Letters

Name withheld by request

Rave New World
As a veteran of the Love Parade in Berlin (the yearly techno party/protest that hosted more than 750,000 advocates of PLUR in 1998), I saw a glimmer of hope for Phoenix's atrophied rave scene in David Holthouse's column "Rave Rivals" (April 8).

In many ways, Europe is inherently more adapted to the rave culture, having richer, more dense city centers. But Arizona's conservative mentality is more to blame than anything else in stinting the growth of rave.

This conservative mentality can certainly be challenged with the protest suggested by Swell's management. But such a protest should follow the Berlin model. The Love Parade began in the early 1980s by a handful of people who danced around their VW minivan in a protest "for love" on Berlin's major walking street. Last year, the promoters convinced a reluctant German parliament that the parade was a political action in favor of love, and not just a bauchus.

The Phoenix rave scene should plan to rally in this way; strictly organizing as a demonstration on behalf of an idea, and then allowing it to grow every year as a legal civil action, to the chagrin of the paternalistic Phoenix authorities.

Sure, PLUR can sound as goofy and idealistic as any hippie mantra, but it has an ability to restrain violent acts like those described in Holthouse's column, and to focus people on the reasons we rave. And if the Wise Guys care at all for rave, they would join with Swell in organizing such a protest.

Name withheld by request

Thank you for David Holthouse's column "Rave Rivals." This is a chance for the Arizona scene to catch a glimpse of what Swell Records is all about.

I've been going to raves for years, and I have always given mad recognition and respect to Swell because they've been doing their thing for such a long time. March 27, 1999, was my birthday and also the annual electronic Musik festival. I was so excited because I knew that my birthday was going to be amazing this year. I feel really bad about what happened to Swell's window; I can't believe someone could be so disrespectful. If it weren't for Swell Records, half the talent and half the big events would never have occurred or even exist in Arizona.

I, for one, do not criticize Swell because they have done so much for the Arizona scene. They seriously don't care if they make money on parties; they are there to expose good music to Arizona. I've been called a "Swell Whore" for sticking up for my friends at Swell, but I'll be known as the biggest Swell Whore in Arizona because these are people I love and respect, and I seriously don't give a s*%# if you all hate Swell. I know what they have done for me, and that's what it is about. Thank you, Swell, for being who you are whether or not people respect it. And thank you, David Holthouse, for actually taking your time to find out what really happened.

Elizabeth Michelson
Phoenix

Arms Way
Yeah, you sucked me (and many) in with your cute little Arm the Homeless story ("Give Piece a Chance," April 1). It at least crossed my mind that it could be a fake story, since, after all, it was April Fool's Day, but it seemed so real, with the Web site and all.

Sort of makes one understand why The War of the Worlds was so realistic. At least that was a classic radio broadcast. Your story was a classic joke that truly represents what your paper is all about in the first place. What was the real point of your sick joke, anyway? Why would you screw around with one of the most controversial subjects in the country--guns? Why raise more concern and create more focus on the subject of guns and gun shows? Why cause so many people, other journalists, and law enforcement agencies so much concern? Let me guess. Of course, how stupid of me. It's your liberal viewpoint in subject reversal format suggesting that guns can be bought at gun shows "cash and carry" by anyone (oh my God!), and, let's see, uh, then they can be given or sold to anyone without any real trace (oh my God again!). Yeah, that's it. You liberals at New Times are against the Second Amendment.

You people in the dark fringes of journalism (this is where the fungus spores of New Times grow) really like to abuse and manipulate the right of free speech and the press to the fullest extent, don't you? It's okay for you to hide behind your rights while you monkey with the rights and freedoms of others. I'll bet your staff had one hell of a good laugh abusing your journalistic privileges while doing this little gig.

Gee, I sure hope you are not insulted with my few words. You shouldn't be, because thousands of us are insulted by your irresponsible journalism and total lack of taste in reporting. Hey, keep up the tasteless work. This is America. You have the right and you know it. Right?

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