Hang the DJs, #9

Fall, 2014

Julia, lovely Julia, who is quieter and smarter and better than all of us, joins Lauren and me at Pappelreihe. Lauren leaves a few minutes later. Julia asks what we were talking about.

Me: Techno, again. Though I think maybe what’s actually interesting about it is the ways in which people defend their pleasures by accusing you of being incapable of appreciating them. That maybe the essay should be about that, and not about techno at all.

Julia asks what I mean. I try to explain. I fail. I wonder if it is my German, my thinking, her. Though the last seems unlikely.

Julia: Maybe you need to explain your theory about techno to me again.

I tell her that Lauren and I were talking about the Berghain, and states of surveillance, about illusory liberation, about critical versus intoxicated states of reception.

Julia: I think you need to differentiate between the Berghain and underground clubs. Smaller clubs don’t have security personnel in plainclothes.

Me: Sure. But there are still mechanisms of social control in clubs. It’s not like everyone gets everything they want there all the time. And it’s not as though they wouldn’t be stopped if they tried to take it.

Julia: But that’s an argument against everything, all the time.

I wanted to say: “Yes, exactly! But most of the time, we know that.” Cf. Freud, Rousseau, the Bible.