Wednesday, June 27, 2012

festival reality

 No grindie teeth, see?

Back in the land of grey skies and 90% humidity.

I saw a guy on the tube this morning with a completely sweat-saturated back. I stared at it in the sort of way one stares at a shingles breakout. You don't get too close, but you can't move your eyes away from the scene.

A few weekends ago, the Brit and went to the Lovebox music festival in Hackney. A one day British festy, wear you get to wear wellies, slosh about in the mud, see some great music (in this case, Groove Armada) and then in instead of having to find your tents amongst acres of human detritus, you catch the last train home and take the pleasure of lying on your own mattress.

It was like Bestival, with flags and decorations and flowers and hippie carnival stuff everywhere (mental people riding the rollercoasters on mushrooms), except it was one day. One day I can do.

I came back feeling empty though. Not pumped as one might expect to be after seeing Groove Armada live.
Dude, hardcore drugs. From whence I hail, narcotics have always been on the periphery for me. (I am referring to Class A sorts - E, coke, that band of 'good times.') It's never been in my face, mates at home if they do it, do it very seldomly, and certainly not in my company. I'm no prude  - I have had my fair share of good times. But one thing I have found in London is the sudden realisation of how prevalent it is here.

It infuses all walks of life ('it' being powders or pills), and it seems to infuse any which occasion in English culture. It's become something I am now conscious of - and frankly, it fucking blows. For want of an awful pun.
I couldn't be less interested if I tried.

The reasons are not because it's harmful, expensive, you don't know what you're really stuffing up your nose/swallowing, addictive, etc. Those are reasons enough not to indulge as it is, but the reasons I am just not attuned to or ever going to embrace a 'drug' culture became pretty clear to me while attending this festival.

It's just not real. Everything is completely...well, fake. From hugs passed between strangers to conversations you have with them, to ideas they think about at the time. Even though it serves as a brief reprieve from the realities of life, and you may have the best time ever, the problem I have with them is that they blot out reality. It's augmented reality. They cover other shit people should be dealing with. People who regularly partake, I am convinced, can't deal with themselves. Or their thoughts. Or insecurities. They need something to blot out their realness, their personalities. Therein it lies - everything is a show; you might as well be the extra in a pantomime.

This is applicable to booze too, obviously. Booze is my poison of choice, and its my poison in small quantities that makes life bearable. Too much, and I feel out of touch and have to reign myself back in. Booze isn't augmented reality to me, it makes me want to sing karaoke. Which I'll do sober, anyway.
It sounds contradictory and maybe it is.

The other side of this, is that people will talk about it at festivals and other recreational places. They spend a lot of processing power on logistics alone. How they'll get it, where they'll hid it, and then how they'll take it. I was really just bored.

It's just my opinion of course, and people may have other revelations of why shnarfing white powder off toilet cisterns at a pub is better than sitting have a drink in the open with mates, but I find it illicit and sneaky. People are willing to kill their own feelings, brains with chemicals they know deliberately fucks up their serotonin? Maybe they're stronger than I am - but I can't do that. I'm way too unstable to fool around.

Anyway, so that was all very opinionated and everyone has the right to choice and the right to do what they want and have a fun fucking time doing it. I just felt very hollow when I left. And kind of sad.

Seeing all those people chewing their earlobes off and desperately, wild eyed, searching for more. What can I say - it's way out of my depth, but apparently, not my age group.


po said...

I totally agree with you Peas. We need to face ourselves and be ourselves, it is not that scary. We can do it :P

Val said...

Totally agree too! It must be awful living like that - outside reality all the time (or when one can get it).
Never seen the need to do anything like that. Hey why the need when one can get pretty 'high' on several(?) glasses of good wine. :)
I think it is called MATURITY? And a better self esteem.
Good luck back in grey/white skies London with all that humidity.

Anonymous said...

Well done Boo... 100% true.
Know of somebody, successful accountant, been through 4 million of his own money and 3 million of his parents, all for coke, and NO JOB, nothing left now. In drug rehab costing his parents R22000 a month.....
All for "best time of his life"
Well chosen
x dad