Wondering why some parties and cultural events are so boring (in my opinion), I was trying to understand what was the common denominator of the people who fall for them…
First I thought it was a question of generation: but not all youth do like subculture and I’ve seen people of all ages in the nicest parties or exhibitions..
Then I thought it had something to do with wealth… Aren’t the most mainstream parties in nice, very well decorated venues? Aren’t they places where you can easily order Champagne or other expensive alcohol?And alternative parties aren’t known for being independent to commercial sponsors, cheaper fee, cheaper drinks?
But again, I’ve seen people coming from different socioeconomic’s groups, so I was not happy with that conclusion… I’ve banned the “having kids” criteria for the same reasons.
I don’t have an definitive answer to my question, but I believe that there’s something to do with security.
Whether you feel secure in your life and still want to experience a little bit of something else while going out or your life is not completely settled down: you’d like to party to some more underground venues…
Or, maybe, everything is going well in your life, but your mind tricks you in a very complex way: you know that you’re here for a short period of time, you know that sooner or later life will reach you with some realities, illness, lack of time, when it’s not simply death who will end it all…
We’ve all heard the stories on how the nightlife was during the World’s Wars of the 20th century and, even more, between the two wars. The 20’s in Berlin are legendary for its underground cultural nightlife.
That was during the Weimar Culture era, an extraordinary period for arts, technologies, sciences, design, architecture, … Berlin attracted many intellectuals and artists. But there’s no way to fantasies too much about it… Berlin was also a a place where prostitution was really high (both men and women), an incredible high numbers of gangs were doing all sorts of crimes from homicide to drugs dealing, and not to mention the presence of the violent factions of the SA…
So Berlin was a dangerous and exciting place altogether, and when the Nazis took over the country, it became just dangerous. Maybe the smell of death roaming around made the people feel they haven’t to much to loose, but then we suppose they were able to read the future and the horrifying period they will have to face in the next decade. I’m not sure about that, it has probably more to do with what they’ve just survived: the First World War.
“When do you know that you have reconnected with life after a traumatic experience?”
It’s when people are once again able to be creative and playful, to go back into the world and into the parts of them that invite discovery, exploration, and expansiveness—when they’re once again able to claim the free elements of themselves and not only the security-oriented parts of themselves.” (Esthel Perel)
If you want to have an idea of what was Berlin during this period, there’s several books to read like The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood or watch the heartbreaking movie “Bent” by Sean Mathias. Here is the opening scene, with a fantastic Mick Jagger singing the Streets of Berlin:
The nightlife during that era consisted mostly of Cabarets, as shown in the famous movie Der Blaue Engel (Blue Angel), with Marlene Dietrich, and the music of the time was Jazz…
Later in the century, other parts of the World had to face some struggling periods and – again – the nightlife was a blast for a lot of people who just wanted to escape the harsh reality.
In the ‘90s, Belgrade (in Serbia) had a very vibrant underground techno scene, as this article by Vuksa Velickovic documented it, explaining us that:
“The days when bullets were fizzing around in nightclubs, and gangs of thugs adorned in gold chains patrolled the streets will be remembered as some of the darkest in recent Serbian history. Oddly enough, in a bizarre interplay of urban idiosyncrasies, they were also Belgrade’s most extravagant.”
That was made possible thanks to different aspects, one of them being that “[Milosevan Milosevic]he’d also let you imagine that everything you did – even dancing – was subversive”.
That said, I let you read this very interesting article, while not commenting much further this sentence:
“In the meantime, Belgrade’s dance scene succumbed under the wave of sponsored entertainment and mass benders of all sorts” while the article is published in a website with “Red Bull” in its name…
But feeling danger is not always about War… this could be simply while living in one of the most dangerous city of the world, because of its criminal rate and the very big drug traffic… Of course, if you’re in the middle of a drug war, this kind of kill the party (while killing people..)
But don’t get to depressed: after a period of danger, there’s two type of survivors: “those who didn’t die, and those who came back to life” (Esthel Perel).
And if souls come back to life, there will always be someone who will think that “These people fucking deserve a party”!