Vast numbers of contemporary youth have attached primary significance to raving and post-rave experiences. This collection of essays explores the socio-cultural and religious dimensions of the rave, 'raving' and rave-derived phenomena.
Rave Culture and Religion provides insights on developments in post-traditional religiosity (especially 'New Age' and 'Neo-Paganism') through studies of rave's Gnostic narratives of ascensionism and re-enchantment, explorations of the embodied spirituality and millennialist predispositions of dance culture, and investigations of transnational digital-art countercultures manifesting at geographic locations as diverse as Goa, India, and Nevada's Burning Man festival. Contributors examine raving as a new religious or revitalization movement; a powerful locus of sacrifice and transgression; a lived bodily experience; a practice comparable with world entheogenic rituals; and as evidencing a new Orientalism. Rave Culture and Religion will be essential reading for advanced students and academics in the fields of sociology, cultural studies and religious studies.
- Professor Sam Gill, University of Colorado at Boulder
ONB have been cruising the country, terrorising peaceful, uranium loving folk.
"As you can see with Reclaim the Streets it's a pretty unstoppable form of people power." - Pete Strong.
Technoid doofters turn protests into parties
By Mick Daley
In 1965 a group of infamous hippies called the Merry Pranksters embarked on an archetypal American odyssey in a purple bus that would later be immortalised in Tom Wolfe's book *The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test*. Their mission was to take lots of drugs whilst expanding their consciousness and indeed that of the American Nation, then preoccupied with killing people in foreign countries in the name of preventing people from being killed in foreign countries.
While not much has changed as far as America's preoccupations go, the modern descendents of the pioneering Pranksters are alive and well and marauding around Australia in their own bus. In their case it's bright green, drenched in graffiti and crewed by a gang of technoid doofters travelling under the banner of Ohms Not Bombs (ONB). They've been staging impromptu dance parties at contentious environmental sites such as Goolongook (in Gippsland forest) and the Jabiluka anti-uranium mine camp. Indeed the bus has become a familiar sight at protests and parties all over the country. Last time I saw it in action was at an anti-Timbarra mine protest march in Sydney in February.
It trawled along Macquarie Street, broadsiding doof beats from huge speakers poking out of the luggage bay like cannon from an eighteenth century galleon. Cops chaperoning the procession sniggered at the dB-addled freaks. But in the austere offices of Parliament House the politicos must have thought they were about to undergo an alien invasion. And indeed the luminous techno-travellers swarming around the bus and chanting fiercely might easily have been mistaken for stormtroopers spearheading a generation's demands that deadly radioactive elements and cyanide mining methods be banned from their country's fragile ecosystems. Pete Strong, an ONB stalwart, was aboard the bus. A platinum haired cheerful chap with an internationalist's accent, he talks about ONB's approach to protest politics.
Adding a vibe "Dancing is a good way of adding a different vibe to a protest. As you can see with Reclaim the Streets it's a pretty unstoppable form of people power." ONB is a collective of about twenty loosely knit individuals that evolved from an earlier mob known as the Vibe Tribe. They were a hedonistic crew operating on the fringe of radical protest events, feeding on the zeitgeist and translating its energies into their wild trance acid beats, performing in a blaze of fluoro and dreadlocks and exotic piercings, riding the early waves of 90's freakpower. Their illegal squat and street parties were attracting up to a thousand people at a time till in the mid Nineties they were attracting too much media and police interest and the collective split. Half of them went to Byron Bay and the other half stayed in Sydney and became ONB. The ONB crew are no less radical, but they have pared back the energies and focussed them on activism. They still attract a fair level of notoriety but Pete says it's a far cleaner act.
Going off on guarana "With Vibe Tribe there was a lot more drugs happening at the parties. Now we get more activists and it's less drug oriented. I myself only have the odd joint these days. People are going off on the herbal things like guarana." Since doofing on the lawns of Parliament House through the 1995 protests against French testing in the Pacific, ONB have been cruising the country, terrorising peaceful, uranium loving folk. Reactions to their brand of dance activism have been extreme. "In '95 there was a riot in Sydney Park when the police turned up to one of our events. We tried to negotiate to turn it down but they came in with dogs and batons and tried to carry off the generator and it became a full scale riot."
Despite these wild scenes, ONB are definitely into NVA (Non Violent Action). Pete espouses their credo. "We believe that people have gotta become autonomous, break away from the government. People have got to stand up against governments all over the world, against militarism. Our aim is to form a convoy on the road that's self sustaining, going on the road and making clothes and music. "We've got sound systems, samplers, synths, drum machines, mixers. We run workshops as well. Kids in regional towns who have never come across this music before can come along and see how it's done. We want to get more of that stuff happening, teaching people about the issues as well." He and his girlfriend have their own business, making and selling techno clothes.
"Other people work in sound systems, hire lighting and sound rigs," says Pete. "Some people work in clubs. I make my own electronic music with the Organarchy Sound System crew. We just did a JJJ Mix-up, mixing the politics with the music. Organarchy does a lot of the music for ONB. It's characterised by voices in the music, documentary style. You'll have music, beats and loads of voice-overs about an issue like Jabiluka. It's like an alternative newscast." ONB are based in a lot in Redfern known as The Graffiti Hall of Fame, its walls dominated by the spraycan Da Vinci efforts of the local Homies. It's owned by Tony Spanos, a philanthropic businessman renowned for his generosity to community groups and fearless support of ONB's activities. Here they store the bus and sound systems and plan their tours. They have their own website and publish their own PR. Recently they put on The Goodwill Festival, an enormous dance weekend at Warnervale Music Park on the Central Coast.
Pete: "The Goodwill Festival was a massive production. The techno stage was a huge spaceship that took six hours to set up. This festival was the first time we've worked legally with the council and youth groups. It's a big step for us, being accepted by the mainstream with our really radical politics." Last year they packed their sound systems and techno-baggage into the bus and embarked on a four month tour.
Soundtrack to revolution "We put on about 30 events all around the country, from the cities to the desert right out near Alice Springs, the first open air doof to be held at Uluru, and right up to Darwin where we assisted the blockade at Jabiluka mine. On the big day of action where everyone got arrested with John Howard masks on we were playing Yothu Yindi's "Treaty" really loud as everyone got put in paddy wagons, so it was like the soundtrack to revolution. "Next year we're working towards a big convoy to head for Earthdream 2000, the Solstice. Everyone's gonna get vehicles together and meet in Port Augusta in May and go all the way to Jabiluka via the red centre for a huge party that's been talked about for about eight years in the international dance scene. We plan to have the internet on the bus so that we can do updates all the time and let the world know what's going on out there." The Pranksters' brand of collective consciousness carousal might have run aground on the reef of '70s fashion-fiascos but right now saving the planet is definitely in fashion and ONB are riding that wave. Pete Strong reckons it's a mutually beneficial fusion. "This mixture of activism and dance party culture has been really positive y'know, 'cos the dance party culture needed something to dance for, and the activists needed a bit more cavalry, the numbers you can get when you have a sound system somewhere."
Rude Boy takes a look at the UK of 1980 through the eyes of Ray Gange, a punk music fan who leaves his dead end job by landing work as a roadie for his favorite band, the Clash. Part character study, part "rockumentary," part concert film, Rude Boy paints a dark mood of disillusionment at a time of economic decline in Britain, intertwining concert footage with clips from political demonstrations, protests and newsreels. It is a telling portrait of the country's turbulent times with its youth of the day. At the center of it all, however, is the most stunning, furiously alive footage of the Clash that has ever been recorded.
"Ok, you people requested that I make a video of creating a song with the Electribe MX. This is how I usually do it. This thing will be about 50 minutes long, so i cut it in 5 parts, each part is about 10 minutes long."
The definitive film biography of a mythic American figure, a man that Tom Wolfe called 'our greatest comic writer', whose suicide led the Rolling Stone Magazine, where Thompson began his career, to devote an entire issue to the man that launched a brash, irreverent, fearless style of journalism - named 'gonzo' after an anarchic blues riff by James Booker.
Borrowing from Kris Kristofferson, Thompson was a 'walking contradiction, partly truth, mostly fiction'. While his pen dripped with venom for dishonest politicians, he surprised nervous visitors with the courtly manners and soft-spoken delivery of a Southern gentleman. By many, he is considered an iconic crusader for truth, justice and a fiercely idealistic American way. Like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has been a wanderlust myth for generation after generation of American youth. And for America's esteemed journalists - from Tom Wolfe, and Walter Isaacson to the NY Times' Frank Rich - he remains an iconic freelance who believed that writing could make a difference. The film focuses on Thompson's work, particularly his most provocative and productive period from 1965 to 1975.
Gonzo is directed by Alex Gibney, the Academy Award nominated director of Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room and the director of the Academy Award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side. While Gibney shaped the screen story, every narrated word in the film springs from the typewriters of Thompson himself, given life by Johnny Depp.
The film is distinguished by its unprecedented cooperation of Thompson's friends, family and estate. The filmmakers had access to hundreds of photographs and over 200 hours of audiotapes, home movies and documentary footage.
"Can you put a value on a beautiful day, when the birds are singing and people are walking around together? How many dollars anhour does it take to pay you to stay inside and sell things or file papers? What will you get later that could make up for this day of your life?"
Download crimethink's book "days of war, nights of love" right here
The Freedom Tunnel is the name given to the Amtrak tunnel under Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City. It got its name because the graffiti artist Chris "Freedom" Pape used the tunnel walls to create some of his most notable artwork. The name may also be a reference to the freedom one may find in this tunnel, the freedom to live unobserved, the freedom to create artwork, and freedom from rent.
"Under Manhattan’s Upper West side, runs the “Freedom” Tunnel. Built in the 30’s by Robert Moses, the passage boasts legendary graffiti murals and piles of debris remaining of the past homeless city era. After using it for only a coupleof years, Amtrak discontinued the line and left a massive cavern which later became a shelter for street people. Progressively, the tunnel turned into a veritable underground metropolis where thousands of homeless were living in organized communities underneath the city’s skin.
The tunnel also became a prime spot for graffiti artists. Chris Pape, aka Freedom, was one of the pioneers and his work inspired the name of the tunnel. “Freedom” painted immense murals utilizing the unique lighting provided by the ventilation ducts, turning the tunnel into an extraordinary underground art gallery. Some of his most notable paintings survived for decades and are still conspicuous today (“Venus de Milo”, the “Coca-Cola Mural”, Dali’s “Melting Clock”,a self-portrait featuring a male torso with a spray-can head, etc.).
In 1991, Amtrak decided to reopen the tunnel. The shanty towns were cleared out by the police and homeless were evicted. Although deserted, the tunnel is now an active train line and a stunning experience for urban explorers.
It is a bizarre blend of dark and light, silence and rumble, solitude and multitude. As you penetrate the tunnel and walk along the tracks, the sunbeams perforating the ceiling and highlighting the railway gives the place a post-nuclear feel. Voices from children playing above in Riverside Park sound like lost souls and trains whistling and roaring through the ruins of the shanty towns send chills down your spine.