Many on the left decry the resurgence of illiberalism in the age of President Trump. Social conservatism appears to have struck back against identity politics and so-called PC culture because, some say, liberals had long stopped making the arguments for them. The zeitgeist of the conservative right now espouses that they are in fact the victims of societal oppression, accusing progressives of denouncing them as bigots, or worse – silencing them when they attempt to exercise their freedom of speech.
I believe a similar parallel now exists between the disillusioned, incredulous normies who enjoy Park End on the one hand, and the reasonable, rational intelligentsia who rightly decry it as a crime against nature on the other. For too long my brethren have been labelled ‘belligerent’ and ‘patronising’ for deconstructing the cult of the VK. I can no longer sit on the side-lines in horror as our pleas to abscond from ATIK fall on deaf ears: now is the time for action. This is the case against Park End.
I shall start with the music. Except for the cheese floor (a matter I will address shortly), you can pigeonhole most of the songs in Park End (or indeed many other clubs) into two categories: (a) powerful man drinking, partying, and copulating, or (b) sexualised woman drinking, partying, and copulating. Not only do these songs employ mundane chord progressions and the vocabulary of a nine-year-old (interspersed with explicit langauge), they reinforce our hegemonic gender norms of hypermasculinity and sultry femininity. It encourages an atmosphere of irresponsibility and sleaze: one where you’re commended for drinking excessively, one where seeing others in terms of your own gratification is normalised, one where some deem inappropriate behaviour such as harassment permissible – although they’re not normally like that, they promise.
My beef with the cheese floor is entirely separate: nostalgia is toxic. There is a reason bands such as Fountains of Wayne (‘Stacy’s Mom’) and Wheatus (‘Teenage Dirtbag’) are not household names today – they epitomise the mediocrity of early 00’s pop music. Yet they’re still enjoyed (supposedly ironically) by individuals who want to hark back to times forgotten through the memories these songs evoke. Things seemed simpler when we were children. That’s because we were all too naïve to see the world for what it was, cozen into a false sense of security by the ignorance of youth. This, in my opinion at least, is not a state of mind we should fetishize or yearn to return to.
Not too long ago, an otherwise uneventful evening at Spoons was interrupted by a group of Teddy Hall boys resembling a sports team chanting “We are Keble and we hate women!” at the top of their lungs – presumably failing to see the irony that most of them were probably on the chirpse. They later ventured to the club. Forgive me, but I have better things to do with my time than frequent the same spot as a horde of ‘lads’ guilty of, at best, atrocious banter and, at worst, appalling misogyny. I recall my night ending with an anxiety attack – this is still my preferred outcome over a Park End trip.
Here are some quickfire points to round off my critique. Park End’s sanitation resembles the living conditions of the working class during the Industrial Revolution. I have eaten ice cream which is less vanilla than Park End. I have higher aspirations for a night out than getting binned at a crew date before sharking some girl I’m probably never going to speak to again.
The only valid reason to go to Park End – to be interviewed by me for Shark Tales – expired a year ago. If you’re planning on dying from alcohol poisoning, shouldn’t you at least try to enjoy it?