When I read in the newspapers some articles about the discos that close, Cocorico 'included, and on the end of the "divertimentificio" in itself, memories of youth come to my mind. When I was a university student with an "insufficient support of the family" I spent my time doing the bouncer in the clubs themselves, in order to raise money.
It was not yet the time for the superaggressive fitness giants with the shaved head, we were recruited in the martial arts gyms, in an amateur way, by the so-called "PR" that carried with them the "staff". And he was in a suit and tie at the exits. The river of cocaine had not yet arrived, and the most frequent intervention consisted in giving mineral salts to some boy in the grip of cramps.
So I can say that I experienced the birth of this phenomenon, and witnessed his long death. But the discos didn't die by themselves, they died along with modernity. And in the postmodern there is no place for "transgression".
But let's go calmly. What was "modernity"?
In logical terms, modernity was defined as a conflict: the conflict between the new and the tradition . To say that we are "modern" meant, when it made sense, to say that we had embraced the new, and at the same time repudiated the tradition and its rules.
The history of modernity is the story of a conflict: the conflict between the new and the tradition.
It is therefore not possible to say that we are "modern" without implicitly affirming that we have abandoned, criticized, repudiated if not fought against the traditional rules and customs of the past.
But over time there has been a "small" problem that has killed the modern.
Nobody remembers the tradition anymore. Nobody really knows what it was, if not the clichés about the grandfather (who, if you are young, did 1968 and is tattooed: let's talk about my father's generation, who is not tattooed but did the '68), some recipe that is supposed to be "traditional" and useless clothes that mean nothing.
Even those who speak of a traditional family should know that the traditional Italian family is dead and buried: in reality it was a clan made up of grandparents, from four to six children with daughters-in-law, and a list of grandchildren, who normally lived in a "farmhouse", a farmhouse or in a "district" if they were urbanized.
But with the arrival of industrialization, emigration and the world of services, this traditional family has been replaced by the modern nucleus, made up of two parents who live with their children, at most one or two. Sometimes three.
No one in Italy remembers what the "traditional family" was. It is believed to be that of the white mill, and the fact that to indicate it you refer to a brand of snacks says a lot about what we know.
Tradition has been forgotten.
Now, how can you be "against tradition" if you don't remember it? It is clear that it is possible to follow the news, but without knowing the tradition it is IMPOSSIBLE to repudiate it, it is IMPOSSIBLE to fight it, it is IMPOSSIBLE to criticize it, it is IMPOSSIBLE to overcome it.
The modern is dead because no conflict is possible with a tradition by now definitively dissolved, and as if it were not enough FORGOTTEN.
The conflict between new and tradition is impossible because tradition has been forgotten. And here I would like to go back to the nightclubs, to show how the death of the modern was the death of discos.
Let's talk about "transgression".
The clubs of the 80s and 90s intended to be "modern", that is a conflict between tradition and modernity, when they were proposed as places of transgression, or the place where traditional rules were forgotten.
Boys who were bricklayers in the Maremma in life made themselves 6-7 hours by car to come to the Adriatic coast, slipped into the bathrooms, put on hold-ups, high-heeled boots, put on makeup and came out of the baths of drag queens. Girls whose parents controlled the length of the cone at the exit simply took it off and ended up dancing only with underwear.
This means that there were rules, which
- They were in effect.
- They were known.
- They were transgressed into the clubs.
Discos were the place of modernity because they were the place dedicated to the conflict between new and tradition; immediately after entry the rules (usually related to sexual morality) were broken.
But today, which of the rules "in force and known" would be transgressed inside the discos. Social networks and the Internet are full of transvestites, of whores, and at the end of the day many of the "selfies" I see on the "sober" Twitter are even more transgressive than what the Cubists did.
Moral of the story: it is not possible to break rules that do not exist, it is not possible to build a place that breaks with tradition, because both rules and tradition have been forgotten and abandoned.
Postmodernism has begun. The modern is finished with the twilight of tradition, disappeared into an oblivion. Not even the "traditionalists" today know what they are talking about. They expect to know, but if I can already make them uncomfortable with my 48 years, it means that for them "tradition" means at most the past 25 years.
The clubs were a temple of modernity; places where the rules of tradition were broken. Going to the disco, in a "transgressive" was "modern" to the extent that traditional culture forbade what was happening inside.
But to have a conflict, two contenders are needed. With the tradition that ended in oblivion, only one contender remained.
With the decline of tradition, modernity has died. With the decline of moral rules transgression is dead. And with it, the disco died, which was the most representative place of that conflict.
The death of the disco, due to the death of the transgression is the tombstone, the death certificate of the "modern", and the milestone of the moment in which the society entered the "post-modern".
When you see the "transgressive" clubs close, there are two mistakes to make:
- The "modernists" fear that "they are coming back" because a place of transgression ceases. On the contrary, if you were going backwards the places of transgression would make sense: you are not coming back because nobody would know which way to go. What was "before" was forgotten.
- The traditionalists are not pleased: the reason why the modern is dead is that there is no conflict with a tradition that is now forgotten. If you need a brand of consumer snacks to indicate the values of the family (and moreover indicate a mononuclear family), it means that of your "tradition" only ruins remain. The disco is not closed because it is illegal for naked dancing girls: it is closed because the girls dance half-naked on any social media.
Welcome to modern post, a world where you can be new but not fight the past and tradition, because both are dead and buried.
The modern, which was defined as the conflict between new and traditional, no longer makes sense to exist because tradition is by now forgotten.