Hagar The Womb, The Cowley Club, Brighton.
The Cowley Club is an anarchist co-operative social space in Brighton. My band Austerity played a fun set supporting anarcho punk legends Hagar The Womb.. People danced. Late in the evening I am sat in the garden on my own smoking a cigarette when a strikingly beautiful girl appears, asks me my name and if she can borrow a roll up. The next thing she says is “you are very beautiful”, I assured her that she was also very beautiful but I think I sounded insincere and she was unsure if I was just being polite. I wasn’t. She put her hand on my leg gently and passionately said “do you believe in anarchism?”
It was a carefully scripted manifestation of my most perfect fantasy and yet it was one I never knew I had. Every detail; location, general context, her appearance out of nowhere piercing my solitude, her german accent. All of it was too perfect, and yes it contains a compliment to me cos this is my fantasy-reality and i’m an insecure narcissist. All of this and further still, all of this was seemingly occurring in actual reality.
I gave her lots of merch and literature about my band and we went our separate ways.
Lone Taxidermist, Supernormal Festival. Oxfordshire.
I was at Supernormal Festival and I went to see Lone Taxidermist. There was a long queue outside. When we got inside everything was covered with plastic. I’d ingested a large quantity of psilcybin mushrooms and truffles, some ketamine and I’d been drinking Guinness and smoking joints since breakfast. To put it another way, I was in a fucking weird headspace. I was bothered by the close proximity of the other people in the crowd, then the group came out leering through taut transparent sheets of film, it was terrifying. I had to leave because the world was ending or something. I decided to calm down by the campfire because I fucking love campfires. This is where I met a girl. We talked all night. In the darkness I could barely make out her face in the firelight but I could tell she had a nice smile. She fell off a bench and got gin in her hair. I found this hilarious which was not the appropriate response.
When we stood up to leave I realised that she was taller than me which I didn’t expect.
We kissed a bit and went our separate ways.
These two examples are interesting because yes they both feature the notion of romance, but they are quite obviously not about sex. They are about fleeting spontaneous deep connections made with strangers. It is not sexual, it is more accurately described as a meeting of minds.
I dare not even DREAM of meeting the love of my life, all I ask is a few moments with someone being authentic and enjoying each others company. If this is my fantasy what does that say about my own sense of alienation?
What happened at the cowley club and at supernormal, these are magical spontaneous events that freed us from the reach of the spectacle. We were not producing and consuming and the primary quality of our interactions were completely divorced from the notion of production (in all its multifarious forms). They were simply about human connection in its rawest most authentic form.
In a more innocent world these moments would’ve remained beautiful vignettes in the memories of those involved. Now most likely we’ll just stalk each other on Facebook when we feel depressed and enable the spectacle to reach at the guts of its enemy. Everything that is real becomes distorted to the point where it is now false.