Parklife was parkshite

It’ll be hard to write this without sounding like a boring old geezer complaining about how the young people these days dress funny and listen to awful music that sounds like noise. So I won’t bother trying.

Young people these days dress funny and listen to awful music that sounds like noise. At least this is the impression I got from Parkshite yesterday.

That top-secret government Paris Hilton cloning project is obviously going great guns. And the country’s hairdresser skills shortage has reached crisis judging by the obligatory two choices of topiary – fauxhawk or longish and unkempt – on all the young men. (Obviously this crisis requires urgent federal funding.) The young men were also uniformly dorky and about half of them wore t-shirts with funny slogans that weren’t funny.

Special mention should go to the chap with the t-shirt that said, not in these exact words, that if the chap wearing the t-shirt wasn’t hitting on you, it was because you were ugly. I’m not sure this approach would make the ladies weak-kneed with desire, but I am demonstrably out of touch with the attitudes of young people. Perhaps some Paris lookalike would be relieved the chap was attempting to talk her knickers off, thereby confirming she was not ugly (despite her peers and the constant barrage of media telling her in hundreds of subtle ways that she was). Kudos to the young lady with the t-shirt that just said in big letters “cunt”, which seemed to be the perfect rejoinder to the bloke with the ‘you ugly’ shirt.

But OK, unoriginally dressed adolescents aside, this was a music festival, not a fashion parade, so what of the music? For starters, there were superstar DJs, greeted with rapturous adulation by the crowd, who turned out to be indistinguishable po-faced cunts (thanks Charlie Brooker) dishing out anodyne unoriginal fluffy dance crap of the genre and quality you’d likely hear in any Oxford St bar on any weekend (and for a fair bit less than the $90 it cost to get in).

Then there were the ‘live’ acts, usually a couple of blokes who stood behind tables twiddling with their laptops. Mattafix weren’t too bad until their laptop broke down and they had to fill the last half our with the only two non-laptop-dependent instruments they had – a guitar and a voice – and they lacked the talent in either to pull it off. Coldcut’s live set was much more exciting – four guys with laptops standing behind a table twiddling in time with a pre-recorded video. I missed out seeing Midnight Juggernauts, who were probably fantastic, because they were on at the same time as Coldcut.

Another thing that demonstrates how out of touch I am with today’s youth: I couldn’t understand why they were all getting staggeringly drunk instead of popping a couple of pills like normal, sensible people. The absence of sniffer dogs at the entrance made this absolutely inexcusable. The level of inebriation resulted in much rudeness and aggro. You couldn’t stand within a kilometre of the stage without being constantly jostled and pushed.

The epitome of this drunken foolishness was the absolutely trashed young lady who fell over me, in slow motion, when I was sitting near the edge of a tent listening to awful music. Her boyfriend picked her up and, rather than taking her to the medicos, plonked her down just outside the tent. Ten minutes later, I saw her head lolling around the corner and warned my friend to step out of the way – too late – as a torrent of spew gushed out of her mouth and nose and all over my friend’s feet.

My sensible friends and I took this as our cue to leave, a couple of hours before the end, and retreated to a quiet bar in Newtown where they didn’t mind we were wearing sandals or thongs and drowned our sorrows in many bottles of champagne, drinking many a toast to being old and fabulous.

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