Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Un-Excreted Life Is Not Worth Living

I recently played the Clermont Lounge.

The Karaoke DJ and comedy host at the Star Bar also works the Clermont and held his 40th Birthday there. To celebrate, he had his own and a couple other punk bands perform with about 4 of us poorly-miked comics trying to tell a couple jokes over the raucous throngs. Nobody heard a word.

Ah well.

I still played the Clermont:

"It's a little known fact that both the Clermont Lounge and Motor Hotel were named for Josiah P. Clermont, Atlanta's earliest known syphilitic drifter.

Famous past residents of the Hotel include the punk rock singer GG Allin, Patient Zero and for six months in 1981 Jimmy Carter.

The most popular mixed drink is Absolut and Valtrex.

It was in that very basement bar, then known as the Anchorage Club, that in 1949 cab driver Hugh Gravitt got liquored up before hitting Margaret Mitchell.

Bar regulars like to call the men's room trough the General Sherman. Not out of Southern defiance, but because it usually burns when they pee."

In planning for the show, I rented the documentary Hated about GG Allin who actually did live in the hotel for a time. Allin's aesthetic was one of provocation, demanding a reaction from his audience. Shock and disgust were as welcome as cheers and applause. His performances grew increasingly animalistic with infamous incidents of defecation and feces hurling. He was also fond of lying mouth-agape below a hooker with a shower of gold.

Was Allin an honest artist? A fearless practitioner of aggressive, unflinching nihilism? We mere tourists at the Clermont only wink and nod at decadence, but GG booked a room. New Wave pussies like Godard could turn fictionalized existential gestures into lyric cinema, but Allin actually went feral and threw his shit around.

Perhaps. Or perhaps he just wasn't quite right in the head. There's a thin line between appreciating outsider art and pointing at retards.

If life is meaningless, what's wrong with fleeting attempts at beauty? At least you can watch Breathless again and again; it's a little hard to throw the same piece of shit twice.

I've only been to the Clermont twice now. I guess I prefer my erections un-ironic. Still, it has its charms.

I might try the karaoke some time and maybe sing "Stardust" or "Misty" or "Lush Life." I'll bring two dollar bills for the strippers and wear my best fedora.

But I'll be sure to crap at home before I go.