From: (SvnthHvn)
Subject: Re: "straight-edge" ravers
Date: 7 Mar 1995 04:16:31 -0500

Just because there are options already out there, there's no reason to close off the discussion of developing further ones. I personally love to dance. Often this comes with a sacrifice of my health, whether at a club or a rave. I get really sick when I'm around smoke of any kind because I'm actually allergic to it. Actually, the predominant culprit for me is the incensed smoke from the smoke machines. I truly go home after a night of dancing, knowing I will be very sick for at least a couple of weeks. The only current way I can handle this is to limit my raving to once a month or so. When I do go, I am sure to take plenty of vitamins, tylenol, and decongestants. Especially a shot of B-12 helps. But this just helps me get through the night. I still get sick. :(

I know not everyone has as violent a reaction to smoke as I do. But because of my situation, I can definitely sympathise with any one who has problems with it. But I've been on the other end as well. I used to smoke (both kinds) for years, which actually is why my system developed such a strong allergy. Back then I really didn't think anything of it. It seemed like a basic right. Going out and all the chemical experimentaions that go with it seem natural enough.

My offer for a solution, would be simply to plea with promoter's and club-owners to work towards providing better ventilation. And maybe to lay-off on the smoke machines just a tad. I know they provide atmosphere, but sometimes we get just a bit too much.

And for those who do still smoke, no one would ask you to quit, I hope. But simply being made aware that there ARE others on the dancefloor who not only do not smoke but do not need to because they have troubles from it; this should simply be an addition to your knowledge. How you choose to use it is up to you. Yes, this may invoke a degree of responsibility upon you as all knowledge does. But in speaking so much of choices, we have to remember what we choose to do can affect others. We can decide to do things which hurt others, or we can decide to do otherwise. Your conscience will know the difference even if you cannot admit it. Try it out!

Drugs ARE a VERY personal thing. As drugs are often looked upon as doors of perception, we each decide for ourselves how much and how often we need a substance to get through its "door." Once I felt I had enough of something to retain the new insight it gave me, I quit. The new way of seeing things remained though. To me, this is "drug-use." But the other times, when I used stuff without thinking about it, just because it was there, after I had already gotten what was offered by it, that was "drug-abuse." It's a waste of your time and every one else's to keep going through the same door over and over. Once you go through it, take a second to stand still, then start walking beyond. This idea isn't mine. It's actually Ken Kesey's. He's the guy who in the 1950's brought acid out of the psychiatry environ and introduced it into the real world to be used by people. He used it a lot and got the world started on it. But then he realised there had to be something beyond it and asked everyone to use it only enough times to get through the door it provides. He became repulsed at how he and others were ritualising going through a door over and over again, like opening and closing the door to a building but never going any further. He basically saw drugs as an entrance to another world but NOT as being the other world itself -- that's inside you.