Watching Trevor Noah, I would often notice him saying things like “You know when you’re out in the club” as if it was normal to party like a frat boy for everyone. He, nor his ilk, or much of the pop culture, purveys the gentler culture. Poetry slams, improv shows, period dress-up parties, and more are absent from the canon of contemproary mainstream pop culture. The Hegelian paradigm the normal adult lives in according to the memes and the comedians is some stereotypical urban late-1990s nightlife. This epistime is a major issue because it is, in part, a self-fulfilling prophecy and by purveying that culture as normal it expands the size of that culture.
Charleston, South Carolina is the platonic ideal of this. It is a world where the innocent, the creative, the sober, and the like is regarded as lame and uncool and the average adult is assumed to be a weekend warrior with regular sexual partners with no artistic or intellectual pursuits. Walking down King Street on a typical Friday or Saturday night is a circus of the drunk and the skimpy. I went to the College of Charleston which is the epicenter of this. I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I had gotten in trouble for platonic harassment which was an over-reaction but an understandable one because when the Dean of Students deals with reports that ring like that, it is like a possessive ex-boyfriend as opposed to my case which was platonic and had more to do with popular-types not wanting my disabled ass around.
The Dean of Students saw himself as the zoookeeper of an animal house and they had basically surrendered the campus to the rich students and their entitled helicopter parents and ran the school as their resort. One expects some of that in a college town and on a college campus but there was no hippie arts or intellectual science in the culture outside the classroom, just drugs, alcohol, sex, and partying. That and hundreds of homeless students, and equal numbers of the hungry, mentally ill, and addicted. Keeping to its Sodomesque vibe, the rich threw their Gatsby ragers on the backs of the impoverished and the destitute. I got in trouble with the bouncers for platonically disturbing vain party animals which also meant that the rich directly oppressed the poor in a dickish and classist way. It was, and is, the platonic ideal of literal Hell.
The Dean of Students could not grow a testicle and stand up to their asses and say “You’re going to clean up or get out! This is a school, not Cocaine Cancun! Your parents can say we’re being too harsh and we won’t listen. Replace your vodka with wine and your cocaine with more coffee. We’re not saying to make this a convent but it can’t be an asylum run by the inmates. In addition to sobering up and being adults, treat the less fortunate with more modicums of decency. We’re not your bouncers and we expect kindness toward the disbaled, the poor, the ugly, and the otherwise unisightly. This must not continue to be Hell.”
Their parties, and I’ve been to a very few of them, are not fun. There is no dancing, no food, no small talk. It is just people getting drunk, high, and laid without art, poetry, or anything more refined than the most base of libertine felicities. They are, what is called in Eastern folklore, hungry ghosts without the verdance of life glowing from their skin merely seeking the next hit of dopamine like zombies. It is spiritually dead. And despite the lack of any morals with regards to their personal lives, they have a strict class system. It is the vice of Woodstock with the classism and sense of propriety of Victorian England.
Adulthood is not supposed to be G-rated but it is not supposed to be X-rated. Most of my life and most of an adult’s life should be able to be related to children.