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English culture from the inside

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, October 31, 2005

As an Englishman abroad, it is clear that [Viewpoint columnist] Mr. [Peter] Wicks is spending rather too much time abroad, and when he is in his native land he seems to opt to spend his leisure time in venues that would not be easily categorized as ‘clubs.’ It is lamentable, therefore, that such an ill-informed Englishman should comment on ‘modern dancing.’ Mr. Wicks is correct to identify modern clubbing as a fundamentally solitary activity. To suggest that only women have the capacity to interact with music in a way that suggests a heightened connectivity with the music is bizarre and utterly false. Contemporary clubbing is all about connecting the individual with the music through the genius of the DJ who lifts the crowd before lowering it according to the beats of the music and his ability to mix songs competently. The contemporary clubber is often blissfully unaware of his/her surroundings and even other clubbers, such is the power of this connectivity. Clearly the popularity of certain recreational drugs is linked to connecting to the music in major clubs, something which Mr. Wicks fails to appreciate. In short, ahead of further commentaries on popular culture, it would be helpful if the writer had some basic understanding of the culture and the venues where this culture is voraciously consumed.

Martin Lainagraduate studentoff-campusOct. 27