Saturday, January 13, 2007

I think I get it now.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:16 AM Permalink

Well, a bit of it anyway. (And, please keep in mind that this is not the rantings of a too-old woman who was too tired to be in a techno-club. I’m not so “out of it” that I can’t appreciate the world of younger people. ) Last night, Mr. Vidiot and I went to one of those techno clubs. I'm waaaaay too old for such things, but Mr. Vidiot is not. He was curious what one of those places looked like in NYC (as opposed to NOLA) so fine, I agreed, reluctantly.

First, there was a line. We talked our way around it, but we still had to pay a cover. We climbed down a dark stairway, maneuvered through a cramped clog of people, and entered the club. It was dark. And misty. And very cave like. First, there was a dark bar with neon lights (black lights were the standard light used throughout.) The back room is where they danced to the music. And when I say "danced", I mean mild, somewhat rhythmic motion and when I say “music” I mean something that could be music if it really really tried. Then, off to a corner, there was a carpeted room that sort of looked like a honeycomb and people were crawling in and out, lounging, whatever.

Now, I’m not really that much of a curmudgeon. I understand that this is about two media-defined generations behind me (and one behind Mr. Vidiot) but honestly? It was the most ridiculous example of social behavior I have ever witnessed. The people were dressed like crap. The boys were wearing man-pris for the most part and bulky coats with cartoon characters all over them (WTF?) and the girls, well, I could barely tell them from the boys. All was androgynous. It was dark, misty/smokey (dry ice and water mists) and the “music” was so loud that I couldn’t hear music, I just felt it. The light show everyone was so impressed with was little more than an old disco ball and some guy in the DJ booth flicking at it with a green laser pen. You could tell when he got distracted or busy with something else because he would occasionally miss the ball entirely. Mr. Vidiot used the restroom and some guy was in there holding a purse (probably his girlfriend’s) and some other guy grabbed the purse from him. Rather than dealing with like a man, he sort of just stood there and whined and complained until the guy gave him his purse back.

And here’s what I realized: the reason why there’s no social upheaval in the streets is because the 20-somethings of today are mesmerized by their own complacency. They dress for comfort and non-distinction. The music is mind-numbing; it doesn’t stimulate, it envelopes. And they spend vast amounts of cash on such things. Is this all due to all the video games they grew up playing? Only partially. How about the chemically-laden food they were weaned on? Perhaps.

Whatever it is, it has stymied the growth of distinct, intellectual thought and it has led to unfulfilled potential.

Update: After further discussion, Mr. Vidiot and I have come up with the perfect description of what we saw. Back in the 80s and 90s, at least in the mosh pits, people were expressing something; anger, whatever. But there was expression. What we are left with now is the expression of nothing. And the loss of agency.


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At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:08 AM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

I've been toying with the idea of doing that "type in what you see in the grey box" thing to keep these auto-posts from happening. But honestly, someday I may need to find out how to make extra $$ selling viagra door-to-door.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous oscar wilde said...

Isn't there usualy a demonstration involved in door to door selling, or is that just vacuum cleaners? ;-)

At 9:42 AM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

ha, ha. very good.

Actually, RE: door-to-door demonstrations, during the depression, my grandpa sold electrolux vacuum cleaners door-to-door. He used to go in, show people how easy it was to vacuum their mattresses by actually vacuuming thier mattress for them: flipping it an everything. And how they could reverse the vacuum cleaner, put it over the stove and use it as a blow-dryer! (kind of a nasty thought because you'd use the very same hose that had just sucked up all the dirt in the house but to my grandpa, it seemed like quite the selling point.)

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous oscar wilde said...

Staying with the vacuum theme I read this over at RawStory.
Now you could be forgiven asking why such a story would interest a Brit, but I used to listen to Air America whilst doing my stained glass "creations" and anyone that has ever listened in will confirm that any add aired on the station was incessant. If I listened Mr Oreck once, I listened to him ten thousand times.
I think NOLA is toast, the insurance companies will sound the death knell for great swathes of the city.


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