An open letter to the Trance scene

Rabbit So, I asked Mr Stoat to write a small article for me. He wanted the first line to get him started so i sent him this:

Rabbit December 2012. Who cares where the date came from, we're tooled up and fully connected. Let's make it the tipping point. We've got six months. Let's synchronise our watches, cast a respectful eye, one last time, to a past we sometimes choose to remember and often wish to forget, and then look resolutely forward to the world we always hoped we might want our children to be brought up in. The psychedelic scene has been onto this one for a while. Here Mr Stoat discusses the future of a scene built upon the concept of 'evolution into higher states of consciousness' and what the Trance people have in store for us over the next six months in the run-up to the Apocalypse.

Rabbit So, well, he didn't get back to me about it.

Hamster Those are big issues you're trying to address, my friend. To be honest, I think you're going to get a taste of my cynicism now. I think the parties are just a chance for people to blow off some steam.

Hamster For all we know, the Mayan elders were too lazy, too skint, too ambivalent or maybe even too loaded on their locally brewed intoxicant to know any better. There's no real significance to the date December 21st 2012. Who cares about some old clay tablets used to record time by our Neanderthal ancestors?

Rabbit I'm not saying you're wrong, but I know a lot of people were attracted to spirituality because they were seeking something real, and maybe something ideal. A better life or a better world for themselves and the people they loved. Then somehow they followed Osho, or Crowley, or Watts, or Leary or Hicks or whoever and eventually landed up dumped in a rave by the mysterious hand of God, sequestered for a night in some filthy disused factory in west London made up to look like a luminous fairy grotto, surrounded by MDMA demons, their faces distorted in bizarre grimaces, manically chewing on nothing; K Headed gollums with rolling eyes and lolling tongues; coke fiends barking like dogs; twitching, leering, bare chested Shamans, walking erections; psychedelic fairies with glowing teeth and sunken eyes. And everyone dancing, some dancing in rememberance of better times, maybe the times of folklore, long before they were born, and some dancing to forget their dreary, disappointing lives.

Hamster Now you're being cynical. Anyway, didn't you say YOU were a shaman?

Rabbit Well I thought I was for a while until I realised Shaman was a euphemism for 'guy who gives girl drugs in the hope that she might sleep with him while she's too high to know any better'.

Hamster You never done that?

Rabbit No. Okay, so let's look at the Trance scene. Most of the heads on that scene that I've met believe in this 2012 thing. That's gotta be a start. They're all tuned into the same date. They're all into spirituality in a non religious, non-denominational form, they're pretty open-minded when it comes to crazy philosophies and unusual ideas about the nature of reality.

Hamster Yeah but the music all sounds the same, it's just not all that interesting.

Rabbit For sure, the scene is pretty inbred at this point. And kind of elitist. It's high energy music, good to dance to but I do get bored listening to the same thing all night long. But I'd say the same thing if I went to a church. 'Oh Jesus, not another freaking carol, could you put some Dylan on or the Prodigy? How about Lamb of God? turn it up really loud, we can dance in the aisles'

Rabbit And that brings me to another point. It's like, the raves are the churches of the modern underground. Saturday, Sunday, we worship the giant speaker stacks, the DJs are the priests, they bring the God Energy, radiate it at the crowd then use the feedback loop to augment their social status. It's just like a Church. We partake in the blood of Christ, or the flesh of the mushroom, or whatever, and there we are, 4am on a Sunday morning, dancing ecstatically, looking God in the eye, fully engaged in our drug-fuelled Samadhi.

Hamster Yeah, and then we spend the next week recovering.

Rabbit For sure. The church of the underground needs renovating. We gotta open some windows let some light in, maybe take the kids out on a few field trips. Look at the Buddhists, the Kaballists, the Scientologists and the Freemasons. Now those guys really make the most of the opportunities their religions provide them to collaborate and grow. Why should it be any different with the ravers? Are we really just the lazy underclass engaging in drug fuelled escapism because we can't be bothered to get proper jobs that the popular media portrays us to be? Or are we more than that? And if we are, how do we make the most of our lives, individually, or as a group? How do we achieve real actualisation, collectively?

Rabbit I'd like to see people bringing back the romance into a world that has turned a little grey, not with costumes and make believe, but in reality. And not just on a Saturday night, there are seven days in a week. Every single one of us has the potential to be a force for real change in the world. Every individual who is out of work is someone who has enough time on their hands to do something real, every day, every week and every month of the year. We have our church, we have our mythologies, we have the clothes, the fairy wings, the day-glow dreadlocks. We have the music. So what is the next stage in the evolution of the psychedelic scene? Or the rave scene as a whole. What about the Rainbow, the protest scene, the D.I.Y underground? How does it all fit within the wider culture? What could we create together, if we really tried?

Hamster I dunno man. I think you're dealing with people who just wanna drink, dance, do some drugs, get laid, go home, repeat and rinse.

Rabbit Maybe. Maybe. For me, there was always more to it than that. I guess I'm always hoping to see the best in people. I believe inside we're all romantics, we're all idealists, we all hoped for so much more, and maybe when we didn't get it, when reality slapped us hard across the face for the billionth time, a part of us couldn't take it any more. Some part of us fell asleep. Some part of us just decided to take what it could, to make the most of a bad situation in a difficult time. But I keep trying, I still believe in humanity, in the idea of heaven on Earth, you could say. I want to see people happy, everyone, happy. Until then, as far as I'm concerned, there's work to do. So I'm gonna keep trying.

Hamster Okay, keep trying. I gotta go and update my CV.

Rabbit Cool, good luck with it. Love you man.

Hamster Yeah you too, ciau x

With: Aseem 'Ace' Rishi

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