About Gothic BC
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is website for?
- What is the history of this site? Who runs it?
- How does this site make money?
- How can I help out with the site?
- What is Goth?
- Am I a Goth?
- Aren't Goths all devil-worshipping, bunny-mutilating, oversexed, sado-masochistic psychos in black trench-coats?
- Why do Goths wear black?
- I heard you need two pieces of ID to get in a club in BC. Is this true?
- How many pictures are there in the photo gallery?
- I posed for a picture at [event X], how come I don't see my picture in the gallery? What is the "NSFW Filter"?
- What is the rating bar in the photo gallery for? This isn't some "hot or not" crap is it?
- How do I get a copy of a picture on the website?
- A Can of Beans? WTF?
- How do I contact the webmaster?
- How come no one answered my e-mail?
GothicBC is a resource for goths and like-minded bohemians, artists, musicians, etc. from Victoria to Fort St. John. Promoters and patrons of B.C. events can upload pictures to the photo gallery to showcase these events. Users can upload images to the art gallery to show off their talent. In the forum, in the LiveJournal commuity, and on the facebook page discuss a whole gamut of topics. People new to B.C. use the site as a resource to meet like-minded individuals. Former residents of B.C. use the site to keep an eye on what's happening "back home."
Online since October 1998, Gothic BC is the hobby and pet project of Atratus (Michael R. Barrick). Originally not much more than a link to the Van-Goth and Gothic BC mailing lists on eGroups.com, Gothic BC has grown over the years to the point where the site receives about a half a million page views every month from well over four thousand unique visitors.
It was with the addition of the photogallery in October of 2000 when the site really began to take off. The main photogallery now contains 49,226 photographs. Here you will find a visual history of the BC scene no other site can come close to.
Later in 2002, after the purchase and subsequent bastardising of eGroups (formerly OneList) by YahooGroups, the Gothic BC mailing list was moved to a non-commercial server thanks to Avi, who also hosts Sanctuary Radio. It has since been moved back to YahooGroups, but it little used these days, giving way to sites like LiveJournal and Facebook.
Also in 2002 the Gothic BC Livejournal community was started and remains popular. Gothic BC also has a presence on facebook, started in 2008.
With the help of Café Press store was added in 2004. Also in 2004, helped out by some generous donations, a server upgrade opened the door to adding a message forum and Valerian has stepped up to the role of co-moderator of the forum and helps provide content for the site.
In 2008 the site was entirely redeveloped moved to a dedicated host with gobs more bandwidth. Products from Zazzle.com were added to the merch offerings, now available in Canadian dollars with Canadian shipping at Zazzle.ca.
On November 8, 2008 we celebrated out 10-year anniversary at Club 23 West with an event called Decadence.
Development continues. Check out the Gothiv BC To-Do List thread in the forum for what's in the works, and keep an eye on Atratus' blog for updates.
For over 10 years Gothic BC has been providing an essentially non-commercial space for Goths and like-minded bohemians, artists, musicians, etc. in British Columbia and beyond to interact and find the information they crave about clubs, shows, and shopping. The site remains the hobby and pet project of Atratus and most of the money it takes to keep the site up and functioning comes out of his pocket, augmented by the occasional donation from appreciative users, the rare bit of advertising, and the few paid user subsciptions. To date expenses have very much exceed income.
Participate! Upload pictures and art. Post in the forum, calendar and LiveJournal. Donate to help cover bandwidth and upkeep. Buy a paid account and start blogging.
Good question. If you have to ask you probably don't have a clue anyway ;-)
Now, seriously, this has got to be the most loathed question on any Gothic-themed mailing list or forum. For the most part people come to these lists as a kind of sanctuary from this question, a place to converse with like-minded people who aready have a clue, and net.goths as a general rule can be pretty snarky on line. This is more of an in-person type question. Someone who might be inclined to bite your head off on-line over this faux-pas will quite likely be quite personable about it over a smoke outside the club or some such other IRL situation. The worst thing that is going to happen to anybody on-line is being banned from one forum or another, so people tend to be considerably less concerned about causing offence on line than they would be face to face.
If you are new to the scene, don't sweat what is or isn't goth. Just go with your gut and don't sweat the details.
These two sites represent a good place to start:
6. Am I a Goth?
If people call you a goth and you are inclined to deny it, you probably are one.
If you call yourself a goth but no one else does, you probably aren't.
If you call yourself a goth, think moping makes you cool, hating the world is cool, lurk on mailing lists, newsgroups, and blog sites but never actually go out and socialize with anyone, let alone other goths, then you definitely aren't. Consider therapy.
Not even close. Research out of the University of Sussex (UK) by Dr. Dunja Brill (Media and Cultural Studies) shows that on average
"...their lifestyle, unlike the punk scene, is a middle-class subculture," she said.
Her research shows that goths share a dark sense of humour.
"The values of the goth subculture are very high-brow," she said. "They tend to enjoy old poetry, books and the arts.
"It is a peaceful subculture - drugs and anti-social behaviour do not play a big part.
"Many parents worry because they think their children may be depressed or suicidal when they start wearing black but this is not usually the case.
"They tend to have a sarcastic sense of humour and be able to express their feelings.
"Another worry is the fetish fashion of some goths, especially with the females. But my research shows that the girls are not overtly sexual.
"In fact, they are usually believers of love and romance..."— Telegraph.co.uk, March 20, 2006
Also, see Atratus' blog post Goth ≠ Fetish: Goth and Allied Scenes
Wearing Black has been the hallmark of the coffee drinking intelligentsia for nearly 400 years. Back during the early Renaissance the rich (and therefore educated) were dressing in flamboyant clothes made with expensive coloured dyes and gold and silver decorations. In the early part of the 17th century as the Renaissance was spreading into Northern Europe the Dutch invented the first permanent black dyes. At the same time the Dutch were surpassing the Italians as Europe's premiere merchants and Amsterdam was becoming the centre of power and learning for Europe. Dutch merchants also introduced coffee and chocolate to Europe around this same time, ergo you suddenly had the wealthy and educated merchant crowd and the artists they supported sitting around in coffee-houses all dressed in black, drinking coffee and eating chocolate for a buzz. Bach (who used to spend a lot of time hanging out in cafés, jamming with his contemporaries) even wrote a "Coffee Cantata" about a woman who wanted to drink coffee despite her father's wishes and the mores of the time.
While styles changed amongst the rich and powerful the style and image of the black-clad artist and intellectual persisted. The style persisted through the early-to-mid 19th century Romantics on into the late 19th / early 20th century Avant Garde artists. The Weimar intellectuals such as the founders of the Bauhaus school also continued the tradition leading directly into the Beat Generation followed by the Situationists, punks and eventually Goths.
The following is straight from the provincial government (http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/licensing/laws.htm):
All of British Columbia's licensed establishments are required by law to ask ANYONE who appear to be under the age of 25 for two pieces of identification.Note that the law says photo or signature - that does not mean you need two pieces of photo ID. For those of visiting Canada that don't know this, the examples given (Care Card, SIN card) are not photo ID. Basically, whatever was good enough to get you over the border is good enough to get you into a club, with the exception of just your passport alone. In theory that should be good enough but don't forget bouncers aren't hired for their brains and aren't going to argue the finer points of the law with you. They're told "2 pieces of ID, one with a picture" so be prepared to show two pieces. Also while the law has been in place for some time, it has only been just recently that it's been enforced stringently. That means this is new to the bouncers. They may not know about the "if you appear under 25" bit and may demand two pieces of ID from you even if you are grey and balding and walk with a cane. Be ready for it or you run the risk of not getting into the club.
The first ID (a driver's licence or passport, for example) must include:
date of birth, and
The second ID (a Care Card or Social Insurance Card, for example) must include:
photo or signature.
There are currently 49,226 pictures in the gallery.
The more risqué pictures are put behind a "Not Safe For Work" (NSFW) filter. The gallery does not display NSFW pictures by default and a "Confirmed Adult User" account membership is required to turn off the filter. Below the Gothic BC logo in the gallery navigation there is a link "NSFW filter on" - click it. If you have a "Confirmed Adult Account" the page will be reloaded with the NSFW pictures and the link will now say "NSFW filter off". The setting will stay until you close the browser or click the link again. You can set the default for the filter by going to "My Account"-->"Edit"-->"Site Settings".
You still can't find the picture you are looking for it's most likely there was something wrong with it (out of focus, flash didn't go off, etc.) or there were several very similar pictures and only the best of the bunch was used. Also, after three months, photos that haven't been voted above a cut-off threshold are automatically removed (there is more about this in the follwing section on the rating system.)
Simply stepping into the photo area does not in any way guarantee that your picture will be on the website. The only way you can be absolutely assured to get a copy of your picture is to buy a copy (print or digital) in the photo booth.
No. Many of the pictures in the photo gallery are not portraits. The rating bar is for users to register votes for thier favourite (or least favourite) pictures on a sliding scale for the purpose of the Top 40 picture gallery and the random pictures on the homepage, which are collected daily from the top 100 "worksafe" pictures. The only purpose of the ratings is for you to let me know what pictures you like and to make it easy to find the very best pictures in the gallery. The computation that asseses the votes is more than just a simple average like you would get at a rating site. For example, a picture getting eight "10" votes, one "8", and a "2" will score higher in the ranking than an image getting one "9".
Now that there are often hundreds of photos from a given event, the ratings are also used to automatically decide which ones to keep in the permanent archive. Photos that have not been rated above a certain threshold are expired after three months.
For the mathematically inclined, this is the formula used to rank the pictures. N is the set of responses in the range -5 to -1 (one to five stars) and P is the set of responses in the range 1 to 5 (six to ten stars).
You can have the pictures from the photo gallery as they appear on the site by simply right-clicking on the image and saving it to your computer. Bear in mind, however, that all the images on the website are copyrighted. These images may only be used for personal, non-commercial purposes.
At some events such as Sin City I (Atratus) set up a photo booth and sell prints on-the-spot and will take e-mail addresses for digital orders.
Ordering Prints - If a photo is available for you to purchase you will see a "buy photo" link in the caption area when you are logged in. You must have an account and be logged in to order pictures.
Prices are as follows:
- 4" × 6" w/ paper frame - $10 ea.
- 5" × 7" w/ paper frame - $12 ea.
- digital (at least 1050 pixels on long edge, typically much larger) - $10.
Larger print sizes up to 13" × 19" are available by special e-mail request only.
Long ago, Evilyn found a can of beans working the door at Labyrinth at The Drink (which is now The Red Room). It was a slow night so I ran around taking people's picture with the beans. It has become a running gag. It doesn't make sense. Just go with it.
Since their initial discovery the beans have taken on a garden-gnome-like penchant for travel. They have been to two Convergences (San Diego and Portland), Las Vegas (several times), Halifax, Costa Rica, toured Japan, toured Canada with Left Spine Down, been to London, Manchester, and Festival Kinetik in Montréal, Italy, Rio de Janeiro, various cities in Australia, Peru (including Machu Picchu) and Los Angeles. There is no telling where they will turn up next.
E-mail me and bear in mind that this is something I do in my spare time. If I'm short on spare time I might take several days to get back to you. If you have questions about one of the club nights or an upcoming event you'll be better off posting in the forum or contacting the promoters of the event directly.
Because you probably asked a question that is already in the FAQ. That's what a FAQ is for: so I don't have to waste my time answering the same Frequently Asked Questions over and over again. You must be new here. Welcome to the Internet... noob.