Anti-Goth measures fail due to lack of interest

Two years ago, in a rather ridiculous display of small-minded stupidity, the town of Blue Springs, MO earmarked $273,000 of their education budget to combat Goth culture.

“Goth culture” in Blue Springs, Mo., may be in for some tough times.

Thanks to Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican who represents the Kansas City suburb, $273,000 out of the Department of Education’s fiscal 2002 budget will help the Blue Springs Outreach Unit take on a perceived problem for local youths.

“It is my hope that this funding will give the officers in the Youth Outreach Unit the tools they need to identify Goth culture leaders that are preying on our kids,” Rep. Graves said in a press release announcing the appropriation last month.

[…]

“It was really a community need, and they really weren’t able to satisfactorily get money at the local level,” Mr. Patek said of the Blue Springs project to combat Goth culture. Some parents and law- enforcement officials are concerned that, beyond the dark fashions and music characteristic of that subculture, some “Goth” teenagers are drawn into potentially dangerous behavior.

The program is meant to help train police officers, and help schools and families with children involved in Goth culture, according to the announcement from Rep. Graves. Drug abuse and self-mutilation are among the troubling behaviors Goth culture fosters, Mr. Patek said.

He stressed that the effort will not be limited to Blue Springs. “I know this was a good project,” Mr. Patek said. “And it’s a finite amount of resources. … We’re not talking about an ongoing federal commitment.”

This was so unnecessary. We must protect our children from those evil people who wear black, and listen to all that wierd music! Ugh.

Thankfully, word comes now that the project essentially went nowhere, and more than half of the money is being returned (and, hopefully, put to better use in the future). The best part? Rather than “combatting” Goth culture, the people involved ended up realizing that it’s not such a horrible thing, and just another aspect of how some people choose to present themselves.

The Goth grant is over.

Goth acceptance and tolerance is now in.

…plans for the grant never unfolded, and Blue Springs has returned $132,000 of the money unused. Officials concede today they never found much of a “problem” at all associated with the Goth culture, and instead have developed a new understanding and acceptance.

A little good news to start the day, for once.

(via Jesus’ General, via Atrios)

0 thoughts on “Anti-Goth measures fail due to lack of interest

  1. I’m all for subversion of the Dominant Paradigm.
    If lived in a city which had Anti-Goth Laws, I’d probably start listening to Morressey and Robert Smith just to rebel.
    If the laws became so strict that there was no way I could even leave my room wearing Black Clothes and Pancake Makeup, I’d probably decide on the Anarchist Punk Look. There’re a lot more socially unacceptable SubCultures than Goth.

    My Subculture could beat up Your Subculture!

  2. Heh. Silliest thing I’ve read all week.

    I’m not a goth guy, nor do I listen to goth music, but my musical taste can be described as “alternative” at best. :-)

  3. Yeah, Daniel, that’s why my my subculture is more tortured and bitter than your subculture. You guys don’t even know pain and anger!!! (Insert pseudophilosophical quote here.)

  4. This is one of the few times when I’ll say “HOORAY FOR APATHY!”

    I’m glad nobody cared enough to do anything with this ludicrous bit of pork. Now, if only we could do something about the rest to it . . .

    I mean, come on! $50,000 for a freaking TOILET? Oh, wait, excuse me – it’s a “hydraulically powered human bio-waste disposal unit”. And that hammer’s not a hammer – it’s a “manualy operated nail insertion device”. Oy . . .

  5. Hey, I know that you posted this a while ago, but I’m doing a research paper about this kind of thing. Do you happen to remember where you got the article? If you could e-mail me back about it at j _ b _ presto@hotmail.com, that would be great. ^_^

  6. Well, I linked to both of the referenced articles in my post, and included a short ‘via’ attribution at the end of the post to source where I picked up on the story. Other than that, I’m afraid there’s not much I can tell you.