Most of us take the the internet for granted. We know that in a few clicks we can easily find ourselves deep into alternate worlds, galaxies in which adults dressing up as tigers and wanking in front of webcams is completely OK, where centrist squabbles are exhilarating, or where Brandon Wardell is remotely funny. But we don't click those clicks because, frankly, who has the time, energy, or inclination to escape their own little virtual bubble? After all, it's much easier to loiter in the same three or four digital carparks than to go dogging in an unknown bypass.
It's for that reason that until a few days back I'd never ventured onto Etsy. I knew roughly what it was and what it did—Etsy, I thought, was primarily a distribution network for knock-off knitted Harry Potter merchandise—but I had no reason to visit. It was the usual Sunday evening wash of ennui that saw me trudging towards the online shop, my curiosity borne of nothing but the most rancid, cloying, corrosive kind of boredom imaginable.
The search bar's cursor blinked away, taunting me into spilling a secret, practically begging me to divulge my desire. What, it was saying in its silent way, do you want from life? The answer was simple: I wanted DJ related content because for several years now that is all that has mattered to me, all that I've become, the only thing that gets me through another day in the hell.
There were 175 results for the simple search term "DJ." Those results sat in the following categories:
Clothing, Jewellery, Home & Living, Art & Collectibles, Books, Films & Music, Accessories, Weddings, Paper & Party Supplies, Electronics & Accessories, Bags & Purses, Bath & Beauty, Toys & Games, Craft Supplies & Tools
For a second I let myself drift into a daydream where Diplo's face adorned dollar bills, where Gerd Janson was heading up the EU, where the entire population of Paraguay had become a 6.5 million strong Chase and Status tribute act. Then the dream crashed against reality's rocky shore and I was left with what was actually in front me of, rather than that I'd wanted to see. And it was a load of shit.
Now, let me make one thing clear: the mountain of mediocrity I'd inadvertently accepted to climb didn't come as a shock because pretty much anything related to club culture, bar maybe a few record labels and a couple of clubs, is really corny. Especially the merchandise. Do you want a Fatboy Slim bowling shirt? How about a Prodigy branded babygrow? Perhaps you've been coveting a Pendulum beanie hat for a while? Oh, you're too cool for all that, huh? Ok, fine, go wild and order that Dekmantel jersey that'll make you look like a ladybird who got in a fight with a bouncer over an alleged filter theft. The point is, wearing a Fuck Me I'm Famous apron or jotting down track IDs in a ring bound Livity Sound notebook is never a good look.
Etsy, however, was a treasure trove of even worse looks—looks so bad that they'd have even big Bobby Hood himself renouncing his love of dance music and then probably the word of the Lord himself. What follows is a review of the worst object I could find in each category. I love my life!
Clothing: The Trust Me I'm a DJ Tank Top
Unsurprisingly, clothing took up the bulk of Etsy's club-related clutter. There were the usual ill-conceived slogan shirts ("SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL DJ," Etsy told me, before asking if I wanted to confirm that yes, I am a "SLAVE TO THE RAVE") and cult-movie tie-ins (because who doesn't want to walk the streets wearing a t-shirt where C3POs ripped R2D2s head off in order to play a record on what remains of the poor little robotic sod's tin-can body?) but the tanktop above really took the biscuit. Firstly, it is a tank top and no tanktop in history has ever looked good, nor has anyone ever actually suited a tank top. Secondly, it's a DJ-related tank top which immediately nudges it from "terrible" to "crime against humanity." Thirdly, look at it properly. Does it make any sense? Why is one of the faders assigned to a bed? Why is the bed so low in the mix? Why would you trust a DJ who seemingly has no desire to keep their levels in check? Truly and utterly heinous in every way.
The world's finest jewellers are yet to come up with anything that is both elegant and a reminder just how amazing clubbing is. Very sad!
Home and Living: The DJ Do You Mean Vinyl Wizard Mug
For a second I nearly plumped for these pencils but then I started to imagine slowly gouging my eyes out with them. I'd miss so much if I was blind; sunsets, Keith Floyd repeats, the smile of newborn babies beginning to recognise their mother's voice, used condoms left in the showers at my local pool, the thick green of the English countryside as spring rolls into bloom, bird shit on war memorials in seaside towns out of season. That kind of thing. The thought of losing all that really got me down, so I didn't want to even contemplate the pencils for a second more than I had to. Which is why this mug "wins" in its category. Honestly, who would ever, ever, ever, ever, ever conceive of buying that for themselves, or even worse, someone else? Do you have that much hate in your heart? Do you?
Art and Collectibles: The Chimp DJs Playing Vinyl on Record Players Art Print
Hoooo boy! Jesus. Wow. This is the best-worst page on the internet . It's really got it all. A terrible Daft Punk print! A batch of female DJ clip art that's for PERSONAL USE ONLY! This headphone-clad skull of words that says "ROGER SANCHEZ" and "VIVIENNE WESTWOOD" on it despite not being endorsed by either of them! Have you ever been to an art gallery with your mum and noticed three rooms in that she looks both bored, perplexed, and immensely frustrated? And then after, over a very expensive slice of cake and a terrible mug of Nescafe, she tells you that she thinks modern art is "nonsense", and you've been annoyed because you don't think modern art is nonsense. You were wrong mate. It is nonsense and none of it is more nonsensical than a print of a chimp DJing in front of another chimp. Let's ban the production of all art until at least 2088 in light of this atrocity.
Books, Film and Music: N/A
Weirdly this was just pretty much an Ozzy Osbourne album and some Enid Blyton books. That's not club culture, Etsy! DJing is all about blokes wearing chicken outfits at events where a burger costs over a tenner….get with the programme!
Accessories: The Vinyls Trucker Hats
You could probably write a completely average fashion studies dissertation on how the radical shifts in hipsterdom in the last fifteen or so years are most clearly codified in the change of headwear. Hipsters used to wear trucker hats. Then they allegedly wore fedoras, though no one has any proof of anyone actually doing so. After that it was Thinsulate beanie hats worn slightly too high on the head. Now? I am old now and so the idea of knowing or caring about what callous art school youths wear atop their perfect haircuts is as appealing as slipping head-first into an open grave. All I know is if Etsy had their way, the nation's agent provocateurs would be wearing really cheap looking trucker hats again—but this time around they'd have vinyls on them! Everyone loves vinyls!
THIS WHOLE SECTION IS A CON! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE IMMEASURABLE IMPORTANT ART OF DJING! CONSIDER THIS A WARNING!
Paper and Party Supplies: N/A
THIS IS THE EXACT SAME CON! AVOID! AVOID! HEAD ELSEWHERE FOR YOUR NINA KRAVIZ BRANDED STREAMERS!
Entertainment - The 4GB/8GB/16GB USB Mixtape
When you think of entertainment, what springs to mind? Del Boy falling through the bar? That's what pops into my head whenever the abstract notion of entertainment is raised. I think about a bloke falling over in a pub in a sitcom that always makes me think of mildew and unpaid council tax. For the denizens of Etsy, entertainment is a happier place—and a place where this naff, unwieldy, oversized USB stick passes for entertainment. Etsy is a living hell. We should pity its residents.
Bags and Purses - The Pill Box Shaped like a Record
Why does this exist? Why have we as people tried to imbue everything with a sense of fun? Why are we so incapable of taking life's less glamorous moments at face value? I don't want to think about nightclubs and exclusivity deals when I'm trying to hoover up my daily dosage. Please. Let me do it with quiet dignity. That's all I'm asking for. Please.
Bath and Beauty - N/A
WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN….TOO LATE….ALREADY DID ;)
Toys and Games - The Skrillex Keyfob
This is neither a toy nor a game. It is a keyfob that looks a bit like Skrillex. Tell me, what about this indicates that it is either a game or a toy? You can't, and as such please expect a strongly worded letter from trading standards!
Craft Supplies and Tools: N/A
Such a shame to end on a downbeat note! I truly cannot believe that there's nothing DJ related in this cateogry on Etsy! I feel let down! What a load of rubbish!