While some movements can be changed for the better, sometimes the best plan is elimination. The EDM movement is not worth being changed. It’s not even worth being saved”
These are the words of a recent op-ed titled “Discouraging EDM Festival Attendance Could Prevent Ecstasy Deaths” written by Brett Dresner for PittNews.com, the student newspaper for the University Of Pittsburgh.
I’m disgusted that Pittnews.com published this column. And this is coming from a guy who writes satire pieces about DJs visiting bondage clubs and wetting the bed.
Why? Because uninformed opinions like those presented in Brett Drensner’s column do more harm than good. They provide false information, reinforce stereotypes, and take us further away from the real issue at hand- current drug policy in the United States is failing and people are dying because of this.
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Dresner blames EDM culture for recent drug overdoses because “unlike other social movements in American history, [it] was not born out of imperfections in society, but instead, out of excessive drug and alcohol use.” Excuse me?
His knowledge of this “movement” began three years ago when his buddy played him an Avicii track on Youtube. I got news for you Christopher Columbus- EDM culture goes back just a tad bit further than the day you ‘discovered it’.
For the record Mr. Dresner, electronic dance music comes out of mostly black, Hispanic and gay cultural movements in the inner city. Last time I checked (today), these groups were still bearing the brunt of “society’s imperfections”.
One cultural group does have “excessive drug and alcohol use” ingrained in its ethos- college students. Yup, Mr. Dresner- you. So forget about the pop music coke binges of the 80s and the rap music smoke outs of the 90s you reference. If we use your logic model we should really stop drug and alcohol abuse where it has been an ongoing problem for generations- higher education.
“Discouraging College Attendance Could Reduce Drug and Alcohol Deaths”
Now there is a headline. Who’s with me?
Dresner goes on to ask of EDM “but what is the culture?”
He answers his own question- “Some might argue that the EDM culture is all about the music . . . But at the heart of it all is the excess --- the excess of drugs and the excess of alcohol”.
Hate to say it Brett, but I don’t think an Avicii song that led to an Avicii concert that led to your one rave qualifies you as an expert on EDM culture. I write about this scene full-time and am still learning about it everyday.
Dresner wonders if EDM culture is “really a culture that people should embrace?”
Well Brett, if we base our answer on your false pretenses probably not. But we’ve already established that your one rave and Avicii concert don’t make you an expert. If this were EDM the Video Game you’d still be playing the training mode.
Not to be rude Brett, but you don’t know shit about fuck.
To give him credit, Dresner's column does show a genuine concern for the recent deaths of young people at electronic music festivals. He reminds us that those who have passed had friends and families, and that their loss brings suffering into the world. This holds true to anyone who has been affected by drug and alcohol use.
But experience and history tell us that shutting down a festival is not going to deter people from drugs. They are just going to do their drugs elsewhere- more than likely somewhere without emergency services on hand.
This is not about Avicii, electronic music, or electronic music festivals. Blame one or all- your viewpoint is still myopic. So now what do we do?
In the short term, we work to educate those that choose to do drugs on the risks involved, and how to do whatever possible to lessen those risks.
In the long term, we need to take a realistic look at drug use and addiction in our society as a whole (not just EDM culture), as well as re-examine our drug policy. Here’s a big ‘imperfection in society’ for us all to tinker with-
The civilian casualty rate of the War On Drugs is unacceptable.
Your heart is in the right place, Brett. Luckily for you, you’re enrolled at the University Of Pittsburgh (It’s no Syracuse, but we’ll take it). Just like EDM isn’t all about drugs and alcohol, neither is college. Enroll in a few sociology and psychology classes. Learn about the subject matter.
Then you can help bring a constructive solution to the table.