By Sailor Boy
I feel the need to say something that may surprise some people: I don’t actually hate dubstep.
Certainly I don’t like it, but if someone were to ask me if this world would be better off without dubstep, my answer would be, “Hell no.” I support the arts and I create plenty of things that no one else wants to listen to, read or look at (see: “Stop the Dubstep Already!”).
So if it’s your thing, rock on. Or womp womp on. Or whatever. Really, I want you to be happy.
But … here’s the thing. Well, two things.
Thing one: Context.
This will be my 13th year at Burning Man. It’s a big part of my life. But, year by year, BM is more and more overrun by large sound systems playing music I don’t like. It’s to the point where the event is enacting rules regulating sound.
I don’t like rules. They tend to gain traction, though, when someone goes off and acts like a total dick, like when an art car with a stadium sound system pulls up next to The Temple while someone is trying to have a moment with their own pain and loss, free from alarmingly loud, shit music.
It’s not that I think people shouldn’t listen to their music. It’s that I don’t want to listen to it, and I’m unable to avoid it. In the default world, I have absolutely no problem with dubstep because it doesn’t come into my house and sit on my face like some vindictive feline trying to smother a newborn. At BM, this is not the case.
And yes my critique of dubstep was over the top. I’ll readily admit to that. That was the point.
Remember context, dubstep devotees.
BRC Weekly is basically a continuation of the celebrated, snarky, rebel-rousing Piss Clear (edited by Adrian Roberts) that graced and mocked the playa for 13 years. It’s an intentionally scathing and sarcastic publication, a counterpoint to the hippie-dippie, peace-and-love-bullshit stereotypes that some Burners subscribe to. We are a kind of devil’s/burner’s advocate, if you will. We conscientiously get rude and nasty to prevent people from drinking their own Koolaid. There’s an avuncular sort of theatricality to what we do, and most Burners get the joke and even appreciate it. And if they don’t, well, they’re probably taking themselves a little too seriously.
Thing two: Hateful speech diminishes us all.
I found it entertaining (thanks for making it go viral, guys) yet unsettling to receive personal attacks on my point of view. Some people just said that I was an asshole, which is fine, I suppose. People who claim to like me have called me far worse. Besides, I could see myself teasing someone for writing a rant about how much they hate Tom Waits being played at their Rainbow Gathering or whatever.
However, when people start throwing the word “fag” around - or anything else relating to homosexuality - to invalidate someone else’s argument, I take offense, not just for my gay friends, but for everyone.
At first, I kind of chuckled, imagining some stupid frat boy saying, “Whoa, bro, he doesn’t like dubstep - he must be a fag!” But then I found myself genuinely offended, which is incredibly rare of for me. I’m not sure if I’d be more pissed off if I were gay, but that’s beside the point, as there are so many gays who are near and dear to me.
They have the best parties and style and drugs, the most compelling women in tow, and they always encourage me to go ahead and have just one more beer, shot, whatever. They’ve always been the best at telling me to shut the fuck up when I deserved it, and they’re always awake and a friend for a late night phone call. I’m not generalizing all gays here, just my gays, bless their homo friggin’ hearts.
My immediate supposition about one guy’s bigoted comment was, what - is this kid in the sixth grade? Oh, wait, I’m sorry. My mistake. You’re actually a grown man - with a shit-filled-fucking-retarded-homophobic skull.
I would like to take this moment to publicly shame anyone who made such comments that diminish the struggles of homosexuals worldwide, indirectly or otherwise.
Think before you write that kind of hateful garbage.
I especially invite dubstep fans, Burners or not, to speak up regarding this, as it is a small though toxic contingent of your flock who opened this unsavory discourse. You know who you are, and you ought to be paraded through The Castro in a wheelbarrow, as the locals shake their heads in disappointment. Eat shit.
Ahem. Well, it’s late and I’m in need of some bourbon. It’s a beautiful night here in New Orleans and I think I’m going to listen to some Tom Waits. But I promise not to play it so loud that my neighbors are bothered.
At Burning Man they know me as Sailor Boy. Here, my name is David Larson. And in regards to the aforementioned, I reiterate: your radical self-expression still sucks.
(As an aside, I would like to give a shout out to Liquid Stranger for having the sense of humor to post something I wrote that pokes fun on his wall. That shows a lot of class and balls, Sir. I only regret that some people on your page didn’t get the joke.)