Furthur Explanation | Letters | Chicago Reader

Furthur Explanation 

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I was thoroughly disappointed by Shane DuBow's recent presentation of the rave scene and of Mr. David Prince ["Mud, Drugs, and Speaker Hugs," June 21]. Being an attendee of the first two Furthurs, I too know firsthand some of the surrealities of this scene called rave. I've seen the blow pops held puckered tight by the lips of the young x-ed out faces, and the overwhelming lack of racial diversity among those faces. I know how much it costs to live the life of this type of a partier--it would be nice to be able to afford to drop by Untitled and spend $300 for a weekend rave wardrobe to be as excruciatingly "cool" as others. Moreover, I would most certainly agree that the rave scene is not going to be the type of environment that will save a generation. It's far too exclusive and, at times, unhealthy for that. But what Mr. DuBow failed to recognize is the beauty of and the need for the rave scene in this time of political and emotional confusion among youth. What David Prince and his associates did and continue to do is fulfill an urgent obligation in response to a desperate cry for community resonating among this Generation X. Furthur is one device to provide an environment where some semblance of community does exist--where people can have fun and be free, and where, at some raves, people can get out of the city and feel what it's like to sleep underneath the stars and renew a relationship with nature. Furthur also happens to be where some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard has been created. (If Mr. DuBow had taken the time to listen to more of it, he might have heard the complexities of the music and not simply 200-plus beats per minute.)

All of this nurtures real communication between people, which is necessary to human life. Certainly, this type of communication is not being provided through the Internet, phone, fax, E-mail . . . and sadly, not even on the streets of Chicago. People rarely have fun together anymore or are open to meeting new, different, and creative souls (as shown by Mr. DuBow's impression of the ravers). You see, though I have my reservations about the scene's safety, I believe that in the right hands this "party" can in fact become an unforgettable experience--it was for me. And speaking as an acquaintance of Mr. Prince, he has sacrificed more of himself for Chicago's Generation Xers than anyone I have ever had the pleasure of meeing and that is how he is akin to the late Mr. Leary. I wonder if Mr. DuBow might have been able to see these positive aspects of Even Furthur if he'd not focused so much on Mr. Prince's activities and instead allowed himself to have some fun and made some new friends. After all, that seemed to be the purpose of the party and, contrary to the article's perspective, what David Prince would have wanted.

Name withheld

Chicago

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The Great Leap Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre
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