Friday, February 12, 2010

Public sensuality

I understand as much as anyone that music affects people deeply and emotionally and in other ways you don't talk about. At worst, I will say "This song excites me in a private way," and it is said with enough ridiculousness that it offsets any hint at real intimacy.

I just about had Portishead ruined for me forever when a co-worker volunteered the information that she found it "music for gettin' it on to." It took several months of counselling before I could eject that visual from my head and listen to Portishead again. She had no business fucking with my musical appreciation like that. Her casual remark is, however far less obnoxious than the people who have no problem publicly sharing their deep connection with music so that when the opportunity arises to see this music performed live, they aren't going to allow something like a crowd of people distract them from how they usually enjoy this song in the privacy of their bedrooms.

I first came upon this phenomenon, once again with Portishead as I attended their show in Melbourne in 1998. I found myself a spot right up at the front, and while it was no mosh pit, the crowd was thick, yet courteous. Courteous for the most part, excluding the couple adjacent to me partaking in upright spooning, the guy standing behind and gently humping his girl in time with the music, all the while rubbing his side against mine. I was torn between forsaking my prime spot or risking falling pregnant. I took the risk but rest of the show marred as I was not really in the front row, but in the bedroom with this couple, the irritation accompanied by emotional pain as it rubbed my single nose in the loneliness that was my life. Several "Don't touch me" nudges failed to convey a message and I didn't quite have the balls to say "Please stop humping me."

I have been fortunate enough to avoid any direct contact with these kinds of hideous persons for almost twelve years. That was until last week when I saw Tenacious D perform at their benefit show for Haiti. A couple a few feet away from me who talked loudly for most of the set appeared to waiting for "their song", one of the crowd favourites, "Fuck Her Gently" and when it was played, the two took us into their private times by singing it to each other loudly, looking dreamily into each others' eyes and swaying until finally the girl jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist until their genitals were touching, albeit through their pants.

I really like the inclusions of magazines as some sort of scene setter.

"You don't always have to fuck her hard,
In fact sometimes that's not right to do
Sometimes you got to make some love,
And fuckin' give her some smooches too.
Sometimes you've got to squeeze,
Sometimes you got to say 'please'
Sometimes you gotta say 'hey'
I'm gonna fuck you, softly
I'm gonna screw you gently
I'm gonna hump you, sweetly
I'm gonna ball you, discreetly"

Genius, hilarious, brilliant lyrics these are, and one of my favourite Tenacious D songs,  but I didn't need to see it enacted for me, nor did the other innocent bystanders. It was kinda like being sexually harassed, having evil, self absorbed people sidling up to you and forcing you to accept and embrace their supposed sensuality.

If there were a limit to the number of things they could prohibit from bringing into venues, I dare say "No cameras" would be better replaced with "No boners".

"Sorry, you can't bring that in here."
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