Putrid Modern Hell #2

by HST UK on February 15, 2011

Lamenting Lost Weekends

“Drugs, alcohol and ego. They are a bad mix.”
– Don Dokken

The epic poems of failure are written mostly during hung-over mornings, this curious phenomenon occurs when unsettled minds live for the weekend. I remember in my wild youth, when I had money in my pocket and an internal flame that burned on naivety and misplaced self belief, I lived purely for nights of hell raising and hard drinking. During that time I was able to scribble down some of my greatest stream of conscious drivel.

Attending an event last Friday Night made me realize just how lost I am when it comes to searching for hedonism in nightlife. For one thing during that night I existed in a sober state, I was tired (having been up since 05.30am) and in the back of my mind I had whispers of responsibility telling me to save some gas in the tank, because I had to be up for work early the next morning. These tawdry excuses explain why I was on such a downer, wearing a mardy frown which broke out in an occasional forced smile.

We, the Social Network generation, live in a series of captured moments. For whatever reason it seemed imperative to be out on Friday Night, I had some vague aspirations of pulling and it was good to keep up appearances; but for some reason I could not let go, and embrace the now. The reason for this seemed to be the absence of alcohol / other stuff that I could’ve swallowed to enhance my experience. I was uptight, stiff, verbally monosyllabic and worryingly aware that everyone was having a good time and I wasn’t.

I found myself at the bar ordering cokes, and bottles of J20 (orange juice) missing the kick that comes three beers in, when the anxiety falls from your shoulders and business picks up. Feelings of self disgust turned in my gut. Paranoia peaked as I stood for some reason by the main walkway that led to the gents, people barged by. The contact felt harsh.

For some of the night I chatted to a ditzy acquaintance, her inane chatter annoyed me greatly. Perhaps if I was bladdered then it may it seemed like I was in the company of someone whose wit matched Oscar Wilde’s. I was particularly annoyed by her immaturity, and the Monopoly Iron she wore on a neck chain. Yet, what was the alternative? Sitting at home in my underpants, eating Tesco ready meals, drinking a can of strongbow, whilst crying along to The Best of Hall & Oates?  There was a time in 2009 when I appeared to be the real life version of Tatsuhiro Satō. These days I live an infinitely more varied life.

So this event, a dance extravaganza – where house music, happy hardcore, and generic Ibiza sounds boomed from the speakers. The kind of music I struggle to understand. It’s all boom tssk boom tssk, and seemingly free of the euphoria it supposedly induces in the faithful. Music tailor made for drug users. It’s the sound of autonomy and artificiality. I guess we need repetition because we are all so distracted. We need beats, and loops that provide familiarity. One of the more pleasing aspects of listening to music is when you get a song stuck in your head, if you had a happy hardcore tune banging in your head then you’d probably be two steps away from an asylum.

Without wishing to sounds like a killjoy there have been occasions in crowded parties and gigs where I have tolerated the Neanderthals and trash bags, put up with digital cameras and phones being thrust in my face, listened to inane conversations from loudmouths happy to be there, but not particularly paying attention to what they are there for; and of course the drunk goons, those who spill pints of Stella over your tennis shoes, those who barge by to get to the front. This time around, tired but reasonably clear of mind I despised them all, the multitude of tight shirt wearing meatheads, the shady grease monkeys who appear to be talking in code, the neon goddesses who were mostly casualties from the nineties acid era.

I’ve been listening almost constantly to Kanye West’s latest My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m late to the party on this one, missing out on all the hype. What I dig most about this album is the celebration of the ego, in its most candid form. It veers from embracing decadence to deep redemptive soul searching; it brings both insecurity and braggadocio. In many ways it is my soundtrack to 2011, a year that already has brought many contradictions.

Because for all my moans and groans, a perverse part of me enjoyed the night, if I can directly quote from ‘So Appalled’ – “Life can be sometimes ridiculous”.

-RJW

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