Safe to say, from the hours of 8pm – 3am I was locked in a senseless myriad of despicable behaviour and idiocy that I nearly lost control of my bowels and entered a trance-like state of disgust. I’ve learnt my lesson, but before I retreat to the dark abyss of my home and contemplate how far humanity has fallen from the tree, I think I’ll deconstruct the moronic phenomena that is nightclubs and hopefully provide the WIHP community something to digest while we all collectively defeat our hangovers and approach the coming week.
Anyway, nightclubs are entertainment institutions are just wrong. I’ll start with gaining admission. You would think that nightclubs thrive on a communal sense of belonging and friendliness that makes the venue a sensible place for friends and colleagues to meet and unwind/temporarily forget their misery. Sadly that’s not the case – in a pitiful endeavour to retain a sense of ‘exclusivity’ and to fabricate a pseudo-socialite atmosphere, where only ‘VIPs’ or ‘important’ individuals gain admission, the entry process has evolved to mimic something along the lines of a WWII era concentration camp or contemporary military institution. It’s not simply a matter of walking to the door, smiling at the roid-munching bouncer anymore. Now, you have to participate in an elaborate ceremony of entering MULTIPLE lines – dependent on your social importance – have your name marked off a VIP list if you are a VIP (which I wasn’t, so I had to pay – more on that bullsh!t later) and then wait the not-so-inevitable moment where the bouncer and ‘door girl’ – an immensely attractive but invariably unintelligent and underqualified glamour model who manages the lines – deign you suitable for entry. This can take hours. I was lucky, only half an hour, but after being sandwiched between infants chewing their faces off after ingesting enough meth to start the next American Reolution and obese whales in dresses that are too small for Victoria Secrets models, I was ready to pop smoke and tactically retreat the f**k away. Unfortunately, my sense of comradery prevailed and I wanted my friend to meet some women, so I stayed. Eventually, we were let in – after the VIP line got in, the ‘ordinary line’, the re-entry line, and the upstairs line gained admission. I was baffled. Despite being such incomparable idiots they manage to quite successfully fabricate an excessively elaborate process of admission.
By then, I was skeptical, and my misanthrope-sense was tingling. The bouncer looked like his biceps would explode and a green-sea dragon would appear, and I felt as if the door girl assumed my decision to make light-hearted small talk was a prelude to an inevitable request for her number and sexual intimacy. She was mistaken, but a conceited f**k nonetheless.
After gaining entry, I could feel the stench of crotch sweat, factory-grade insect repellant conveniently posing as perfume, alcohol, and a host of other disgusting aromas that indicated what sort of debauchery was occuring beneath the stairs. I was aggressively intercepted by ANOTHER door-girl, this time slightly less attractive but marginally receptive, and a hairless bouncer in a suit with enough muscle to feed Africa. I was instructed to pay an entry fee of $20, an absurdly disproportionate amount. I wasn’t cool enough to merit a spot on a VIP list, so my friends and I had to cough up the cash. I realized this was another unscrupulous attempt to raise revenue, but figured there was little I could do to prevent it. Still, I was agitated – if the entry was that ridiculously expensive, the drinks would be too. Oh, how I was right.
Upon descending the stairs, I was greeted by a sight that would disgust Keith Richards. Sweaty, scruffy, and zombified children – some as young as 17, were aimlessly stumbling across the dance floor, serenaded pitifully by a poorly orchestrated lighting system that occassionally flashed to reveal their horrifyingly pale skin and dilated pupils. My stomach began to turn, so I resolved to gallantly proceed to the bar and earn some liquid courage. As I cautiously walked, I invariably bumped into muscle-bound dudes attempting to impress their soon-to-be sexual partners with acts of pitiful bravado. ‘You alright mate?’ One demanded angrily. I smiled and ignored his attempt at machismo. I felt assured this wouldn’t be the last time I was confronted by some moron trying to make his limp noodle appear larger than it is.
At the bar, again I was greeted with a maddeningly tedious wait. In another attempt to reduce fees and increase revenue, the bar was hopelessly understaffed – so I sympathized with the bar staff, covered in sweat, alcoholic filth, despairingly creating a fairly unimaginative set of cocktails – red bull, vodka, soda was a popular one. I decided on three – one for myself, and two for friends. The bartender was rude, unappreciative, and tired, but I figured I would be too after several monotonous hours of making beverages for equally unappreciative drunkards. She dutifully set my beverages on the bar and I again realized that customer enjoyment was secondary to revenue – a whopping thirty dollars for my drinks. Not only are the unscrupulous managers willing to strip the venue-goers of their hard earned wages at the door, but they feel unnecessarily compelled to overcharge for a beverage that will probably make my regurgitate my evening meal in a few hours. I grabbed the drinks and GTFO away from the bar. No mas!
My friends and I decided we’d try our tipsy hands at a bit of dancing. Here’s where the animalistic debauchery becomes a social expectation – I’m sure these kids think they look like the next dancing sensation as they drunkenly gyrate across one another to the pounding ‘beat’ of whatever the DJ thought was equally mindless to play, but they more or less resembled mindless automatons. It was sad. I couldn’t ‘get into’ the music, and promptly retreated with my friends – it was at this time we encountered a reasonably legitimate threat of violence…
Despite what the atmosphere is supposed to encourage – socializing – violence is routinely employed in clubs by both staff and patrons. In a disgusting twist of moral fate, it appears that violent behaviour is quietly endorsed – by staff to assert authority, and by patrons to make their muscles look bigger. Anyway, as we departed to a seating area, my friend – now reasonably inebriated – accidentally bumped a muscle-bound pill head, and pridefully refused to apologize. Both were behaving inappropriately, but part of my Australian blood demands I support a friend before I support rationalism. The pillhead pushed my friend, who fell to the ground. I grabbed him, and thrust him against a wall. A bouncer had been observing the commotion and ejected the pill-popping moron, but thankfully not my friend, before the scenario could escalate. Now, I’m a big boy – but not the biggest, and I’m well aware of that – but I felt sick at the notion that I was readily employing violence in an environment that should NOT ever condone unfriendly behaviour. That’s what clubs do – encourage machismo by creating hostility and frustration. I couldn’t believe that by indulging in the hedonism, I had become a part of the problem.
After this, we sat to reconstitute ourselves. It was at this moment I recognized the irony of clubbing. It’s supposed to be a social atmosphere, where people can meet and create relationships, but it is so anti-social it’s almost baffling. The music – if you call it that, I call it animal chanting – is so obnoxiously loud that you have to scream war cries to be heard by your friends or whoever else is stupid enough to listen to you drunkenly ramble. Therefore, talking – a hugely important aspect of social relationships – is nullified and replaced by mindless noise. The lighting – a toxic cocktail of haphazard colours and ridiculously choreographed routines – obscures everyones features to create a more attractive appearance – it’s difficult to see the physical shortcomings of your potential partner. The readily available alcohol – despite the price, naturally reduced your inhibitions to a point where drunkenly muttering ‘You so WDYJD, me so horny’ is acceptable. So the only way you can communicate is either by shouting, which is impractical, or simply ambling across the dance floor and finding someone with mutual attraction. Isn’t this how animals behave? Finding an appropriate partner, and gesticulating wildly and roaring to earn their attraction?
So, in the end – you have an environment that is reliant on the physical appearance of the individual and state of intoxication – not the intellectual tenacity, wit, humour, and good-naturedness to encourage and develop interpersonal attraction and relationships. You can’t have a humour-laced conversation with someone – no room for flirtation – you are reduced to behaving like an animal and pitifully endeavoring that your manipulated physical appearance and dancing ability will win over the opposite sex. Your sophisticated instincts, where you prioritize your mind and wit, is replaced by how competently you can employ your basic physical instincts to earn attention. I think this demonstrates an increasingly pertinent moral and psychological shortcoming of todays youth. Unwilling to develop their minds, they instead reduce themselves to mindless debauchery of rubbing each other like animals in a grotesque mating fashion that is only seen in the wild.
I finished another pretentious beverage, and resolved to leave my friends – despite the frustrations of the evening they resolved to stay. At about 3am I encountered a friend outside who was similarly disgusted with the moral and social decay of our generation and we resolved to depart from the nightclub scene, eat some McDonalds, and ponder our decision to waste 8 precious hours of our lives, and hundreds of dollars, on an unmemorable evening that only demonstrated how the youth of today prioritize acting like an animal over developing their minds to constructively apply.
Maybe I’m just getting old, but nightclubs are indicative of a wider trend – the death of our minds, and a ironic regression to our primal roots. It’s strange, infuriating, amusing, childish, and utterly baffling. At least I was wise enough to excommunicate myself before worse could happen – knowing how half these children look at 5am with a smashed up face, ruined clothing, bloodshot eyes, and surrounded by tattooed muscular police officers looking to lock them away, I didn’t feel so bad. It could have been much, much worse.