another 2 am synthesis of the same history and topic i’ve been trying to synthesize at 2 am for a year
while a lot of high-profile clubs and raves had harm reduction programs where you could test your drugs for quality and safety, some didn’t. and a couple of kids died because of this, and the government saw an opportunity to pass more laws that could get more non-violent drug offenders into the private prisons so they can have some cheap labor
this resulted in the RAVE act. the resisting american’s vulnerability to ecstasy act. which, if you try to read the name of this bill as something not even related to drugs, somehow actually makes more sense. like you’re trying to make americans resistant and invulnerable to beautiful ecstatic experiences. joe biden wrote this bill. he made a note of also previously writing a “crackhouse” bill, which similarly kind of went after the wrong targets in honestly more complex issues. joe biden has never been a lucid individual.
the rave act made venue owners and organizers also complicit in any drug-related offense or death that happened “under their watch.” posession, a death, soliciting, a cute little veteran grandpa that lets kids throw parties at his american legion could suddenly get all these charges. since mere posession could suddenly be charged against organizers, drug testing tables and harm reduction programs couldn’t come to the events that did happen. so if someone did somehow get some bad ecstasy into a club, and they did it anyways without testing it, and they died. that was because of the rave act. people weren’t gonna stop doing these drugs, this law made the only relatively safe and ideal places to enjoy and experiment with them just as dangerous as the street.
but wait, raves can still happen while everyone is sober, right? dancing is still fun! you’re right! but club culture became looked at so negatively by the media, government, and the music industry, that no one wanted to touch it outside of diy spaces. and even then, your diy venue would be better off and less of a beacon for police to come and do a mass arrest if you just played some trip-hop or twee indie rock. and punk shows only last like 2 hours and everyone is an alcoholic, which is a legal thing to be.
what can we extract from these events sociologically? generation x had their major political and cultural youth movement stripped away from them because it was too powerful. grunge does not count. if a potentially scalable political-ish subculture emerges in a major city, the city usually invites neolib yuppies to gentrify it so it can never actually flourish. i feel like this either happened with electroclash or this was electroclash. i don’t even know. what can we do about any of this? unrelated but what can we do about gamergate or even doritosgate? probably electing bernie sanders
i’ve only recently realized that no shit the american rave scene died after the rave act the way it did, even in legitimate clubs. no one wants to touch anything that could potentially put them in jail
joe biden singlehandedly changed the way nightlife and counter-culture worked. i am so sick of drinking ipas and listening to MAC DEMARCO