From The Washington Post: Do ‘elder Goths’ hold the secret to aging successfully?:

(Well…yes. I mean, have you seen me and the people I run around with?)

Since 2014, Bush has chronicled the rituals of her forebears in Maryland’s Goth community. Her contention is that “participation in the Goth subculture presents an alternative to being aged by culture.”

In other words, there is a better, more Goth way to grow old and to prevail over life’s many challenges.

[…]

As Bush and her Goth studies colleagues explain it, so-called elder Goths — who came of age with the music decades ago — possess a kind of road map through life that doesn’t exist for fans of more youth-obsessed musical genres.

That, and we bathe in the blood of virgins (consensually donated, of course…this is the 21st century, after all).

“Happy Goth” may seem like an oxymoron — but that’s the point. Bush argues that Goths’ success in aging has a lot to do with their ability to juggle opposing, seemingly paradoxical energies. Take Goths’ emotional intensity: While off-putting to some, Goths’ willingness to harnessdark feelings such as despair, gloom and hopelessness, rather than repress them, can prove healthier in the long run, Bush says. Equally vital is Goths’ ability to find humor, irony and beauty in supposedly “ugly” sources, such as flowers that grow by a cemetery or the absurd frailties of the aging body. In a culture, for instance, that already treats older women as frightful, why not own that, and become the most fabulous grand dame of darkness the world has ever seen?

According to Bush, the subculture’s most important element is a fierce sense of community. Goths feel united by their embrace of difference: As one older Goth puts it, she’s grateful to have a scene “with people who are my age and maybe a little older, who are still living life on their own terms, where they said, ‘I’m older but I still want to go out, I still want to listen to wild and crazy music, I still want to look freaky.’”

I’m 47, well on my way to 48, and very much looking forward to the day when the local club’s doors open up and I can start going out again. While I may not ever go out with the same regularity as I did in my 20s, when I was single and living on Capitol Hill within walking distance of several clubs, I really can’t see myself letting that go until I’m literally physically unable to get out.

From Discover Magazine’s article People Have Used They/Them as Singular Pronouns for Hundreds of Years:

Battles of grammar, for the most part, play out in English classrooms and in the pages of style guides. Rarely do arguments over split infinitives and Oxford commas venture beyond the walls of academia.

My first thought at this point was that whoever wrote this article definitely doesn’t have my circle of online friends. Oxford commas in particular are a regular source of entertainment, especially the amusing images produced when the Oxford comma isn’t used. And while there certainly are academics among my friends, such posts definitely aren’t limited to that group.

But one linguistic phenomenon lands in the limelight every so often, and it’s a word you know well: the pronoun “they” — along with its derivatives “them” and “their.”

I don’t really expect that I have many–if any–regular contacts who are still prescriptivist about singular “they”; in my circles, it seems to be at or near universal acceptance. But this was still an interesting look into its history and usage.

Kirby Conrod, a linguistics professor at the University of Washington whose own personal pronouns are they/them, polls students each semester to assess their feelings about this specific usage of the word. Most have no objection; some, especially those who grew up using singular “they” with nonbinary friends, are simply confused — why would the professor ask about such a mundane word? “It’s really already hit the threshold of this critical mass,” Conrod says. “It’s part of the language enough that I don’t think you could squash it if you tried.”

🖖 Discovery S03E12 and E13: Well, it ended well, at least for the last five minutes of wrap-up. And there were some good bits scattered through the rest of these final two episodes. But on the whole, this season started strong, lost its way midway, and kind of fizzled out.