October 13, 2003

Dear Umlaut, You think you’re so damn cool, huh? Just hanging out, chillin’, above all those vowels. You’re all, “Ooh, look at me, I’m a chic umlaut. I make girls’ names look modish, like Zoë and Chloë, and I rock with strung out ’80s metal bands!”

Well, guess what? You’re only an umlaut if you’re modifying the pronunciation of a singular vowel, like in “Führer” or “über.” If you’re stressing the second of two consecutive vowels or one that would usually be silent according to common English usage, you’re just a plain old boring dieresis. How ‘bout that, you naïve jackass? God, you’re such a poseur, umlaut. You’re nothing but two measly dots. You’re a Eurotrash colon lying down. Nobody thinks you’re cool.

Josh Abraham
Kew Gardens, NY

Pronunciation 101: Diphthongs

Probably the place where most non-Germans make mistakes while reading/spelling…

  • ai/ei
    Eng. equivalent: EYE
    German examples: s Ei (egg), r Mai (the month of May), r Teig (dough)
  • au
    Eng. equivalent: OW in “how”
    German examples: auch (also), s Bauch (stomach), aus (from/out of)
  • eu/äu
    Eng. equivalent: OY in “boy” 
    German examples: neu (new), Bäume (trees), treu (faithful/loyal)
  • ie
    Eng. equivalent:  EE in “see”
    German examples: Sie (formal you), nie (never), auf Wiedersehen (goodbye)

Even if ä/ö/ü are written out as ae/oe/ue (e.g. because the computer does not support characters with umlauts), they are not considered diphthongs.

Why I Give Up On Local Goth Clubs

Here are basically four top examples on why I mostly give up on the Goth club scene in VA (Fallout, Umlaut, Sanctuary, and Doom Gloom at The Wave). No one seems to talk about it openly and when they do it’s in secret.

I am never attending Fallout again. I wonder if people notice the ridiculous things pertaining to racism and LGBT community there? I’ve always thought that people who attended there were tolerated versus accepted. I saw one gay male get outed one time I was there and you can feel the racism there with the attitudes. When I attended a Goth club in NYC there were actually other Goths there and they didn’t make you feel like a freak for being different. Isn’t that the point of being in a Goth Club? Where “freaks” can unite and not be judged.

The review I saw recently about Fallout RVA shocked and appalled me. This person was not supposed to be a regular member (as if it should matter, first impressions are everything with any business).

"So my room-mates informed me that there was an apocalypse-themed night going on at a club in Richmond called Fallout, that’s associated with the LGBT and BDSM communities. I spent something like two hours putting together a sweet “The Road” esque costume, and we get there and there’s cardboard lining the floor and walls and crumpled newspapers - typical looking post-apocalyptic stuff, which is cool.

Then I started noticing the “graffiti” on the cardboard walls. Lots of swastikas , a bunch of antisemitic shit like “cooking with jews” (get it?) and “NO N***ERS ALLOWED”. I look around, and sure enough there are maybe 3 or 4 non-white people in a pretty crowded bar/club on a Saturday night.

So at this point I’m pretty deeply uncomfortable and I’m wandering around in a kind of daze. Then somebody bumps into me, and this tatted up, frankly, Aryan-brotherhood-looking motherf*cker is pushing this skinny Black punk kid into the dance floor and there’s a confrontation between the kid and his one friend and this growing posse of aggressive white dudes, before THE KID is basically told to leave (maybe by someone actually connected to the club - that part was unclear to me). Apparently the kid had been trying to take down the cardboard sign that said “NO N***ERS ALLOWED”, and that precipitated the argument/fight.

So at this point my head is clearing at least to the point of realizing that we need to get the f*ck out of here. I alert the people I came with to the situation that we are in fact in a racist wannabe neonazi club and that angry white dudes are pushing around people who are trying to do something about the racist bullsh*t, and we start the process of collecting everybody/thing and leaving. On the way out, I pass a small group of white people putting the “NO N***ERS ALLOWED” sign back up, and a small collection of tv sets playing Nazi military parade footage on loop.

I wait outside while people are extracting, and the same skinhead jackass stomps out of the club with a few other angry white dudes. They’re conversing and pointing, and they enter the bar next door, where apparently the two kids had gone, and they come back out to continue the argument. To clarify: A LARGE GROUP OF WHITE MEN FOLLOWED THE TWO PUNK KIDS INTO THE NEIGHBORING CLUB TO EXPRESS THEIR ANGER THAT THEIR RACIST SLURS HAD BEEN DEFACED.

The situation seemed to end and the punk kids went back into the other bar, and no serious violence ensues, at least by the time I left with my group.

The moral of the story is if you live in Richmond DO NOT GO TO FALLOUT. You might want to argue that only a few people were involved in the confrontation. Apparently those people are well-known in the club, for starters, but beyond that, EVERYBODY in the club was capable of seeing all the nazi shit and all the racist slurs, and people were acting offended that somebody had attacked the “decorations”, not that the decorations were vile and offensive.”*

Great job guys! As if you already weren’t losing members, you are really going to lose a lot now! Overall, not just based on this review but from other members as well and along with my own personal experiences, I would not recommend attending there unless you fit in with the above described or are deathly bored. On the upside they have great food. Would that really be worth it? You decide.

Other Goth clubs I have been to are Sanctuary and Umlaut. Sanctuary was often at rental venues. Me and another female had gotten harassed but some drunken non-goth male who came to just drink at the bar. He tried to grind me and this other Goth Girl when we were minding our own business. Really?

Umlaut was scarce with members except on really big event nights like when small bands would play or Halloween (cliche?). Even then the cliques were ridiculous. I saw new members come and go quickly because they felt outed. The music was awful as well. Most people just hung around and smoked on the outside venue just to avoid it. There were more people who identified as Goth or alternative there but later in the night drunk “normal” people would rush into the club behaving like fools. Not to have fun but to be as loud as possible and cause a huge scene. "Look at me I’m in a Goth club, I’m living dangerously!". The upside to this place? They were very LGBT friendly.

Doom Gloom is a Goth night at The Wave. While the venue looks amazing, you still have the ultra cliques. Mostly because the thing has members between 18-20 year olds. If you’re anywhere older than that please expect to be outed in a corner. They have delicious drinks so I would recommend going to The Wave any other night besides Goth night. They are also very LGBT friendly.

Out of curiosity I did happen to attend a couple of non-goth clubs in the past. Guess what happened in both? People actually broke from cliques and actually talked to you! That’s a total shocker right? My only complaints were minor. Needless to say, if I ever pursue more Goth clubs in the far future, I will be sure to steer clear of ones like I have experienced.