The Floor Party, or How Whisky Improves the Sound of Music

It’s hip to listen to electronic music. People who like wearing those “I wish I was Scandinavian” square glasses and who have really CLEAN girlfriends with vintage fascist underwear hidden beneath the kind of vintage McCarthyist frock that really did it for America until Marilyn Monroe taught us all how to whistle – those people dig it lank. And they’re cooler than I am, so who am I to argue. The reason I know they’re cooler than I am is because they managed to persuade me to pay R100 to gain entrance to a party held on the old trading floor of the old JSE. THAT is cool.

Now it should be mentioned here that earlier that day I had an illuminating discussion with one of the box-spectacled brigade who rented me a copy of “The Draughtsman’s Contract” (see, I can also be snobby). There was a flyer for some electronic music festival on his counte, so I picked up the flyer and looked at is – the way one does – and saw that one side was completely taken up by what seemed to be two box-shaped letters (they like square things, these people) inflagrante delicto. A moment of rigid, perpendicular passion shared between the letter J and L, or N and I, or F and T – it really doesn’t matter, because the thing was so bloody bloodless I had to ask the box man behind the counter:

“What is this?”

To which he replied muttered something rectangular in reply. Eventually, pressing the man to come up with some kind of explanation for the boxness perpetrated by his people on that paper, he came up with:

“Well, at least it’s made you question what it is”

And I’d like to say here that questions are important. Vastly important. But it seems to me that a question should have an answer (an occasional bubble in the boxworld), and failing that, it should at least have it should at least have some kind of beauty to it. Hogarth said the line of beauty was an elongated S. And there really is no way you can convincingly explain (or mate with) the letter S in boxland. The letter S owns words like SSSinous, SSSeductive, SSSSultry, SSSecret, SSSubtle, and, of course SSScrew. It is no coincidence that its completely SScandalous curves could not be tolerated by the Nazis. They had to iron them out into twinned lightning bolts for their really CLEAN robot soldiers. Electricity and angular, razor sharp violence.

But I went to the party anyway because I’d never been inside the JSE, and I wanted to hang out with the cool people. There was confusion as to whether anything was actually happening. But I was sSSsly, you see, and realised that this was just a piece of reverse psychology (exactly 180 degrees – not one more or less) on the part of the event organisers. I hung around the entrance and listened to the DJs test the equipment, while the equipment put up muted resistance. I looked at the DJs. They sat cross legged on a table in front of a laptop which was so slim, so elegant, so rarified, it seemed to occupy the physical realm merely as a sop to those of us who must perforce shit to evacuate our bowels. They admired it so much that they had lifted it onto a kind of dais of its own, and bowed their heads to receive the blessing of its winsome pale glow. They prayed to get just the right sound from the machine, fondling nobs that would be nipples, stroking dials that would be thighs, and always asking permission before inserting a cable into a port.

Spling Thwud! phwee silence skrak-skrak BOOM cue the soprano.

I asked the man at the when they were going to start playing.

“They’re playing now”

Bwooop tinkle-tinkle !// [][]+ zzzzzzz snap!

“Who are they?”

“These two DJs from France”

Ahhh. La France! Quelle ssssurprise…

(Written March 2008)


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