One of our favorite series here at NYU Local is the highbrow, social cultural analysis-friendly Drunk Sober High. For those unfamiliar with the article, our staff sends three writers to an event under the eponymous states of consciousness, and subsequently has them review the event from their, uh, unique perspectives.
How was Kimmel as a venue?
DRUNK: When I think of a “rave,” I definitely don’t think of Kimmel. I initially thought that we were at some sort of medical conference or something, due to how what few people were in attendance were sitting at tables quietly listening to some guy talk instead of “raving.” I remember thinking, “this is a really sad rave,” and also “I bet if Miley Cyrus were here, she’d liven this place up.” But at least the multicolored light fixtures on the walls were kind of cool—they reminded me of Disneyland’s World of Color’s sad, disappointing cousin.
SOBER: The sound system was pretty terrible, but there are massive lights on the walls that NOBODY knew existed. And the view on 10th floor Kimmel is admittedly beautiful.
HIGH: I mumbled “this is… wrong…” and left the room immediately upon entering. I was in a conference room, I think. People sat at round tables. An apocalyptically large Windows desktop was projected on a blue screen. The Sober member of our party showed up and informed me that this was the rave.
Did you dance?
DRUNK: Even when under the influence, my “dancing” is comparable to what I imagine an ostrich seizing would look like, so I generally avoid doing that. But there were only two or three people dancing, anyway. And when I say “dancing,” I mean awkwardly swaying back and forth like they were members of the planning committee at a middle school dance and wanted to pretend like they were having fun for the sake of school spirit.
SOBER: Oh yeah, I realized how ridiculous it was pretty quickly. Since I didn’t know anybody and hated them by default, I could shake my hips to keep the place as hilarious as possible. The impulse might have started as irony, but quickly transcended into true meaning on the kimmel dancefloor. Bitch I dance HONEST.
HIGH: I kept my feet planted shoulder-width apart to avoid any confusion.
What’s your dream rave outfit?
DRUNK: Nothing but glow-in-the-dark body paint and some strategically-placed caution tape.
SOBER: Platform boots, some sort of vest-type thing, those LED glasses from Muse, and a lot of Bar Mitzvah schwag. Oh, and sequins.
Did you make any friends?
DRUNK: A very chipper young man on a longboard wearing a gardening hat rode by me twice and bellowed something unintelligible that sounded like “Yoooooo!” I tried asking him if his grandmother knew he had stolen her hat, but by that time, he had longboarded away. Does that count as a friend?
SOBER: Some poor freshman asked me if I knew a good weed hookup in Brittany. I told him he was not looking hard enough, and also trying way too hard.
HIGH: Someone approached my face from very high up, like a giraffe swinging its head down to look at a small giraffe, and he asked if I was on “any good substances.” I put my phone very close to his face and took a picture.
What did you learn about safe drug use?
DRUNK: I learned that it’s really dangerous to mix “molly” with ketamine. Or, at least, that’s what the speaker’s friend from Detroit told him. Apparently if you’re from Detroit, you know your drugs. So really, what I learned was if you want good drugs, go to Detroit.
SOBER: The only way toward acceptable drug use is through an organized, licensed student organization.
HIGH: Nothing because I was too focused on the way my shoelaces curved gently down my foot like the spine of a blue whale or a person with mild scoliosis.
What’s your experience with raves?
DRUNK: I went to a few in high school, but it’s very difficult to be consistent with my “I don’t touch people” policy when everyone around you is high and doing some sort of tribal mating dance to the soothing sounds of Skrillex.
SOBER: My attention span slows after the 128th measure, and then I start looking for food.
HIGH: I’ve generally avoided large, EDM-fueled masses since my high school prom.
What did you think of the DJ?
DRUNK: I’m not EDM connoisseur, but I thought DJ Country Club (at least I think that’s what his name was) was good. However, I spent less time thinking “Wow, the bass drop is wicked, bro,” and more time thinking, “Poor DJ Country Club. Why isn’t anyone dancing to his mad beats?”
SOBER: DJ Chuck-E-Cheese was better than usual. Didn’t have the animatronics—although definitely had the pizza.
HIGH: He played an excellent selection of music that opened up this weird, silvery echo chamber behind my sternum.
Would you attend an event like this again?
DRUNK: Probably. But, next time I’d get there earlier, because I apparently missed out on the free pizza, and if we’re being honest, I make most of my life choices based on whether or not I can eat for free.
SOBER: Not remotely close to sober. Ever again.
HIGH: The rave was shockingly populated with freshmen “just here to get dealers’ phone numbers”. I would attend again with more drugs, but this time in discreet baggies.
How do you think your drunkness/soberness/highness affect your experience?
DRUNK: Being drunk was cool, because I spent most of the evening mildly amused by the skimpy crowds and the speaker’s “friend from Detroit.” Were I sober, I probably would have had my jimmies very rustled by the whole experience.
SOBER: The above is correct. Jimmies were rustled. I drank three shots of tequila immediately after.
HIGH: Had I been sober, I would have found the sparse crowd and the introductory small talk with strangers to be alienating and anxiety-inducing. Fortunately my altered state of mind let me view the rave from the perspective of a vast soap bubble, with smaller bubbles of human interaction bumping gently against my surface and coalescing into my iridescent soapy roundness. Everything was whole and good and belonged together. I laid my hand on a round conference table. This table was my ancestors and it would be all my children.