Friday, October 19, 2007

Goths terrify Blackburn?

This insensitive article which was printed on the same day as the committal of the suspects in the Sophie Lancaster case was originally titled 'Emos and Goths intimidating Blackburn shoppers'. It has caused much outrage attracting comments from many people including Sophie’s family. Blackburn is the largest town near to Bacup being only 10 miles away. The article was later renamed “Teen gangs are emo-tive issue” in an attempt to mollify complaints.

Note the young people involved are guilty of no crime as the police comment indicates but are simply assembling in a public place. There was some inaccuracy in the report the description of the group which mentions the fact a number of people in the group had skateboards. This means a considerable number of them are in fact skaters rather than goths or emos as some of the comments on the article make clear.

While the Telegraph claims the article is objective reporting the prejudiced opinions of one of the locals seems crass in the circumstances as many local people made clear in their comments. It seems Church Street has been a hang out spot for alternative teens before this man’s shop was even opened. If the group were guilty of disorderly conduct then the police would act instead the reality is that the group involved have done nothing wrong.

The paper has now printed a new article on the question which further indicates how reasonable those gathered in Church Street are:

Emos and Goths - 'don't be afraid of us'

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Halloween sees the beginning of the Trial of Suspects in Sophie Lancaster murder

The five suspects in the Sophie Lancaster case have been committed for trial in Burnley the preliminary hearing will be held at Preston Crown Court on October 31st, Halloween.

Black Ribbon Tribute

Article on the SOPHIE fund and many of the local and world wide tributes to Sophie. Much kudos to all of those involved in organising these.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bones Skatepark in Bolton burnt/ Skater beaten

A closed skatepark has been burnt down arson is involved. Who is responsible? There is some debate about who is responsible. Although it seems some skaters (foolishly) had been breaking into the park to skate they would not have burned down a place they loved. As one comment on the story said:

Does everyone really think that skaters have done this?? Why would they burn down the only good skate facility? Its all the little kids that wear their Nike track suites and tuck their socks into the pants that have done this. everyone needs to open their eyes to the amount of inbred youths in Bolton and stop blaming people who role about on a skateboard
Those skaters involved in breaking in certainly hold some responsibility perhaps they broke doors or windows which were later used by the arsonists to gain entry or their use of the park attracted attention to it. Yet their wider points are valid. An examination of the history of the park reveals it collapsed as a commercial venture in September 2006 due to persistent vandalism from local youths not skaters:
The final blow came earlier this month when vandals trashed the premises, ripping out water pipes, tearing doors off hinges and smashing hi-fi equipment.
An earlier report Vandals killing skaters' fun park show the level of the problem:

"But we started running into problems when attendance dropped off because customers were being frightened off by gangs of youths stealing their mobiles, cash, skateboards. There's also only so many times you can replace a smashed window."

The former owner and local skaters were persecuted and attacked. Now the park is closed an intelligent guess would blame the same local group of vandals for burning what was left. Indeed looking at details of the situation in Bolton reveals some interesting information.

Local skaters who were banned from the town centre organised a campaign in early 2007 to get a new park built. See the petition here. The council actually not only listened to them but together they managed to get a skatepark set up in central Bolton which opened in August this year. A crucial part of selecting this site was that it had CCTV cover hopefully this would deter further vandalism. Yet the park was rapidly targeted by vandals who broke in a daubed it with graffiti.

Meanwhile on October 6th a teenage skater elsewhere in Bolton suffered a vicious attack:

A TEENAGER had his ankle broken in several places during a vicious attack at a skatepark.

Detectives believe onlookers may have filmed the 14-year-old being beaten on their mobile phones, as he was attacked at the park off Blindsill Road, New Bury.

An argument among a group of up to 20 youths had turned violent and the youngster was knocked to the ground before being punched and kicked to the body. He is understood to have suffered the break when he was stamped on.

At the moment the motivation of the attack is unclear, but it is certainly a situation to watch.

Goth arrested for wearing Handcuffs

Probably a stoke of misfortune here, rather than active prejudice at work, though one suspects the person who reported the goth may have been either rather naive or had a nasty sense of humour. I mean what kind of jail break involves the escapee staying near the Court House dressed in goth clothes? If he hadn't been a goth would the police have bothered pulling him in?

TULSA, Okla., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Sheriff's deputies in Tulsa, Okla., said a man who was spotted wearing handcuffs unescorted outside a court house was making a fashion statement.

Deputies were called to the scene outside of Tulsa County (Okla.) Courthouse after a passerby reported a man in handcuffs outside the building was unescorted by police or other authorities, Tulsa World reported Monday.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jody Britt said deputies discovered the man was wearing the handcuffs as part of his gothic fashion ensemble.

"I guess he had one end attached to his arm and the other dangling, which to us looks like he escaped from custody," he told the newspaper.

The man was released after authorities checked that he had no outstanding warrants, Britt said.

"Wearing a set of handcuffs near a courthouse is not exactly the most intelligent thing you could do," he said to the World.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Camden Stables Market doomed

Despite a massive internet campaign to save it Camden Stables Market a central point in the UK's alternative scene has been lost. Iconic shops like Black Rose, and Cyberdog are to go. More than 10,000 people have added their names to an online petition to save it. The massively higher new rents plus the glassy buildings inside will seriously alter the structure of the market and the area. It was wonderful use of Victorian buildings now it will be a souless hell. Rumour has it that the ultimate aim is to push out many of traders and eventually urn some of the area into apartments :

Camden New Journal - News: Campaign fails to block £12m revamp

Camden New Journal - by RICHAED OSLEY
Published 12 October 2006
Stables plans win traders' backing despite 'shopping mall' warning

THE campaign against the £12 million redevelopment of the landmark Stables Market collapsed on Thursday night as planners gave permission for building work to begin.
In a split vote, councillors allowed landowners to build a glass complex next to railway sidings in Chalk Farm Road, Camden Town.
Barring an expensive legal appeal, it marks the end of a bitter battle between those traders who want the market to stay as it is and managers Stables Market Limited, whose investors include millionaire clothing tycoon Richard Caring.
The proposals will cut back some of the railway arches to create new retail units and make changes to land surrounding the historic Gin Building and Horse Hospital. They caused a storm of protest, with more than 4,000 supporters signing an online petition.
But the Save The Stables Market Campaign has struggled to maintain a public face and only one speaker addressed Thursday’s crucial planning meeting.
Stefan James, from nearby Harmood Street, said: “This will completely change the nature of the market. Camden’s alternative culture and individuality will be lost. We don’t want glass buildings.”
His protest was outflanked by stallholders who spoke in favour of the new designs. Many signed a petition in favour.
Stallholder Franck Coido said: “The current application will give the market a much-needed facelift and provide us with better-quality stalls in a higher-quality environment.”
Trader Thierry Durieux added: “The proposals are for a new, up-to-date market for Camden.
“They include many small market stalls, providing improved facilities for traders which are badly needed.”
Labour ward councillor Pat Callaghan opposed the “very dominant” proposals. She said: “This is a matter of respecting the setting of the listed buildings.”
Planning officials approved a similar scheme in 2003, so, even if councillors had rejected the latest plans, landowners could have pressed ahead with a large-scale revamp.
After a two-hour discussion with planning officials, councillors voted 6-4 in favour of the proposals.
Planning chairwoman Conservative councillor Dawn Somper said afterwards: “We absolutely support the desire to preserve the independent and alternative attraction and feel of Stables Market – rather than it looking like a typical high street – and also its economic importance to Camden Town.”
Suki Jacobs, from the Stables Market campaign, whose husband is a stallholder, said: “The planned building will resemble a shopping mall. It doesn’t make any sense.
“I have lost faith in English Heritage. Precisely whose heritage do they protect?”

The campaign has been marked by long slow starvation of the type of edgy and interesting stalls that make Camden interesting


Sepember - TRADERS forced to move from their spacious arches in the Stables Market in Camden Town say their new temporary spaces are a “death row” for their businesses.
They were forced to evacuate their Victorian arches to make way for a multi-million pound redevelopment.
Stallholders were given until the end of August to move out but market management said last week major work such as the demolition of the arches won’t begin for another month.
Instead, work has begun on dismantling some of the temporary shops opposite the arches.
Tensions are mounting as the disparate traders adjust to their new positions, with many claiming they have been moved to a hardly-used tunnelled alleyway while the refurbishment takes place.
They say their regular customers can no longer find them.
One man, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s become such a joke. My new shop is a third the size of my old shop and they are asking for more money. They call this part of the market death row because nobody comes here.”
But Luke Akehurst, speaking for the market management, said most traders will not face rent increases.

Camden New Journal - News: Traders furious at plans to turn market ...

GALLERY owner Alex Proud has unveiled plans for a glittering new bar in the listed Horse Hospital at the heart of Stables Market in Camden Town. ...

The forum here traces the whole sorry saga.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marilyn Manson at Challenge Stadium | PerthNow

Marilyn Manson at Challenge Stadium | PerthNow

October 14, 2007 12:00pm

MARILYN Manson was one star who was certainly not in town for Telethon.

While a plethora of stars joined forces to raise money for sick children, over at Challenge Stadium Manson and his army of black t-shirt sporting supporters were more concerned with celebrating the seedier side of life. ..

The only mildly controversial statement Manson made was when he declared: "as you know I am responsible for every school shooting that ever happens". His statement was a response to his name being linked to almost every school shooting from the Columbine High School massacre to the recent shooting at SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland.

Loyal Perth fans have been waiting more than 8 years for their goth idol to return after Manson stormed off stage at the Big Day Out back in 1999. Manson was at the start of his performance when he left the stage after being pelted with bottles and cans. This time around Perth punters were far more appreciative of Manson. They were even willing to overlook the poor vocal performance and bad sound mix and the fact that Manson's new band cannot match previous line-ups. But can anyone really hold a candle to the guitar genius of John 5?
Actually he was talking about Asa Coon.

School Killing involves "goth"

A new tragic killing in the United States on October 1oth and once again media coverage sadly highlights items that put subcultures in a bad light. Asa Coon came from a troubled background, faced a life of being bullied, managed to get hold of guns and had been previously been in trouble for violence. Also in a predominately black school he adopted "goth" clothes and liked Marilyn Manson, being nicknamed Jack Black by other pupils said: “He was chubby and short, and he was the only kid in school who dressed like a Goth.”

Guess which element of his background was focused on by some media reports.

On October 12th the highest selling newspaper in the UK The Sun ran this for example:

Gun boy: My god is Marilyn | The Sun |HomePage|News: "A BOY of 14 wounded two schoolmates and two teachers in a gun rampage after boasting he did not believe in God – but instead worshipped rocker Marilyn Manson. Loner Asa Coon – who opened fire with two revolvers at his school before killing himself on Wednesday – had a history of mental problems, US police said yesterday. Days earlier he was suspended for fighting fellow youngsters who objected to his God comments. Doneisha LeVert, 14, said: “He threatened to blow up our school.” Coon, who wore a goth trenchcoat and dog collar, sneaked his weapons past metal detectors at the SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland, Ohio."

Covering it the day before The Sun noted:
"Witnesses described him as a goth with white make-up and black nails – and told how he had chillingly warned his classmates “I’ve got something for you”."

Reinforced from this is the idea that goths are loner killers and the coverage typically focused on this rather than answering questions like how did Coon get hold of guns, why was he obsessed with weapons, how did he get into the school or why did the school not listen to warnings from other people about him? For example better reports noted:"A court magistrate ordered psychological testing and family therapy for Coon after he slapped his mother in 2006, but Coon was not cooperative; he eventually was placed in an interim shelter, where he attempted suicide." This is the real story that some papers have focused on.

Student was 'tormented,' volunteer says
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY -12 Oct 2007

CLEVELAND — Fourteen-year-old Asa H. Coon took abuse, gave abuse, exchanged curses with his mother and said he chose to worship shock rocker Marilyn Manson instead of God. He was the subject of a neglect case when he was 4, and he often went to school looking a mess.

None of that explains why he walked a hallway of his school Wednesday with two guns and started shooting, wounding two students and two teachers before killing himself.

"This kid finally broke," Christina Burns, who volunteered at a school Coon previously attended, said yesterday. "He finally lost his mind."

Coon had been on suspension for a Monday fight when he somehow got into the SuccessTech Academy alternative school. His fellow students said his threats to hurt students last week went unheeded by school officials.

Burns said Coon was intelligent but struggled with school work, unable to focus. He had mood swings, she said. "There was days he was sociable, days where he was shut down, closed in, hated the world," Burns said.

Burns witnessed Coon's troubles with fellow students. She also remembered verbal abuse over his shabby, at times unclean, appearance.

"They picked on him," Burns said. "He didn't have decent clothing. He didn't have decent shoes. He had problems. The other children played on that and tormented him at school."

"Everybody's making him out to be a devil, a demon,' she said, "but nobody knows what was going on with this kid."

Despite 26 security cameras, officials couldn't say yesterday how Coon was able to get into the SuccessTech Academy alternative school. Coon was a new student at the school, but the district has a dossier on past problems. He had mental-health problems, spent time in two juvenile facilities and was suspended from school last year for attempting to harm a student, according to juvenile court records.

The school of about 240 students has metal detectors but none were operating Wednesday. Students said the devices were used only intermittently."

An expert on school shootings highlighted in an interview the real problems to watch for:
"DR. STEVEN PITT, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: To be sure, Anderson, there are red flags to look like things like depression and anger and familiarity with weapons and fascination with the military. Those are all red flags. But there's an art to this, as much as there is a science. I mean, we can go to schools all around the country and lots of people have those very same characteristics... since Columbine, there has been a real emphasis and a real looking at schools where bullying is taking place. Make no mistake about it. Bullying was underreported at Columbine. I think schools have taken a much more aggressive look at the effect that bullying has on youths and as it relates to their acting out behavior."
In the 16 other school related killings in the USA this year no "goths" were involved, though the other killings did often involve people who had been bullied or alienated, had histories of violence and all got access to firearms. Did reports on these other murders discuss the musical preferences of those involved?

Take for example Tyler Peterson, on Octber 7th at an off-campus party, the 20-year-old full-time deputy in the Sheriff's Department, who was also a part-time officer at the Crandon Police Department, murdered six people students and recent graduates of Crandon High School (ages 14 to 20) after a dispute then committed suicide by multiple gunshots. Peterson, unlike Asa Coon, actually killed people but we don't know what type of clothes he wore besides a police uniform or the music he listened to.

Disney hates Metal Machine Head gig censored

Disney cancelled a series of metal gigs back in September.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette News -Thursday, September 20, 2007 Machine Head’s music rattles Disney

Machine Head is disturbing The Mouse.

Twice this month, House of Blues concert venues on Disney-owned property — one in Anaheim and one in Orlando — booted long-booked Machine Head concerts just days ahead of the scheduled performances. The Orlando House of Blues also forced death-metal band Cannibal Corpse to change venues.

Headbanger’s Blog � Guest Blog: Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Talks Censorship

Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn wrote a guest blog about his views on citizenship and censorship...

I have been on the road touring for over half of my life, 13 years of which have been with Machine Head. This is what we do. Frankly, it’s all we know how to do. And in the 13 years we’ve been touring, we have never experienced the kind of flat-out extortion that we were just privy to. Never did we think that what we just witnessed over the course of the last few weeks would ever be possible, let alone tolerated in this day and age. But as I sit here writing these words to you, we are still in an utter state of shock.

About a month ago, we were told that our concert at The House Of Blues in Anaheim, California (which is on Disney property) — after having been on sale for six weeks — was going to be moved on two days notice because Disney had begun silently enacting a blanket policy to eliminate all heavy metal shows from the two House of Blues venues that reside on Disney property. Now, of course, no one would go on record about exactly what Disney’s brand new issue(s) with metal seemed to be (understandably so). But the “unofficial” gist is that metal lyrics were deemed “inflammatory” and metal fans deemed “undesirable.”...

But when a corporation like Disney forces the cancellation of your show because your style of music is “inappropriate,” it really sticks in your craw, especially when you think about what’s playing at the theater right next door. For example, now playing at the Downtown Disney AMC Theater are a number of movies rated “R” for, among other things, “strong sexual content”, “strong horror violence,” “intense sequences of graphic brutal violence,” nudity and drug use. It goes without saying that a heavy metal show is (with the exception of violence) fairly tame by those standards. Hell, even by the oft-assumed worst-case scenarios preached by ignorant conservative groups about “the evils of heavy metal,” the genre still falls well short of offering its fans the sort of influences present in the major motion pictures playing a mere hop, skip and a jump away.

The entire post is intelligent and well thought out and raises important issues.

More background here on coverage:

Machine Head - News

Given the popularity of Machine Head in the UK in particular this is an interesting choice.

Disney Bans Metal, antiMusic calls for Disney Boycott - antiMUSIC News

Nevertheless, we here at antiMusic will do our part and we will no longer carry any articles related to anything Disney including Hollywood Records until they stop their censorship. We encourage you to join us in this boycott and refrain from all things Disney. Shouldn't be too hard.

Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Throwdown, Sanctity, Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, The Red Chord And The Absence, Obituary, Alabama Thunderpussy, Full Blown Chaos And Hemlock have all suffered under the new Disney fascism.

Machine Head/Arch Enemy