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I’ve never understood the point of bars or night life. Most people seem to go to bars and night clubs to meet their friends, get drunk and possibly get laid. I don’t drink, from a very early age I’ve been in steady relationships with vigorous women, I see my friends on-line or at our respective kitchen tables, and I get really sleepy around midnight. So night life has nothing to offer me.

I was once single for eight months, which meant that I did have to do something to get laid. But what took care of that certainly wasn’t my exploration of clubs: I hooked up with women everywhere except in clubs. Though I did visit them: I chatted amicably with a lot of clubbing ladies, and my male friends were happy to bring someone as gregarious as myself along, but nookie was not forthcoming. I probably simply got fed up and went home before anybody entered mating mode. Or maybe I seemed scary because I was sober. Anyway, my general impression was that in night clubs, women are largely defensive, even hostile toward men, clearly not feeling relaxed and happy. I recommend all men with similar experiences to crash more private parties or try the checkout line at the grocery store instead.

So night life is alien to me. Expensive, ostentatious upscale night life doubly so. There are few places I’d feel more out of place than around 2 am at Stockholm’s night-club ground zero, the little square of Stureplan. Here you’ll see stock brokers and hardened criminals snorting coke and drinking champagne with scantily clad 18-y-o blondes in the wee hours. Drop me off there and see me run as fast as I can toward the southern part of town, where workers and leftie academics go out, and where more importantly the terminal of my commute train is (at the Sluice).

There’s an absurd little media affair going on in Stockholm right now. A 26-y-o journalist specialising in celebrities, fashion and night life has been permanently chucked out of a number of clubs at Stureplan. And now this person strikes back, telling the country’s main newspaper that “Stureplan is a brutish and cold meat market. You need to know the codes, to know and talk to the right people to achieve maximum visibility”. At this point the interviewer poses the big question: “You’ve been part of it yourself, why?”.

To me, the reply is actually a valuable piece of information. It’s an opportunity to learn something about the minds of those incomprehensible space aliens queuing at the doors of Stureplan’s bars on Saturday nights, long after I’ve gone to sleep. Why are they there? What do they seek?

“Everybody knows that Stureplan is where the celebrities and the expensive designer handbags are. It’s the place where champagne records are broken, and where sports stars mingle with royalty.”

Celebrities. Designer handbags. Champagne. Sports stars. Royalty. I just want to say one thing to these people: “You mindless vapid boring distasteful morons”.

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Comments

  1. #1 Rebecca Clayton
    October 23, 2007

    And to think you just accused us old folks of being boring! Nice companion piece to your previous post.

  2. #2 eleanora
    October 23, 2007

    Oh dear, I don’t know whether to laugh or cringe. The way you’ve described it sounds tragically like the environment I grew up in, with a few minor differences. My father was on the city council when I was a kid and into my teens, so we went to a lot of civic functions.
    Ostentation – yes.
    Celebrities – yes.
    Designer handbags – yes.
    Champagne – yes.
    Sports stars and Royalty swap for businessmen, politicians and wealthy family dynasties.
    Swap the rock and heavy metal for quiet classical in the background, and pickup lines for business chatter.

    And no, I never “got” the clubbing scene either, it’s too noisy to talk, and too smokey to breathe, and I was never into picking up strangers.

  3. #3 Titus
    October 24, 2007

    Interesting, but you do know that there are far more workers partying at Stureplan than in Södermalm? Sometimes that romanticized part of town is not recognized for what it really is; a haven for upper middle class. Period.

  4. #4 geez
    October 24, 2007

    Overall this comes off as amazingly judgemental. Yes, clubs are maybe for the younger set, and to see and be seen. But a lot of people myself included also went in our youth to dance, to relax, to dress up, to do something different. The live music, whether DJ or band, was a big part of that, and yet you completely left that out. The fact that you make it clear you never ‘got’ it, doesn’t give you the right to pass judgement on an entire activity or group of people. I don’t get why people rock-climb but I’m not going to write a whole post about my ignorant assumptions about it.

    Is this entire post really about a little tabloid absurdity? Or maybe it’s really a chance to vent your defensiveness?

  5. #5 Sávon
    October 25, 2007

    Hallo!
    I think I must defend Martins opinion about that special place in Stockholm. He writes: “I’d feel more out of place than around 2 am at Stockholm’s night-club ground zero, the little square of Stureplan. Here you’ll see stock brokers and hardened criminals snorting coke and drinking champagne with scantily clad 18-y-o blondes in the wee hours.”

    Things has happened with girls from there, which have recently been even to court… It is not just like any place you go out to, to have a NICE time.

  6. #6 Martin R
    October 26, 2007

    Geez, I have no doubt that it would be nice to have a conversation with you. But I also do not doubt that I’d appreciate it more were you sober and not trying to pick up girls at the time, and were the noise level less than what is typical in a night club. You seem defensive on the subject of your club-going youth. I am defensive on the subject of my non-clubbing entire life.

    As for live music, I like it a lot.

  7. #7 Jonathan Jarrett
    October 26, 2007

    “Everybody knows that Stureplan is where the celebrities and the expensive designer handbags are. It’s the place where champagne records are broken, and where sports stars mingle with royalty.”

    Celebrities. Designer handbags. Champagne. Sports stars. Royalty. I just want to say one thing to these people: “You mindless vapid boring distasteful morons”.

    I have to say, Martin, it all just seems like peer review to me :-)

    I mainly see clubs as a too-rare chance to dance these days. Unfortunately clubs playing what I like to dance to are even rarer.

  8. #8 Martin R
    October 26, 2007

    Am I understanding you correctly here, Jon: your typical comment on a manuscript when performing peer-review is “You mindless vapid boring distasteful moron”? Quite right, it’s no more than they deserve, bloody submitters!

  9. #9 kai
    October 27, 2007

    And after a heavy week of language reviewing I just want to point out that you have mixed numbers in your title–it should be either “Upscale night clubber, wherefore art thou?” or “Upscale night clubbers, wherefore are you?”

  10. #10 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    October 28, 2007

    Around the time I turned forty, I made a friend who was about 10 years younger than I was. (yes, he is still 10 years younger, I know.)

    He always made it his goal to “Get me laid” as much as I tried to explain to him that clubbing was not my way of getting some. Like you, I was always uncomfortable with the noise. How to impress a female with rapier wit when you need to shout? Couldn’t do it.

    So, I never adapted to the clubbing milieu, either. If I want to go out and be social I would rather go to a corner bar where people talk to each other. My friend’s larger circle included many who went to the clubs nearly every night, and I couldn’t see it. I would rapidly die of boredom.

    But that’s projecting my interests on them, I guess. Perhaps fancy handbags, celebrities and the like fill some social need that I just don’t have.

  11. #11 Martin R
    October 29, 2007

    Kai: really? How embarassing! I’ll let the headline stand as a reminder of my abasement.

    Mike: sounds like we’re on the same page. I’d like to add that it’s also hard to learn whether a woman has any wit herself if she can only communicate by shouting.

  12. #12 Enkla Z
    October 30, 2007

    hahaha

    Regarding Stureplan…..A capitol MUST have more than one square and MORE than around five nightclubs. What is that, Stureplan? A small village?

    I live in the south of Sweden and only know about it as a street in the boardgame Monopoly.

  13. #13 susan
    May 21, 2008

    In cameroon EACH PROVINCE HAS MORE THAN 50 BARS AND NIGHT CLUBS.

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