Monday, May 09, 2005

I would go out tonight....

Yes despite bemoaning the amount of revision I have to do (I revised from 2 - 9pm yesterday...with breaks) I take up my pen (metaphor, kids) once again on my blogging site to talk about: going out to clubs. The title of this entry is culled from arguably The Smiths' finest release, This Charming Man and I give, here, a nod to my Politics teacher from my A-Level years as the inspiration of the points I'm about to make. To be honest, it's practically an irrefutable argument, and I was impressed enough to make a mental note of it as one day I was sure I'd be able to use it - and here it is.

Why do we go 'clubbing'? (An ageing phrase now, but it will have to do). It is one of the fundamental social aspects of the lives of people between the ages of 18 and late 20s; in fact, the aforementioned politics teacher said he was about 30 before he realised how stupid clubbing seemed. Yet, the reason for it being a such a focal point of young people's lives is hard to pin down.
The positives of going out are probably as follows. You're doing something sociable with people you want to be with; you go out in search of a 'good time'; you drink alcohol which allows you to have more fun, at the time perhaps; you can hear your favourite songs (ha); if you're single you can go out looking to pull or just for a bit of fun; the atmosphere at a decent club is worth experiencing several times; but really, that's all.

And so, the argument against going out. Let's start with the obvious: cost. Even as a student, a night out with 'enough' drink is going to cost between £12-15, and then that isn't counting travelling or entrance fees.
Into the club, then, and here's where it borders on ridiculous. You're in the club for social reasons, but can you socialise? No, not really. It's undeniable - you can't see, properly, the person you're talking to. Under blinding, flashing, any-colour-but-normal lights in an otherwise very dark club, what position are you in to tell what a person even looks like? Is she actually fit? Is she blonde? Is that top black, or red? Are they looking at me? Are their eyes even open? Are they smiling? etc etc.

And if you're struggling to see, then listening and speaking to another person is practically impossible. Without fail, to actually talk to another person you have to press your lips against the side of their head, and shout. Not speak loudly - it doesn't work - but shout. And of course, you have to repeat everything you say because the first time you say something, all you get is polite, embarrassed looks that clearly indicate "I'll smile because I haven't a fucking clue what you just said". So socialising in a club - talking to people you can't really see, who can't really hear you, and who you can't really hear. To be honest, for social interation, a nightclub could scarcely make it more difficult.

Then we move onto wider points. You go into a club, smelling all nice and looking fresh. You come out feeling anything but. A popular club, by nature, is cramped; you will be sweating within minutes. You sweat, uncomfortably hot, for most of the night. And what's worse is you come out of the club absolutely stinking head to toe of cigerattes. Your clothes, your hair, your skin even smells of it. For non-smokers this is a bit of a nightmare, there's a reason you don't smoke, and smelling as though you're on 40 a day isn't going to be on your list of things to aim for. For smokers, too, even they must concede (as my A-Level teacher did) that it makes for unpleasant breathing. Passive smoking; no, I'm fine thanks.
Incidentally, the crampedness menitoned above is a point on its own: you can't really move, certainly not dance, without bumping into people or have them bump into you, and you just can't get anywhere without treading on people (especially when you can't see them).

It's rather late so I'll draw to a close here. Clubbing then: it's socialising except you can't because talking to someone is made virtually impossible. Moving around is difficult when there's no room to do so. Breathing becomes a task. You come out hot and sweaty, smelling of fags (cigarettes or otherwise). You spend around £20 a night to do this. You go home, sleep for a far less amount of time than you would had you not gone out, and wake up with a headache wondering why.

Which, if you're still reading, you must be asking too. Since I obviously go clubbing, why do I do it? The answer is; because I want to go out with the people I go out with. The experience is nothing without other people to share it with. And, because I know I'll never be doing it after I reach the age of about 25, I want to be able to hit 30, look back and think "Well, that was pretty stupid after all, wasn't it?"

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