Fraser Finally Shows Up

house.54: the Zippies [continued]
{linked 3 places}

house.54.0: M (miga) Thu 1 Dec 94 13:42

the Saga of the Zippies continues...

house.54.1: destruction and rebirth (cubensis) Thu 1 Dec 94 14:31

Huh? Wha--? Wow! One step closer to being a bovine!

Hopefully the "Zippy karma" will be reborn in a purer essense on several
levels, as our goddess M "Kali" Normal gives the wheel a spin...

house.54.2: David Dei (megatrip) Thu 1 Dec 94 16:02

Blessings on this virtual venture.

A suggestion for communal conversation:

in both the neural and geographic sense

(or freedoms won on the dancefloor infect the street, the city, the
planet, the galaxy.....)

house.54.3: MewTent (kreth) Thu 1 Dec 94 16:04

now linked frrrom [house 54] to [wired 124]

zip on, dudes.

house.54.4: let it shine (cubensis) Thu 1 Dec 94 18:48

Um... Hi David Dei! Welcome! I've been most impressed with what I've seen
of your writings (all your own stuff?) here and on alt.raves, etc...

I've had a chance to speak with Ray at length via _!talk_... where did he
go? (or are you both sharing, or what?) Please enlighten us.

RE: post #2-- at the risk of incurring rusirius' rapier wit across my
bum, I'd suggest the dancefloor freedoms somehow help re-configure those
neural matrix(s), thus carrying the harmonizing effect into the "real" world
of random acts of kindness, responsible investment, acceptence of diversity,
etc... the term "infect" belongs next to "cultural virus" in the linguistic
scrapheap, IMHO... (no offense to Jules Marshall intended)

Like the German dude said in the Outdoor article: "Vot does he an, VIRUSES?"

house.54.5: let it shine (cubensis) Thu 1 Dec 94 18:51

That reads "mean", not "an"-- for some reason I've been having two letters
of words get dropped between the typing and the reading... I'll ask support
about that, cause I definitely typed the whole word...

house.54.6: jonl (jonl) Thu 1 Dec 94 19:59

Linked from house 54 to fringeware 170.

house.54.7: Fraser Clark (megatrip) Thu 1 Dec 94 20:44

Megatrip, our virtual home! Plenty of space here, cosy, if only we had a
log fire, ambient music and online sacrements!

house.54.8: let it shine (cubensis) Thu 1 Dec 94 22:23

aaahhh.... I get it. You've learned the art of the pseudonym.

"Hashpipes roasting by an open fire....
neuralnets fusing at the nodes...."

house.54.9: MewTent (kreth) Thu 1 Dec 94 22:30

I still like Nat King Cole's version.

house.54.10: flesh-eating virus (cubensis) Fri 2 Dec 94 21:38

so what do folks think of {megatrip}'s proposed theme?

house.54.11: Robert Lauriston (duck) Sat 3 Dec 94 11:02


house.54.12: flesh-eating virus (cubensis) Sat 3 Dec 94 13:08

Well, _thread_ then. see post #2

house.54.13: MewTent (kreth) Sat 3 Dec 94 15:46

How about a zippie theme-park - built around a continuous 24hr. rave? You
could have Way New Tomorrowland, solar-powered bumper cars, FunnyHat Land,
the Island of Plush Toys (surrounded by a nootropic nutrient-enriched
SmartSea(tm) ), and ThrobbingMeadows - where masses of chilling zips lie on
the ground to feel the vibrations of subterranean sub-woofers the shake the
topsoil down to a depth of 6'.

Of course, admission would be free.

house.54.14: Rayo (megatrip) Sat 3 Dec 94 15:48

not to forget the domain of the cuddly deity....

house.54.15: MewTent (kreth) Sat 3 Dec 94 15:59


house.54.16: flesh-eating meme (cubensis) Sat 3 Dec 94 16:50

and thru the round green door with the knob in the middle--

you can kneel at Chapel Perilous, relax and float downstream...

(But when you get the $$ to build this Zippyland, you better watch out for
the legions of Righteous Ravebots, they'll accuse you of selling your soul!

house.54.17: MewTent (kreth) Sun 4 Dec 94 09:51

nanobots will build zippyland, of course. so, it's going to be a while.

house.54.18: RUSirius (rusirius) Sun 4 Dec 94 13:26

I think there should be "DMT" influenced raves, otherwise known as the
businesman's rave. Lasts only 15 minutes...

house.54.19: run ravebot run (cubensis) Sun 4 Dec 94 13:33

you _know_ that *somebody* would slip those little seeds into the smartpunch
and we'd be dancin' with elves all night anyway!

house.54.20: Jim Cyr (surfpunk) Thu 8 Dec 94 15:24

let's speculate, . . .
as subject # 34 we vibrated to a "7" which in many shamanic systems has
to do with awakening dreams, now as subject # 54 we vibrate to a "9"
which has to do with chaos, and the design and choreography of energy . .
are the philosophers who are usually part of this conversation all immmersed
in the great seasonal stimulation of the economy, or would we rather be
dreaming . . . .

house.54.21: Let it shine (cubensis) Thu 8 Dec 94 19:53

Yeh-- we were #34 in both g house and g fringeware. Now we're #54 in house
and #170 in fringeware.

The cover of the December outside listed:
"7 raving Zippies..."

I'll add:

"6 debts a-paying..."

"Fiiiiiiiiiive gold-en memes!"

As for me, I'm dreaming of stimulation, and stimulating dreams,

house.54.22: Rayo (megatrip) Fri 9 Dec 94 15:49

chaos! indeed, it's appropriate that we discuss both the emerging global
chaos and methods for chaos surfing.

Don't you think that Newt Gingrich is a Rush Limbaugh rendition of
Reagan? Looks like 187 is going to go federal, and then by my
estimate, the
entire american legislative system fails, followed by a monetary crash as
the digicash system achieves critical mass, imploding after the sudden
realisation that our entire economy has no basis in reality. In a few
days it will be New Year
1995 just five short years to the bi-millennium. It's going to be quite a
ride folks!

house.54.23: Robert Lauriston (duck) Fri 9 Dec 94 16:39

Actually, the third millenium of the Gregorian calendar starts in six
years and 22 days.

house.54.24: let it shine (cubensis) Fri 9 Dec 94 19:54

Ah, that good old reality-manipulatin', Church-imposed Gregorian calender.
Let's use that puppy as a tool and turn the thing around on 'em!

house.54.25: KT Lytle (finn2) Fri 9 Dec 94 20:21


house.54.26: David Dei (megatrip) Sat 10 Dec 94 16:44

"reality" just what a lot of Orange County investors are wondering about
right now. Anyone out here who can explain to me how "derivatives" have
any connection to this physical world other than in some highly
abstracted, metaphorical way. The ability to conceptualise "value" should
not be mistaken for the ability to concretise value. In other words, when
was the last time you ate your credit card, or had a handle on what your
paycheck was actually worth in the real world? The emerging digicash
economy is just another step into the "faith economy". What we are all
really doing is purchasing faith. I would rather know what The Wall Street
God was selling before accepting this new religion without
question. But then we all know that economic collapse is of necessity, a
precurser to the Future Perfect State.

house.54.27: KT Lytle (finn2) Sat 10 Dec 94 20:30


house.54.28: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Sun 11 Dec 94 13:09

The rules are a lot fairer to the players in Vegas. The house take is
always known. The game rules are prominently posted. Everyone knows
how much money they can lose when they walk into the casino.

None of that applies as much when you're talking about Wall Street.

house.54.29: RUSirius (rusirius) Sun 11 Dec 94 17:14

generally speaking, when an economy collapses or even takes a severe
downturn, you wind up with fascism or some other authoritarian form...

house.54.30: KT Lytle (finn2) Mon 12 Dec 94 00:12


house.54.31: David Dei (megatrip) Mon 12 Dec 94 17:58

economic downturn = fascism? Only if you use the Weimar Republic as a
model. But what of the 20s stock market crisis in the US. Did it create
more or less fascism. Was FDR's New Deal an ingression into old order
authoritarianism or a major social innovation? Then there's the 87 crash
that arguably gave us Clinton. I don't think it's inevitable that
economic collapse will result in sustained social apocolypse. I tend to
side with the view that social crisis creates innovation. A period of
disequilibrium is not only a good thing, its a necessity for evolving a
better system. Would'nt it be great if we finally ditched
the entire Republican schtick after if became totally obvious to all and
sundry that the World War Two vintage political ideology was threatening
the species survival? You can't get a good cup of tea without allowing
the kettle to boil ;-)

house.54.32: Sofia's Choice (amicus) Mon 12 Dec 94 19:35

One of my (other account) .plan quotes is by Frederick Douglass, who said
"Those who profess to favor freedom yet deprecate agitation, are men
who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean
without the roar of its many waters."
Another is Washington's:
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! It is
a dangerous servant and a terrible master."
(which doesn't keep me from believing that most Netlibertarians behave like

house.54.33: Friends Don't Let Friends Hammer ROcket Fuel (humdog) Mon 12 Dec 94 23:25

rusirius i think is right
because fascism is totalizing, which means that
there is only one solution.

but also fascism is an aesthetic response or plan.

house.54.34: KT Lytle (finn2) Tue 13 Dec 94 00:43


house.54.35: Friends Don't Let Friends Hammer ROcket Fuel (humdog) Tue 13 Dec 94 08:34

i suspect that the above is probably correct.

house.54.36: RUSirius (rusirius) Tue 13 Dec 94 13:30

Desperate people aren't in the mood for pluralism and free speech...

roosevelt may or may not have been a particularly authoritarian president,
I don't really know. He made some necessary things happen at the time...

house.54.37: David Dei (megatrip) Tue 13 Dec 94 14:09

But if we read the Art of War carefully, we can see the desperate measures
by the present regime as a sign of weakness. The system is not the granite
object that we have been led to believe, but rather something that will
give way if pushed. Only problem is that the counterculture has given up
shoving. The time to move on a new social agenda is in jsut such a period
of disequilibrium. The reason being that we at least have a chance at
influencing the approaching cultural bifurcation. Fascism and Freedom are
merely tendencies within the system. Which way we load the dice is
unfortunately up to all of us.

house.54.38: Friends Don't Let Friends Hammer ROcket Fuel (humdog) Tue 13 Dec 94 15:44

i do not think it is that clear.
it is sometimes only a choice about how things look,
or has been that kind of choice, unfortunately for

house.54.39: Everybody's...dead (gregoryp) Wed 14 Dec 94 07:27

That assumes you believe we've got a choice...

house.54.40: Friends Don't Let Friends Hammer ROcket Fuel (humdog) Wed 14 Dec 94 17:45

i think we have choices.

house.54.41: Knowledge (aasgaard) Fri 16 Dec 94 08:38


house.54.42: Joseph Boyle (boyle) Fri 16 Dec 94 10:32


house.54.43: Robert Lauriston (duck) Fri 16 Dec 94 11:28

"Antitrust settlement" isn't an accurate description, since there was
never an antitrust suit to settle.

house.54.44: Fraser Clark (megatrip) Thu 22 Dec 94 01:06

Hey, guys! Zippy head honcho finally gets live on internet for first
time, live from my own little cubicle. No longer lurking and throwing in
psychic bombs, I'm here, live. But listen, I never heard so much bland
pap in my whole life. This is meant to be a serious System-collapsing
conspiracy channel,after all. If you just want to quote some fool you
never met and don't really understand, then we're not going to understand
it either so why bother? The last intelligent imput on here was from
David Dei. And his point was that this p[resent System Collapse (like all
others) is a period of turbulence during which Change czn happen, but that
it's not inevitable which way that Chsange will go, positive or negative.
That's under our control. Now who's got something intelligent to add to
that or to disagree with it?
I'd like to add this thought for today: When Gorbachev collapsed one
of the 2 major user-unfriendly systems that were beginning to dominate
our entire planet by simply getting to the top and then unscrewing the
top screw so that the whole thing just unravelled downwards, I
thought, well, in AMerica that will never happen because in order to get
to the top in THIS system you have to sell out along the way so that you
end up a part of the very sick System you're trying to replace. Change'll
have to come
from the people up (through the Rave phenomenon, of course, or did you
think it would come from Ross Perot?). Well, here's my thought: it
seems to me that everyone's voting for these Repubulican half brains
from the very simple but certain sense that the whole System is a
threat to us all, including the folks who rule us, and they're at least
voicing this feeling even though they've no idea beyond cutting the
system back. So, look,
now everyone, Republican and Democrat alike, are competing to erase
government from the top down too! How'd'ya like that?!! Isn't that
positive? They're doing our zippy work for us! Unless you
think the System is doing you some good, of course. Anyone out there
like to claim he'd do less well without the System? I tell you, when
folks finally realise, as they're beginning to, that the System is the
threat it's telling us it's protecting us from, then you won't
recognise this place!
Have a cool yule, folks! And PLEASE, say what you think or what you feel,
but stop being smart because there really is nothing smart about getting
shafted every day of your life and a) never noticing it and/or b) never
even TRYINg to do something about it and/or c) trying to be a smartass
when a few people ARe sincerely trying?

house.54.45: Young Owl Hatching (owlmed) Thu 22 Dec 94 07:12


house.54.46: Robert Lauriston (duck) Thu 22 Dec 94 09:46

How nice of you to show up personally so I can tell you to please fuck
off and die, you useless self-promoting egotistical creep.

Or, to put it in a more positive fashion, log off, read up, get a clue.

house.54.47: let your mind be your sun (tow) Thu 22 Dec 94 11:10


house.54.48: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Thu 22 Dec 94 16:12

I have no quarrel with your vision for radical and positive reordering of
society, Fraser.

But, if I may be so bold as to make a slight suggestion, the tolerance for
snow jobs here on the Well is low. I think people here are interested in
what you really have to say, without cloaking it in bunch of highfalutin
mumbo jumbo.

Many here have been involved in consciousness-changing for a *long* time.

I've personally been combining political activity, online involvement and
participation in the dance music scene for a good long time. And along
with my background in anthropology, it seems to me that the biggest flaw
in your analysis -- shared by many others who hope for positive change,
I might add -- is the unrealistically compressed timeframe you seem to
expect some kind of millenial change to occur.

Humans and human societies are inherently slow to change, for very good
evolutionary reasons. We can't realistically expect the accreting process
of global capitalism, which has been going on for at least six centuries,
to turn around overnight, and it is the height of impertinence if not
self-indulgence to claim that *our* little "rave" scene is going to be
the butterfly that breaks the monster's back.

Nonetheless, I personally sense the inherent value in the personal and
social connections that our "future dance music" entails. It can be
uplifting and enlightening, and then again it might not be, it all
depends on the receptivity of the participants and, to borrow a worn
phrase from a 19th century economist-philosopher, "objective conditions."

Thus, the ecstatic outburst of 1988 in the UK and 1991 in San Francisco
not only might not be sustainable in that form for long, it may well not
occur again . . . and then again, it might.

The concept that the excitement and deep feelings of the house Nation might
somehow be imbued in the population at large seems sentimental and self-
defeating to me. Instead, let's enjoy it for what it is and build it where
we can, and make sure to stick with the values that brought us here to
begin with. One of which is, leadership by example. Another is, love for
all. And so on. But even these great ideals can go astray, as can be
seen from the history of Christianity among other religions.

In my own view, one of the real values of the house Nation is trying to
tread those channels of personal development and social interaction which
heal the rifts caused by the divergent trends in our biology, culture and
technology brought on by ten millenia of civilization. We can't and don't
want to go back to living in trees and caves, but we need to find a way
to reintegrate these three great aspects of human life, and that is the
message felt so viscerally, I think, during the great outbursts of UK 1988
and SF 1991 rave culture.

As that same 19th century guy said, the point is to change the world.

house.54.49: Find your Inner Barney (rik) Thu 22 Dec 94 20:28

Nicely put, phred.

house.54.50: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 22 Dec 94 20:39

I think his comparison to what Gorby had to do is ill-thought, and clearly
just for effect. Certainly Gorby had to sink to at least as low a level to
save his country's bacon as someone would here. It feels different,
though, because there's nothing to "sell out" from there.

Besides, he comes from a wiener country. Their cops don't even carry

house.54.51: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Thu 22 Dec 94 22:05

I mean Fraser Clark's country.

house.54.52: Fraser Clark (megatrip) Thu 22 Dec 94 22:52

Wbell, that stirred things up a bit, no? Things had been getting a bit
bland and desultory.
I'd like to deal with the 'time scale' point. My sense of things is that
we really don't have a lot of time left. I'm not advocating we all get
clinically depressed
by a whole list of the horrors that are happening so I'm going to assume we
are all intelligent and informed
enough to know the Dangers.
I know quite a few people, scientists etc
who think it's already too late. My own attitude is that the poor
lost Cover-Up saps who are continuing to make a profit from the Mess or
who are so deeply committed to covering up for the Shit they've been
involved in for 20 years that they've no choice but to continue are
hiding how bad things really are: therefore assume things are MUCH MUCH
WORSE than anyone is letting on. We won't know what freeko biological
germ shit they're working on, for example, till we all die of it. So we
certainly don't have much time to change things.
Things have been seriously wrong on this planet for an extremely long
time, of course (since the psychedelic monkeys got wiped out by our new
breed of dominators a half million years ago if you go along with
McKenna's theory which I tend to find feels most accurate) and people who
ranted and 'raved' and raged against WoMankind's seriously wrong direction
tended to get nowhere because so many arguments would careen around the
place that people could never get together to actually do something to stop
it. So things
generally just went on "as usual". Well, the one thing we can DEFINITELY
be sure about is that "business as usual" is the ONE OPTION we don't
have. It was always not too bad before because if things got totally
fucked up in this valley we could always move to the next and sort of
start again. Now we have nowhere to go and our sins are catching up with us.

One last point for tonight. What's all this stuff about me saying Rave
Culture is going to Save the Planet?! I've never said that. What I do
say is this: I don't see any other social phenomenon on the planet that
has any hope of doing it other than Rave Culture. It won't be the new Age
Movement and it certainly won't be the Born Agins and it won't be the
Libertarian Republiczns now, will it? Nothing else has the potential, the
method, the numbers, the raised expectations, the social cohesion and the
growth worldwide. Please note again I'm not saying RC will do it. I'm
saying that it's the only hope I can see AND THEREFORE THAT'S WHERE WE
MUST APPLY OUR ENERGIES. That's what I've been doing these last 7 years
or so, and I feel more hopeful and positive now than I did when this
thing started.

house.54.53: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Fri 23 Dec 94 00:59

I withdraw the comment you objected to, Fraser, but instead would say it
was a commonplace to hear that the rave/house/techno scene would somehow
break through and change the world in some dramatic and immediate fashion.
Clearly your efforts with the Zippy/pronoia concept have been aimed at
some variant of that notion. Actually, I'd be interested in hearing what
you think *is* possible culturally or even politically through the dance
music scene.

Beyond that, I'd reiterate my point about the difficulty and scale and
necessary time involved in significant change in human systems, whether
you consider them from the social or technical realm. Further, after many
difficult and occasionally rewarding years of political activity, I've
come to the firm conclusion that trying to motivate people on the rhetorical
basis that "it's almost too late" and the "only option not available is
business as usual" is counterproductive. It might generate a quick but
half-hearted response, but it tends to reinforce the "Chicken Little"
reaction over the long run which is, "see, things haven't fallen apart
yet." This in spite of the fact that people on the whole *know* things
are not going well, regardless of the relative increase in material
possessions for a large part of the world's population in the last few
decades. To put it another way, trying to base an emotional pitch on
what is inherently a rationalistic argument really doesn't accomplish
the job. And I might add, the feeling that time is running short is
one I've personally experienced and it has proven to be a great motivator
in my own work, but as I said it's scarcely an effective *organizing*
strategy in my experience. Instead, we simply must present the objective
facts as best we know them, appeal to reason and emotion in their own
spheres, and let people come to their own conclusions in their own way.

I'm amused to say the least by the notion that "Rave Culture" is but one
of only a few alternatives available. Within the bounds of the advanced
industrial nations alone are dozens or hundreds of social milieus, many
of which are capable of carrying forward social change. Not to mention the
great many more in other areas which have most of the world's population
and are inheriting most of its problems.

And yet, "we have to realize that we're all part of the same family," as
the wonderful track from the African Dreams EP goes. A large and complex
and historically diverse and factionalized family. As a self-aware
species we have a long way to go to solving the divergent cultural,
technological and biological trends I mentioned in my last post. Personally,
I'm most thankful for the insights that "rave culture" has brought me, and
as an active participant and purveyor, equally cautious about our ability
to spread what I think is the essential message, which is the one starting
this paragraph. Over the long run, my sense is that humanity, individually
and as a whole, will have to come to agreement over that simple statement
and then redirect our social and economic functions to accommodate its
implications, or else we *will* make the planet uninhabitable for ourselves
as well as other species. I think a certain amount of humility about the
size of that task and a recognition that it is far from a certainty is in

house.54.54: David Dei (megatrip) Fri 23 Dec 94 01:06

Here are a few extracts from my article "The South African Rave Revolution"

"South Africa was a dull place by any cultural measure during the 70s and
early 80s. A total international boycott of contact had effectively ended
the influence of the outside world turning every South African into a
pariah. Nationwide boycotts of black gutter education, filled the streets
with angry youth. Murder and mindlessness was on the menu and everyone
was just plain scared. The thought police were carrying out their raids
against the schools, universities and individuals that dared to teach an
alternative vision. Tattooing a political slogan on your body could get
you life imprisonment and the cities were curiously free of graffiti, a
thermometer of fear perhaps. Overt resistance was literally impossible.
Pink Floyd had been banned, and the official censors were scanning
everything for signs of political content "

"Cut to the feelgood scenes of voting euphoria and the determined entry of
a new political order. Defeating our expectations of an African Bosnia,
millions of South Africans delivered a laboured election that
disappointed the sensation hunting networks."

"Now for those of you who believe the sanitized international media, South
Africa was just an extreme example of racism, Black versus White like
some modern-day cowboy movie gone bad. Then all of a sudden things
changed overnight, a happy ending in the sunset montage of a Mandela
and De Klerk Nobel Peace Prize. You got it wrong. Lets rewind history to
a little known fact, the greatest slipup the ruling Nationalist Party
and their more radical cousins could have made in their paraNazi career
was to ignore the changing attitudes of the new Vibe Tribe and the effect
of a new soundwave that back in 1988 was beginning to sweep the country.
A 120bpm sound of love that had begun to infiltrate the country via the
very children of Apartheid. Many white kids lucky enough to get a
vacation in London experienced the dancefloor revelation for the first
time. The lovebeat exposed years of indoctrination and would provide an
irresistible attraction and a new more dynamic and less easily censored
music form. "

I grew up in this granite impenetrable apartheid power structure that not
even optimists thought would disappear in such short a time, I am sure
the experience of Russians and Rock 'n Roll is much the same. Do
americans sincerely believe that they will escape what is really
invetable - a massive and lightening fast social change?
To get to my previous point - like Gorby said (paraphrasing Hillel) "If
not now, then when? If not us, then whom?

house.54.55: Young Owl Hatching (owlmed) Fri 23 Dec 94 05:30


house.54.56: Larry Edelstein (ledelste) Fri 23 Dec 94 09:19

No offense to David Dei, but is there anyone with a known brain around (I
don't know you DD) who can expand upon how the social movement of rave
culture had a profound and systemic effect on South Africa's youth?

house.54.57: Steve Rhodes (srhodes) Fri 23 Dec 94 10:33

South Africa had vibrant cultural resistance long before rave.

house.54.58: Equilibrium of Asynchronicity (thxnc) Fri 23 Dec 94 10:47

Ok. Least take a step back and look at the BIG picture.
*Disclaimer: I'm only marginally involved with RC

From an historical perspective, this hope for RC to change the world
sounds an awful lot like what the hippies of late 60's America
were saying about Flower Power and all the other Hippie ideas.
And what happened to that? Splintered, subsumed, and ignored.
From the inside looking out, RC, like hippies Will change the world.
But from outside the culture, there's indifference, ignorance, and even
hatred of anything different. And I think that will apply to RC
as it did to the hippie movement. Things *will* change of course,
but as was mentioned above, there are many competing sub-cultures out
there with RC being only one of the more well known.

I guess the point of my ramble is that RC is not the earth shaking, all
popular culture that insiders may feel. Hell, I bet I could walk
the streets of Atlanta and get 9 out 10 'Uh, what's that?' responses
or worse.

house.54.59: sub zero (reid) Fri 23 Dec 94 11:33

in El Salvador, this rave thing is but a blip. Disco isn't melding culture
the way they thought it would either.

house.54.60: let your mind be your sun (tow) Fri 23 Dec 94 11:47


house.54.61: Dave Dei (megatrip) Fri 23 Dec 94 12:34

Re; South Africa - and lets not underestimate influence of another music
form, Mbaqanga, a local brand of 120bpm footstomping reverie that was
sweeping the black townships, so kids of all collor suddenly found that
they could relate to each other. Music is a language, but a language of
the heart. YOu only have to take a short look at our musical roots to see
that it is shamanic in nature and that the development of recorded
egalitarian sound forms is an extremely new phenomenon. I believe that
music is essentially an epigenetic key to our DNA, unlocking encoded
values of being that we are otherwise unable of accessing. Evolution and
a rapid change from dominator to partnership culturee is a necessary result.
Take another look at those base riffs on Paul Simons Gravelands album,
then take another look at the tempo and I believe we will see the
correlat between what is happening in Rave culture in particular and our
entire music soundscape. This is truly the "devils music", not only a
cultureal thing but a political expression of planetary being. And
remember, where did those drumbeats come from in the first place? The
Olduvai Gorge in Kenya?

house.54.62: Young Owl Hatching (owlmed) Fri 23 Dec 94 15:17


house.54.63: Fuzzy Logic (phred) Fri 23 Dec 94 16:15

I'd be very surprised if rave culture had any noticeable impact on South
African culture or politics at all. I've talked on the net to ravers
from South Africa and I get the impression that, like the U.S., it's
had a very small impact so far.

Township jive or mbaqanga is something else I spin, and it's hardly pinned
to the 120 bpm mark, it ranges more from 95 to 135 actually, with most
songs being around 110. Soukous (which I also DJ and love) is more in the
120-130 bpm range. But I digress.

The points being questioned by megatrip and owlmed actually mesh rather
nicely. Music and dancing were an *essential* part of the culture of
resistance and political development in black South Africa, and I think
a very important part of the patience and tolerance of the people there.
We aren't seeing the kind of ethnic strife there as in other areas
undergoing rapid political change (although there is definitely a strong
undercurrent of violence between factions allied with Buthelezi and other
groups in the country, in part due to economic factors and in part to
tribal ones going back centuries and in part to political ambitions and
in part to manipulations by the NP government). But most observers agree
that South Africa has a strong chance of maturing rapidly because of the
constancy of its people, and it is unquestionably true that music and
dance and social activities exemplified by mbaqanga and the toyi toyi
(which Nelson Mandela himself danced at his inauguration) are a very
important factor in the social knitting-together there. And actually
jive is a more old-fashioned sound now, and certainly not the only
variant in a varied country with many ethnicities and tribal structures.
But I think the determination and optimism exemplified by that music
both reflects and reinforces those attributes in the population as a

Mbaqanga is distinctly the music of the Saturday night town party, the
same social phenomenon reflected in the hollers of African American
slaves in the 19th century south, polka culture, zydeco, and on and on.
It's relatively or completely secular, as opposed to the religious or
formalized ritual context for much other "folk" music. When Mickey Hart
or Bill Graham went to the Latin dances in New York in the late 1950s to
see Tito Puente and the other great bands, it was the same sort of thing.
The sock hop. The college mixer. Singing and dancing and music have
a long history of not only social release but social bonding -- the
consciousness that at its best illuminates (even if not overtly) oppression,
repels racism, allows people to mix in physical activity in peace (well,
let's ignore the scuffling and bar fights, that's a separate subtext . . .
and in fact one of the key features of the rave scene is the near absence
of violence, mostly because alcohol is not highly regarded).

I'm a strong believer that some rhythms and sounds are far more attuned
to these processes than others. It's a major factor in my current
devotion/obsession to DJing. Music that makes you feel good, especially
when it involves the additional physical activity of dancing and perhaps
mental changes all the way up to trance, is neither a necessary nor a
sufficient condition to change oneself or change the world.

But it's a damn good thing to give it a try.

house.54.64: Robert Lauriston (duck) Fri 23 Dec 94 19:13

The resistance didn't have any monopoly on music and dance in South
Africa, you know. The colloaborators liked a good party as much as
anybody else.

house.54.65: David Dei (megatrip) Fri 23 Dec 94 19:43

Precisely, which is why the situation down there managed to move from a
situation of exclusion (resistance vs the "oppressors") to one of
inclusion ( look at what we've got in common). What we all are
forgetting is that the only bloodless change is one of consent. Thus the
National Party and it followers consented to the evolution in the
politcal system precisely because the fear of exclusion in a new Black
nationalist system was conquored and replaced by the politics of

My point about Mbaqanga was one that "music is a common language" and
where is the common-most point of our musical lexicon but in the wordless
100bpm plus shamanic reverie. We dance to get out of our ego's and into a
more accepting, loving condition. Rave is not about a new form of music
fascism but rather a term which encompasses a wide variety of musical
styles. I see the inclusion of traditional folk elements an extremely
positive sign that this is not jet another ego-centerd western form but
rather an inclusive musical form (third world plus first world = fourth
world). Compare the alpha male rock'nRoll star and his passive audience
with the "everyone is a star" of a Rave. The differences of class, color
and social distiction become meaningless in the shared reveried of the dance.

house.54.66: Young Owl Hatching (owlmed) Sat 24 Dec 94 07:04


house.54.67: Robert Lauriston (duck) Sat 24 Dec 94 11:23

Generally those who fight oppression don't have any choice but to do so
from a powerless position with an unclear view of the situation. This can
be particularly problematic in a society so complex that every human
relation can be interpreted as oppression.

Since in reality everything is connected, those who see themselves as
oppressed may in the final analysis be the oppressors as well. The "them"
some people blame for the way things are is usually just the collective us.

house.54.68: Wagner James Au (wjamesau) Sat 24 Dec 94 12:33


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