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Audioccult Vol. 105: Hackers & Health Goth

Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low. IllustrationSHALTMIRA

At what point did hackers stop being cool? When did it stop being about grunge rollerblade screensavers and bleached tips and start being about how nobody bleaches their tips anymore and even if you pay the stylist extra they still make derogatory tweets about it later? You can’t even get cool Matrix screensavers that let you feel like a real-life cybermancer. I tried to change my iTunes skin to a wire-frame cascade of zeroes and ones that turn into skulls saying SCHOOL SUCKS (the worst thing about school) but all it did was change all of my MP3s into varying quality Prodigy ringtones. Scouring the local arcade returned no results, and apparently giant immersive VR screens don’t really exist so fuck that as well.


After looking at a list of other words and not having any ideas related to them, the source of the problem became clear to me last night: Health Goth. Often spotted wearing New Eras and tank tops with upside down Nike logos, these brawn black-clad bullies are notorious for their aggression toward their lower-tier subcultural ancestors, often showing up unannounced to clubs and shows and standing near the nerdiest seapunks in the room until somebody plays Maxwell’s “Gravity” so they can shriek “PUSHING TO PULL YOU CLOSER” and start doing nasty grinds and bumps on awkwardly-standing digiprint bodies while their sexpecs glisten with spilled Becks.

The blame for this can be traced back to society’s obsession with nostalgic trends—as we recycle our old visual memes and trends over and over, it degrades the source material to the point where all times become one, and the horny angry high-school hunks who yelled at you for wearing a GANG OF FOUR shirt and wrote HOMOS over the FOUR when you were in gym are now the guys buying the same drop-crotch sweatpants as you and wearing them with really unpleasant running shoes. Nostalgia warps time and space, leading to social apathy and columns about a movie from nearly 20 years ago. Think I’m wrong? The other day I saw a Blossom hat, a bucket hat and a Zune in the same cafe within five minutes of each other. That’s some Jules Verne shit.


To the untrained eye, it can be easy to mistake Health Goths for both their shrimpy sissy cousins the Tumblr Goth and for just random people exercising. Ask the wrong one to spot you during a lift and you’re in for a world of pain, brother. That’s why I’ve provided this handy chart below. Use it to determine if the brute next to you is the husbro of your dreams, the melancholic oppressor of your nightmares or an evening of entertainment. ⁓

Audioccult-HealthGoth Guide


Published May 09, 2014. Words by Daniel Jones.