Contrary to popular, stereotypical belief, many goths stay informed about their community and involve themselves in causes that elicit their deep passions. With its ever-expanding arts scene, college-town nightlife, superb shops, and forefront position in local politics, Columbia is home to a plethora of possibilities on any given day.
So how can you find and keep track of all that the city has to offer? By checking out a local newspaper, of course! But The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper, doesn’t cut it for those interested in the area’s unconventional splendors. Goths have to get their guidance elsewhere.
Fortunately, there’s a source for the scoop you seek. Columbia’s Free Times is a free (yes, free) weekly newspaper and your best source for local alternative journalism. Though it’s not necessarily goth-specific, it features articles, reviews, editorials, and advertisements of interest to the true eclectic.
Edited by Dan Cook, the Free Times caters to an audience that is “savvy, well educated, and culturally and politically engaged,” according to its website. Such a description is easily attributed to participants in the goth scene, who pride themselves on being intellectual and artistic citizens.
Articles range from reviews and editorials to political news bites and events calendars. The Crime Blotter, News of the Weird, and Rant & Rave sections are perhaps the paper’s most popular and are found in every issue. They’re a must-read for the entertainment value alone!
Information on local arts, restaurants, and events also abound in each edition, guaranteeing even the pickiest goth a fruitful search. And check out the horoscopes provided by Rob Brezsny, a national astrologer who mixes philosophy with his insights such that all horoscopes can be relevant to the deepest of souls.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the ads! Sure, they’re trying to sell you stuff, but you’ll likely find an amazing store such as Sid & Nancy, an alternative consignment shop in Five Points. Or, you might get the exclusive on happenings missing from the articles.
And, throughout the year, special inserts on topics such as fashion, housing and gardening, and wedding planning are placed inside the paper. Depending on your interests, you might find them interesting, but at the very least they’ll be useful as fire starters!
Of course, as with any non-goth publication, there are articles and advertisements that aren’t relevant to you, such as information on the Gamecocks (unless you’re a sporty goth!). Just skip over those you don’t want to read and focus on the good stuff, including beer/wine and movie reviews.
Weekly editions are available each Wednesday at various places around the Midlands, such as grocery stores and coffee shops. Pick up your copy each week and stay involved like the “saavy” goth you are!
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