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Ranting on Raving 

Letters published October 3, 2007

True fans dance all night -- as long as the DJs don't suck: I was in town on one of my regular trips to Cleveland and was happy at first to see a feature article on our often-overlooked electronic dance music community ["The Dwindling Tribe of Dance," September 5].

But come on, where's the other side to it? As a witness to the culture for more than 10 years, I can testify that there's still a steady flow of events happening in the Cleveland area, including club nights. If you really want to write the whole story on the state of the scene, it's going to take a lot more than four pages. There's more to it than merely focusing on a couple of clubs and promoters who attempt to draw their crowds off club-hopping couples, who they hope appreciate "techno." You won't find many true fans there. The EDM community, though tight-knit, is still cliquish in itself, but often packs venues like Touch or Mercury.

It's hardly Eminem's statement on techno that has had any effect on attendance at EDM events. Let's try overpriced DJs in a Midwest climate that's been less responsive over the years, leading to overpriced tickets -- plus the crackdowns on raves, and stale, big-name DJs who are booked time and time again. The tribe you write about might be dwindling, but they probably have zero interest in who's behind the decks. Why not start focusing on what's really out there and why we're still dancing?

Stephanie Collier
Dayton

All the smart people Be-leavin' Cleveland: I am an ex-Clevelander now living in lovely Portland. A friend in Cleveland sent me Scene, so I could see what was going on in my old hometown. I was surprised by the article about the dying dance-music scene.

I was living in Cleveland in a loft in the late '80s and early '90s, and was very much a part of the fresh new rave and goth/industrial dance scene.

It's sad that there is such a draw toward the hip-hop/rap scene in Cleveland, as the rest of the nation and Europe are moving back to dance and electronic music.

Hip-hop is dying and changing in the rest of the nation. Rave fashions are on the runways in all the top cities, and bright colors are on their way back. Actually, I just got back from a major apparel show in Las Vegas. Hip-hop fashion-designer labels are now selling neon-colored apparel and '80s-inspired neon tees.

You wrote in the article that Cleveland is about two years behind the trends. I would say more than two, as the dance scene goes full circle every 10 years. There is a return to '80s electronic music again, and people are having '80s nights and new electro-clash parties in all the major cities.

I am sad to hear that my hometown has not changed since I left. All the artistic and creative forward-thinking people must leave the town to fulfill their hunger for art, music, and all things full of culture.

Keep working on it -- maybe one day things will finally change. Thanks for the update on my old hometown.

René Cigler
Portland, Oregon

Collage Protest
Derf inspires new art form:
Thanks for the great "The City" strip [September 19] about the Chicagoans protesting the renaming of Marshall Field's to Macy's.

As soon as I read it, I knew I was going to use it on one of my car billboards. I blew it up and added The PD's picture of the soldier with the folded flag from Jason Hernandez's funeral.

So, it starts with "The naked truth is . . ." then the strip with the soldier's picture superimposed over parts of the first two panels. It ends with:

"The people get the government they deserve. And deserve the government that they get. Vote for regime change in November." Normally I'd have added one of my pinup girls, but in this case Derf's strip and the PD photo were all I needed.

Ray Crim
Akron

Complicity Theory
They're out to deceive the honest guys:
The reason there is so much gun crime in Cleveland is that there are no consequences for the criminals ["The Killing Fields," September 12]. Imposing additional restrictions on law-abiding people instead of doing the hard work of enforcement on criminals doesn't solve the problem -- it aggravates it. The law-abiding are not committing the crimes. It's the criminals, stupid.

The politicians in Cleveland have cheated the people out of the ability to protect themselves and then have lied to the people that the government would take care of them. The politicians want even more restrictions to impose on the law-abiding citizens, because it is easier for them to enforce laws on the law-abiding citizens than criminals. It's great for the public-relations machine too. It gives the appearance of doing something that matters.

The truly sad part of all this is that the community, religious, and civic "leaders" are complicit in this deception of the public. The politicians and police no longer prevent crime. When was the last time you saw a crime in progress stopped by a police officer or a politician?

Richard Rozman
Willoughby

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