My wife and I arrived in Anstruther for lunch, just as the school kids puked en masse from the school gates and began weighing themselves down with chips, low grade burgers and pies. They looked collectively monstrous. There was, naturally, a good turnout of last years seniors, already with prams and screaming babes of their own to hand, already spilling like over risen dough from the waist bands of their jeans, already tired and old around the eyes, bitter, sullen and stupid around the mouth… and so forth… There were literally hundreds of them.
And my wife was asking what I thought I would be listening to now if I was their age.
I found myself twittering on about how now more than ever I would be creating my own noise.
I cited the lack of artifact with the passing of tangible media in favour of downloads, and the democratising of art depriving the scene of aspiration, idolising of role models, focus, aim, and so forth. I mentioned the easy availability of software, the rise of the laptop artist… I felt older with each word. My words sucking all my credibility from the moment at hand.
Later in the evening – after an incomparable meal at The Cabin in Anstruther we decided to be perverse and get the bus back down the coast to Elie. (Perverse in that we chose to wait in the dark and cold for a 2 quid bus journey at the end of a £120 meal) The timing of the bus co-incided with the end of a teen disco and so we boarded with around sixty kids dressed in little more than trainer bras and mini skirts, mummy’s white stilletoes and a lot – a lot – of glitter. All was white, all was lace, all was Beckham gel and highlights. Mad flirting, scheming against the bus driver, trying to get a rise out of any stranger getting off the bus.
You could almost see the clean, straight line that will take them from here to long hours in front of daytime television, hopeless scrabbling for shit jobs in a fucked town, thickening, darkening, sliding, ever sliding into complaint, consumerism and mediocrity… and suddenly I thought of the little “goths” you get just once in awhile these days. Big Hair, make up, leather, sulking, pouting – and I couldn’t help but think – I wonder what they’re listening to, or making – right now in their bedrooms in their loving parents homes. They cop the blame for being the strange, unusual and dangerous, but here, as in every other city on earth, they do not partake of the everyday vulgarity of the grease-stinking herd. They are writing dreadful poetry, they are weeping over the cruel hand of fate that cast them into this anonymous hell, they are ridiculous in every way, pretentious, privately brazen, vain, obsessed, obsessive, preposterous – and I am with them every step of the way. They are the ones, largely, who get out, who reinvent themselves, who renew, who read like fuck, who scribble and scratch, who dream, who ultimately, to paraphraze Choukri, bend fate to their desire.
Yes, I’ll listen to the comical nonsense that these little warriors of the wasteland, hidden from the small town night, are listening to.