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Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Dead Jesus Day

My own pub has sent me home, a small mercy considering the size of my shifts this weekend – being a bartender means dreading major holidays as they inevitably mean monster shifts and amateur drinkers* - they have sent me home because it is dead, the majority of customers travelling away from the city home to their parents this weekend. So I have come to the Scuffed Wood pub (see here and here); rock pubs will still be busy this weekend because:
1. not many of the “alternative” scene are practicing Christians, and
2. Let’s face it; most of them still live at home.

As I walk in about a quarter of the people in here are mouthing the words from Rammenstiens Amerika and after a couple of seconds caught the impulse in myself. I think, to be able to comment with relevance, it is important for journalists to catch such impulses and examine them with the dispassion of an autistic scientist. I found myself mouthing the words, not as an indication of enjoyment, but more of a badge of belonging. Like the others, by singing along my intention was to announce my approval of the environment and immerse myself in it, by saying I know the words I was telling people I was like them, a password to a seemingly closed culture.

It troubles me that I always seem as if am berating this pub, its nominated subculture, and by extension my own past. The truth is, honesty is ugly and my roots go deep enough to owe it no lies. That said there is an amazing sense of community here, none of the meat market sensibility or barely contained aggression that is background noise to many of the city centre pubs on a Friday night. Just like-minded peoples lives overlapping and the discordant beauty of people waving their dysfunction as a flag. I have just seen one of college acquaintances, normally awkward and clunky in the presence of others, but here, smiling and natural.


And It saddens me sometimes conventional society has no room for accepting subcultures – tolerating them at best. But then I remember that it’s intolerance that drives the marginalised together and ties the comfortable bonds of this community together.

Under the alternatives label’s wing I have saw; the most shy flourish, the most unconventional blossom and some of the smartest people I have met be given room to develop. It doesn’t matter if “get it” in fact, mostly, it cooler if you don’t. just don’t presume its motives lie in teenage angst or stubborn rebellion.



* people who don’t go to pubs often, meaning they have no idea what drinks to have, how much they cost and, half the time, how to act like a civil fucking human being.

4 Comments:

Blogger Shroom Monkey ranted..

you put a lot of thought into your bar/pub/club going experiences... I just go to get drunk and get laid, and there in lies all my stories... cheers to the before, during and the after.... may all our outings give us material for our ever-expanding folders...

11:24 PM  
Blogger Franklin D. Roosevelt ranted..

That pub is definitely not my favourite in Brum, but I really love this article of writing because I finally get why it, and all it stands for, means so much to you.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Tumuli ranted..

"it’s intolerance that drives the marginalised together..."

Yes, indeed. All of your observations are not only true but astounding.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Puck ranted..

thank you, as ever your praise flatters me.

10:06 PM  

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