The Sea

So, we went to see Alt-J at the Heineken Music Hall. Pause, yes, location. It should have set off the first alarm but somehow amidst my heightened excitement, I managed to miss this warning. Note, next time, pay attention to location. Anyway, what I am more curious about is what was it that triggered this acute state of excitement in the first place? Perhaps it was the promise of an insta-feel good – the white flag waving to demarcate a little plot of solid land amidst disorienting depths in  yet another unknown Ocean (otherwise known as Office).

Lost at sea is actually a recurring environment I seem to find myself swimming in frequently, in dreams. But it’s not the pleasant blue sea in the day time image you have in mind, which the word “sea” seems to associate with. “Ah, the Sea, sounds sooo nice.” No. These are dark waters; a black ocean at night, no depth, no shores, waves high as monuments, nothing in sight and no way to measure anything.  The feeling? Lost in endlessness – its overwhelming. Humans need a point of reference to start creating an ecosystem, without one you are lost. Thanks Nadim for providing the image of those fish who congregated around the bouy and started to create their ecosystem, when they dropped you off in Thailand to scuba dive into the free ocean waters. You needed that bouy for reference, otherwise you would get lost. Seems like the fish needed it too.Is my sub conscience trying to tell be something?

Anyway, so back to that little white flag – that point of reference – hearing the name Alt-J from my over excited colleague seemed to spark. Insta-feel goodness came over, catapulting me right out of office stress. This is how stuff gets sold today. It’s that insta-factor. Feeling confused, alone, in despair, everything wrong,  big bad world? Click here. TING, its insta! the trigger, like sugar. All  worry is insta-forgotten, a few seconds of exhilarating high, promise of pleasure, numb happiness. Taro!!!!  – I REALLY liked that song. Insta. Sold. Who cared if I only really knew one of their songs. This is how branding works. It’s word of mouth – say the name enough times and you are convinced it’s worth it. That’s also how stuff gets sold today, via IRND (Incessantly Reiterated Name Dropping). Moreover, Bianca said she bought her tickets way back in September. Wow, that’s dedicated. I sort of envied such loyalty, Why did I never really develop any obsessive tendencies for music, why was I not one of those crazy fans? It’s actually quite rare that I feel those internal pangs of fanaticism, so rare that I don’t think it ever happened to me before. Usually I feel numb, indifferent.  For live bands I mean. (There are plenty of other obsessive tendencies which make up for that).

But anyway, so I decided there and then that I should invest in two tickets, as a special treat for my visiting friend. Of course the spontaneity of it all added to the process. And the fact that tickets were sold out long before. BUT, market opportunity – Bianca told me of this new website called Swap something where you can apparently still get tickets. People sell their unwanted ones right up to a few mins before the show. I logged on. Crazy how it’s all electronic. There’s no real money anymore. It’s just a constant + or – in your balance online. Just like Casino. I was insta-hooked, determined to score us two tickets, even if they seemed slightly over the original asking price. Commissions, calculations – all that flew straight out as the chase for tickets took over like some mad hunt for that forbidden high. I have to admit I felt pretty bad spending 30 mins instead of what I thought would take 3 to hunt these tickets down. How will I Timetrack this?? From Jan we are time tracking all Office activity now, every 8 hours of it, daily. I time track that I time track. Excruciating Guilt took over. Thats it, this would be my lunch break. But bait finally hooked (who the hell is the bait tickets or I?!?) and in the extacy of YES, I FOUND TWO,  I overpaid a total of 19 euros. Original tickets were 35, + something, + something else on top, in the end it ended up being 89 euros. Fyi – I only understood this later.

In the heat of the moment, the Casino effect ecosystem around it distracted me from any sort of reasoning. Clearly I was focusing on the win, not the amount. And guess what, I won, as probably did so many others. In the space of about 30 mins and a lot of excited stress, I had two tickets to go see this band, of who I only knew one song. Ok, breathe, I thought,its fine, you can still sell those bloody tickets, on that Swap thing, its ok. Besides, Irina would be excited, she loves music.

It made me happy to think she would be super excited about this. Or at least she would have reacted like this 5 years ago. But now she was like – Oook. I started to doubt my carelessness insta. Should I re sell these overpriced tickets – that Swap website is still there…? No, let’s go it will be fun. Where is it? Heineken Music Hall  – Ok…

I mean what did I expect? So we get there, and it looks like every other artificially constructed music venue / entertainment sell out center out there. A lifeless incubating machine. The sight of it really got to me. I felt so sad, and at the same time so disgusted at myself for buying into this whole system, is this what has become of me? I needed a drink. Inside you could not pay cash. In Amsterdam they actually do not like to use cash anymore, its a thing of the past and it is not environmentally friendly – hello, paper!! … Yes, kinda weird, alien like? Well, just makes things seem much less human, but maybe I am just a closet conservative who is not reacting to the newest developments well. But still. Instead of coins they distributed “Munten”. These “Munten” made me very uneasy. More so because it was another trick to get your money. So it worked like this. Like at a Casino, you went to the automat, inserted your card and swapped your money for these silver coins, but not at a 1:1 ratio. No. 20 euros got me 14 “Munten”. Some others invested 100 euros and got 70 “Munten” back. They tragically rained down. It’s a total rip off the Casino system, in fact its not even a rip off, its just lazy. The real tragedy is that its so obvious but people are still buying into it. Why? Does it make them feel good, or just insta-good? So I got my “Munten” and feeling slightly annoyed for being so obviously ripped off, went straight into the next trap; the cocktail bar. In my state of despair of a) having brought my friend to this awfully soulless place and b) having been totally ripped off left and right, I needed to numb my regret in what seemed like the drink that made most sense – a good Cosmopolitan.

Really, do you think they will actually make good ones here?

I should have listened to you, Irina. This sour stuff consisting mostly of chemicals ended up costing me 6 “Munten”. (And obviously no cocktail glass, just a weedy plastic cup.)

You see the boards with prices in “Munten”look like Euros from a far, because everything is designed to look just like in a bar, except one thing, the “Munten” have replaced the Euros. This was probably work done with physchologists. The evil oozing from the whole place, the scheming of how to get your money, it nauseated me. So what did I decide to do? Get pizza. 3 “Munten” for a Salami slice. The most tasteless pizza slice which obviously made me even more dissastifed and hungry but I refused to keep giving into this evilness I now found myself right in the middle of. Thank god Irina had some life in her bag prepared. Like a deep sea diver who just resurfaced back from deep waters, I hungrily attacked her pumpkin seed and nuts – finally something alive. This is how the Organic Industry makes its millions now – fast food has so completely deoxygenated us, Organic is the only sane way out. But straight back it plunges us into consumer depths. Thriving off the endlessness of people’s desires. How sick, but lets get back. I still have left over “Munten”, and no way were they going towards another sickly Cosmo. Lets try the wine, it seemed like the most simple thing on offer. Of course it tasted like colored toilet water. I wasted to cry. I mean what the hell is the point of anything anymore if everything is designed with such lazy greed, that we are sold such rubbish to keep the dissatisfaction growing – why be kept constantly dissatisfied, what kind of sick people are doing this and why? What ever happened to authenticity? Yes, I know, Location. But still, hello – world?!

Are these other thousand people around, really loving it there, in this lifeless incubator postered Heineken green? The whole place is designed to lure its clients in to sell them sick stuff. How is this any better than those battery farms or those ducks force fed fat? Its worse in fact, the animals are forced, they have no choice – whereas our species came here willingly, or did they?

Ok so time for the brand, sorry, band. I could not really pay much attention to their music in such conditions. But maybe it was their music which also made me yawn. All I could feel was empathy felt for the band. Last night in Paris, today in Amsterdam, tomorrow who knows where, they probably don’t. Muppets of the system. And there they were, amidst those terrible laser lights – could they see anything? The whole time I wondered how they felt up there on stage, alienated front the crowd which came to watch them. Dissected by the lasers. They did not appear to own the stage, the stage owned them. Like a massive church – its colossal size – ultimate control – they just little priests of this new religion, Consumption, fulfilling their preacher roles.  And the thousands of hypnotized worshipping heads before them. I wasn’t sure what hypnotized them more, the band,t he lasers or the whole machinery of it – which started off with sound of  “Alt-J”  employing the IRND method.

So how was the concert? The music? Meh, no comment really, nothing stuck or moved, numb. The best part? Irina and I both admitted at how glad we were that we sat down. An thank god we did because we had access to the most astounding view – the sea of heads.  I really enjoyed the sea of heads in front of me, mesmerized, they swayed together from side to side. It seemed that in that moment they found their point of reference. Their light. I wonder how, if at all, they were feeling – this human concert?

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One response to “The Sea

  1. Beautiful imagery. Love your mix of space and sea. Defining your own space is so important – but not easy in a foreign world. Thank you for writing this

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