Goth Porn
Gothic History

The transition from March to April, as we all know, is most often associated with madness, daffodils, spring crocuses and the blazing yellow branches of forsythia now rising like a thousand sunbeams around the city. In Washington Heights, however, it is the hellebore that now takes the stage, with a more subdued and gothic charm.

Like dark chocolate and certain wines, the hellebore perhaps requires the acquisition of a ‘taste’ for its less-than-ebullient flowers — which have a tendency to hang their heads, as if never completely removed from the pain of the world — and ungainly leaves, which, though generally evergreen, tend to turn brown at the edges after enduring a winter like the one just passed. (These leaves can be cut off to make way for the new growth every year.)

The plant is fearless — there are many varieties hardy to at least Zone 4 — and is always the first to send up blossoms in the late-winter garden before ushering in the spring.

The hellebore has a long history, dating back to at least the ancient Greeks, when it was used to poison Alexander the Great in the lost city of Babylon. But like many toxic substances, when administered in the proper doses, it offers more benign effects: today’s disappointed college basketball fans should note that it was used to cure the daughters of King Midas “after they were touched by madness and found running naked through the streets screaming.”

I don’t know where I read this –- and I might have imagined it –- but I’m pretty sure that hellebores, once established, can live for decades and possibly centuries (not that the plant presumably cares about such delineations of time).

We have several patches of hellebores in our garden, all varieties of Helleborus x hybridus (winner of the 2005 Perennial Plant of the Year, BTW), including the ‘Mardi Gras Parade,’ the ‘Ivory Prince,’ and a black form, the exact name of which seems to have slipped through our less-than-perfect record-keeping system. (I fear we may have filed that piece of information with a tax return, so if anyone works at the IRS and sees it floating around, can you please send it back?)

In my experience, hellebores do not require more than dappled sunlight and are therefore ideal companions to the ferns and hostas and other staples of the woodlands garden. They are also very drought-tolerant, which is good news if you live in area where water costs a fucking fortune (as it probably should, although we can save that topic for a panel discussion on ____).

The hellebore can help to sustain our optimism (albeit in a muted and age-appropriate form) during the coming weeks, when the sun may be bright but the wind is still cold.


Matthew Gallaway is a writer who lives in Washington Heights. His first novel, ‘The Metropolis Case,’ will be published by Crown.

One of the best books you’ll read this year is the just-released “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” by Seth Grahame-Smith. No, really. It’s a clever re-telling of the 16th president’s life, only tweaked to include a vast, vampire-led conspiracy in the early life of the United States, through the slavery years and into the Civil War.

We reported a couple weeks ago that Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov optioned the book for a film adaptation, and will serve as producers. Although Grahame-Smith is now preparing a draft of the script for the planned movie, he was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to chat with MTV last week about how the book came together and how it will be executed for film audiences.

"I spent a couple months really pouring into the real history of Lincoln because I wanted as much actual, factual history in this book as I possibly could get in there," he said of his early writing process for the new novel. "There’s a lot of real Lincoln history in the book. His letters to people, his speeches, names, dates, places… as much as I could cram in. That was my goal."

Unlike Grahame-Smith’s previous book, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (also optioned for an upcoming film), “Vampire Hunter” is primarily a work of fiction layered on top of fact. An example he gives is Edgar Allen Poe, who factors into the book as one of the people Lincoln encounters.

"Poe and Lincoln [never met] in real life," the author explained. "But Lincoln was actually a big fan of Gothic literature and a big fan of Poe. At one point in his life, he could quote the entire ‘Raven’ from memory. So that was kind of the inspiration behind adding Poe as a character. Lincoln was in Washington, D.C. and Poe was in Baltimore. It’s not that much of a stretch to me that they might have partnered up or at least met each other."

For the movie, Grahame-Smith is mainly focused on writing right now. He’s not thinking about who could play what or anything like that, primarily because the freshly released book is still on his mind.

"It’s hard for to picture anybody playing the role [of Lincoln]," he explained. "I know eventually we’re going to have to cast somebody and I’m sure it’s going to be amazing, but in terms of specific actors it’s hard for me because when I was writing the book and when I’m writing the movie now, I can only picture the actual Lincoln doing all these things."

"It’s still early," he cautioned. "Right now I’m just worried about getting the script as polished as I can." The only thing Grahame-Smith is really sure of for now is that this won’t be his directorial debut.

"There’s no official director on yet," he revealed. "I think that this would not be a good first feature for somebody to come in and direct because it’s going to be a big movie, sort of an effects-heavy period movie. It’s definitely a little intimidating for a first-time director. I’m not ruling out doing stuff in the future but I want to give ‘Lincoln’ the best chance it has to be really polished and slick. I think putting it in a more experienced director’s hands is probably the way to go."

Gothic Girls
goth babes just wanna have fun!

Castles & Dreams 33 – House of Vampire 8 by Ewciak & Leto

Are you the only one in your school who has never seen high school musical because you were to busy listening to The Cure. You have a unique and individual style that you have to express. You know who you are, you make no excuses, and your unique sense of style gives you that air of mystery those preppy boys will just never figure out. If this describes you then for prom you need to rock your goth girl style!

The term Gothic refers to the artistic style of the 19th century which was anti-classical and filled with a sense of the dark and the supernatural. You can go Gothic this prom and look amazing. Traditionally the Gothic subculture adapts a style of dress that can range from a post-punk look, an androgynous look, to something more romantic and whimsical such as the Gothic style of dressing in fashion inspired by the renaissance and the Victorian eras.

Here are some essential elements you will need to create your Gothic prom look:

Corseted Dress: You might choose to purchase a dress with a corset or add one yourself, but corsets are a must for a sexy Gothic goddess. They are flattering to just about every body type and add a dramatic look to your prom night attire. You will find some great gowns with built in corsets at stores such as Debs which offers teen fashions and Gothic inspired dresses that also come in plus sizes. You can also find many websites with unique and sexy Gothic style dresses that no one else will have. Ordering your Gothic prom dress will ensure that no one else at your school will show up in the same attire. Check out www.fairygothmother.com and www.katrinamariedesigns.com.

Black: Your not going to rock the Gothic style at prom in a pastel pink number, well maybe you will if you add a black corset. there needs to be some element of black in your ensemble. You need to have that sense of darkness about you.

Hair Accessories: You might want to wear your hair in a Dita Von Tesse retro glam manner or you might want a more Victorian hairstyle. It is up to you. One truly goth look is the short blunt bang. It is the right amount of retro and mystery. It is fun without going overboard. Your hair is most likely dark. You can mix it up a bit by adding a vintage hair clip or a punch of color. Check out Hair From Hell for some unique prom hairstyles and accessories.

Shoes: While everyone will be prancing around prom in silver strappy heels you will probably want to do something a little different. Combat boots are acceptable under a frilly as heck corseted dress from FairyGothMother, but you can also do a black stiletto heel with a pointy toe or a sandal with a black ribbon that wraps around your calf several times.

Flowers: Nothing says goth like deep red roses. You will want to make sure that your date knows what type of flowers you like, and what type that you would rather throw in the trash. Deep red calla Lillie’s are acceptable, pink carnations are not.

Makeup: Again you have the choice of going pin-up girl glam with your make-up and looking as amazing as Bettie Page, or you can go classic Goth with the pale face, red lipstick and black eyeliner look. If this is the look you prefer make sure to heavily line your eyes. The cat eye works great with this look, and it’s prom so fake lashes (especially the manic panic purple lashes) are an excellent evening look. Gothic Girls
Gothic Picture

Siren Goth Fashion Shoot by kmax

Goth

I had been a teacher for six years and had known many of those now called “Goths”. I spent one day as an administrator before I finally understood what the word really means-to me and to those around me.

I entered the carpeted eating area, guided by the Dean of Students. We were met with the din of clanging silverware and ear-piercing giggles. Toward the center of the room, a table for six seated nine uncomfortably. Three fair-haired students balanced their trays on their laps, chairs pushed to the periphery. A curly-haired boy in a letter jacket held his fingers up at the edge of the table. Another faced him, poised to flick a folded paper triangle at the target. Two girls seated to his right leafed through a Teen People. As we passed, a boy with huge biceps and a too-tight John Deere t-shirt brought his fist down onto a chocolate milk carton with a “thud”. He laughed uproariously as the dark liquid landed in droplets on the table. I followed the Dean past the table without a word. Suddenly, the Dean took a sharp right turn away from the door and headed for a small round table at the edge of the room. My eyes searched the table for answers.

Four very dark students sat motionless in their chairs. A pasty-complexioned boy with long, black dred locks, sipped a can of Pepsi. Next to him, two dark-haired girls chatted, expressionless. One chewed softly on her black painted fingernails. The other fidgeted with the spike-studded dog collar around her neck. Next to them, two eyes peeked above rose-colored edges on a soft cover book entitled, “The Book of Wiccan.”

The Dean passed close to the table, pausing long enough to stare down the dred- locked boy. He then proceeded out the door, me clinging confusedly to his heels.

What the hell just happened? I wondered.

In the hallway, he looked at me and rolled his eyes. “The Goths sit there every day.” He spit the word with such force it almost extinguished itself into a whisper. “You’re going to want to keep an eye on them.”

He may as well have called them “assholes.” The meaning was clear.

As a teacher, I had watched the Goth subculture grow in number, but had never witnessed such a strong response to it before. Man, the Goths here in Westfield must be evil, I reasoned.

And so began my search for the true meaning of “Goth.”

The Goth movement actually began as the Gothic movement-so named for its mimicry of the Gothic literary genre, and the architecture, mores, styles, and attitudes which it helped to define. It captured the rich imaginations of literary giants such as Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. It gave birth to Gothic movies and immortalized Bela Lugosi long before the world had heard of Alfred Hitchcock. It produced fantastic and creative directing techniques, relying more upon the grainy, overprocessed blacks, whites and yellows than the colorful, blood-red frames of today’s slasher flicks.

But Goth students continue to test dress codes across the country. They continued to play ill-themed music and withdraw from those unlike themselves. Eventually, “Gothic” students became simply “Goths,” the way tough, urban gang affiliates have derogatorily become “bangers” and witless athletes have become “jocks.” However, when the worst national incident of school violence erupted at the hands of two Goths, the meaning changed quickly. Today, “Goth” is almost synonymous with “mysterious” “subversive”, and “volatile”.

In my experience, Goths are all of these things.

But they are also among the most tolerant and reflective students I’ve seen-over and over, regardless of school climate or location. They often subscribe to untraditional religious doctrine, not because they believe in witchcraft or the occult (although some do), but because they believe in the Wiccan ideas of “Mother Earth,” living in harmony with one’s surroundings, and the notion that all things possess inherent worth. When they experience outbursts or discipline issues, it is rarely because they impose their beliefs on others-simply because they don’t want others’ beliefs imposed on them.

So, as our schools clamor to define Goths in some placating form subject to either control or conformity, my own understanding of what it means to be Goth, settles comfortably in. I’ve willingly replaced a morbid suspicion of the word with a sort of filtered perception. “Goth”, like the “punk,” “geek,” “freak,” and “prep” who came before it, might be just a bit misunderstood.