Goths, clubs and inclusiveness.

Most of you probably know I used to spend quite a bit of time on the goth/industrial scene. Indeed, my ex and I even set up a club night called Intrusion, that somehow survived my drunken idiocy. That club night has been passed on to the eminently deserving Mark Wickson and Doktor Joy, who are (as far as I can tell) doing a far better job of responsibly DJing and running a night than I ever did. I'm genuinely pleased for them both.

What I used to like about the scene was that it valued everyone based on who they were. It was accepting of the odd normal wandering in with an open mind and having a good time. It was smarter than most scenes, and wasn't scared of people with brains expressing considered opinions. It wasn't about 6 inch heels and eyeliner, they were just there.

Time has moved on, and so have I. I don't dislike the "scene", but it's not really where I am any more. Anyone who listened to my DJ sets (which you could set your watch to) would be able to tell you I'd lost my passion for it. I will always be fond of it, and the people I met during my time. I will always have fond memories of DJing Whitby, great parties, genuinely interesting people, and being fortunate enough to have had a great deal of interesting experiences.

I have a lot of friends who have never been involved in this whole thing, and I while ago, I took them to a club. They weren't head to toe in black, but they weren't exactly in tracksuits and gold chains either. Think jeans, suit jacket, and a smart shirt. Not so different to what I wear these days.

I was appalled at how they were treated when I wasn't around. They were referred to as chavs, and made incredibly unwelcome. Someone referred to them as my "fucking chavvy friends". Now, aside from the fact that word has somehow come to mean anyone not fitting into some sort of subculture, that's just shit. These friends aren't chavs. They aren't anti anyone. They aren't unpleasant, and if they see a goth/alternative type getting trouble from people, they're far more likely to weigh in on the side of the alternative types. They weren't threatening, or sneering, or anything other than interested and looking forward to it. They came in with an open mind, and took nothing but shit for it.

These friends didn't say anything to me, for fear of upsetting me. But it was pretty clear they wanted out of there. They came in with a far better impression of the scene than they left with, and I couldn't argue otherwise, then or now.

The thing that really galls me? This was Intrusion. This was the club my ex and I set up. I popped back for the first time in years, just to say hi, and my group was welcomed with a nice big fuck off. Now, I'd like to make this clear, this wasn't anything to do with the current organisers. This was other people. But it did include a large group of people I knew, and would have thought knew better.

I was really hurt by this, and really embarrassed that good friends, who have always stood by me, were treated so shabbily at a night I still felt some responsibility for. I don't know if things have changed, or going back to the scene for the first time in years made me look at it anew. I do know that this was no longer a place I felt welcome.

The irony of a place where people like to dress differently being abusive to people who aren't dressed like them is obvious. If I head out for the night now, I'm not heading to goth clubs, I know that. I might go back to one at some point, but I'm not taking any bets.

I'd like to reiterate that none of this is anything to do with Mark or Dok, who are lovely people doing a stand-up job with a club that deserved more than my half-arsed stewardship.

Please, next time you think someone doesn't belong in your club, ask if it's because of their behaviour or their appearance. If it's their behaviour, and they're sneering at you, then all well and good, give 'em both barrels. But if it's the way the look, challenge yourself to go and say hi. Or put your drink down and go home, you're ruining it.
  • Current Music
    Some chavvy shite, probably.
St Pauli, Totenkopf

Idiocy on Facebook (surprise!)

Some of you might have seen the proliferation of witless groups all over Facebook complaining about a ban on England shirts in England pubs. The one saying "It's funny how our flag offends you, but our benefits don't" is a personal favourite. And by favourite I mean shining example of lead paint licking stupidity.

As I'm sure some of you will run across it, here's what I've found so far. The Sun ran a report on the 3rd April about a "Bid to ban England tops in World Cup pubs". This idiotic non-story actually referred to a letter sent to Croydon publicans by the Met Police, giving advice to pubs on how to deal with potential trouble during the World Cup. One of the suggestions was that pubs could impose "dress code restrictions - eg no football shirts".

Note that. They suggested no football shirts. No ban. No mention specifically of England shirts. The article itself even says "Pubs are not obliged to follow the advice". I assume that particular piece of advice was for non-football pubs.

So far, so nothing. No-one pays any attention, the Sun goes back to telling everyone what Lovely Theresa from Wimbledon thinks about coalition government without her clothes, and their readers go back to bed.

Now for some reason, some mouth breathing right wing pillock gets hold of this today and starts complaining about this on Facebook. A few other groups spring up. Most of these groups are full of comments such as "immigrant scum", "this is england our england you came here you dont like it fuk off!!!!", and "fukc all the illegals and scrounging foriegn cnuts out of our home land.back too there mudhuts". Those three gems were in the first five comments on the wall of the group I mentioned earlier. They are posted without alteration.

I'm putting this here because I'm sure some of you will encounter this brain bleedingly stupid outrage at some point over the next week or so, and may wish to point out to some knuckle dragging halfwit, or misinformed friend, how much bloody nonsense this is. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, and all that.

If you feel up to reading the original story from which all this jackbooted drivel sprang from, just copy and paste this into your browser's address bar, and take the word IDIOT out of it. I don't want to post it as a link, as I've no desire for it to lead back here.

I just thought we'd won these fights ten years ago.

No pasaran.

Apropros a timely reminder from arachne

The domestic cricket season is nearly upon us. Huzzah! One of the first things we're doing when we have the car is throwing a load of foodstuffs into the back of it, and making our way to Canterbury for a day at the cricket.

I am an old fart, and I don't care.

And the currently playing might actually be this, but in my head, it's 10cc - Dreadlock Holiday, thanks to Ara.

Geek request

Has anyone got a Socket 775 motherboard going spare? I've realised I have enough spare parts to build a half decent PC, and thought I might as well.

Spreading it around

"Gordon Brown has said overpaid public sector workers will be "named and shamed" in efforts to deliver more value for money in public services."

I cannot help but feel that, if you have been in power for over 12 years, most of those people will have obtained those jobs under your government. So what Mr Brown is essentially saying is "Look at all these people we gave massive pay rises to!" This is much like when the chairman of an ailing football club points the finger at the highest earning player and says: "Do you have any idea how much I pay him?" Well, not exactly. But you should know for certain. Because it was you that offered him the bloody contract.

This might be a bit of a winning tactic if you'd spent years in opposition, but as it is, it just seems like desperate finger pointing. It is not unlike a bullied child pointing at the kid in the playground that smells of mould, hoping his persecutors will shift their focus.

I know full well that Whitehall does not actually handle the contracts of all civil servants, but it seems a little disingenuous to pipe up all of a sudden and say "Have you seen what these people are taking us for?"

I miss Berlin already.

We are home. London was vile, even more so than usual. There will be a proper write up, but not now. I cannot be doing with going through a week's worth of entries. Did I miss anything interesting?

Swiss rolled.

The whole Polanski issue has me a little foxed. As far as I can gather, a man had sex with a thirteen year old girl, and got caught. He was then charged with about six counts. He pleaded guilty to one count as part of a plea bargain, and then skipped the country, staying "fugitive" in France for thirty years. What happens after that, with the victim asking for the charges to be dropped and accepting a civil payment from him, seems rather moot.

He had sex with a thirteen year old, admitted it, and ran away. I have little sympathy. Am I being naive here?

Out of interest......

Does anyone else think that the video for the new Rammstein song, "Pussy", is just crass? The song itself isn't doing anyone any favours either. I really like Rammstein, and I don't have any real objection to porn, but I just think it lacks any class whatsoever. I'm not screaming "take it down" or anything, I'm just disappointed.

Or am I just past it?