Anyone that knows me, would be aware that one of my all-time favourite films is 2003’s Party Monster. If you haven’t seen it grab a copy, you’re in for a treat. It just so happens to be based on on my favourite novels Disco Bloodbath written by one of my personal idols James St. James.
Now if you’re not familiar with either let me catch you up to speed. It tells the story of aspiring club promoter Michael Alig and clubbing socialite James St. James, chronicling the pair’s drug-addled exploits from the moment they met, Alig’s rise to notoriety in the New York club scene of the early 90’s, right up until the publishing of the book, after Alig had been sentenced for the murder of drug dealer Andre “Angel” Melendez.
Needless to say both the novel and film further cemented both James St. James and Michael Alig forever a part of queer culture. Well as the story goes Michael Alig was sentenced to jail and with a few hiccups behind bars was finally set free on the 5th of May. Needless to say his release is making headlines.
A lot has changed after 17 years and Alig would have a lot of catching up to do. The guy is now 47. I can only wonder how everything must seem so different now. More than anything I’m curious as to see what’s next for Alig.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t think it’s good to glorify murderers, but the whole story the club kids of the late eighties and early nineties has always always fascinated me. Whether we like to admit it or not Alig played an important role in shaping that scene and left a somewhat tainted legacy and now after 17 years behind bars I’m curious as to what his next move would be.
In the lead up to Alig’s release, James St. James posted an open letter to the former club promoter and I won’t lie there’s definitely some truth that can be found in that letter that has a bit of relevance to everyone.
“It’s a very different world you’re re-entering into. So much has changed in the 17 years since you last walked among us. For instance: We have talking pictures now! And cronuts! Boys are cuter in the 21st century. And dicks are bigger. These are facts. If you don’t believe me, spend an hour on Tumblr. Another odd thing: EVERYBODY has killer style now. Kids in Peoria are as fabulous as the kids in Williamsburg. It’s all rather dizzying, and kind of depressing. When everybody is fabulous, nobody is.”
“…Speaking of clubs: You’ve become a bit of a legend since you went in (YOU’RE WELCOME) and you WILL stop the room the first few times you go out. It’s an odd sensation, but even odder is when it doesn’t happen. See, you’re old now, and although many of this generation were raised on Party Monster , sometimes you’ll find yourself in a room where everybody is completely CLUELESS. They’ve never seen the Geraldos or Phil Donahues or Jenny Joneses. They’ve never heard of Angel. They don’t know or care who Julie Jewels was. They don’t even know who Andy Warhol was. A 21-year-old at WOW had never heard of Moby. MOBY. It’s weird. The generation that has the greatest access to knowledge in the history of mankind is the one that cares the least about it. So there will be places where you go where NOBODY WILL RECOGNIZE YOU and NOBODY WILL CARE. And because you are no longer a cute little twink, 20-somethings will LOOK RIGHT THROUGH YOU. Or worse: SNEER at the old man. Joy Behar once said that after 35 nobody looks at you on the beach anymore, no matter how good you look. It’s true. And it’s true everywhere. My point: Enjoy the times people recognize you, because not being recognized when your old SUUUUUUUCKS…”
It’s an interesting read and kinda hits a few home truths. You can the letter in full by clicking Here!
There’s no denying Alig has a very interesting time ahead of him, and something makes me think it will be a name we will be hearing for sometime to come. He’s already become an active user of Twitter and I assume it won’t be long before he’s popping up on every social network possible. Not to mention for the last 17 years we often heard James St. James’ account of things and I’m sure Alig will have a lot to say now he’s out and especially since he has been working on a book during his time in prison.
— Michael Alig (@Alig_Aligula) May 5, 2014
Whether we like to admit it or not you either love Michael Alig or you hate Michael Alig, but there is a very valuable lesson to be learnt from his life, remember the higher you get the harder you fall.