The Pitt News, a student paper for the University of Pittsburgh, recently published a column by Brett Dresner that suggested attendance of EDM shows should be discouraged and that ultimately, EDM culture should be "eliminated".
His article makes erroneous assumptions about electronic dance music before ultimately stating that, what he refers to as a "movement", is not worth being preserved or changed. I immediately called out both the paper and Dresner for publishing an article that does more harm than good because of the mistruths it spreads.
Dresner responded to our post in our comment section. I have elected to publish his response in Magnetic's main thread to 1. Give Dresner an adequate space to have his response be heard and 2. demonstrate to the EDM community the type of stereotypes and misinformation that will challenge us as we move forward towards solving what is ultimately problem in American society as a whole - drug use and the surrounding hypocrisy of current drug policy.
Here is Brett Dresner's unedited response:
Dear Magnetic Mag,
Thank you for your response to my article. I always value criticism. However, I would like to ask you, as an expert, what do you consider the culture of EDM to be? I have been to country concerts and never seen anyone overdose on MDMA; I've been to rap concerts and haven't seen it happen. In fact, I have only ever seen MDMA done in excess at EDM events. Secondly, I would never call myself an expert, nor did I ever do so in my article. But, I think pretending that MDMA is not a harmful drug is a dangerous precedent to set.
I agree, education is an important step. Consider alcohol, it is a very dangerous substance but with education, people can learn the warning signs of alcohol poisoning. With MDMA,it is already too late. Someone can ingest more and more because it "feels good" then they're dead before they understand how much they have taken,not too mention alcohol isn’t cut with anything.
I may not know where the movement began but I think we can both agree that it has taken off in mainstream culture within the past five years in the US; about the amount of time I have been in college. Drug and alcohol abuse are common in college, yes, but I think openly embracing EDM events, where significantly more drug use happens is shortsighted. Once again, I doubt we will ever reach an understanding between us, but I’m not so self-indulgent to say you don’t know “shit about fuck,” so I’ll just say, I enjoyed your insight."
My comment to Dresner is in the comment thread of the original post. He also debated us on twitter, choosing not to answer many of the questions we asked of him to help explain his argument. He continues to operate under the assumptions that EDM culture is all about MDMA and the best solution to the problem is for college students to stay away from EDM festivals.
I recognize that the Pitt News is "just" a student newspaper, but I feel that college students are being disproportionately impacted by the recent festival deaths. I want the voices of those in the 18-22 age range to be heard, as well as know how they are being misrepresented in all forms of media.
We do not condone the use of drugs here. We do however take a pragmatic approach and recognize that some fans of sports, rap, rock, country, pop and EDM may choose to drink alcohol, smoke weed, snort cocaine, or ingest molly at events. This fact holds true regardless of any moral or legal consequences.
An INFORMED discussion must start right now in order to prevent future deaths. A call to "Ban EDM" is only a new "Just Say No" campaign.
Look how that turned out.