Just an Observation Friday September 28th


Channel 4 this week decided that now, after at least twenty five years of prolific use amongst  the public as a recreational tool, to conduct its own experiments on the effects of MDMA more commonly known as ecstasy, usually referred to simply as E. And what did these experiments and tests on selected volunteers from different sections of society actually yield in the way of new information to the many users –as well as non-users- of the drug? Not much really.

After watching the programme, spread over two nights, we are now aware that using the drug elicits feelings of euphoria, well being and breaks down inhibitions. So far so familiar then. We were also told that the drug affects different people in different ways. Therefore a vicars wife seemed ready to embrace a life of glow-sticks, white gloves and loved up sensations-whilst feeling less predictably disconnected from God- whilst a former SAS and military security worker was resistant to the drugs effects. Nothing revelatory there either. The novelist Lionel Shriver-who admitted to having taken the drug before- complained her dosage was not high enough. There is always some greedy person who wants more so there was nothing out of the ordinary there either.

Comedian (?) –yes that confused me too-Keith Allen was predictably enough on hand just to remind us how out there and edgy he is whilst informing us just how good his drug credentials and connections are. Hardly groundbreaking stuff either. In fact everything about the programme offered up very little to anyone with a passing acquaintance with the drug and let’s face it that is quite a high proportion of people; especially of a certain generation.

The second show on Thursday also offered up little in the way of new information. In this edition we were told usage affects short term memory- hardly groundbreaking stuff- and causes despondency and depression referred to as a comedown. Really!

It was brave of channel 4 to commission this programme but as is the case with this station, which once genuinely attempted to be groundbreaking , it was all a little lame. Their programme recently on the history of clubbing was a wasted opportunity and presented in the style of a chart rundown which was just the sort of compilation the clubbing generation were trying to break away from in the first place. A more detailed look at the first show can be found here.

At least it wasn’t the X- Factor though which I have still managed to avoid completely and show no signs of weakening as yet. Now there is a programme which really brings out my cynical side.

Out at the cinema this week is the new Brad Pitt vehicle ‘Killing Them Softly’ which offers up an original take on the gangster lifestyle debunking the usual cinematic myths. Ably assisted by James Gandofini, Ray Liotta- who seems to be morphing into tony Curtis- and Scoot McNairy the film offers a damning indictment on criminals, who are portrayed as stupid and greedy, and America in general. It is a successful film and Pitt delivers a performance which is a study in cool but doesn’t glamorise the message he is trying to put across. A full review can be found here.

Also out today is a new French offering called ‘Untouchable’ which, if the pre-release publicity surrounding it is anything to go by, is set to be one of the films of the year. Next week I have a press screening of a new print of Stanley Kubrick’s classic ‘The Shining’ which is due to be released in time for Halloween.

Tonight however sees the first Neu! Reekie at their new home at the Summerhall complex and it looks like being a memorable start to kick this new chapter into gear. The Sexual Objects, The Store Keys, Seafiledroad and Jenni Fagan are just some of the acts scheduled to make an appearance. Definitely the place to be tonight and as the new home has exactly the same capacity as before it is advisable to get there early to avoid disappointment as it looks like being a sell out.

That is my weekend sorted then and with Edinburgh shifting out of its post Fringe lull it is good to see a new scene moving away from the predictability of the clubs and pubs emerging and moving towards a new creativity where interesting people are once again exchanging ideas with an intention to moving things sideways as well as forward.

Here to get kick the weekend’s arse into gear is a track from Underworld which is probably the epitome of an ‘E’ track. Wobbly sounds,pounding drums and noises going off everywhere it is a totem of a bygone era when everything semed bright and beautiful. The moments building up to the first drums kicking in are a state of bliss and aural foreplay which, at the time, took you to another dimension. A timeless track from an era where most of the music of this genre had no longevity-nor made any attempts to- this however has lost none of its potency and still sounds as fresh today as it did then. It still has the capability of sending a dancefloor into a frenzy even now. It articulates more about Ecstasy than channel 4 managed over two nights.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: