[b:44a4c151b5]Nightclubs are hell. What's cool or fun about a thumping, sweaty dungeon full of posing idiots?[/b:44a4c151b5]
Monday August 13, 2007
[quote:44a4c151b5]I went to a fashionable London nightclub on Saturday. Not the sort of sentence I get to write very often, because I enjoy nightclubs less than I enjoy eating wool. But a glamorous friend of mine was there to "do a PA", and she'd invited me and some curious friends along because we wanted to see precisely what "doing a PA" consists of. Turns out doing a public appearance largely entails sitting around drinking free champagne and generally just "being there".
Obviously, at 36, I was more than a decade older than almost everyone else, and subsequently may as well have been smeared head to toe with pus. People regarded me with a combination of pity and disgust. To complete the circuit, I spent the night wearing the expression of a man waking up to Christmas in a prison cell.
"I'm too old to enjoy this," I thought. And then remembered I've always felt this way about clubs. And I mean all clubs - from the cheesiest downmarket sickbucket to the coolest cutting-edge hark-at-us poncehole. I hated them when I was 19 and I hate them today. I just don't have to pretend any more.
I'm convinced no one actually likes clubs. It's a conspiracy. We've been told they're cool and fun; that only "saddoes" dislike them. And no one in our pathetic little pre-apocalyptic timebubble wants to be labelled "sad" - it's like being officially declared worthless by the state. So we muster a grin and go out on the town in our millions.
Clubs are despicable. Cramped, overpriced furnaces with sticky walls and the latest idiot theme tunes thumping through the humid air so loud you can't hold a conversation, just bellow inanities at megaphone-level. And since the smoking ban, the masking aroma of cigarette smoke has been replaced by the overbearing stench of crotch sweat and hair wax.
Clubs are such insufferable dungeons of misery, the inmates have to take mood-altering substances to make their ordeal seem halfway tolerable. This leads them to believe they "enjoy" clubbing. They don't. No one does. They just enjoy drugs.
Drugs render location meaningless. Neck enough ketamine and you could have the best night of your life squatting in a shed rolling corks across the floor. And no one's going to search you on the way in. Why bother with clubs?
"Because you might get a shag," is the usual response. Really? If that's the only way you can find a partner - preening and jigging about like a desperate animal - you shouldn't be attempting to breed in the first place. What's your next trick? Inventing fire? People like you are going to spin civilisation into reverse. You're a moron, and so is that haircut you're trying to impress. Any offspring you eventually blast out should be drowned in a pan before they can do any harm. Or open any more nightclubs.
Even if you somehow avoid reproducing, isn't it a lot of hard work for very little reward? Seven hours hopping about in a hellish, reverberating bunker in exchange for sharing 64 febrile, panting pelvic thrusts with someone who'll snore and dribble into your pillow till 11 o'clock in the morning, before waking up beside you with their hair in a mess, blinking like a dizzy cat and smelling vaguely like a ham baguette? Really, why bother? Why not just stay at home punching yourself in the face? Invite a few friends round and make a night of it. It'll be more fun than a club.
Anyway, back to Saturday night, and apart from the age gap, two other things stuck me. Firstly, everyone had clearly spent far too long perfecting their appearance. I used to feel intimidated by people like this; now I see them as walking insecurity beacons, slaves to the perceived judgment of others, trapped within a self- perpetuating circle of crushing status anxiety. I'd still secretly like to be them, of course, but at least these days I can temporarily erect a veneer of defensive, sneering superiority. I've progressed that far.
The second thing that struck me was frightening. They were all photographing themselves. In fact, that's all they seemed to be doing. Standing around in expensive clothes, snapping away with phones and cameras. One pose after another, as though they needed to prove their own existence, right there, in the moment. Crucially, this seemed to be the reason they were there in the first place. There was very little dancing. Just pouting and flashbulbs.
Surely this is a new development. Clubs have always been vapid and awful and boring and blah - but I can't remember clubbers documenting their every moment before. Not to this demented extent. It's not enough to pretend you're having fun in the club any more - you've got to pretend you're having fun in your Flickr gallery, and your friends' Flickr galleries. An unending exhibition in which a million terrified, try-too-hard imbeciles attempt to out-cool each other.
Mind you, since in about 20 years' time these same people will be standing waist-deep in skeletons, in an arid post-nuclear wasteland, clubbing each other to death in a fight for the last remaining glass of water, perhaps they're wise to enjoy these carefree moments while they last. Even if they're only pretending.[/quote:44a4c151b5]
Pretty spot on IMHO. If one of my friends mentions heading to a club, I start racking my brain for opt-out clauses.
Well... I can kinda empathise with Charlie Brooker,
although luckily if you're a gaylord, you can go clubbing when you're 36 and not be the oldest person there at all.
I would also point out that the whole experience is easily and radically improved if the club takes the simple step of PLAYING SOME DECENT MUSIC.
Mind you, in my case, as there aren't many clubs about which only play old Tubeway Army B-sides from 1979, this doesn't help me much...
[quote:45e0535776="Steven Dedalus"]Even though you might hate clubs, but don't see it as worthwile to write an article complaining about it, surely there must have been somehting there that made you chuckle?[/quote:45e0535776]
I never said I 'hate' clubs - they just don't seem particularly satisfying to me.
The only thing I honestly found mildly amusing was the fact that he was going to a club for a photo opportunity and to drink free champagne and then complained about people drinking and taking photos.
Brookers'ss problem is he goes to sh1t clubs. I hate sh1t clubs too, I know when it's a sh1t club, cause when I'm in it, i'm having a sh1t time. Likewise a good club can be defined by noticing that I am having a good time. And it's all about the dancing. If you aren't going to dance, don't go to the club.
[quote:5776e600a3="That Charlie Booker from the Guardian"] Seven hours hopping about in a hellish, reverberating bunker in exchange for sharing 64 febrile, panting pelvic thrusts with someone who'll snore and dribble into your pillow till 11 o'clock in the morning, before waking up beside you with their hair in a mess, blinking like a dizzy cat and smelling vaguely like a ham baguette? [/quote:5776e600a3]
Got to correct you there mister Brooker; Riding ain't nuthin' but 50 pumps. Count them if you ain't got nothing better to do.
actually, just reading that again, what a complete pile of bollix! he's talking about a trip to what is a clearly a cheesey 70s80s90santhems style club that has PAs from Z-list celebrities and getting on like her gross generalizations should cover any time of clubbing....how daft does he think her readers are?
a decent club night is about as far away from what he describes as watching....say, arcade fire in the olympia is from a dodgy wedding covers band in yr grandad's local.
Yeah you're right. She is clearly wrong. She is such a silly billy.
If fact here she is, Charlie Brooker for that is her name, talking about being a TV star
People keep insisting that folks have missed the point with this article, but for me its a case of 'it does exactly what it says on the tin'. As he initially put it 'Nightclubs are hell', but surely his first mistake was:
[quote:4a0702472d="Charlie Brooker"]I went to a fashionable London nightclub on Saturday. [/quote:4a0702472d] Why go to a nightclub if you think its fashionable, surely the premise of clubbing is to go where you enjoy.
At the end of the day Charlie 'the man' Brooker has done what he set out to do; to take a wry look at nightclubs from his own perspective and provide the Guardian with a humourous column - for me he achieved on both accounts.
So did Peepshow come up with it first or did they nick it off Charlene Brooker, or was someone else entirely the first to try it? And even if CB did blatanty nick it, does that in any way change the actual point of the sketch? Is this another argmuent about the messenger and not the message?
[i:0da20e98f3]Charlie Brooker takes direct action against Dave Pierce, yesterday, 1993[/i:0da20e98f3]
Surely, having an internal monologue, and letting the camera act as the eyes of the character is just a narrative device? And also, the intention Brokker has is COMPLETELY different to Peep Show.
That segment of Screen Wipe is just another example of what it is that Mr Brooker does: explain things about the media, that people may not have know, with a healthy dose of venom.
The original article that this thread is discussing is another exapmle of this: essentially Brooker's modus operandi is just to pick an easy target and use that as a springboard for vitriol. When I keep saying that people have missed the point, it's not because I think it's great that he's laying inot nightclubs or whatever, but the fact that he's using something as stupid as that to churn out some of the best writing I've read in ages. The bit at the end about being knee-deep in skulls or something is more what that article is about, rather than going to night-clubs.
Even at his very best, he's always picked soft targets, but that's kinda what makes it funnier. Like when he did that whole thing about Big Brother, or when he tore into Bargain hunt (memorably describing David Dickinson as "an ageing Thundercat"). I guess I just like reading a man get that irate about disposable 21st century culture.
[quote:13b94c2c57="fastfude"]And even if CB did blatanty nick it, does that in any way change the actual point of the sketch? Is this another argmuent about the messenger and not the message?[/quote:13b94c2c57]
Oh, completely. I had nothing to say about the message, so I just commented on the way it was done.
I love brooker's writing style, as stevie has said, he has had some pant-wettingly funny columns but sometimes the subject matter and the antagonists in it are really obvious. Like this one. And in terms of his writing style this is far from his best.
my favourite line from him was his apology after the whole 'incitement to murder the president' thing happened. He said his "John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley, Jr. - where are you now that we need you?" was ;
"a bit like recounting a rude joke at a dinner party, only to be told you hadn't recounted a joke at all, but molested the host's children, and suddenly everyone was punching you and you weren't going to get any pudding."
[size=18:8e5090a9f8]Look hauld on.
Can every slabberer on this thread just please go and read Brooker's http://www.tvgohome.com/ website?
It's a serious of hilarious fake Radio Times listings from 1999 - 2002 (you know, the good old days, when the Interweb and Fastfude were actually good and Roger Herberts hadn't wrecked the scene toooo much.[/size:8e5090a9f8]
I first encountered the idea of spoof TV listings idea from Yikes!, the reader generated comedy section of seminal early 90s multi-platform computer mag, ZERO - basically Your Sinclair for 16-bit machines like the ST and Amiga.
Being a big fan of the Radio Times in my youth, I can remember almost crying with laughter at some of the spoof shows they came up with. Wish I could find scans online somewhere.
Perhaps Brooker was a big Amiga head back in the day?
Perhaps Brooker was a big Amiga head back in the day?[/quote:9cf0bd3f03]
If I remember correctly, he did do the odd bit of writing for them. he wrote for a number of computer publications back in the day.
I actually remember Zero! It was a great magazine! Somewhere on the internet (I can't be bothered to look now) there are scans of a lot of the old issues. Very few of them are complete, but there's still a few chuckles in there.
[quote:0871fe7841="whosbainejakey"]I first encountered the idea of spoof TV listings idea from Yikes!, the reader generated comedy section of seminal early 90s multi-platform computer mag, ZERO - basically Your Sinclair for 16-bit machines like the ST and Amiga. [/quote:0871fe7841]
Only a fewl like ewe would consider "Your Sinclair" superior to [b:0871fe7841]Sinclair User[/b:0871fe7841]'s GREMLIN column.
I used to write the odd funny in Sinclair User, come to think of it (And by "I", I mean me, and by "odd" I mean "ha ha". Or sthg)
EDIT - actually, here is a link to a scan of one of mine!
Yes, but "back in the day" Sinclair User readers were regarded by Sir Clive's more erudite devotees as little better than actual card carrying Commie owning scum. I shed a salty Spec-chum tear the day Crash was folded into SU, complete with scoffing editorial. Of course, I suppose this old Crash jibe may have had something to do with SU's gleeful tone:
Yes but http://www.sincuser.f9.co.uk/
It's all there! (well most of it)
And frighteningly, I remember every last comma.
Not least SU's response to Crash:
[i]"The infamous Clive print awarded to Sinclair User
for the Biggest Official Litigious Lawsuit involving
Computer Known Subjects. Incorruptible Scolding has
waited years for this, and would like to thank Crash
magazine for making it all possible."
That was "Delta 4" software, run by Fergus Bumfluff or sthg,
teenage millionaire who blew it all on all curly wurly's and his own BMX park or sthg
"Dissuaded from courting suicide at the beginning of the interview, Fergus sits down on the end of his bed and puts a Marillion tape on his hi-fi. Dedicated fans of Delta 4 will know of Fergus' abiding love for Marillion, even if the rest of us think it sounds just like Genesis.
"You'd better not say that to Judith when she comes," warns Fergus, "or she'll pull her knife on you." Dedicated fans of Delta 4 will know of Fergus' abiding love (?) for Judith. He bought her the knife."
Suddenly Judith erupts into the office like a boil whose time has come. Water pistol in fist, she sprays us in revenge for our unkind cut of a few months back. Let it go on record - if you ignore the leather jacket, studs, sharpened nails, knife, and [b:2295c6ac36]Marillion[/b:2295c6ac36] T-shirt Judith Child is an otherwise demure, attractive and courteous young woman of obvious talent."
The excitement was[i:2295c6ac36] unreal[/i:2295c6ac36]
To Graeme below: [b:2295c6ac36]YES, GRAEME THAT WAS VERY MUCH MY POINT, DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE? GOOD.[/b:2295c6ac36]
[quote:89df62482f="T Entertainment"]Whaddaya call the bloke who wrote the spoof adventures like The Boggit, etc? He was obsessed with Marillion. As were many of those writers. Who'd have thought it, eh?[/quote:89df62482f]
NERDS IN "HAVING OTHER NERD INTERESTS" SHOCKER!