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EDITORIAL: NOISE IS FOR THE RICH
Years ago, the team at Ravenews had a silly dream — to create a site that made fun of the journalists who pushed exaggerated stories about the dangers of raving. Ravenews has never been a real news site. Our stories might be truthy, but they’re never true. They’re nonsense. Each article we write is really a commentary on the vapidness of the mainstream media. We make fun of moral panics. Ravenews is our way of pissing on the professional journalists who demonize partying in pursuit of easy outrage.
Journalists sell fear to the rich and to the bourgeoisie. Who are they afraid of?
People who don’t follow the rules, who colour outside the lines, who dress a little weird and who listen to loud music.
You frighten the ruling class.
We wish were joking.
You terrify them so much, they won’t even let you dance in public.
Late last month, the organizer of Montreal’s weekly Music @ The Gazebo event was told by bureaucrats at city hall that he would have to shut it down. He has spent years organizing these free events to help promote local DJs. After speaking with city officials, the organizer was left with the impression that while they appreciated his efforts and would enjoy working with him on other events, they didn’t appreciate the crowd he was currently attracting.
In other words, if the Music @ The Gazebo dance gatherings were attracting wealthy yuppies, the kind of people with money to burn, they might not have been cancelled. The city claims they’re shutting the event down because it was too noisy. Anyone who has ever been to one of the Gazebo events knows that you can barely hear the music once you reach the sidewalk.
The problem isn’t that the events were too noisy — the problem is that the people making the noise were too poor. Not all sounds are created equally, some are more equal than others. In Montreal, the rich can be as loud as they want, but the poor need to know their place.
When the poor dance and the working class shake their ass, the bureaucrats at city hall clutch their pearls and scream “Ben non, on peux pas laisser les pauvres danser!”.
The Gazebo events attracted a wide range of people. Not everyone was poor or working class, but enough of the people dancing their butts by the Gazebo were too rough around the edges for the haughty functionaries that have shut the event down. There is a political dimension to noise. A class division we often ignore. It’s there, even if we don’t want to face it.
Noise is good. Noise is healthy. Everyone, and we mean everyone, has the right to rise up and shout their truths at the world, regardless of their race, their creed, their gender, their sexual orientation, or the size of their damn bank account.
The parks of Montreal do not belong to the people at city hall. They do not belong to the elected representatives who claim to act on our behalf while always acting in their own self-interest. They do not belong to the business tycoons bent on commodifying every last drop of freedom we have left.
They belong to all of us, but only if we’re willing to loudly assert our common ownership of these public spaces.
The Gazebo has been silenced for now, but we hope that the people who used to attend the event will continue spending their Sundays at the mountain. You don’t need speakers to be loud. And we want you to be loud enough so that the city knows you won’t be silenced.
Make your own music and sing your own truths. And if the city comes to kick you out, ask yourself this one question: if they’re this afraid of you dancing, how terrified must they be of you marching?
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