In 1999, as part of a promotion for The Blair Witch Project, I wrote the text for a website called P.A.R.O.D.Y., which satirized anti-goth sentiments that were then somewhat common. In the intervening years, the site has inspired a steady stream of flames (and a few accolades). Starting in January 2006, I began posting them. They are unedited except to make them anonymous.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Subject: cheeky P.A.R.O.D.Y.
Well, Josh, I have rather mixed feelings about your P.A.R.O.D.Y. Part of me is slightly amused and gave the site a slight chuckle (yes, a chuckle.) The other part of me rolled my eyes and let out an groan of annoyance.
As soon as I saw the site, I thought, ‘Another silly site trying to get a laugh of parodying the stereotypical American fundamantalist Christian type, heh.’ And you made it about parents scared that they have ‘goth’ children and tied it into Blair Witch, etc…Heheheh, slight chuckle.
Then I came to the explanation page and I read it; insert rolled eyes and annoyed groan.
As a grumpy old fart of the age of 7 to the seventh power who has spent/still spends a great deal of his life in the Gothic subculture/scene, and also became Christian some time during that great deal of his life of Goth trotting, I feel quite annoyed.
On that page, you explain that you are not ‘anti-Goth’ or ‘anti-pagan’ (though never explained whether or not ‘anti-Christian’), and you make a slight effort to let the reader know that not all pagans and pagan faiths are not evil. You even give a sliver of history of how forms of paganism were around before ‘Christianity’ (Is this implying superiority of paganism with the reasoning that it was around longer?) and are still practised today. Included also are resources on the subject of witches…the end.
I respect that you explained that much as pagan beliefs and neo-pagan faiths are very often misunderstood by most people, but seems that the explanation page forgot to explain/defend the other subjects. We’re left to assume that P.A.R.O.D.Y. is an accurate portrait of all Christ- following Christians and that Goths are moody, homicidal Vampiric teens who listen to Manson and are ‘pansexual’ and either worship Satan or are pagan?
Where’s the sliver of history on Christianity and its roots in Judaism and prior? As well as information on Hinduism, Buddhism, Satanism…
What about an explanation of the fact that most self-respecting Goths wouldn’t be caught dead listening to crap like Manson or Rammstein? Not even a bit of the scene’s roots in Punk. Sure, in the page where you’re promoting the Blair Witch Mix, Lydia Lunch, Bauhaus and Siouxsie’s The Creatures are listed, but idiots don’t know who the hell these bands are and most likely think they’re just Manson-esque angry teenager music that talks about Satan and killing.
Josh, I’m fairly sure you’re thinking, ‘Wow, this grumpy old Gothic Christian fart is really anal and looking at this way too deep!’ Well, if you are, you’re right, I am anal…about everything. Why? Because if some type of information is on a public media, alla the Internet, the person responsible for the information had better make sure that people are getting the right information and all of the information as to not leave the reader with wrong assumptions. Leaving people to assume false information is what mass media is for.
If anything, I hope that you at least think about what I’ve written; or even, just read it, laugh if you must, whatever. And as I’m feeling like a much older fart for writing this, excuse me as I choke down Count Chocula, crank up Christian Death, don my black velvet coat and black leather Fluevogs as I prepare myself for church.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Subject: Please read me and reply ASAP
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to complain about this website. As a Goth I was deeply hurt by your small minded comments. What gives you the right to slag off my lifestyle. Well, lady, here are a few facts about Goths that you couldn’t be bothered investigating:
- Not all Goths are Satanists – I am not and none of my friends are.
- Not all Goths are Wiccan
- We don’t excessively take drugs or alcohol
- We don’t all self harm
- We aren’t all bisexual, homosexual or pansexual
- We don’t all want to kill people or animals in sadistic ways (or in any ways at all)
In a nutshell, we do not comply to your ‘list’ at all. I am deeply hurt and offended by you. I would like a written apology sent to me otherwise I shall be reporting this website.
a.k.a. – Gothic Narcotic
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Hey this made me laugh my socks off. And do you KNOW how hard it is to make a goth laugh!!!!
NAME WITHHELD (goth since early 80’s)
I was just reading some more of the comments about your site.
Woah!!!!!!!!!! Some people need to take themselves a little less seriously!
NAME WITHHELD (Goth since early 80’s, married almost 18 years, faithful to husband, two well adjusted children, 3 perfectly safe elderly cats, gets on well with parents, STIILL goes to concerts – when I get a chance, working in same firm for 18 years, secure home, gets on with neighbours, shall I continue!!!!)
Friday, December 1, 2006
Subject: The site
heh! Yep, like many others here I first thought it was real! Nice name, nice
layout, nice site! Very good and you are hillarious!!! Luv you,
NAME WITHHELD (a goth and a Satanist)
P.S. Marilyn Manson rocks 😀
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I just wanted to say that I LOVED this site! As a girl who’s constantly accused of “being gothic” from my aunt, it’s refreshing to know there are people who love to joke about it as much as I do! I also wanted to note how you forgot to mention how all goths cut themselves and sometimes offer their blood to Satan! I love how people can be so blind, deaf and dumb to self-injury and the gothic culture at the same time! Always good for a laugh.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Subject: Good job!
I’m in awe… love this!
I’m shocked and amused at the same time
Kill for fun, genious!
All the best from gothic-holland
Monday, July 24, 2006
When i first found this site , i thought for about 15 or so seconds that someone was actually serious. I then looked at the name and thought ‘hang on……’ , absolutely wonderful sir , i applaud you for your quite incredible sense of humor. Shame that there will be so many idiots out there who will take this far too seriously.
Personally , I’m not a goth , although i identify with the “scene” , so to speak, i do however know quite a few real goths and i believe that they would enjoy this work as much as i have today.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
why do u keep consisting that all freaks do drugs worship the devil, I am 15 years old and I am goth. I listen to bands like marlyn manson ,slipknot, and otep, ect.. I have never tried drugs and i am not going to and i am a christian. I read your warning signs and some of them were stupid like watching cable, who doesent watch cable. why do u keep saying stuff like this when it is only makeing people think we are all bad. i would verry much appriciat it if u would change some of those stupid things u say about us.their will be many more people like me that will send u a message like this.
Friday, June 9, 2006
At first I thought the site was real and I couldn’t believe just how F@#king stupid some people could be..Then I got to the e-mail section and was ready to lash out only to realize that It was a mockery of what morons think..I’m 34 and have been Goth for yrs and unfortunitly have had to deal with and listen to all the are You a satanist type comments and looks..Course My favorite was when I was walking into work at walmart a couple yrs ago to find out from my Manager that a costumer had called the cops on me stating that a suspious looking person in a trench coat walked into the store five minutes to closing and didn’t come back out ! They actually waited around for me to come out and when I didn’t They actually called the Cops !! I laughed pretty freaking hard when I found out..But let Me just clarify an obvious to all the Morons out there …Just cause a person is Goth and Wears a Trench doesn’t mean that their packing a tech 9 or had anything to do with columbine..
Update: Second Email
I’ve read You parody site and found it interesting..The Most interesting parts i found was all the hate mail that You got Obviously some people don’t have a sence of humor..One person pointed out about another site that quoted a part of yours..Funny thing is Most of that Artical from the other site was (almost) Praising Goths as being Highly intelegent..The worst part was when they quote some song lyrics from some group that I didn’t even thing of as Goth..I would like to add though the goths should be more openminded and tolerant then anybody..come on look how most of us dress ! I mean no offence but when some of us dress like rejects from the circus when shouldn’t get to pissed if people stare and make comments..It should be a given And One last thing one of the most harshest hate mails that i read on hear was from a 15 yr old !! Ok honey honestly What the Fuck do You even Know about being Goth ! Don’t go acting like You’ve been Goth since it began since your ass wasn’t even born yet ! Heck the probably the only reason you went Goth was to piss off your parents…At least this guy who did parody did some research and somes pretty intellegent so um Grow Up !
Friday, May 5, 2006
This is horrible if it was a joke why did u make it up ?
Name: Texas Pete
Gibbon on Goths: “The Emperor Decius had employed a few months in the works of peace and the administration of justice, when (A.D.250) he was summoned to the banks of the Danube by the invasion of GOTHS. This is the first considerable occasion in which history mentions this great people, who afterwards broke the Roman power, sacked the Capitol, and reigned in Gaul, Spain, and Italy. So memorable was the part which they acted in the subversion of the Western empire that the name of GOTHS is frequently but improperly used as a general appellation of rude and warlike barbarism.”
I just wanted to say that your site is great. At first I thought that it was for real, as there are actually sites that have some similar stuff on that has been passed off as fact. I am a huge Marilyn Manson fan and also an atheist. I guess I do match the Goth description and it’s cool to see someone mocking Christians who take it all too seriously. Although I am pessimistic and a bit depressed at times, I can have fun too, for example, laughing at Christians. I don’t think that I am a poor soul and don’t intend on committing suicide in the near future. I’ve always been like that and being a Goth is just my way of expressing my feelings. Just because I like Marilyn Manson doesn’t mean that I’m going to slit my wrists. The whole point of Marilyn Manson’s music is to piss Christians off and it works too. They don’t seem to realise that they are just making fools of themselves and by trying to restrict their children they will only make them rebel more. I am 15 and I find the whole child thing patronising and also very stupid. My parents cannot make me do anything I don’t want to and what I wear or what I believe in is up to me. Christians can’t force their children to follow their faith – Marilyn Manson’s parents sent him to a Christian school and look at him now. There is nothing wrong with Satanism, Paganism, Wicca, Homosexuality, Bisexuality etc and I thought you did a great job imitating some of the Christian fanatics out there. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who finds crazy Christians amusing.
Good site pity that most will beleive it and become more brainwashed with their ignorance.
The stupidiest one is of the cereals.
How can a cereal decide what label a child has?
Cause apart from the gothic sub-culture etc…
It’s just a label.
Infact I won’t be surprised if now we’ll see people throwing holy water on people dressed in black,we already have people who belive they vampire slayers!!!So if that happens as well I won’t be surprised,I’ll just be there watching and eating popcorn.
Subject: The Independent might have fallen for P.A.R.O.D.Y.
Another mention of P.A.R.O.D.Y., this time in a British daily national newspaper:
I’m not entirely clear if they’re in on the joke or not – one would hope they were, but the tone of the article doesn’t offer much evidence of that.
I guess maybe no-one knows what the word parody means any more?
A friend sent me a link to this way back in ’03, and being full on goth at the time, roaring from my first Marilyn Manson album, “Bowling For Columbine” and my beloved stick of kohl, I adored it, naturally. Just refound the link, and I’m delighted to see it’s still up and attracting incomprehension. The flames are almost as good as the site itself. As a bisexual pink-haired ex-goth (electro & techno claimed my soul, I’m afraid) I can only appreciate your observations, and point and laugh (as kindly as possible) at those who seem unable to get the joke, be they humourless goths or piqued religious types. When will people start realising that regardless of inclinations, it’s all slap and drag until you get down to the genes?
My guard goes up when I find a site that insists upon its harmless content. Trying to make light of lifestyles like the Goths is, of course, your business, but I for one see the consequences of their harmless, devil-may-care (forgive the pun) lifestyle and attitude.
I have taught school in 4 decades and I have yet to find a follower of the ‘goth’ way who was happy or well-adjusted. They are very sad, bleak people. Many I have known have ended up dead from suicide, in mental health care or in jail.
I don’t necessarily blame a lifestyle for these poor soul’s troubles. We all have free will and make choices. No one holds a gun to someone’s head and makes them behave in a certain way, but glorifying or explaining away mentalities and attitudes that promote self-destructive, alienating behavior seems reckless at best and irresponsible at worst.
I don’t think those that will live the rest of their lives with the consequences of a ‘goth’ lark like Colombine would find anything amusing or witty in this site. It is hurtful and insensitive.
Subject: a 15yr olds (female)view on p.a.r.o.d.y.
How can you go around saying by what the child wears or what music the child listens to is gothic, it is individuality mate. GET IT RIGHT, it is not gothic just because a child listens to Rammstein or Marilyn Manson does not automatically meant that there gothic. And I just love how you use,
- Uses a computer or the Internet.
- Plays video games or role-playing games.
- Reads science fiction or fantasy books.
In the warning signs… That is such bullshit do you know how many children a day use a computer or plays video games or reads science fiction books etc. What you have just written in warning signs that YOU KID could be a Goth is completely and absolutely stupid.
I also love how you just basically summed up what Goth culture is…
The fact is, GOTH culture is not isolated, and it is certainly not harmless. In fact, it is fast becoming the dominant youth culture in America, led by such so-called “artists” as Marilyn Manson, Rammstein and the open homosexual Elton John, and by GOTHIC television shows such as BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and SOUTH PARK.’
Mate listening to Marilyn Manson etc and that Elton john is a homosexual and gothic shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SOUTH PARK is gothic. For Christ sake dude, Marilyn Manson is not a so-called ï¿½artistï¿½ buddy you just contradicted yourself he is an artist he has albums out, 1# hit songs. How can you go around saying he is a ï¿½so-called artistï¿½ you cannot BECAUSE IN FACT HE IS AN ARTIST! And that Elton john is a homosexual so what is he is a homosexual good on him, he was with a women and he did not like/love her anymore and so he decided to bat for the same team well I say good on him. Him being homosexual does not make him somewhat with in the Goth culture. And by saying BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and SOUTH PARK are gothic shows buddy theirs something wrong in your head! Vampire myths have been out there since god knows when, and by them having Buffy the vampire slayer on television, do you not think that it is a good idea. People do actually believe in Vampires and by having a Slayer it may give them some comfort at night! And by saying South Park is gothic buddy I do not even want to get started on that chapter seriously! South Park is a show for adults it is M15+ or MA15+ if adults choose to let their children watch South Park then so be it!
Also you say,
I am not a Christian and do not intend to represent Christian views.
- I am not anti-goth or anti-Pagan.
Then what the hell are you. You go around promoting P.A.R.O.D.Y and yet have you read it lately of what it stands for parent’s American RELIGIOUS organizations defending youth!
Okay I ask you this if you think Rammstein and let’s say Korn are all Goths then I wonder what you opinion or should I say stereotype on lets say Christian Aguilera or Paris Hilton? Because by stereotyping people that may take drugs and may listen to heavy metal music is pissing me off because you say that by doing this is being gothic but if you look at the bigger picture like what Christian Aguilera and Paris Hilton promote then they must have to be sluts. Paris is not even married and yet she has had sex with how man people and she tapes herself doing it by the way and by kids going on the net do you not think that it is easier for them to log onto a porno website?
Subject: Please do not reply to this email, your opinion on the matter is unwanted.
I would just like to file a complaint against your stupid ”fake” website P.A.R.O.D.Y is a sad pathetic joke! I’m sure you are aware some people out in the world are actually goths, I’m sure they would not appreciate your sarcastice sadonistic comments on their culture. If you do not agree with it then thats up to you but that is no reason at all to take the piss out of them, especially your comments on bisexual/homosexual etc peoples is extremely unwelcome, I happen to know some lovely gay people who are NOT goths. Please do not reply to this email.
I am merely pointing out my opinion, ignore it if you wish but i cannot begin to comprehend how you see the funny side of the latter.
That site with p.a.r.o.d.y was not a funny joke. that could actually lead parents and other people to think that all goths are pagan and worship the devil and crap like that. i am a christian goth and was appauled by your site.
you need a reality check my friend
KNOCK KNOCK JOKES ARE FUNNY
BULL CRAP LIKE THAT IS NOT
Just wanted to let you know how much your site P.A.R.O.D.Y. is absolutely amazing. Yes I do understand it is a joke and you would put myself quite close to being gothic if I had to classify myself. Myself and my sister are both practicing pagans. However, your page left me rolling on the floor laughing as I have heard similar things said by uneducated people thinking them to be true. It is wonderful to find another site that most people will misunderstand and take offence at while I find it so amusing. I congratulate you, Joshua Ross, for being great and bringing humour to my otherwise boring life.
P.S. I am from England so I am sorry for any spelling mistakes due to me living on the east side of the pond.
I am sorry to disturb you, but I must congratulate you on P.A.R.O.D.Y. I spend a lot of time on the internet, but I do not believe I have found anything as funny as your site. As one of the only Metalheads/Goths at my school, I can say that I have met some people that judge others on their state of Gothicness on points very similar to yours. Bloody good work, man. A beautiful creation.
Mr. Ross, you are quite the entertainer. I’ll bet even you don’t fully understand what sort of pandimonium you’ve caused on the web. Could you please tell me why you’ve created a thing such as your PARODY website? I don’t know if you’re aware, but St. Mary’s Cathedral was blamed for your antics. They’ve taken a ton of heat for your child-like attempts to create fun for yourself, and quite frankly, it’s not appreciated. You’re only making a mockery of Christianity and a fool of yourself. You must be pretty low on ideas to take a hit at a large religion.
Obviously you aren’t a Christian. You remind me of a little kid who just wanted to have some fun and ended up causing a big problem. Nice job. A good comedian tries to entertain more people than he offends. You’ve done quite the reverse. If anything, try to make your attempts at comedy actually look like comedy. It will help in the long run. Better luck next time.
Subject: about the parody site
i read the parody site quite a while back and thougt it was funny but i wans’t clear on whether or not it was real (i just found the link to your explanation). but i was wodnering if you actualy read the mail that gets sent in, because me and some friends have sent some ratehr hateful mail, heh. well i do hope you respond