January 25, 2017

A Cultural History of Excitement, 1970-2017

The party went too far, but it was totally worth it. So said Grace Jones when talking to the Daily Mail in 2008. Her apartment in Paris of the late seventies was just a place to store champagne. Her roommate Jerry Hall modeled for Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium, which smell was like “the warm musky breath of lovers in blissful postcoital sleep with a fragrant hint of the pissoir and the dark, heavy smoke of a Gauloise.”

Life is a mess when Eileen Myles in her Chelsea Girls takes the F-train to Queens for collecting the “light blue pills” of thirty-five dollars in order to sell them for hundred. We’re talking the eighties. “Go someplace out of your life,” Myles thinks, “come back new, bring it around and make a little money. Clean your apartment. Write some.” 

In the early days of January 2017 in Kreuzberg, Berlin, writer Craig Schuftan notices “two stern-faced old men standing outside a shuttered discount supermarket on a freezing cold Berlin night, one holding a portable speaker. Song: The Pointer Sisters' 'I'm So Excited'.”

Tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen. Tonight we'll put all other things aside. We shouldn't even think about tomorrow. 

If the sweat of the seventies was full of love, the sweat of the eighties full of anxiety, and the nineties had the sweat of instant pleasure, then how are we sweating today?, so we ask design strategist Onika Simon. “Good question”, she hesitates for a few seconds, followed up by a firm voice: “It would be the sweat of outrage.”

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