In the early ’90s, the rave was an in- the-know scene: All-night parties took place in remote warehouses that, even if a thousand people showed up, billed themselves as underground. Increasingly frequent police raids on clandestine venues, along with the potential for real money, drove raves into licit clubs. Then the RAVE Act was passed, allowing police to treat the clubs like crack dens—that is, thinly costumed drug-abuse bazaars. Rave culture assumed the quaintness of a curious historical trend. Neon orange parachute pants went the way of white bell-bottoms, and the music went back to Europe, where it belonged. American teens discovered emo, wore more eyeliner. A decade passed. Now, somehow, rave culture has come back, and its appeal appears to be more mass than the rave kids of the ’90s could have hallucinated—or, for some of them, desired.
Emily St. John Mandel is a crime novelist, and she is a Canadian who now makes her home in New York. I asked her to come along to give me a pair of non-male, non-Midwestern eyes, and we step back into a corner of the big banquet hall, near the concession stand, and scan the room, thinking that there must be an exception. I would guess there are at least 250 people in attendance. But she’s right. Neither of us can find a single non-Caucasian.”
Notes From The Center: The Lakemoor Gun Show by Patrick Somerville
“About eight months ago, I was tasked with an assignment: Starting in South Carolina, I would follow Governor Mitt “Tin Man” Romney on the long trail, from winter to summer of his life’s most important year. My job was to get as close to the candidate as possible on a mission of the spirit: to search for signs of genuine life, to spy out those remnants of the candidate’s humanity not yet blown to smithereens in the psyops war between the campaign and the press. In that time, I have learned a few things. Those things are these.”
- Wells Tower hits the campaign trail with the Republican candidate
By law, you can’t start your own gold mine within city limits, though according to scuttlebutt, a few local householders are furtively mining their basements.