MoreSubscribe using any feed reader
Valid CSS!Valid HTML 4.01 Strict

(We can't find the original link to this, so we've put up a copy ourselves...)


Translated & Transcribed By

Count Von Sexbat

The Tao of Goth was discovered in an archeological dig under a basement in Westbourne Grove, London, about 10 years ago. It was written in a mixture of ancient Chinese, a little known visigothic dialect, and West Mercien Anglo-Saxon. After many years guessing what the bits in Chinese might mean, Take a Bite is proud to present the first publication of the English translation.



And the dark lord spoke

"Without words, goth (like the tao) can be experienced,
and without a name, it can be known,
it’s just convenient for us to have mutually agreed on terminology
so please stop hassling me or I will write a poem at you!"

In the begining there was chaos. Spawned in the void it had nowhere go go on a Saturday night, so it remained still, or possibly hung around graveyards until it was old enough to drink. It is the source of all things goth. I do not know its name as I was not there, so we will call it the Tao of Goth, for, if we don’t, the entire premis is lost!

When goths are at play there is harmony in the world.

The Tao of Goth flies far and wide and comes back in the morning with runny make-up and a hangover.


"To conduct one's life according to the Tao of Goth,
is to conduct one's life without regrets;
without confusing it with other ways
in which an individual might choose to live."

The Tao begot Romanticism. Romanticism begot Modernism.

And so on and so forth - this is all in the Principia Diabolicus, suffice it to say that here we are and somewhere along the line Kohl begot black eyeliner.

Each subculture has its purpose, however humble . Each expresses the Yin and Yang. .

But do not be a crusty if you can avoid it.


In the beginning was the Tao. The Tao gave birth to Time and Snakebite. Therefore, Time and Snakebite are the Yin and Yang of Goth.

Goths that do not know the Tao are always running out of time and snakebite. Goths that know the Tao always have enough time to get ready and enough snakebite to get drunk as a bee!

How could it be otherwise?


The new goth is told about the Tao and ignores it. The average goth is told about the Tao and searches for it. The old goth is told about the Tao and giggles at it.

If it were not for laughter, there would be no Tao. Without the Tao...

The highest sounds are the hardest to hear unless the amps are cranked up to 10.

Going forward is a way to retreat .

Greater talent shows itself late in life. Even the dark lord has bad hair days!



And the Dark Lord thought for a while and added

"That which one percieves as beautiful
is beautiful compared with that
which is lacking beauty -
this is why we have mirrors!"

The Knights of the Living Dead were mysterious and profound. We are unable to follow their thought processes, so we’ll describe what they looked like:

Aware, (like outside the ‘Fox on a Saturday night crossing the road? ). Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves - apart from their faces which were like clouds.

Who can tell the mystery of their thoughts or the dark secrets of their hearts?

The answer exists only in the Tao.


The Dark Lord once dreamed that he was a bat. When he awoke he exclaimed:
"I don't know whether I am The Dark Lord who dreamed I was a bat,
or a bat dreaming that I am The Dark Lord!"

Shortly afterwards, he issued an edict which read, quite simply "Do not eat cheese and drink Port before bed".

Although the dance of dreams is at one with the Tao, there is no sense in courting wierdness if you are not awake to appreciate it.

This is the first lesson of The Tao of Goth. You should study it well .


"One thing is high because another thing is low;
only when the music stops do we stop dancing,
and that which leads
is seen to lead only by being followed."

A provincial goth once went clubbing in the city. When he returned he commented to his friends, saying: "What sort of goths do they think they were? They laughed out loud and enjoyed themselves. Their hair had not been dyed for many weeks and they wore t-shirts with funny logos. They giggled at me when I told them they had got it wrong and they made rude noises during my impromptu poetry reading on the stairs."

One of the friends, who was wiser and more arch said: "You should not have gone to the city. Those goths live in a different world. They consider life absurd, and frolick in the dark beauty of destruction. They come and go without knowing limitations. Without a care, they live only for their own enjoyment."

"They are alive within the Tao."


"The person who possesses many things,
but does not boast of his possessions,
reduces temptation, and reduces stealing,
please may I have my X-Mal bootlegs back?! "

A mini-goth in days of old once asked the Dark Lord: "Here is a goth that no longer has to be the centre of attention , and doesn’t drink snakebite until she falls over. Yet all who know her consider her one of the hardest goths in the world. Why is this?"

The Dark Lord replies: "That goth has mastered the Tao. She has gone beyond the need for showing off; she does not become angry when her hair does not stand up, but accepts the universe without concern. She has gone beyond the need for hairspray; she no longer cares if anyone else sees her as an paragon of beauty. She has gone beyond the need for that; each of her outfits are perfect within themselves, serene and elegant, their purpose self-evident. Truly, she has entered the mystery of the Tao."



One day the Dark Lord was out for a drink with his mates and said:

It is the nature of the Tao,
that even though used continuously,
it is replenished naturally,
never being emptied,
and never being over-filled,
but that aside, it’s your round!

One day a member of another subculture approached Wulfstan and his warband and said "Oi, Gothic! Oi Mortisha , Oi goffik sluts!". And Wulfstan said "Does anyone have heels on? Good, we can leg it!".

This is the second lesson of The Tao of Goth . You should study it well.


Wulfstan the Sage once said to the Dark Lord
"When living by the Tao,
awareness of self is not required,
for in this way of life, the self exists,
and is also non-existent,
being conceived of, not as an existentiality,
nor as non-existent.

This means you do not have to pay rent."

There once was an old goth who wore a faded Bauhaus t-shirt. A novice, seeking to imitate him, purchased a similar t-shirt, washed it until it began to fade , and also began to wear it to clubs and such. When the novice and his friends asked the old goth why he was not dancing to "Bela Lugois’s Dead", the old goth enlightened him saying: "What is appropriate for the master is not appropriate for the novice. You must understand the Tao before wearing a Bauhaus t-shirt, besides I am too old for this lark and I need a sit down and have some central nervous system stimulants. I’m not as young as I used to be. We didn’t fight the punk wars just so you could dance to bauhaus. I remember seeing them play at the Old Dance Hall on Market Street back in 79......"

And the novice learnt that you should never get an old goth started on bands that split up before you were born or they will go on all night and follow you home if necessary. This is not the Tao, this is just something they will do because they take a perverse pleasure out of it.


Great good is said to be like snakebite,
sustaining life, with a nice flavour,
flowing freely, providing nourishment in all the major food groups ,
and it found in places
which desiring man rejects.

In this way
it is like the Tao itself
In another way
it isn’t

As the Tao is less likely to encourage you to climb lamp-posts to pick flowers


There was once a goth who was attached to the court of the warlord Alaric. The warlord asked the goth: "Which is easier to do a mohawk or a my-little-pony haircut?"

"A mohawk" replied the goth.
The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief. "Surely a mohawk is trivial next to the complexity of all those hair extensions and plats and scarves?" he said.

"Not so," said the goth, "when doing a pony style one is conforming to a known image, the stylist knows what the finished product must look like and only has to decide on a colour scheme. By contrast, a mohawk transends structure - it is held up by a force of will, by faith in hairspray, by the permission of the elements. When doing a ‘hawk, the goth seeks the simplest harmony between hair and gravity. This is why it is easier to look like a my-little-pony than to have a mohawk."

The warlord Alaric nodded and smiled. "That is all good and well, but which is easier to wash out?"

The goth made no reply.


The Dark Lord turned to the Count one day and said
"He who seeks titles,
invites his own downfall."

And then they both had a good laugh about it

A goth once visited a Knight of the Living Dead and told him that he was going to start a band . The goth asked the Knight: "How long will it take the four of us to think of a name?"

"It will take one month," said the knight promptly.

"But we need a name immediately as we have a gig on Saturday and we must prepare humorous t-shirt merchandise! How long will it take it I ask my friends to help?"

The knight frowned. "In that case, it will take two months."

"And what if I ask on the internet?"

The Knight of the Living dead smiled , "Then the name will never be chosen," he said.

Thus the goth was illuminated and went away and made up the name by himself.

(aka. The Phone Book)


Thus spake the Dark Lord

"The pint is easier to hold
when it’s not filled to overflowing.
The blade is more effective
if you don’t try to sharpen it with a nail file.
Silver and leather are easier to protect
if possessed in moderation.
But that’s hardly the point as it is my birthday!"

A novice once asked the Dark Lord what was the sound of one hand clapping?

"Nosferatu live", replied the Dark Lord, and carried on doing his eye make-up.


One day Eloise turned to one of her minions and said

"See that wiggly puddle over there
That’s your eye-liner that is
That’s how you do your eyes when you are really trying hard to look good!"

Make-up should be light and agile, its foundation blended like a pearls. The spirit and intent of the cheek bones should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little nor too much, neither needless loops nor useless swirls, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity.

Make-up should follow the 'Law of Least Astonishment'. What is this law? It is simply that the make-up should always be applied by the user in the way that astonishes him least.

Make-up, no matter how complex, should act as a single unit. The application should be directed by the logic within rather than by outward appearances.

If the make-up fails in these requirements, it will be in a state of disorder and confusion. The only way to correct this is to wash it off and start again.

This is why you should always get ready before you get drunk. You should study this well until it is second nature.


One day Wulfstan got the wrong end of the stick and commented

"It is not the way the rizzlas stick together,
which gives the pot its usefulness,
but the space within the shape,
from which the pot is made."

A novice asked the master: "Sometimes I go out and have a good time and get sharked alot and sometimes I come home lonely and miserable. I have followed all the rules and social conventionsand I am totally baffled. What is the reason for this?"

The master replied: "You are confused because you do not understand the Tao. Only a fool expects rational behavior from his fellow humans. Why do you expect it from humans that try to look like corpses and mix cider and beer? Only the Tao is perfect.

The rules of social intercourse are transitory; only the Tao is eternal. Therefore you must contemplate the Tao before you receive enlightenment."

"But how will I know when I have received enlightenment?" asked the novice.

"You’ll get off with someone in the corner," replied the master.


Wulfstan was explaining the nature of the Tao to one of his minions, "The Tao is embodied in all music -- regardless of how insignificant," said the master.

"Is the Tao in a the music of Alien Sex Fiend?" asked the novice.

"It is," came the reply.

"Is the Tao on the CD’s by Rosetta Stone?" continued the novice.

"It is even there," said the master.

"And can the Tao be heard in the later albums of the Mission?"

The master coughed and shifted his position slightly. "The lesson is over for today," he said.



One of the Dark Lord’s knights was dancing the three by three. Her feet moving three steps forward and three steps back as her arms flew like snakes through the air. The dance was in perfect time, and as graceful as sunlight on a raven’s wing.

Excellent!" Alaric exclaimed, "Your technique is faultless!"
"Technique?" said the knight, without breaking her step, "What I follow is the Tao -- beyond all technique. When I first began to dance I would see before me the whole dancefloor as a mass of black clad seaweed. After three years I no longer saw this mass. Instead, I saw the gaps between the people. But now I see nothing. My whole being exists in a formless void. My senses are idle. My spirit, free to work without instruction, follows its own instinct. In short, my dance, dances itself.

True, sometimes there are people in the way. I see them coming, I slow to another rhythm, I watch silently. Then I twist slightly from the hips and they stumble past me and vanish like puffs of idle smoke. And when the music finishes, I close my eyes for a moment and then walk off the dancefloor if I don’t like the next track."

Alaric said, "Would that all of my friends were as wise!"


Thus spake the Dark Lord

"After three days without coffee, life becomes meaningless."

Without a door, the room cannot be entered, and without windows it is dark.

Remember the door when designing a room!

The Knight of the Living Dead cleans the dark mirror of his mind, so that it reflects without intent. He cultivates without possessing, thus providing nourishment........



The goth is often envied because others do not know that although he is nourished by the Tao, like them, he too is mortal. When he too forgets this fact he becomes a parody of himself who no longer gets the joke, and the Tao is lost to him. You should study this well!


Thus spake the Dark Lord

"Closing Time! Go on - get lost! Haven’t you got homes to go to. If you’re not out of here in 30 seconds I’m going to use this CS Gas!"