Today is the fifth annual World Goth Day, when thousands of people will be lacing up their thigh-high patent-leather boots and caking themselves in white makeup in honor of their decidedly unique culture.
So what, exactly, is Goth? That's a question that defies an easy explanation, one that perhaps best lends itself to the famous answer Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once gave when asked to define obscenity: I know it when I see it.
According to the Urban Dictionary, Goths are people fascinated by the "dark side of things," although they're not "depressing" -- an association a lot of non-G's routinely make. Part of the reason Goths are so tough to nail down is that Goth-ism is such a big tent with a lot of different flavors: there's steampunk, industrial and even "baby girl" Goths. In terms of musical preference, Goths can range from heavy metal to emo.
Still, there are a few very common "markers", if you will, of the Goth lifestyle -- in dress, they usually draw inspiration from the dark colors and frilly, elaborate styles of the Victorian era. In attitude, Goths tend to be suspicious of the mainstream and cultivate a retiring, sensitive outlook on life.
Mere words, however, can't really do the lifestyle justice. Check out the video above, from a few years ago, of a global Goth gathering held at -- of all places -- Disneyland.