Decadence 4

Leftism is so-o last century.

But it has done its destructive work.

It has driven the Western world into a state of decay.

Ed Klein gives an example of what he justly considers a sign of decadence in the US:

If you have any doubt about the deleterious effect of our culture on the direction of our country and its politics, I invite you to visit the Guggenheim Museum on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

There, on the fifth floor, you will find a long line of people in front of a sign that says “There is a two-hour wait”.

What are these people waiting two hours for?

They are waiting to enter a small rest room that contains an 18-karat solid-gold toilet.

This gold toilet is the creation of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. He has labeled his installation “America”.

Yes, in one of our country’s leading cultural institutions, people are waiting on line for two hours to urinate and defecate into “America”. 

Maybe the time has not yet arrived for an American Gibbon to write a new Decline and Fall, but we are approaching the point of no return.

The failure of most pundits to recognize this reality prevented them from grasping the significance of the populist revolt that has swept across America and made Donald Trump the nominee of the Republican Party.

In Europe there is no need to look for signs of decadence. Europe is decaying so rapidly, decadence is so much the everyday condition of existence, it is taken as normal.

Here then is – not a sign but – a symptom of European decadence:

Jacob Lewis, writing for The Sun, reports:

Sex rooms, bondage dancers and 60 hour drug raves… a rare look inside the world’s most exclusive club

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Berghain Club, Berlin

Covered in face tattoos and piercings, the German stares me down, running a finger across his skull-shaped rings as he decides my fate.

My heart is racing and a tiny voice inside me is screaming, “Please, please!”

Then it comes, a slow nod of the head from the man in black.

My ordeal is over. I try hard to control my trembling body as I slowly walk forward inside, to safety.

Welcome to Berghain, “the world’s best club” — where getting past legendary doorman Sven Marquardt is to survive an ordeal that has been known to make grown clubbers weep.

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Doorman Sven Marquardt

Housed in a former East Berlin power station, it is as famous for its door policy as for its [public] sex and drug binges at parties that run from Friday night to Monday afternoon.

There are even special “dark rooms” downstairs where couples have very explicit sex — to a soundtrack of bullet-hard techno beats.

Meanwhile upstairs on the main dancefloor, male and female performers — naked apart from the odd slice of bondage leather — dangle in cages attached to the ceiling or gyrate on podiums.

On the top floor is the Panorama bar with its X-rated sculptures.

Florence Welch and Jake Gyllenhaal are just two of a long list of stars said to have been denied access and the chance to boggle at it all.

But those that make it in speak of an almost religious experience.

Homeland actress Claire Danes, 37, has described it as “the best place on Earth”.

And Lady Gaga chose the venue to launch her last album, arriving for the night in little more than a bra and knickers . . . and a moustache.

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Lady Gaga entertains

The club’s enigmatic entry rules are the subject of endless debate among Berliners and tourists alike.

Internet forums buzz with rumours about how to win the right to pay your 16 euro entry fee. Turning up in big groups, talking in line and wearing anything but black are all reported to see you waved away.

There is even a website called Berghain Trainer that uses your camera and microphone to analyse your body language and voice as you try and get past a virtual doorman.

The 1,500-capacity club opened in 2004 in a deserted part of town and has since become an institution.

This month it was even awarded the same cultural tax status as the city’s theatres and museums.

I arrived at 12:30am on a Friday night and had barely opened the cab door out the front before I was offered drugs by one of half a dozen busy dealers.

The queue is mostly full of stony-faced, black-clad hipsters, despite Sven insisting there is no dress code or even favoured “type”.

The bearded icon, 54, who recently designed a T-shirt range for Hugo Boss, said: “I don’t mind letting in the odd lawyer in a double-breasted suit with his Gucci-Prada wife. If they make a good impression, let them in. We also take guys in masks and kilts, or Pamela Anderson blondes in run-of-the-mill high-street outfits who tag along with bearded blokes, licking the sweat off each others’ armpits. That, for me, is Berghain.”

Tom Gallagher, a 25-year-old expat from Dublin has seen for himself just how liberal the dress code can be.

He recalled: “I was there at 6am having just been rejected when I saw a bloke wearing nothing but a huge elaborate wedding turban and high heels step out of a cab. The bouncers didn’t bat an eyelid and he strolled right in.”

I only managed to get in on my second attempt. For my first try I had worn black jeans, black boots and a buttoned denim shirt.

The queue of stern, silent hopefuls moved slowly, with as many being sent packing as made it inside.

I watched as all but two friends from an eight person group of stunning girls were rejected.

The lucky two didn’t so much glance back at their former friends as they entered.

Five others were swiftly sent packing with German efficiency and then it was my turn.

Sven sat in the doorway behind a lackey who dished out his judgements, swiping us left or right like we were faces on a Tinder app.

The gatekeeper stared into my soul for ten seconds. I stared back. Then just as the underling seemed to be about to wave me in, I heard a barely audible mutter: “Nein.”

Sven had decided. His minion spoke: “I’m sorry. You can’t come in.”

Judged uncool, I walked back up the path face turning red with shame, past the waiting crowds to the hotdog stand that makes a killing selling beer to rejects. Stall-owner Alex P, 38, gave me some tips for next time.

He said: “You should look like you can party. If you have a good vibe and don’t look like a f***ed-up English tourist then it’s easy. No buttoned shirts for example.” …

My rejection just made me more determined than ever to get in. The next day I went shopping in Zara for black clothes and met three other wannabes doing the same.

Digby Burges, 30, a master’s student from Australia now living in Berlin, admitted: “I’m trying to find some dodgy black shoes. They’re really ugly but that’s what Berghain wants.”

I bought a jacket similar to what I had seen Sven wearing, as well as a black felt cap, some suspect “fashion” specs and a black T-shirt.

And this time when I rocked up to the door I had a tactic.

Ignoring the two hour-long queue stretching down the road, I set my face to stern mode and strolled right to the front, slotting in arrogantly in front of a group of friends.

My gamble paid off — people were too worried about seeming uncool in front of the bouncers to call me out.

A few minutes later I was in front of Sven again. This time I made sure to tap my feet to the sound of techno beats and look impatient.

Then came the stare, the fingering of his skull rings. And moments later I was inside. Victory!

Photography is strictly barred and once in the club, both my iPhone’s cameras were covered with stickers. Privacy is the key to Berghain’s success. And it is not hard to see why.

Within minutes of arriving I find myself in the “dark rooms” where naked bodies romp in the shadows.

Mirrors and reflective surfaces are also banned in the club. This is presumably to save party-goers from the sobering horror of catching their reflection halfway through a 36-hour drink, drug and sex marathon.

Some clubbers have been known to spend 60 hours straight here, despite beats so hard that I feel like my ears are going to bleed, even though I’m no dance music novice.

Len Faki, resident DJ at the club since it opened, said: “What I value the most is the freedom and diversity it offers. It’s an open minded space that gives everyone the chance to be themselves, to express themselves without judgement.”

Alan Smith, a 33-year-old musician and British expat, said: ‘I think it’s really good that’s there’s a place where people can do whatever they want to do and not be judged. It’s very free. What I love about it is that there’s a real sense of freedom and sexual emancipation. These people are not wanting your approval, they’re just there to do whatever the f*** they want and have a good time.”

As I left the party, I saw the fresh-faced shoppers I’d met in Zara excitedly waiting in line in their new kit.

They called me later to let me know they never made it past Sven.

Thousands straining to be weird enough to be admitted to orgies.

Orgies have happened, do happen, will always happen.

When do they become a sign of decadence?

When a society becomes proud of them.

This England 0

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself

Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,–

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

-William Shakespeare, King Richard II, Act 2 scene 1

*

Liberty is all but lost in Britain, but the people make the fullest possible use of the little they still have: sexual freedom (a majority of children are now born to unmarried mothers), and the freedom to drink themselves sick.

Now we at The Atheist Conservative are libertarians, not prudes. It’s not the drinking of alcohol or extra-marital sex that we deplore, but the decadence of a nation whose recent ancestors governed – and governed well for the most part, in our opinion – the greatest Empire in the history of the world. (Our sympathies are with the Americans, however, in their revolution.)

This is how young Britons ‘saw in’ the freezing New Year a month ago, reported by the MailOnline. This England is a tawdry region on the western edge of the socialist European Union.

Binge-drinking revellers fuelled a chaotic start to 2008 as over-stretched ambulance workers battled to cope with emergency calls flooding in at a peak of one every eight seconds.

In the capital alone the London Ambulance Service had to deal with its highest number of emergency calls since the Millennium – the majority related to excess alcohol.

As midnight came and went there was mayhem as scores of drunken partygoers around the country tumbled into the streets, some wearing little more than their underwear.

Fights erupted and a string of dishevelled young men and women collapsed on benches and in doorways, too inebriated to remember or care that the night was supposed to be a celebration.

There to mop up the mess were thousands of emergency workers drafted in to provide cover on the busiest night of the year.

In the first four hours of 2008, London Ambulance Service (LAS) dealt with an astonishing 1,825 calls alone, peaking at over 500 calls an hour between 2am and 4am….

Meanwhile in the West Midlands the ambulance service fielded 1,400 calls in just five hours – a rate of one every 12 seconds. It was mirrored by the North East Ambulance Service which received 1,860 calls between 11pm and 5am.

Last night the astonishing number of calls to deal with booze-fuelled illness or injury prompted accusations that lives of those in real emergencies were being put at risk and demands for partygoers to wake up the costs of binge-drinking.

LAS spokeswoman Gemma Gidley said: “These calls put the Service under increased pressure to manage demand when we have to ensure we respond quickly to other patients with potentially life-threatening emergencies.

“People need to think about the real consequences of drinking so much that they require treatment.”

In the south, the South Central Ambulance Service dealt with three times more incidents that normal.

Control room duty manager Michele Foot said: “I think we should start charging people for the drink related stuff – it’s most self inflicted.” [The tax-payer paid for all the hospital treatment the drunks were given by the National Health Service – JB]

In some areas special temporary treatment sites were set up to cope, paramedics set out on foot in busy city centres and volunteers from the St John Ambulance Service and Red Cross were drafted in.

Alternative transport was arranged for drunken revellers to take the strain off ambulances.

Hundreds of arrests were made by police for public order offences, as well as violence and sex and drug-related crime.

Riot vans parked in city centres prepared to deal with the inevitable fall out of a night of excess….

In Birmingham a group of friend bragged they would be “crawling” by the end of the night.

In Newcastle, in scenes mirrored everywhere, a young woman – shoeless and seemingly very much the worse for wear – had to be aided by paramedics while nearby a well-built man lay face down in the street after being set upon by four other men.

“This is going to be a long night,” said one weary paramedic, confiding: “We will spend all night picking up people who are too drunk to walk and people who got into fights.”

Everywhere revellers who had lost all their inhibitions were happy to brag about their drinking exploits.

Sisters Sarah and Teri Crame, both dancers, wore burlesque outfits better-suited to the boudoir as they strutted through the rain-soaked street.

“We’ve been drinking since about seven,” said Teri. “We’re both wrecked and loving it. Mixing our drinks always leads to trouble – we’ve had wine, lager and vodka tonight.”

In Cardiff a group of young women, who would have been well-advised to cover up, tottered along in nothing more than heels and white underwear. …

Bearing the brunt of the chaos, Paramedic Martyn Sullivan said: “We’ve had a lot of drunken calls and a lot of assault. I’ve been threatened myself tonight.”

In Bristol, a young woman wearing a tiny black dress despite the elements slumped on the floor as a friend, laughing, spent five minutes trying to lift her.

Meanwhile a semi-naked man argued with police and other partygoers vomited over railings into the river.

Fights broke out long before midnight and continued into the small hours.

In Slough, Berkshire a crowd of drunken teenagers was involved in a punch up which ended with a 17-year-old boy being stabbed in the chest. Another person was stabbed in Woking, Surrey after a mass brawl.

In Hampshire every custody centre in the county was full. …

Go to the article to see the pictures.

And here are some more in the Mail.

And here are some in the Sun.

Posted under Britain, Commentary, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 31, 2010

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