Thursday, 6 December 2012

BBC 4 Documentary Gives Goths a Hard Time

After very much enjoying the first programme in the BBC art series The Dark Ages - An Age of Light last week, I had been looking forward to the next programme in the series on Tuesday - about the art of the Huns, Vandals and Goths.

OK, presenter Waldemar Januszczak did teach me a lot about Huns, Vandals and Goths that I didn't know before. Despite their reputation as savage barbarians who gave the civilised Romans a hard time, they were in fact highly civilised themselves and also created gorgeous artwork.

However, I was less than impressed by Waldemar Januszczak's description of modern-day goths as looking like Devil worshippers. Come on, it isn't fair to on one hand dispel a myth about ancient Goths and then perpetuate another one. In my experience Goths are far more likely to be pagans than Satanists.

Modern goths don't think they are anything like ancient Goths either. They take inspiration from 18th and 19th century gothic literature like The Castle of Otrantoor Dracula,quite a different thing. Modern goths are just a group of people who like to look stylish and black, listen to music from bands such as Inkubus Sukkubus and mind their own business.

So please Mr Januszczak, do get your facts right.

Other than that, the programme was pretty good and I will probably watch next episode in the series, which is about the art of Islam.

Links
The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (Oxford World's Classics)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_fiction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_rock
The Dark Goddess
Dracula (Wordsworth Classics)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goths
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p65b9
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/11/tv-dark-ages-age-of-light.html

5 comments:

Simon Tomasi said...

I agree. The show was very educational but the presenters repeated pot-shots at modern day goths was very irritating and misinformed. It did make me question how much the presenters personal views and bias was putting his own spin on the history of the Goths, Vandals and Huns.

Jason Fisher said...

If you watch this programme again look out for the close up on his gold skull ring (soon after his comments on the modern day Goths) which complements his black attire. As he also admits to living near Camden it is quite possible he has at least one foot in the modern Goth culture.

Personally - as one immersed in the Goth culture - I did not find it offensive in the slightest but, in fact, rather amusing.

Badwitch said...

Well spotted Jason - and a very fair comment!

Marcos Davidson said...

Excellent Dialog , I also was bemused by the Goth comparison, & right on Badwitch, fair & Calm . I think Waldemar Januszczak , is ace he turns the beat around , thanX .

Marcos Davidson said...

Excellent Dialog , I also was bemused by the Goth comparison, & right on Badwitch, fair & Calm . I think Waldemar Januszczak , is ace he turns the beat around , thanX .