Barbarian Invasions @ NOS Alive

Invaziile barbare:


Orcs r us

Forms of monstrosity, and the ambivalent morale in a tight packed concert festival.

We were walking through each other to reach our spot. Or sliding ever further front with slitherine moves on ever thinner paths. Standing then shoulder to shoulder breathing in each other’s ears.

Been to three festivals this year and I haven’t seen ambush moments like in NOS Alive (say for shows like Radiohead or Arcade Fire for example). There were clusters of people so compact at times it would have held water.


Hence plenty of scope for moral testing. Either when you dived into the crowd or when you stood on as countless others were press-passing you by.  Eventually you’d stop or if you dared stooped down, or laid on the ground when tired. (I was lying all stretched across the floor at some point writing about all this and there were lots stepping or tripping over me).

That’s when you start growing an increasing degree of ownership. Even if you were initially maybe a bit shy as you had to force your way through other’s cosy spot or you were suddenly blocking the view of someone who so nicely had just allowed you to get in front.

But steadily you get to feel master of that little spot. And get massively irked when you’re pushed by others. Sometime you even block them. Or wish that the taller person that just came up in front to “have the decency to move away/further”.

And you get all sorts of people. Those that ask politely or gently nudge you, or apologetically stay or pass. And others that just push you over, or grab you out of their way, kick you, or say nothing while climbing on top of you.

One time Rox and Nico were lined up shoulder to shoulder when a lady in front started a conversation with a friend just behind them. Oh..key!, but then the two talkers got closer to the point of the woman in front breast rubbing against Rox/Nico, with the chin almost leaning over the little gap between the girls’ heads to converse with the guy behind them.

image Especially as this time there was sufficient space for her to go around and reunite with said friend.

Overall the annoyance of squeezed cohabitation of the sort would provoke very aggressive feelings. A lot of eye for an eye resentment and a hostility to new comers that veered on xenophobia.

There were of course the mansexual leniencies every once in a while when you’d be encroached by beautiful girls and you wouldn’t mind that but somehow feel gratified (not sure the girls felt the same, or probably less frequently).

Or the “similar-taste” empathies when the huddling ones you couldn’t stand just minutes before suddenly burst into the same tears, shouts and joy you’d feel when listening to one song or another.
NOS Alive

But generally the tolerant person you thought you were transforms into something categorically different, on various degrees of spot-ownership monstrosity as a response to various levels of “tress passing” barbarisms from strangers.

But it seemed to me that passing brutalities were just as unjustified as spot-defending indignities. On one hand it was ultimatly thanks to Human Rights Declaration (UDHR) that I was still holding on to a degree of integrity and not being trampled to death. I mean, imagine that you had no regard for UDHR or other contemporan societal (common living) norms. What would stop you from literally climbing onto people or elephant stomping anyone in your way? in a different setup it would even hold a degree of justice depending on the finality of your crush-trip.

NOS Alive crowd 2016
On another hand, where do I hold those principles of immigration freedom and openness? Is there a limit to it? Do I have such narrow limits? What is this piece of space I call home, and ferociously defend from intrusion? should I do this? Nothing belongs to me. Anywhere. So much less here. I should let others kick me around the place like a pinball. Does a specific spot or stand make me who I am? A memory of it, yes, a presence of me in it, yes, but a fencing of it?! No! So why do I still hold that dignity and self respect comes with not being trampled on? Well I don’t. It is the challenge that I enjoy! The challenge of living. Of growing and moving in all this. The relationship, the moral reactions, the redefinition of space and intimacy. This molten flow of circumstances and active interactions, reactions, references. Being.

Would I apply this flexibility to other spaces of “mine”? Tough to. I’m still too sanguine about people and things. But that’s my self challenge.

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