kind of sacrifices) and yes, pets may have to be re-named.3 Be strong, the life you save may be your own. Provided of course you're not already dead.
1 Trigger events are usually break-ups (as in , "I'm Going to Wash that Goth right out of My Hair!") or argumentative splits with friends (most would agree though, friends don't let friends play in bands called Neverendingtears or Ophelia's Bubbles).
2 This usually comes about when one simply a) can't be arsed with Manic Panic any longer, especially the endless
touching up on the roots, b) have extreme difficulty relating, health wise, to second- and third Generation goths with their
odd fetish for Taco Bell bean burritos and 7-11 Slushies, c) knows in one's heart of heart's that Christina Ricci, Tim
Burton and Johnny Depp should all be properly throttled for the indignity that was the dialogue of Sleepy Hollow, and that
ambience doesn't excuse idiocy, c) which, incidentally, now that you admit it, pretty much sinks what's left of the
'subculture' as it were ('Bloodflowers'? need I say more?) with the notable recent exception of JTHM.*
3 I miss Gorey.
* Nny underscores this, insofar as most of the comix's punch derives from how desperately sad, deflated and commercialized the goth scene got by the early '90s. By that time, all the subculutres major contributions (nearly all of them musical) were behind it.+ Now, the only things even remotely clever about most of the tropes are used as pure, unadulturated nostalgia (ex. the recent film Donnie Darko, or the 'token' goths in Shallow Grave, American Psycho, 24 Hour Party People, etc.) ~ and if that isn't sunset time for a fashion aesthetic or musical spin, I'm not sure what is?!
+That's not to say it wasn't a very good run, aesthetically, for the decade between, say, the musical bookends of Unknown Pleasures and Disintegration. But if you had to pick a zenith from which to fall, that was it...
! That, incidentally, is not a slag against Donnie Darko: as a pop-culture amalgam, of Buffy, Twin Peaks, JTHM, Jimmy Stewart's Harvey and Ferris Bueller's Day Off...did you see the "Morrisey Rules" written in grime?...well, anyway, it was pretty f'ing brilliant (please no soundtrack though, we should all already own all those records).