Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Proposed Ettiquette Rules For One Night Stands,

One Night Stands Suck. Or rather, One Night Stands themselves don't suck; it is the emotional fall out, which inevitably occurs (unless you are completely dead inside) after one.

Existential Angst and Sex are my favourite topics of discussion. As is reading about Existential Angst and Sex and writing about Existential Angst and Sex. The book I am currently writing is nothing but Existential Angst and Sex; however I have been forced to cut a lot of the smut out, on account of my fear that it was turning into some younger, scummier Punk version of Sex and The City, which is set in London rather than NYC, or the literary version of a Dandy Warhols Song. I don't like either of these options, I fucking hate Chick Lit. I am way too angry to write something that makes me look human. I want my book to make people feel like crap when they read it, not enjoy themselves.

For the past few weeks, for some reason, the topic of One Night Stands has been discussed a lot amongst various acquaintances of mine, and the general consensus of opinion is; One Night Stands Suck. With the exception of one or two cases, the results of the opinion poll of people-in-their-20s-who-know-Felicity-in-some-capacity is; One Night Stands Are Awful; the day after and to a lesser extent, the following week, are dominated by a general feeling of self loathing, guilt, resentment towards the other person, and depression. All that lovely stuff.

To clarify what the term "One Night Stand" means. I am not talking about the situation in which you have (usually drunken) sex with a person in your acquaintance, who you already know beforehand, and continue to speak to afterwards, with an added bonus of awkwardness and sexual tension. This is fine. Not to over share or anything, but I have erm, some experience with this, and the worst thing about it, is the sense of childish embarrassment, the first time you see the other person, which is actually quite sweet, and usually dissipates very quickly.

No, when I say "One Night Stand" I am talking of the much darker cousin of the
situation I have just described. It is when you pick up a total stranger somewhere (e.g. a bar or club) that you have had no prior knowledge of, or a formal introduction, and you wind up having (usually drunken) sex with, then never see again after this encounter.

In theory, this should be fine. Some people (I am one of them) have a natural aversion to the whole "relationships" thing. People should be able to have angst free sex with strangers, should the mood take them, and feel good about the whole thing afterwards. However, it doesn't work that way.

The best song ever (to my knowledge) to be written about One Night Stands is "Leave Before The Lights Come On" by The Arctic Monkeys. One of the lines is "How can you wake up, with someone you don't love and not feel slightly phased by it?" I personally don't believe in the concept of "love" as expressed in this song, but I agree with the sentiment. In my opinion (although for artistic reasons it blatantly couldn't be this) the line should read "How can you wake up, with someone you don't know, and have no desire to, whilst being brutally aware that they feel exactly the same way about you, and are desperately planning how to get them out of your house/get out of their house with the least stress possible, oh yeah and you also have to navigate a stinking hangover/comedown whilst doing this?"

I have experienced two genuine One Night Stands in my life, both in the immediate aftermath of a 5 year relationship. My memories of both of these events are dominated by what happened the next day. Gentleman Friend A; fucked off at 8am claiming he "had something important to do" which obviously made me feel great about myself. Gentleman Friend B; on the other hand, stuck around until 6pm the next day, when I was forced by my hangover to walk him to the DLR Station and pay his train fare, just to get him to fuck off and leave me in peace, so I could recover. Both these events were unpleasant, and not ones that I wish to repeat, but pale in comparison to the really nasty experiences of a female friend of mine, who is as beautiful, intelligent and nice as a person can be, and told me of some extremely shitty treatment by One Night Stands, I wont divulge the details, but I was fucking horrified that anyone could treat a friend of mine in such a blatantly evil way, and it was this horror that lead me to write this Blog (that, and the fact I haven't been able to write one for a while, because I have been too busy, and I miss writing them).

Anyways, if (as I state) there is nothing wrong with One Night Stands in theory, however the general aftermath of them is unpleasant/horrific, then there needs to be a set of ground-rules/etiquette established in order to make them as easy as possible for the people involved.

I have a whole heap of theories about why One Night Stands are so dysfunctional (all long, drawn out Socio Political Ones, which I cant be arsed writing, and you wont be arsed reading) however I think practical steps can me taken by the people involved in order to stop the repercussions of One Night Stands adding to the general pool of misery that ruins the human condition.

Most forms of "Alternative Sexuality" are based very strongly on ground rules. They have to be, otherwise there would be a total shit-storm around them. One Night Stands are a form of alternative sexuality, but the people who have them often don't realise this, and as a result, do not know how to behave.

There are three reasons that people feel the need to act the twat on the morning after a One Night Stand.

1; Is through fear that the other person may think that said One Night Stand is going to morph into a monogamous relationship; this is ridiculous (but yet again, there are exceptions to this) however I strongly believe that this fear is the basis for a lot of twattish behaviour.

2, Is through fear that the other person totally regrets the whole experience, and loathes them as a result. Yet again, this is a valid reason for acting the twat.

3, Guilt and self loathing. You have just had sex with someone you have only just met, and this is really sleazy! What would your parents/ex girlfriend/The Pope think? YOU ARE SUBHUMAN!

To deal with these issues in a civilized way. I propose a suggestion that I think would solve all of the issues that arise after One Night Stands.

One of the people involved (I suggest the person whose house it is that they have stayed at) treats the other person in the same way as they would treat any friend that has stayed the night. They make them a cup of tea, tell them the best way to get home, and get rid of them at a respectable hour. The other person doesn't misinterpret this niceness as an attempt at starting a relationship. Rather they realise it is just an attempt at avoiding drama and appreciate it.

At some point the next day one of the people (it could be either of them) says something along the lines of

"I am really pleased I have met you, because I feel that last night we shared something special. I can't get involved with anyone at the moment, because I (INSERT FEASIBLE EXPLANATION HERE) but it would be nice if we could stay in touch, so if you give me a phone number/email address I will contact you in a few weeks (not too soon, because it would be weird) to see how you are, and if we are capable of forming a friendship"

You see. It is that simple. There is a very high chance that this person will never become a serious presence in your life. However, there is no reason that you cannot incorporate them into your wider circle made up of ex-co-workers, housemates, and school freinds etc, e.g. people you have civil dealings with, but are very much on the back-burner of people you know. I am sure that a conversation like this would go a long way towards preventing any sort of emotional fall-out occurring. And you never know, you might actually wind up making a new friend as a result.

If on the other hand, you have just had sex with someone you genuinely loathe and believe that you are incapable of having the vaguest of dealings with in the future, then there is something really wrong with you. You should get this sorted, seriously. But for the rest of the population, I really think this is a good idea, because it would save people a lot of angst and trauma, which has to be a good thing.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Rude Awakening


The telephonic shrill
urgents me
blearily into dawn.

Discomfited I roll
myself across
a seeming endless


set foot
on an insecure floor,
retrieve the handset

and receive
a droning earful.

Bliss was it in that dawn
to be asleep,
to be awakened serves

to remind oneself
they’re far from heaven.

Malcolm Evison
4 August 2007

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Go Team "Stalkers" (the full story!)

The past few months of my life, I have been working towards the mini-tour that Brooklyn "Gutter Rockers" (As "Time Out" described them) made of The UK, the first time they visited Fair Albion this April.

It has been an extremely interesting period of my life, and has been oddly emotional at times. This is largely to do with the fact that I am a total pessimist and have managed to cry
"Oh fuck, this thing is about to go tits up at any minute" at least once a week about the project, but also owing to the more enjoyable aspects of this, some of which fulfilling a number of adolescent Rock & Roll fantasies, I have harboured, like going into NME Head Offices for the first time to talk about "Stalkers" or just the sheer kick of hanging out with a rock band from New York whilst wearing Converse All Stars.
You see, I grew up in Southport in Merseyside, which isn't exactly the hippest of towns, (See the Morrissey Video for "Every Day Is Like Sunday" for a reasonably accurate representation of my formative years) so you can imagine how all this might have been quite awe inspiring for a Woolyback like me.

Anyways. the whole "Stalkers" Project started when their manager Dave Allen, (a rather interesting chap, who I had been conversing with over Myspace , for quite a while about his theories about Art and Music) was in London for a visit last November, so I offered to give him a tour of the recently re-launched Tate Modern where I work. Characteristically, (and excessive whisky consumption will prove to be a bit of a theme during this story), he and myself wound up drinking several glasses of Jack Daniels and Coke in the Tate Members Room whilst I drunkenly confessed to a slightly embarrassing fondness for his fellow New Yorkers "The Strokes" (I have a crush on Albert Hammond Jr, this is rather sad, but at least its not Brad Pitt or someone! ) and he replied (or something to this effect) "Well I know of a New York Indie Band that you might like then, called "Stalkers"" at this point, I believe I started giggling uncontrollably about the bands name (clever/tasteless band names do make me laugh, I am also friends with a band called "The $hit", this name never tires me!) I then exclaimed "They SO need to come to London! I'll get 'em gigs!"

You see, at the time, I had just enjoyed a brief stint as the manager of a Psychedelic Band called "They Came From the Stars, I Saw Them" and I had also recently dated a couple of guys in two London Indie bands (not at the same time, and I feel I must state here, that for the record, I am NOT A GROUPIE, I just happened to go out with a couple of musicians, I mean I am by trade and qualification, A Conceptual Video Artist,so who do you expect me to date, an investment banker???) and I had quite a vast knowledge of the London Toilet Circuit, so this wasn't just the drink talking, my offer was genuine, and I was already making mental notes about what venues I would approach over this.

However, from this point, strange machinations seem to occur. Over in New York, Dave met Pat Long, the sub editor of NME, they got on, and he urged me to go into the NME Offices with some "Stalkers" press pre-release EPs.

This was now January, and I had yet to properly listen to "Stalkers" (I am Electro Girl, after all) but I spent a day or so, listening to one of these EPs, in order to familiarise myself with it, then the next day, what do you know? but I found myself humming "Lets Get It Together" on the bus! This filled me with hope, because it brought to mind some advice given to me, by my mum's friend about music; this was

"If people can whistle it, you have got yourself a hit!" So into NME I went, feeling confident about the band I was plugging and believed myself, when I told Pat Long, (rather succinctly)"Yes, "Stalkers" are very very good indeed".

Anyways, from this point "Project Stalkers" entered the public domain, they got a fair bit of mainstream press coverage, they started being heard on the radio, and if you, dear reader, wish to check any of this, it can be Googled very easily, so I don't need to bore you with all of this on here, but I will carry on with my personal reflections on the "Stalkers" Tour itself.

If we fast-forward to April 10th 2007 (the day "Stalkers" arrive in the UK AND MY 27th BIRTHDAY!) Myself and Adam BRUT (my friend, and the chap who helped organise, along with his colleagues; Warren and Kim BRUT, the last gig of the "Stalkers" Tour, "TURBOFEST") went to collect a very tired but nontheless, highly strung band and their manager from Heathrow Airport.
However I don't remember too much about this day, as I was presented with a bottle of Jack Daniels by Adam (it being my birthday and all) which we all (The band, Dave Allen and Adam) proceeded to drink at 10am on the tube back to London, and after we had settled all the band in round at Adam's house, him and myself (having got the taste for it) continued drinking, well into the afternoon, and what with me being a size 8, and not having eaten anything all day, this probably wasn't my best move! My last coherent memory of that day, was of my ordering an Aftershock at some bar in Hackney, then after that, nothing, it's just a vaguelly recalled black hole, until the next morning.

Mind you, I don't beat myself up too much about this, I mean it was my 27th Birthday! This being the ROCK STAR YEAR OF DEATH, it was bound to take me in a rather odd way!

Memories of Alcoholic Blackouts aside; The next day, "Stalkers" played their debut UK Gig at "The Buffalo Bar" Islington. I was there in attendance, though feeling rather worse for wear. I recall giving "evils" to the guy from "Towers Of London" who was also there and I dislike (I didn't "get" "The Darkness and I don't "get" them!) other than that, it wasn't massively eventful. The place was full of industry types, so I had to behave, and it wasn't much fun, although I did take this rather fetching photo.

April 12th was The "Stalkers" support slot with "The Horrors" in Southend, which I decided not to attend. I felt really drained by the whole experience that day, plus I had recently learned that "The Horrors" themselves had been students at Rugby Public School, so every left wing fibre in my body, couldn't let me go there and be nice to "The Horrors" despite their amazing haircuts. I am notorious for being shallowly obsessed with people's hair, so I found it reassuring to realise I had some standards that can over-ride this!

April (Friday!) 13th was "Stalkers" Gig at KOKO at Club NME in Camden. This was a very strange one, indeed. I decided that I didn't want to go backstage at all, I wanted to watch the band in the company of the crowd, them being the potential audience of "Stalkers" after all. I felt weird, though. All those kids reminded me of teenage versions of myself, it made me feel old, but in a good way, like I was relieved that my past life as an Indie Kid was behind me. Plus, it was fun seeing "Stalkers" play on such a big stage. I had watched MCR play a gig at KOKO on TV the night before (When I should have been at "The Horrors" show) so i felt a strange rush of almost maternal pride to see "my boys" (how I have affectionately come to think of them) playing there too. I also took some good photos, one of which you can see here. The "Stalkers" are (from left to right) Ryan, Andy, Danny, Josh (the drummer) and Tristan. At some point, Danny waved at me, I gave a peace sign in return, it felt nice.

Here, we move onto April 14th, which was the "Stalkers" final gig and the one I was mainly looking forward to. You see, it was organised with my friend Adam Smith/BRUT and his Art Project/Entertainments Company "TURBOBRUT", plus it was in Shoreditch, my preferred stomping ground (yes, I am Nathan Barley!) and there was a photo of me and Adam on the flyer, the concept of which, (devised by Adam) is a "lady being stalked" yeah I know its a crappy pun, but we thought it was funny, so here it is.
The whole thing panned out like some sort of unofficial Tate Employees Party; so many of my friends were there (which is quite an unusual occurrence in London, where there seems to be so many things to do, that you never find yourself in the same place as loads of people you know) A strange combination of my old supervisor from Tate Britain and my housemates were managing the door, it was like a fun "Stalkers" based cottage industry!
I didn't get any photos of the last "Stalkers" Gig, with good reason (which I will go into later). Although my friend Stephen Hoffman, did manage to take a bunch of photos of me with each of the members of "Stalkers" my favourite being this one of myself and Tristan Stalker as we are both actually SMILING on it! At the "Stalkers" Gig, we all ended up (amongst other similarly Grungy things) moshing. pogoing (I was wearing heels! I am Courtney Love!) and throwing/spitting (!) the free beer that TURBOBRUT kindly provided for the event over each other! Adam was even STAGE DIVING! This was the first mosh pit I have been involved in, for at least 10 years, and after the fierce bruises I found on myself, the next day, i daresay it will be the last, but it was loads of fun, nonetheless (interestingly enough, the most violent members of this mosh pit, were myself and my fellow Gallery Assistants! We are normally such a sedate bunch, next time you are in an art gallery check out the idiot in uniform sleeping in the corner, s/he may look comatose, but you don't know what they have been up to the night before!)

Anyways, after this, in dribs and drabs "Stalkers" and their manager gradually went home to Brooklyn, it was a funny old time alright, and I have mixed feelings about it being over, (part sadness and part relief, that it didnt, in fact "all go tits up") However they are all coming back to The UK in August, so who knows what strange events we have ahead of us!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Friday, 13 April 2007

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Stalkers UK Debut Gig

At the moment, my life is quite interesting because I am involved in the centre of a media circus that is revolving around the New York Rock Band "Stalkers". Last night, they played their first ever gig in the UK at The Buffalo Bar in Islington, London. It was one of the strangest gigs I have ever attended, as there was more A&R types there than actual "real" people, all of whom were either sucking up to one and other or eyeing each other up nervously. I was happy to see NME sub editor, Pat Long there, who i now know pretty well and appears to be one of the good blokes, but other than this, myself and all the Stalkers boys seemed rather bemused by the whole thing. One of the strangest events of the night, was some photographer chap, who has worked for Italian Vogue and has photographed supermodel Lilly Cole, really sucking up to me, in the hope of doing a shoot with me. For fucks sake, I am not a proper model, I haven't even been made a Suicide Girl officially yet, this was really weird! Anyways Stalkers are playing a few more gigs this week, and I am mainly looking forward to TURBOFEST as it is being organised by some close friends of mine, so it should be keeping it real, a bit more than the shenanigans of last night, that said it is in Shoreditch and is being organised by a tribe of conceptual artist, so I wonder just how disassociated with the "real" world I have become of late!