Friday, May 19, 2006

Doom and Gloom

While looking for something else entirely, I chanced upon a sort of online journal kept by one of my students. I'm not going to link to it, because I don't want to send my minuscule audience there, so you'll have to take my word about the contents. I like this student - he's intelligent, original in his thinking, and pretty diligent. He's also a Goth, with the standard-issue monochromatic clothes, multiple piercings, and, no doubt, tattoos.
He writes about his life, which seems to consist entirely of getting stoned, getting pissed, or both, playing computer games, and going to see bands with names like "Necrophagists". What really struck me, though, was the air of nihilist despair that hangs over the whole thing. Everything is shit, life is shit, university is shit, etc etc. The witty and clever young man I see in the classroom is transformed in the journal into a raging misanthrope, apparently devoid of any sense of hope or ambition. Sad to see someone of that age as cynical as someone of my age...

2 comments:

francessa said...

I understand your sadness, but aren't these rapid changes and radical different behaviour in different settings typical for growing up? He wants to play cool in his blog because he's writing for his peers. However, the comforting thing for me here is: he is able to be witty and clever in the classroom, meaning: he has the abilities, and what is more he uses and shows them there. I have several students who are completely hostile and bring this shit-thing into the classroom. As I'm a bit into youth subculture: Wikipedia has collected some Goth facts.

Rob Spence said...

Thanks for that Francessa - I take the point that he's writing for his peers. I suppose the whole Goth thing is completely alien to me, even though it's really no more than an extreme version of the fashionable melancholia of the 17th century, or the original Gothic mania of the last 18th century.