12 October 2010

A few beers and a few tunes down the pub.

TV Cabbaged at The Smack, Middle Wall, Whitstable 9th October 2010. 

A few beers and a few tunes down the pub.

Sometimes you just have one of them nights when all your friends get together and you have such a great night that it stands out from all the other nights you might have; even with the same people. Sharing conviviality, social interactivity, and shared joy. It’s like all your experiences with that person suddenly come to fruition and on the night at that particular time it all comes together and the friendship deepens and happiness is achieved. As Marcel Proust said “life is sown with miracles that only people who love can wait for” (1). These nights of reflection, introspection and self-awareness are rare for me.

I was in my default setting of being worried about everything that wasn’t in front of my eyes; things from the past and future that I could do fuck all about. This has the effect of making me appear distant and uncaring and not in the moment or situation. Falling out with Clare fulfilled both criteria nicely. We’d fallen out 24 hours earlier over something stupid. Shaun had texted me asking if I was going to the OxJam thing in Canterbury on Saturday. C goes ‘I’m doing my art for The Open House. Can’t do it’. I goes, ‘He asked me if I was going not you’; thus ensuring a 48 hour war as we quickly dug our trenches and began hurling bombs at each other.

I’ve banged on in the past about DJing being my Zen and all that bollocks but the last time that happened was at my birthday party in Margate the other month when I was allowed to play for two hours uninterrupted. I could see this wasn’t going to happen tonight or any night at the Smack really because by the time its set up and we’re off we only have about three hours for us and to have our guest play as well. All I can really do is try to ensure that the guest DJ has his Zen moment, if at all possible, and get him a few hours play in where he can relax and get into it a bit. At the Smack it was going to be a “3’s up” kinda night where I gave away a couple of my 3 tune spots to Mike SU (Mike Sun Up) so he could get a little longer play. Back at the after party both me and Si just let him play himself out till around 4am just so he could go home thinking he’d had a good play. That’s the way to do it.

Mike SU is a great DJ; playing with tVC since the mid nineties and he is totally dedicated to his music. I know, he told me, that he gets gigs with other crews and tries to fit in and play what the night or the promoter demands but his first and only love is house music; deep tech is what he loves and to say to him to "just play whatever you want; whatever gets the old hairs on the back of the neck standing up". “Or my new tunes” he says smiling; "Or your new tunes. Whatever makes you happy, do it?"

Happiness is probably no more than loving who you are, what you have and what you do; all the rest is projection where projection is seen, in the Freudian sense, as a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies their own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to the weather, or to other people. Thus, it involves imagining or projecting that others have those feelings. (2). Still a bit of projection can’t be a bad thing; can it? We all probably have a false self image and seek to maintain this to cope with reality and to maintain whatever self-image we’ve decided we need to have. Sometimes all that Freudian crap is forgotten about and you just live in the moment, like tonight, oblivious to what has passed and what is to happen. Five pints of Hurliman can have strange effects on one’s mind. I just basked about the pub talking and flitting and smoking listening to Mike’s great music. The sound system was rich and clear and loud and so were my friendships.

Earlier in the day my girlfriend and I were having one of our little disagreements, cough, about something or other and were down to our default fighting mode of hurling insults and derogatory comments at each other from across the room. Why do we do this? Entrenched in our little prejudiced rooms projecting made up images onto the wall, defense mechanisms fully erected we lash out at the uncaring world oblivious to our pain and fears however real or unreal they may be. Do they not love us and we them? Do we not share space and endeavour to live harmoniously and with equality? Do we not endear, with loyalty and joy? Do we not desire the same love? I saw an old cereal bowl on the coffee table in front of me. She was ranting away in the other room. I’m going to chuck that I thought and did. It smashed, well away from Clare I hasten to add, and smashed on the opposite wall with a satisfactory crash. Does destroying things make you happy? In that moment it relieved some tension in me and de-stressed me somewhat. I did it again. Smash! ‘Get that anger out”, C shouts from round the corner. Later C goes ‘I’m glad you smashed them bowls they were all chipped and cracked’. We both laughed in our little giggling conspiratorial huddle later that night.

I was worried C wouldn’t come out with me tonight. Her ability to hold a grudge is of Yorkshirian proportions and she does not forgive easily but I tried anyway. All my worry early in the evening was around her and her feelings and whether or not she would come to the pub; but she did. I was so relieved we were friends again that the rest of the night flowed like wine and my heart floated above looking down.

Romantic love, as any sane person knows, is an illusion, a mechanism induced by feeding genes and which death extinguishes. But, to me, there is only one happiness in life, and I agree with Goethe on this when he says it is “to love and be loved. Only the soul that loves is happy.” We also need our spaces of conviviality, of play, of joy, of social interaction, as much as we need love. To share the happy and sad moments, to confess secrets and intimate projects, all these are a major part of friendship. So is living in the moment, in a special space, with a few trusted and loved friends, especially your girlfriend, the pinnacle of life, a major component of mental wellness and an essential part of personal growth?

You fucking know it is. A few beers and a few tunes down the pub.

(1) Marcel Proust, 1871-1922, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

(2) Wade, Tavris "Psychology" Sixth Edition Prentice Hall 2000 ISBN 0-321-04931-4