Back in the days when you didn't even know where the party was until the night of — at which point you had to call an automated recording at a number on the back of your ticket to get directions to some abandoned hangar in western Nebraska and then load up your parents' stolen car full of teenagers and drive four hours to get there — I used to go to raves. Then I stopped doing ecstasy, and that was right about the time I stopped going to raves.
Of course, raves are more legit than they used to be — take, for example, Ultra Music Festival, the huge, sold-out, heavily promoted electronica fest that happened right in downtown Miami last week, just as bona fide as any arena-rock concert or whatever. But some things never change, and rave culture and ecstasy still go hand in hand to a degree that's become pretty uncomfortable for those involved. Shit, even the Wikipedia entry for "Rave" is riddled with it: "There were a range of accessories carried by many ravers including: Vicks Vapour Inhalers and Rub, which heightened the sensations when using Ecstasy, dummies to satisfy the need to chew caused by taking Ecstasy, and glow sticks which were used whilst dancing to entertain other drug users." Now, we all know from our freshman comp classes that Wikipedia's not a credible source, and that quote in particular reads like it comes from a rolling British fourteen-year-old, but still, it's illustrative.
And maybe that's why Deadmau5 was so upset when Madonna referred to ecstasy during her intro for DJ Avicii at UMF last week — upset enough, at any rate, to expound on his Facebook page thus: "HUR DUR HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY??? Such a great message for the young music lovers at ultra ... hey, at least yer HIP AND TRENDY! fucking cant smack my head hard enough right now." Then the whole world pictured Deadmau5 smacking his giant, animatronic head, and we all laughed and laughed.
But not so fast, Deadmau5, because as it turns out — despite the fact that the title of the very album she's promoting right now, MDNA, is also an overt reference to ecstasy — Madonna was not actually referring to ecstasy. "I was referring to the song 'Have You Seen Molly,' written by my friend Cedric Gervais," she explained. And lest we come to the conclusion that that song is itself probably a reference to ecstasy, Gervais explained the next day that his song is also not a reference to ecstasy, but rather about an actual girl named Molly who makes Gervais want to dance.
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On the other hand, I'm not exactly buying Deadmau5's position on the matter, either. I mean, I get what he's saying: When you make raves about ecstasy instead of the music, you basically discredit the music, and that sucks. And as someone who's more or less dedicated the latter half of her career to making electronic dance music, Madonna should know better. But even Deadmau5, who's gone on record as saying he's "not pro-drug or anti-drug" — he's "pro-responsibility" — knows that, in his business, Molly wields a double-edged sword. He may not like it, but at least to some extent, Molly's been keeping him in business for a long time.