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Peace, Love, Unity, Respect

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Essay title: Peace, Love, Unity, Respect

We intently display ourselves sporting the most fashion conscious trends in our suburban manifestations of white picketed, identically boxed houses. However, what would happen if your neighbour's white picket fence was no longer white but psychedelic orange, and instead of quaint jazz music, hard electro-dance would blast out of their windows? Certainly the average Joe would have a few choice words about the situation.

Funny enough, America is known as the land of the free, but ironically we are still fighting the restrictions of social enclosure. Our society spews its conformist values on anything it surrounds, and in the moment that one seems "different", we quiver. Amongst these individuals are ravers, members of a grossly misunderstood sub-culture that often encounters stereotypical generalizations. However, ravers are nothing of a menace to society, but the heart of culturally acceptable behaviours.

People typically see raves as a place to propagate unorthodox behaviour.

“…Ravers must be hooligans that act wild like animals. They definitely disturb society with their fear evoking hallucinations… It could only be the product of the dozens of drugs they have cocktailed within the last hour…“

It sounds like something my mom would say, but this is not the case. I too at one time was a believer that nothing but bad could come from the experience of a rave. It was the propagated media images clouding my reasoning that excluded me from accepting any possibility of negotiable goodness. This was until I had the pleasure of experiencing rave culture for myself.

While in Europe this summer I had the opportunity to pass through Switzerland. Much to my disbelief, our little German bus got caught up in the streets of Zurich’s annual “street-parade”. Wearily, I stepped off the bus into an experience unlike anything I had envisioned before. The second largest rave in the world was invading two thirds of the city. In sneakers and jeans with a camera in hand, I was the epitome of awkwardness. Everyone that seemed to pass wore nothing but body paint and sparkles. There, the nightlife was more of an “experience”. Everyone young and old took part in the exuberance of loud music, extreme dress, and friendliness! It was much unlike the generic unresponsive vibes we give off while sitting alone, arms crossed at a pub. Rave was something so unfamiliar to me, and it was hard to understand how these Europeans could embrace it as an actual part of their lives. It became a realization that the rave culture is widely more accepted in Europe because people realize it is a form of self expression and freedom. Nobody comes to a rave just to pop some pills and get arrested, because it defeats the purpose that a rave tries to achieve. In addition, like going to a nightclub, a rave also has rules of conduct to abide by.

P.L.U.R (peace, love, unity, respect) is the new doctrine of the rave community. P.L.U.R is the thing that separates raving from its frequent stereotypes. Ravers come to an event to share great music, and take their minds away from the reality of everyday life. However, how often is it when there isn't a fight at a bar? Doesn't that mean that it should be twice as

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