Things Die In Jo’burg

Why does going out in Jo’burg mean constant moving, shaking and abandoning things?

If you’ve been going out in Jo’burg for the last few years, you may have noticed the swift turnover of crowds and customers at your favourite venue. It seems as if each new area, and its accompanying hangouts at first draw large subcultural crowds, only to eventually be plagued by the masses, then abandoned by everyone. Almost every club, clique and bar falls out of favour as its audience either abandons pretense, or embraces some new one.

In a recent trip to Cape Town, I was taken to various clubs and bars that have been present in the Mother City for a decade or more. Most of them were institutionalized years ago by a growing and developing customerbase. Conversely, here in the Father City, I have seen crowds drift like gypsies from Melville to Greenside, and from Greenside to Newtown. And there’s no sign of stopping this grand pilgrimage of “cool”.

Maybe in our fast paced and technologically educated society, this has something to do with our desire for discovery. Whereas our ancestors still had new discoveries to make, and an orgasmic sense of euphoria to accompany them, we receive new information on a second-by-second basis and marvel at nothing. Our subconscious seems unwilling to accept our inability to find new things, sending us trekking back and forth across the city in search of something – anything – new.

Ask Yourself:
Was Isaac Newton a hipster?
I mean, this is the guy who “discovered” gravity and then had a bunch of followers in science coutour.

Adam & Eve had the apple. Hell, so did Newton. Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the American continent, and Abraham found God in his own head. All of these are revolutionary moments in history and mythology, and we acknowledge these people as the original celebrities of lore and legend. People today are marketing conscious and trend-driven; everyone wants, deep inside themselves, to be recognized and adored by the people around them about as much as they shine the spotlight on the cave paintings in tabloids. The kids are screaming “We’re not alright” the only way they’ve learned how: by not slowing down.

And then there’s the spectre of South Africa’s history, hanging strongly over this Voortrekker’s city. Moving at the speed that we do, we find little time to enjoy one another’s cultures, choosing instead to riot against one another. As soon as one strong subculture encounters another, Jo’burg vibrates with a repellent charge, forcing the two apart. Our thoughts of crime and death see us fearfully aware of the brevity of our lives.

And with mortality on our minds, perhaps that’s why the youth of Century 21 have let things die in Jo’burg?

One Response to “Things Die In Jo’burg”
  1. Ivan The Burninator says:

    Cape Town is tiny, Johannesburg is enormous. I miss the scale of the place. One of the best things about these established places in CT is that even though they may appear somewhat dingy, the sound is awesome and its setup to operate as a venue, I think, far more professionally than in GP.

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