City Paper is not for tourists
I am writing in regard to Holly Bass’ article on the reopening of Buzz (“Home of the Rave,” 2/12) and raves in general. I have been going to raves since 1994, and I am very disturbed by this article. I have read it over quite a number of times to check to see if I have read it incorrectly or to search for hints of sarcasm, but have found none. The only thing that I have found are presumptions and incorrect thoughts on the rave scene.
Raves are a haven for the majority of the people who go. They provide a place where people can be themselves and relax with friends. Holly Bass portrayed Buzz as somewhere to go only if you do drugs and like bass. This is simply not true. Personally, I go because it is somewhere where I can listen to the music I like and be with my friends. Buzz and other raves have an atmosphere that allows people to dance and have fun.
The most offensive thing that Bass claimed in her article is that “most” of the people at raves “haven’t taken their SATs yet.” This assumption is completely untrue and is very offensive. The majority of the people whom I know who go to raves are either in college or working full-time jobs (post-college education). Currently, I am enrolled in Roanoke College in my second year. I am majoring in psychology and getting a concentration in communications. Claiming that most of us have not taken our SATs is both naive and unfounded. I, personally, lose respect for people I meet who are not in school and encourage them to go back and get an education. Ms. Bass may have asked a few people what their education level is, but apparently, she did not major in sociology or ethics, or else she would have known that it is neither correct nor ethical to base that kind of generalization on a few people. Shortly after this unfounded comment, she quotes a journalism major from American University. This almost retracts her earlier statement alone, although I would prefer a more direct approach.
Bass also claims that raves have “turned downright institutional.” This statement may actually be correct. The reason that it has become so common is because people are starting to realize the emotional potential of PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect), the last of which Bass seems to have forgotten. We as ravers are dedicated to the spirit of our scene, which is happiness. Although many people do not understand what raving means to us, it is something that can be observed, and even learned.
There are also a number of comments on how people will wait in line in the freezing cold to pay $15 to get inside of Buzz. It may have not occurred to Bass, but this is for a reason. Buzz provides people with a regular place where they can go to have fun and dance all night. When I enter a rave, I feel like I am in another world. This world is somewhere where I am accepted as who I am, and who I want to be, which is something that the majority of society does not provide. It is a sad thing that people must seek out a place that provides open arms for people who are considered “different” by the rest of society. But this is what a rave does. It is an open-minded place where people can be themselves. If I had to pay millions of dollars to have the rest of the world feel the love that I feel at a rave, I would find the money. We go to raves because they provide a happy, loving, open atmosphere that I personally wish the rest of the world would follow.
In regard to Bass’ opening statement, “[The rave phenomenon] should have been chewed up and spit out like an old pacifier, into the garbage heap with all the other ephemeral music-dance-fashion trends that kids eventually get tired of and too old for”: This is a personal opinion, and not anything based on fact. Unless this is an editorial (which I don’t believe it is), this statement is uncalled for. I am, in fact, disappointed with the editors of your newspaper for letting this opinion leak through without a statement such as “In my opinion…” preceding it. Along with the previously mentioned pacifier comment, the “mass regression to infancy” Bass claims is for a reason. Personally, I wear beaded necklaces and have a pacifier and pass out stickers because children are the most innocent, accepting people in the world, and portraying myself as a child helps to keep people in that mind-set.
Children should be the world’s role models because of their unconditional acceptance of the world around them. They always want people to be happy and are willing to help anyone in need. This is what ravers are, as well: caring, accepting people, who are happy when others are happy. True, there are people who are not as accepting as others, but there are people in every scene who are not happy with where they are.
Ravers all over the Baltimore-Washington area are very upset with this article because this is the way that the rest of the world will view them. Ravers are not all drug-induced, bass-worshipping, uneducated people, and this is the way that they are portrayed in this article. I found this article to be extremely offensive, opinionated, and based on assumptions. If Bass would be so kind, I believe that she owes the rave scene either a formal apology or a second chance to redeem herself as a researching writer. As of right now, I will not read anything else written by her, or your newspaper, and will discourage others from doing the same. The reason for this is because I believe that she, as a writer, did not research her article well enough and placed too much emphasis on the negative aspects without giving the idea a fair chance.
As for the Washington City Paper, I believe that it was irresponsible to print something so based on opinion, and unfair to an entire culture of people. I hope that this will help you to understand that responsible writing is necessary in today’s society. I also hope that this will be cleared up, and that the rave scene will get back its title as a happy, loving, educated environment.
via the Internet