Dance You Selfish Motherfucker--Dance

I do not consider myself a raver by any means, and my taste in electronic music is very selective to put it politely. The more I think about raves, and rave culture, the more I am turned off by the whole experience. It’s a dream, it’s vacuous, and its epicenter lies in a chemical that is stamped into colorful little pills. Many people will disagree with what I just stated, but many people will passionately disagree with what I am about to assert: DJs are not musicians.

Daft Punk, Justice, Crystal Castles, and Infected Mushroom, are a few of the artists in the electronic music scene that I consider musicians. I will disclose that my exposure to the genre is limited, but with friends who bathe in synthesized bass, I should have been exposed to some more musicianship than that of just four artists. These artists I have mentioned actually create the sounds that you hear with instruments—in my mind this makes them musicians (not to mention the music they create is outstanding in its own right). My problem with the musical aspect of this shallow scene is DJs who simply mix the works of other artists. Sure, it takes knowledge of the genre to do this task masterfully, but beyond that it requires a rudimentary sense of rhythm and knowledge of a computer program--not much else. Essentially all a DJ is expressing is: “I listen to a lot of electro; these songs are fun to dance to. Look what I can do.” There is no expression of the soul, unless “I like to dance” is a soulful quality. Dancing may be expressive, but expressing that you like to dance is inane.

My musical qualms surrounding the rave scene aside, the environment of the rave itself is really a joke. “The love drug” ecstasy, which is the drug of choice at a rave, creates a delusional atmosphere where confused adolescents bounce around from person to person misinterpreting their euphoria for love. I have never met anyone remotely loving at a rave; in fact most people at raves are pretty fucking sketchy. It’s all a load of bullshit the notion of unity at a rave, because the journey is extremely selfish. The drug is the biggest factor of the night. I spent more time worrying about when to take my next pill, and sneaking my pills in, and finding more pills at the rave, and finding a guy who could sell my friend acid, and then finding a guy who could hook up some Ketamine, and then smoking a cigarette because all of this was just so exhausting, than I did actually enjoying myself at a rave. The best time I had was my first rave, because I was escorted around like a diplomat, and I was shown the ins and outs of the rave by others who had experienced it—I was being taken care of essentially. I enjoyed being the outsider looking in, because a part of me knew that my persistent presence in the rave scene was never meant to be.

What first led me to believe that the rave was actually a selfish institution was nothing more than a vibe. I generally trust the vibes that I pick up from other people, and with the exception of a few people (maybe around 10) the vibes I pick up at a rave are somewhat hostile. People are barely civil at raves; at Monster Massive at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, a mob of ravers rushed the line, hitting guards and anyone else who got in the way of their entrance to the event. At Hard Fest last March, LAPD had to chase a group of ravers down after they attempted to climb the back fence into the event. Now, I am more than supportive of the “Fuck the Police” campaign, and social revolution, but to say that PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect) is an acceptable motto for a rave is ludicrous. Ravers may exhibit PLUR to other ravers (still not all the time), but to the perceived “rest of the world” they treat people and things like shit. The rave is essentially a big “fuck you” to the rest of society; I even remember one DJ arbitrarily asking the crowd to hold up their middle fingers—to whom this gesture was directed was left up to interpretation, but you get the point.

And yet my frustration has yet to be resolved, and after boiling down my interpretation of the rave, I finally see what bothers me the most about it, and why it is so appealing at the same time—the rave is childish. It’s painfully childish. From the plastic beaded bracelets that garnish the raver’s arms to the bizarre styles that are showcased, the rave is simply a playground—a playground with a lot of hard drugs. No children should play on this playground, but unfortunately I have seen kids as young as 14 immersed in this lifestyle. With an event such as a rave there should be some responsibility. I feel like an old fucker for even saying this, but it’s true—if people actually gave a fuck about other people at a rave, then friends wouldn’t let friends take 6 hits of ecstasy at once, people wouldn’t sell fake drugs, and promoters wouldn’t let little fucking kids in. Ravers, just like every other group of fucktards from CEOs to politicians, fuck up society. They don’t promote love, they don’t promote understanding; they promote unchecked rebellion and a “fuck it” mentality. Nothing pure and truly revolutionary to the point of evoking change starts with a $60 ticket and blue vomit.