Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
she spoke fondly of the space, noting that “there is a lot of festivity about it,” and de-
scribing how she enjoys dancing to the “good music.”
Generally the kinds of things clubbers do are referred to positively as being part of
the happy vibe: sitting or standing around, chatting and having drinks with friends, dan-
cing, or making out with a partner. However, periods of transition or movement from
one space to another are open to multiple possibilities of happiness and unhappiness.
These are occasions to meet friends, and have fleeting exchanges with acquaintances
and strangers: glancing, flirting, touching, etc. As our interview with Peter shows, it is
here that the gendered architecture of negative affect is especially manifested. Peter is
a twenty-seven-year-old white man who, like Paula, constructed alternative music club
scenes in a more positive light, claiming that he only went to Jacks at the behest of one
aggressive, expressing a preference for spaces which were more relaxed.
This is particularly evident in his descriptions of negotiating the bar and bathroom
spaces at Jacks. “Well, going to the bar you always gonna like, if heaven forbid you
bump into some ex-rugby player from 'Maritzburg College um, get some attitude, get
some looks. The barmen are really shitty, they're really surly.” When asked by the inter-
viewer to describe his experience of going to the bathroom, Peter explains that “there's
a really aggressive vibe,” noting that it is like “one of those places where you worried
you might get punched in the mouth for no good reason.” Interestingly, Peter observes
that “generally if you get punched in the mouth you deserve it, but Jacks is the type of
place where five or six white meatheads will beat you up for no reason.”
Peter describes the walk to the bar as potentially hazardous, reflecting the aggressive
vibe that male clubbers participate in. Jacks is a place where “you might get punched in
the mouth for no good reason.” This provides an indication of what the “specter” of the
other male patrons. His suggestion that there are occasions when male clubbers deserve
getting punched in the mouth serves to underscore the currents of male aggression that
are supported and channeled by the pipes and cables of affect in Jacks. Men tread a fine
line between flirtation and violence. Women have other struggles.
In her interview, Paula also describes the aggressive vibe experienced in walking to
the bathroom at Jacks, exclaiming that “it was pretty traumatic getting there.” When
asked to explain why, she draws on language similar to that used by Peter in his con-
struction of the journey to the bathroom. “Because it's a very aggressive kind of macho
place to be, and so the guys are very aggressive, so are the girls in a way, so just bump-
ing into people—they aren't very friendly when you bump them.” Paula goes on to de-
bathroom. For Paula, this incident served to cast her in an unpleasant position in which
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