Thursday, January 31, 2008

Child perform

Proof were hardly further required but another example of club culture’s atrophy has been the appropriation of hedon’s space by the breeders. The newly-parent, media-organiser whordes are taking over some of the country’s leading autonomous spaces with their precious offspring, and getting down. Re-re-re-wind, says the annoying toddler and the funny yummy mummy. Now you and yours can Dance Like A Star.

Baby Loves Disco is one of the leading exponents of the new, er, scene and their sites abound with enthusiastic exclamation to the new must-do activity for your kid, or you must do. Economically, the tone is triumphant - we can fill the space and make the venue a profit unlike the clubbing contingents narking themselves to death (yes, that is the tone in British club scenes).

The argument for this quite-literally infantilist movement, that the oldies can keep their old habits “by still going clubbing”, is risible and not realistic. Setting may be similar – the DJ is present – but mindset is a little different. Your mate is little darling Nat, and it’s on the milk, rather than spazzed up on booze, drugs and sex objet-obsessions. Although as the Scotsman says: “The bar is in a separate adult-only room, where the alcohol must stay,” so you can feed the booze vice with more facility, but the ‘birds’ are your mother’s mother-friends, you don’t know them too well so you turn again to your childlings, and look at the time on their mobile. I saw them on breakfast TV and noted 30-something guys worryingly similar to me look into the camera while jigging with their kid and try not to cry through their bourgie playtime.

The craze is one louder than the blatant-but-understandable function theft of applying Ministry-type pounding commercial house to gymnastic CDs for fitness fanatics. Ok, so many dance songs have the word ‘Baby’ in their title, but again it’s a classic example of the klepto nature of the kapitalist – yeah, we can filch another area from a subculture; no-one will mind. We consume all in our path.

Yeah, it’s just another accretion from the dance-club world. Just as vinyl lps being framed and put on walls indicates that mp3s have really taken over (dance was the only area keeping this going but most DJs use alternative media now), this remodelling of one format shows that the rave dance era needs to move on and new spaces and formats need to develop, if it is to retain its old charge.
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