The thing I can't stand about our culture is America's propensity to hysteria. You see it on the 10 o'clock news all the time. The deep voiced announce-over comes out of the tv with a darkened and fuzzy picture of a vegetable juicer and you hear, "Tonight : what you didn't know about your juicer could kill you! Bambi Cums has the special report."
Reading about the Utah ravers who were "terrorized" by the police smacks of hysteria and hyperbole. Frankly it looks as if the police acted in a reasonable manner and with restraint.
As I read the story, it came across like I was talking to someone who had been caught in a suspicious situation - like you find someone sitting in a darkened car out behind your garage and when confronted, the driver just starts rambling on and on about how his car broke down, he ran out of gas, his cousin lives on the other side and he was just waiting for him, he's not doing anything wrong, he is a good person who works, he just had a baby and his foot has a bunion that really hurts....etc. The driver knows that it looks suspicious, he knows that a reasonable person would look at it that way so the driver has to keep talking to make points on why he's there. That is the essence of the Ravers story line. These were just "good kids" who wanted to hang out and dance all night, rrrrr--i--g--h--t !
The Utah police chief knew better.
Anyone who knows anything knows that Raves are all about the "X." Raves are free-for-alls where kids do do drugs, do have sex, and do drink. Excuse me for pointing out the obvious but all those activities are illegal. If you do it and get caught - Too bad. You shouldn't have been there.
Even though it was a "legal" Rave, apparently elements there were providing drugs and alcohol to some of the attendees. The police had undercover officers there who witnessed transactions. That's when the "fascists" moved in with their one helicopter and their "jack-booted government thugs."
Obviously this writer (Farhad Manjoo) never had to descend into a melee of 1,000+ 16 to 24 year olds who, at any time, could turn violent. When the cops are out-numbered and in a volatile situation, they tend to get a little antsy. Do you blame them?
There is an automatic assumption that the police are at fault. They used "too much force" and they "over-reacted" - are some of the knee-jerk comments that I hear all the time. Most of the time the reporters just do not have all the information. Many times that is because an investigation is on-going and to leak every little detail about an incident would interfere with prosecuting the crime after an arrest is made. This writer is obviously not pro-law enforcement. He is pro-"Do whatever feels good." Even if it comes at the detriment to the health and welfare of the kids that are there. There are very good reasons why exstasy is a banned narcotic. And they have the audicity to claim that their "constitutional rights" were interfered with by not being able to attend the Rave.
If they had a Rave in which 1,000 young people got together to listen to Patriotic music, to read excerpts from the Constitution and to honor and defend this Great Nation - and not just re-enact some naive fantastic version of "woodstock" then they'd get some sympathy.
Here's a novel idea - Why doesn't Salon write a story entitled "Police Raid Rave: Hailed as Lifesavers"
Nah, no one wants to hear the truth.