Sunday, August 27, 2006


Last night I went to Knu, which is a gay alternative club in a snooker hall. Now there is a sentence I thought never would fit into my life, but there it is. Joachim had been mentioning it for a week and at the last minute I decided to cast aside my many initial misgivings and give it a go... After all, I am alway on the lookout for something new to complain about.

We arrived shortly after midnight and immediately I felt old. I seemed to be surrounded by all sorts of people that neded a note from mommy to be out so late, but still, I decided to forge ahead and go inside. Up and up the stairs we climbed, passing all sorts of snooker related grafitti, and yes, snooker grafitti does exist and I was just as surprised as you are. We finally made it to the top floor, paid our admission, traded our jackets for numbered clothespins and then, for the first time in about 20 years I stepped into the alternative world.

All the snooker tables with normally litter the floor, or so I have been told, had been removed and as we walked in, we found a desginated dance space just ahead which reminded me in of the dances we would have in junior high which were held in the school cafeteria. To the left was a big area filled with old sofas and chairs that made a sort of awkward looking chill out area where one could, well, chill out. Directly behind us was the bar and after getting our beed, we settled just inside the chill out area, which put us directly opposite a huge video screen showing film clips of violent lesbians and Barbarella. All the walls were covered in grafitti with images ranging from hip-hop gods to the scenes from Amsterdam and the occasional animal. Looking around I had this strong feeling I had been here and done this.

Nothing, and I do mean nothing has changed in the alternative scene in the past 15 or so years... The messy black hair, the lip rings, the ripped clothes... Ok, we did it with a bit more flair - Flock of Seagulls hair, heavy black Robert Smith type eye make-up, clothes that clashed with themselves - but it still turned out to be a collecton of non-conformists in a conformist society all hanging out with other non-conformists that looked and dressed and danced just as they did. It was touching to see the cookie cutter individuality.

At one moment I went to the men's room and was suddenly confronted by a tornado strength blast of air. I later learned that in the past, so many people were doing drugs in the stalls - whoever heard of such a thing? - that they installed these high pressure fans to blow straight down, so any thoughts of doing a line got literally blown away. Not sure how much good that does when pills are quite popular, but I did have to applaud the originality and enjoyed the cooling breeze.

It was interesting to see guys I had seen at other more upscale and trendy places, and I found it comforting that the same guys that ignore me at those places, also ignored me here. I am all for consistent attitude as I would not want to get confused about when and where I am suposed to speak to someone... or not...

As the night went on, the music took a turn and suddenly I was confronted with the sounds of Dead or Alive, the Eurythmics and Mel and Kim. What joy! What bliss! I was getting fresh at the weekend! I dragged my tired old body out to the dance floor but I did it quite carefully as I am no longer 38 and don't want to run the risk of an emergency hip replacement. It might only take a moment to feel alright, but it also only takes a moment to end up in traction. I also discovered that my cutting edge 80's dance moves, the very ones I perfected to Trans X, King and Depeche Mode were no longer appreciated. Young people these days just bounce around aimlessly with no thought to how it looks. At least when we bounced around we had a name for it... the Pogo. We most definately had the beat. 20 years on and everyone was expressing themselves and communicating their individuality as they all did exactly the same thing.

Individual Lemmings plunging off the cliff of sameness.

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