This morning's headline must surely spell dark times ahead, if not the impending collapse of our economy and culture and perhaps heralds the wipeout of all life as we know it.
"Nightclubs closing at an alarming rate"
Let's take a moment to savour the implications. Are you scared out of your wits, buying sandbags and cancelling foreign holidays? Have you barricaded the doors, stocked up on tinned food and got your water purification tablets out from under that loose floorboard?
Well, maybe that's going a bit far. Does this story at least give you minor palpitations, a queasy feeling of unease, a sense that maybe it isn't worth having your hair done this weekend after all?
I see I've overestimated your reaction. Do you, in fact, give a toss about nightclubs and whether they close, no matter at what rate? I thought so. You and I, we share similar values. I couldn't care less about nightclubs. The idea of going to a dark crowded room to be deafened by someone else's choice of music (and I use that word with extreme distate because in my book music is something you listen to for pleasure not to torture your eardrums with monotonous computer-generated beats and the voices of "artistes" who cannot hold a note), and to pay stupid prices for drinks and to have to stand around holding them while people bump into you while spotlights dazzle you (and that assumes you've been able to get past a sneering bouncer in the first place to gain access to the wretched place) and then trying to get home at some unearthly hour in the morning with a splitting headache - need I say more? [No, point taken: Ed]
So why on earth should I feel alarmed if these places close? Pleased, almost smug, might sum up my emotions this morning. Let 'em all shut. The headline should read "Nightclubs closing at a very satisfying rate and the more the merrier says Minister of Culture". And if this in some way signifies a reduction in the popularity of the "dance" music genre and a return to melody, musicianship and invention in the field of popular music then bring it on.