Monday, September 29, 2008


In a recent live show at London's Shepherd's Bush Palladium, the comedian Russell Brand did a brilliant and hilarious deconstruction of a gossipy article about himself in one of the UK Sunday tabloids. And I was reminded of it after seeing the latest Scottish edition of the paper News Of The World in which there was a shock-horror feature about so-called 'unders clubs' where kids between 10-18 can enjoy going to the disco before they open for the adults in the evening. (The print version has more and better pictures.) Personally, I can't see any problem with kids doing this and has been common over on the continent for decades; if anything, we're more socially dysfunctional as a nation because there aren't enough opportunities like this for teenagers.

Anyway, all that aside, one of the things Brand pointed out in his own inimitably baroque way was the ridiculous habit tabloids have of using bullet points, and certain words in bold capitals, to give absurdly unnecessary and undue emphasis - 'TEN', 'SOZZLED', 'TANKED-UP', 'FULL SEX', 'CREEPY', 'LURKING', 'WRONG', 'TWICE', 'BOUGHT'.

But in the following extract from the article, it's my own emphasis.

'A boy and girl no older than 14 had been groping each other frantically on the dancefloor for about five minutes. As our shocking pictures show, the shameless lad had one hand inside the pretty blonde’s neon tutu. Then he unzipped his jeans and exposed himself. There was no doubting what happened next - the girl, who towered over her partner, parted her legs to let the clearly excited boy go all the way. The grubby display was over in A COUPLE OF WORTHLESS MOMENTS - then her pals screeched raucously as they yanked her tutu down from behind to reveal she was wearing no underwear.'

A couple of worthless moments? Are you kidding? These fleeting seconds will probably be the most transcendental of both of these teens' lives, their entire identities constructed around them (and even more having now been immortalised in the Sunday press). It's everything else that's worthless. That was, will be, and is, it.


SenzuriChampion said...

Fucking awesome.

I don't know of an equivalent for "unders clubs" here in the States, at least not anywhere that I've lived (varying degrees and states of upper middle class white suburbias). Which is a shame, since there's really fuckall to do, or places to go here if you're under 21 and aren't keen on hanging around at home with you or your pal's parents. Shopping malls, stores, streetcorners will toss your ass out for loitering. Very few clubs, arcades, concert halls. The closest thing you can get are youth community centers, which are basically like staying at home except the adult supervision there is payed to be on your case.

I guess I've diverted from the point.

LJP said...

They tried to have a club like that in Rochester New York but it was closed down due to violence.

Ea-M. said...

Well to those who didn't have such an opportunity growing up i can reveal that you didn't really miss anything.
I went to some under 18 parties back in the early 90's i must have been 12-13 (when i turned 14 i started cruising adult nightlife which was so much more fun). Ofc the disco itself was alcohol free, but at that time there was no age-limit to buying alcohol and cigarettes in the stores, so we'd just get drunk on something nasty and cheap before arriving and hide a stash in the bushes outside...
It really wasn't any fun. Just a lot of 12-17yearolds in a couple of rooms with very loud very awfull music (need i say Roxette and the lot?)
Anyways, all i ever really got out of attending was that teenage boys are uninteresting and that i to this day can't stand the taste of whiskey and martinis...

As for the article i really don't get how they can both claim that there are used condoms everywhere and yet still these kids are being irresponsible and not thinking about pregnancies and diseases...

Miss Kerry said...

I went to some of those underage clubs. There was grog, beforehand sometimes, and groping- all I ever got inside was watching someone else get groped.
I do wish that what I finally got outside the club( literally, in a car in the lot outside ), was as fun sounding as those kids.
In the club- a cracking good idea. At least someone is there to make sure its STAYS fun.

( And god knows it would have livened up some of the joints I was at.( Disneyland youth disco-as yet unnamed circle of Hell. Terminal boredom, torture by 80s pop- all done in the most wholesome of policed areas ever.
" Here experience Sartre's better known work "-
should have been done in metal work over the fairytale gates, that led into the dance floor. Literally, fairy tale. Fucking Tinkerbell. On the gates. Of Existential Doom. )

These cretins seriously think they can police a force of nature ( not a goddess for nothing ), and in teens who have seriously unwired cortexes ( nature, again!) helped by hormones? Good luck, hahahaha. You'll need it.