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The Goth Jock

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You’ll never find them in a locker room. In fact, they’ll go out of their way to change anywhere else. The steam from the showers might let air into their pores and make them implode. They’re incapable of sweating; at the most, they simmer. Once they do change, they really stand out on the playing field. Resplendent in custom-made uniforms, devoid of any school colors (or color in general), optimal for maximum performance and maximum skin coverage. Even though they’ve been gifted with exceptional bodies, they hate to show off. It’s not in their ironic nature. They also never play for victory, popularity, or fun. But they still participate zealously, to the confusion of both the ordinary jocks and the ordinary Goths. Yes, the Goth Jocks (or “Gocks”) refuse to conform to their pasty, activity-averse brethren, in favor of a more effective outlet for hatred towards this frustratingly happy-go-lucky world.

The Goth subculture prides itself on disassociation. Goth kids lurk in, and even take on the personalities of, shadows; one-sided, lacking depth or feeling, sworn enemies of light. Even wallflowers need exposure to the sun, but Goths do not. Hence, a less flattering name for them would be something like, wall weeds. They commonly travel in cohorts, sheltering one another, barely making efforts to socialize. They are self-contained, self-sustaining vacuums of darkness. Any positivity is not welcomed. They see human existence for what it truly is: corrupt, vile, futile, one long joke, and the punch line is death. They do not impose this philosophy on others however. Since all Goths are typically whiny introverts, they express their sentiments through sad poetry, heavy metal, and masturbation. But apart from that, they never exert a day’s worth of energy, and are notoriously unfit. After high school, they pretty much fall off the face of the earth.

Jocks on the other hand, are notorious for their physical superiority over anyone else. Charisma, narcissism, and a dim view of the real world are all key attributes of the classic adolescent Adonis. Generous contributors to school spirit, thrifty contributors to state test scores. Puberty hath done them well, for they exude a radius of social magnetism that no gender is safe from. Center stage and exploitive, they define the in-crowd. Sports teams highly value them, but mainly as a one-trick showcase. In the end, most jocks of today do not become the Olympians of tomorrow. They usually end up working for their parents, selling insurance, or going back to high school, only this time they get to teach the class they once nearly flunked.

Now, there is the Gock. A boggling hybrid whose exact origin remains a mystery. The most logical explanation is there was an occurrence in time when either one or a handful of Goths suddenly realized the irony of their whole subculture. From the everyman’s perspective, all Goths want to do is look at the world from afar like they’re too good for it. In doing so, they’ve created their own little world with a dress code and a homogenized manner of conduct. Essentially, conforming to reject conformity. This exasperated some Goths to the point where they refused to be like their fellow outcasts. Goth kids began to explore the world for new interests, and soon they discovered the liberating rush of sports. Granted, just the indoor sports, but still. It was the blend of endorphins, emotional release, and animalistic violence that drew them in. Sports are a free-for-all haven where you’re only judged by the size of the fight inside you, and not how you look or act. If you think only the jocks have fight, well, imagine the long-dormant hormonal rage possessed by one Goth. Just provoke him, and hell breaks loose. It’s this kind of catharsis that Goths need, and that athletic directors are finding increasingly beneficial for their teams.
Gocks are ambivalent in their loyalties to cliques. This is not to say their attitudes resemble those of someone like the hipster, who illustrates a non-committal fear of expression. Hipsters cannot afford to maintain any cultural loyalties or affiliations for fear they will lose relevance. But since Gocks do not associate with the mainstream, they don’t seek to fulfill any mission statement. They are just determined to be the best at being themselves. Gocks retain the properties of organic Goths while covalently bonding with the behavioral traits of jocks. In their spare time, they like to work out to melancholy remixes of pop music. They are in top shape, but with their darker angular features, not stereotypically good looking. Schools with Gocks reportedly have no bullying issues, because Gocks stick up for the underdogs, and prevent predation by the top dogs. They advocate an end to class warfare. They are beacons of hope for the isolated and misunderstood, showing that taking strides to achieve a happier personal life is possible. They are role models that parents and teachers can admire. They are unsung heroes of modern day life. They are, figuratively and literally, dark knights.
Of course, names and faces change after high school. Even though status does not stick with a Gock forever, a promising future still lies ahead. Gocks never forget their roots, and how their decision to stand out by fitting in altered the course of their lives for the better. They mature faster than the rest of us, outgrow labels and shallow points of view, and become normal, fully functioning adults. Some Gock you once knew could already be serving society, and you wouldn’t even know it. I guess the moral of this story is that, just because some people don’t belong to a lifestyle, it doesn’t mean life has no place for them. The ones who make a difference are the ones who forge a path all their own. They are not hindered by expectations of what kind of social group they should be in. They are living proof that a once vapid makeup-wearing pessimist can blossom into an optimist with substance and a healthy natural glow. And we, as a society, could do without the negative Nancy who is the Goth. We could be doing a lot better, with a little help from our new friend, the Gock.



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