You’ve seen the headlines. A journalist goes into detail about an orgy that she participated in. Suddenly her article appears on Salon. Perhaps someone at The Guardian wants to tell you how great MDMA is. If the stars align and the journo, for a moment, feels a little self-aware about just how drole he/she/it is, they just ramp it up and start literally chugging down semen while blogging every disgusting detail (VICE is obsessed with body fluid drinking in particular).
If I were a teenager now, reading these types of articles would make me want to go to church.
What we are seeing is the Stepford Wives version of Party Monster. How did these stories about sex and drugs become so, well, vanilla? When did our experiences, as teenagers and young adults, become clickbait for the milquetoast crowd? There are 454 pages of drug articles on VICE alone.
For many of us who partied when we were younger, we never thought to write about our experiences online. We carpooled for miles to get to renegade outdoor festivals. We walked through bad neighborhoods to attend punk shows in basements where 20 local bands would play 5 minute sets. Some of us produced these events on ourselves. We never dreamed that any of this would be “newsworthy.” We were simply doing our thing.
The way clickbait sites have turned our rebellious lifestyles into a feature is pretty grating. After all, we partied to get away from the mainstream. If a member of the press were to attend our events, we were ready to kick them out. We kept our events private, and this is what made them unique. Many of us went to these parties because we had nowhere else to go, after all. We went from location to location in order to find these secret spots. We eventually found them by catching the other cars that were as lost as we were. We set up our own sound systems in the middle of the woods. We were lucky if we didn’t get busted by the cops, and the best parties always did.
The phenomena that I call “mainstream libertinism” is something to be suspicious about.
Bold sexual acts that were once seen as taboo and provocative are now seen as basic entertainment. Where is the kink in that? Where is the thrill?
These people are trying to sound like Hunter S. Thomson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Instead, they sound like Oprah Winfrey if she were trying to reenact Fifty Shades of Grey. Their articles attract nerds who didn’t get out much when they were younger, and so live vicariously through the gentrification of the scenes that we created. The sacred is now profane, and we are sick of reading about it.
Nobody cares about your sex and drugs. We don’t care about how kinky your sex was or how hard your trip was. You are merely displaying how mainstream libertinism has become a plague. You are going to accidentally turn everyone into a straight edge activist. A libertinism that is commonplace is not libertinism at all. If you have to hire a journalist to go to a party, maybe you are doing it wrong. Why not experience the “story” from a first person perspective? It’s like the tourist who never sits down to talk to the locals. How can they truly claim to have traveled?
Not everything needs to be documented, and some things are better when they are not documented at all. It is important to remember when these parties weren’t so damn newsworthy. It was like living in our own little world. We were untouchable by the mainstream press, and we loved it that way. We never wanted our lives to become clickbait. There was a raw power in throwing and attending events that didn’t get any airtime. The more that journalists wrote about these events, the more we felt like we were losing what made them so much fun.
I don’t understand why anyone would want to read about a party that they didn’t attend, (if you want vicarious living why not try VR?) so the point of these articles is lost on me. What I do understand is that mainstream libertinism would have the Marquis de Sade wanting to become a virgin now, full stop. His brain feasted on the art of taboo, and right now being a social conservative is considered taboo. This is why so many young people are becoming conservatives in order to rebel against their Baby Boomer parents. This is why the Paul Jones Watsonses insist that conservatism is the new counterculture.
The new generation has had it with liberalism. While some of their behavior is still a vulgar affair, their revulsion of boomers' treatment of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll is an obvious sign of things to come. Sex and drugs are no longer rebellious, as they are consistently thrown in our faces. Instead they are the norm, incessantly promoted by every media outlet and streaming service. They provide less excitement than going to a shooting range, at least in terms of cool points.
To make sex and drugs exciting again, these journalists would need to stop glorifying them on websites read by their Baby Boomer parents. Perhaps everyone could begin taking LSD at church as they worship Jesus, engaging in orgies in which everyone is easily identifiable as a man or a woman. Perhaps then, sex and drugs would take on a new life, and the cool kids would get back involved in the cesspit. I mean moshpit. Whatever.