Thursday, June 12, 2008
memento mori or carpe diem?
Have been writing on the chapter about one of my favorite timeframes, the period between 1977 and 1983. Perhaps because I lived through it so consciously, I enjoy reading and writing about it. It was quite a job getting the turbulent happenings during the period, from Punk to Disco, from squatter to Yup into a coherent piece of text. But 26 pages further, I think I can just about oversee this autumn timefame. Like most autumns, it starts when people in the summer timeframe begin to take so much personal space that everybody stands on eachother toes: conflict! Frustration! Polarisation! In the end, polarisation takes two distinct paths: Memento Mori (endings, pessimism and nihilism) versus Carpe Diem (hedonism, dance like there's no tomorrow, opportunism). It's interesting to see that punk and disco each occupy one side of this coin, and so do Yuppies and Squatters (very big in the eighties in Holland). Punk and squatters stepped out of society, disco and yup milked it for what it was worth. Both, however, did not invest, perhaps for the right.. Ofcourse, in the end, both gave way to the simpleness of the winter timeframe, starting around 1983. Must say, in those days, my brain was Memento Mori, but my feet felt like Carpe Diem. I have always been a little dualistic. I can still remember dancing in the Fizz in Amsterdam in 1982, where all Dead Can Dance and Cure (two depri-groups) fans danced around, all in black, hair painted black and combed into an explosion, white faces, black clothes with long sleeves, and their hands clasping those sleeves for security. They danced around like wounded ravens, with their faces always on the floor, never looking up. I loved the music, but I never felt like a complete fit. For one thing, I kept looking up and around. Well, I was wearing red, yellow and blue anyway, in those days. Hey, they were polarized years and I did my bit!