20060709

Clubs and Clubbing: Selling A Community to a Community And What This is Compared to the Rest of the World

Music is an industry. Industry caters to people. People make up communities. Those communities have musical tastes, and thus dance clubs were born.

These days, it's become much more community specific. Initially, there was just disco; and mostly I'm sorry to say, that was a white people thing.

Pick up a flyer for any club night, and with out my even seeing it I can sum it up like this:

"People like you hang out here!" if it's your style -or- "People Not In Any Way like you hang out here!"

But it's not a community, it's not the same thing. It appears to me that there is a whole industry based solely on providing people with the illusion of community and so desperate are they for it that they will pay money to feel as though they are part of a group. It's a form of emotional prostitution, isn't it? Playing on people's fears of being alone and actually asking for money so they can hang out with other people.

In addition, it's a constructed environment. Club culture isn't real. Case in point; the bullshit flows. A buddy of mine, without me knowing due to the volume of the music, introduced me as a state senator as we were out one night. This is ridiculous on several levels and they saw through it. This happens all the time. Couple that with the free flowing of alcohol and you pretty much have a situation that almost totally precludes folks from telling the truth.

In addition to all this, clubs rely on a near compulsive spending of money by their patrons, unless they charge 50+ dollars a head and have 1,000 people show up. Now, the sort of person who spends money compulsively and wants to be a member of a crowd so badly they'll pay money to join it? That's two of the nine main characteristics for borderline personality disorder. Now, if clubs rely so heavily on two traits which are, quite frankly, negative to very negative how positive can the environment actually be?

In addition, there's also the bizarre, mean-spirited and stupid culture built around music. Often times, it won't be enough that you've heard a song and enjoyed it; found it pleasing to your ear. If you were cool, then you would have heard that song a year ago, and it would have given you an orgasm because it was so new and awesome and wow you'd never heard anything like that before.

The "I heard it first" thing is probably perpetuated by MTV. Remember when MTV was cool? Looking at MTV then, as a wiser man who's actually had sex and drank beer since the 80's, it wasn't all that great. These days it's barely tolerable and appears to exist only to shorten the attention span of Generation Y-Z to such an extent that they will buy anything. It's also possible MTV also brought the phrase "You heard it first" into the music culture lexicon, with their MTV news brief.

Now, the biggest problem with this cultural construct is first it alienates the younger and empowers the older when taken to it's extreme. I don't have a problem with that in general, however specifically empowering the old merely because they've had the luck to survive beyond the firmer, younger years is ridiculous. I didn't hear Led Zeppelin on the radio the first time they were played on the radio because, of course, I wasn't born yet, something over which I had absolutely no control. Being there shouldn't be a criteria for any sort of merit, certainly not in a country as safe as ours. Pardon me for saying this, but making it to 22 isn't all that much of an achievement with the borders of these United States. If you are 22, don't be insulted, however recognize that in Rwanda or perhaps the Sudan and other places that by age 16 you will probably have killed someone in a militia action or been raped and murdered.

Now, I'm not debating if wisdom comes with age. It does, and the older you are the wiser you are; but that is not contingent on the music you've heard. That's actually contingent on your life and how you lived it. A person can lead a very character building life without ever hearing one song on a radio.

So, at age 25 you've been in "the scene" for six years. If you were 25 in Rwanda you would be commander of a militia or military unit. I bring this up because now that we have clubs that appear to have some sort of longevity and last for more than a year, it appears as though you can become a veteran of a certain club or club night. Now there are people who lord the fact that they were there when such and such club opened over the younger people and may further complain how all these new people suck for no actual reason other than the fact they are new. Well, if people really liked the scene that much they would be offering much more guidance and constructive criticism, there would be a much greater attempt at encouraging the new blood who find their way there from radio and internet.

If scenes were real communities there would be involvement, direction and ideals. The older would teach the young and show them how not to fuck up their lives. That's what a community is, or at least should be. Club going people aren't coming together for the good of rearing the young and defending their streets, or towns or cities. They're just listening to fucking music and drinking. "Music scenes," there fore, are not communities.

"If Democracy cannot provide for the. . . people, people will say 'To Hell with Democracy, we need strong men."

There is a line; a line between good and evil. If a so called good person crosses it, they are then regarded as evil.

Interestingly, this doesn't work in reverse. A so called evil person cannot suddenly become good because they do one good thing.

However, the fact that the line is even there is more the problem than anything else.

I will now point to Park Chung Hee, or simply Gen. Park, as many South Koreans will call him.

Now, what's interesting, to me at least, is what he did in South Korea.

Before Park perpetrated a bloodless military coup on May 16, 1961, South Korea was in a shambles. Corruption was rampant, politicians were ineffectual and worse than all that the people were miserable and starving. Supposedly, starvation was so rampant that people are alleged to have participated in cannibalism.

Park, at that point was a Major General (Sojang in Korean) and was in a position to make improvements. But should he have? As a high ranking general officer, he had command of enough man power to enact change on a drastic level, and if he had a plan he could end the starvation, save his people and, given time, he could make his homeland an economic world power.

But by authoritarian rule?

Park established the Korean Central Intelligence Agency: part secret police, part American CIA, part American FBI. The KCIA had the power to arrest anyone harboring sentiment against the new regime.

Park had a plan, and after he was elected president

When elections were held, opposing candidates were harassed.

Even as these things were happening, the overall economic capacity of South Korea was improving. Park also created The Economic Planning Board (EPB), The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and The Ministry of Finance (MoF). These three groups were charged with making the Korean economy viable. In the short term, they needed to improve people's lives and the domestic flow of commerce. In the long term they were planning to make South Korea an economic world power.

In October 1972, Park suspended the constitution and dissolved the Parliament due to "the dangerous realities of the international situation." I have only a vague notion of what he meant by that; there was a lot of potential problems in 1972 for South Korea, but I truly feel it had nothing to do with outside factors.

I honestly believe that Park just wasn't done yet and that had he not been elected again, the next body in office would certainly have undone most of his plans before they came to fruition.

In the end he was killed by one the people he appointed and I wonder, was Park a good man who used evil to do good or was he and evil man with a plan that got interrupted?

If an evil plan leads to good things, even great things, is it still an evil plan?

If the Joker accidentally cured AIDS with one of his insane chemical concoctions, would the Batman still be justified in throwing him in jail or punishing him at all?

How much of the means colors the end?

Communication Breakdown

As diffusion of information has increased by leaps and bounds, people may have begun to take it for granted.

The trouble with this is it's possible people begin to believe their innermost thoughts and fears and ideals are readily known and apparent and that, in turn, gives people clearance to feel slighted when someone doesn't know something random about them, like red shoe laces offend them.

I will make this more clear using a classic example of young male interaction: The Yo' Momma joke.

The Yo' Momma joke is a classic excercise in quick wit, hyperbole and of course, insult. It's purpose is usally good natured ribbing and hoping to elicit laughter from friends.

Every so often, you would run across the guy who's mother had died. Usually, he would say "Yo, that's not cool yo, my momma dead." and it would illicit grim sighs and head shaking from the crowd and apology from the guy who "went there."

These days, things are different. People will get upset and stay upset and think "How could anyone say such a thing?!" but they won't communicate. They won't let anyone know how they feel.

People. Aren't. Psychic.

Naturally, the "blog-o-sphere" has had an impact on this perception.

Yet, no one should be expected to sift through gigabytes of blog entries trying to crack the code and figure out what is an alegory about them. If you're upset with someone, let that someone know as soon as you can. Why? Because writing a cryptic, college level essay on why someone pisses you off and publishing it so everyone else except the person you are cross with can read it doesn't help anything.

I will admit, I've been guilty of the above complaint. It's true. However, when I grew as a person, I began to realize how useless it really was and how badly it can hurt a group of people who would read my writing to throw out random angry text and hope it sticks to the right person. Often times, it will stick to several people who aren't even at fault, and there you have it: damage done to people who had no intention of damaging.

This sort of emotional splash damage might occur often enough in internet culture that it's entirely possible people who use the internet may be made less happy by their using it.