The End of the Society of Nightclub?

Party animals
Party animals

When the Music is your special friend
dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
until the end…

I was standing there in the Sun. Pondering. ‘There’ was near a mall. Big, ugly, red monstrosity but I got used to it seeing this Temple of Poshlost’ everyday. A giant bride on its wall was a match made in heaven for King Kong.

View from the Moscow-850 Ferris wheel
View from the Moscow-850 Ferris wheel

It was a sunny spring day in Moscow. In such days I want to do something… I don’t wan’t to see nobody when I’m in such mood. Just me and my thoughts. It’s so comfortable for me in my little inner universe. Yet, I was sad and angry for no reason. Just a little bit. I walked to a building yard in front of the ‘temple’ – probably, a future parking lot. Little trees rustled in the wind. Clumsy and naive 80’s and 90’s pop music could be heard coming from the amusement rides of the All-Russian Exhibition Center – a perfect soundtrack for my ‘bright melancholy‘ (a cliché among many others in this post):

Ten o’clock postman
Bring me her letter
Ten o’clock postman
Make me feel better…

Follow the lightThoughts clouded my consciousness. They were morphing and fighting one another. I remembered a party at the S******a club when I sat in a leather armchair and watched what was happening as if it was a TV show (a friend of mine called this state ‘Buddha of a party’).

Armchair at the  All-Russian Exhibition Center
Armchair at the All-Russian Exhibition Center

Stereotypical hot chicks with ‘papiki’ (sugar daddies; a foreigner would call’em ‘gangsters’, for me – just ‘byki’/’bullies’ with money), hipster boys and girls trying too hard to be ‘different’, so finally looking all the same… Everybody tried to show that they were having a good time playing the role of ‘centers of the universe’. At the same time they were bored and were waving their ‘boredom’ like a flag to prove to one another that ‘they’ve seen it all’. Crawl line of random banality was running through my mind:

“Who am I fooling? What am I doing here? I don’t belong here. I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you…

STOP! Finally, stroboscopes were turned on and the scene resembled a Chemical Brothers video where shots of dancing people were interspersed with shots of meat carcasses. The rhythm was WICKED (in all meanings).

I felt I was TIRED of parties. How ironic: we – Russians – changed the Party for a party. There was an ad back in the days and Moscow was covered with banners: ‘PARTYsans’. And I’m not even a vet in this discotheque guerilla warfare.

Enrique Martinez Celaya - The Tower of Snow (in front of the State Hermitage museum)
Enrique Martinez Celaya – The Tower of Snow (in front of the State Hermitage museum)

You know you’re chewing bubblegum
You know what it is
But you still want some
You just can’t get enough
Of that lovie dovie stuff.

Louis Vuitton garbage cans ;)

Enough is enough.

Your cab, Sir!
Your cab, Sir!

At least since early 90’s (in fact, earlier) consumerism and conspicuous consumption have been a cult, a religion in Russia. Everyone was participating on a corresponding level: from ‘bomzh’ (homeless) – in his/her dreams – to ‘novy Russky’ (New Russian, i.e. nouveau riche) – in reality.

Glamour beauty salon in izba
Glamour beauty salon in… izba

Everyone wanted a piece of a ‘pirog’ (pie). Russian dream. Faster, Higher, Stronger. More, more, MORE! Outshine the Sun. Diamonds upon diamonds upon diamonds covered with black caviar like in an old Soviet anti-capitalist caricature.

We are having a neverending party, aren’t we?

We are showing off (but showing what?), aren’t we?

We are celebrating (but what?), aren’t we?

I used to try very hard to make friends with everyone on the planet.
I’ve seen you havin’ it, havin’ it yeah
but now you’ve just had it.
Entertainment can sometimes be hard when the thing
that you love is the same thing that’s holding you down.

When the party’s over you got nowhere to go…

Baltic tea (‘Baltiysky chai’, i.e. vodka + cocaine) is a bad cure for identity crisis. Diamonds and gold chains won’t help as well. In a cult book ‘Generation P‘ (1999, screen adaptation – 2011) Viktor Pelevin in his ironic manner summed it up in the form of a criminal’s monologue – Vovchik Maloy [literally: Vovchik The Little or Lil’ Vovchik 8-); Vovchik is a diminutive of ‘Vova’ which itself is a diminutive of ‘Vladimir’] setting a task for a PR agency creator – to formulate the Russian idea:

Our national business steps into the international arena. All kinds of money is spinning there: Chechen, American, Colombian. Well, you get it. If you look at money just as dough, it’s all the same. But behind every kind of dough there is a national idea. We used to have ‘Orthodoxy, Autocracy and nationality‘. Then there was communism. Now – when it has ended – there’s no such idea at all, just dough. But there can’t be just dough behind dough, right? ‘Cause then it isn’t clear why some are ahead and others are behind.

In 1967 Guy Debord wrote “The Society of Spectacle“. I would call contemporary Russian society rather the society of nightclub where spectacle of a kind is taking place. We are 24-hour party people. Show must go on?!

Too bright to even see the sun.
More and more sand in my eyes…

The Sun lit me up. I smiled. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones. Everything has its end, even an after-party. It’s (almost) over.


Peremen trebuyut nashi serdtsa (our hearts demand changes)…


Author: Sergey A. Armeyskov, Candidate of Sciences in Culturology (≈ PhD in Cultural Studies). Follow me on Twitter: @RussianUniverse & Instagram: @russianuniverse. Photos with ‘‘ caption were taken by the author.

3 thoughts on “The End of the Society of Nightclub?

  1. Pingback: Post-world: The Meaning of the End of Meaning | Russian Universe

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  3. Pingback: Death As a Show… | Russian Universe

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