Joined: 06 Jul 2005 Posts: 400 Location: Tempe, AZ
Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:36 pm Post subject: The War on Culture: Mill Avenue Drum Circle in Exile
The War on Culture: Mill Avenue Drum Circle in Exile
The midnight air over Mill Avenue hangs sweetly on my skin as I bask under the sallow laternlight of a street lamp. The drummers keep playing, feet keep pounding the pavement, and passing cars add their own urban rhythm to the tribal sensation of culture and community. I inhale deeply the scent of smoldering sage as it mixes with the gentle tremulous night air; but there’s something different, something has changed about this oh-so-familiar gathering that I have always come to love.
Tonight, I stand with them in exile.
Since December of 2005, the police have begun to force the peaceful and stirring drum circle from their place between the Valley Art Theater and My Big Fat Greek Restaurant because of complaints. Ordinarily one would immediately come to ask, “Who is complaining at twelve A.M. on a Saturday in the middle of a business district like Down Town Tempe?” Residents of Down Town Tempe, of course.
In its strange wisdom, Tempe decided to zone and permit the construction of a community right next to downtown in the Orchidhouse Condominiums.
This little housing development apparently attracted its tenants due to the nightlife and culture of Tempe, but apparently after having moved in because of it, the people who chose to live there don’t like what they came for. In a good case for blatant inanity, the people who moved into these apartments somehow managed to blind themselves with ignorance of the actual culture of Mill—the Drum Circle has been drumming in that location for more than a decade now; predating the Orchidhouse Condominium structure.
An article in the Azcentral community section goes on about how the president of the Orchidhouse Condominium Association, Fred Neal received the complaints of his tenants and took this to the Tempe Police. Together, they decided on the compromise of enforcing an age-old curfew on Tempe parks of 12 a.m.—one that has been traditionally eschewed in deference to the drum circle and the culture it represents.
I don’t know if anyone else notices the subtle implication of the word “compromise,” especially when this compromise was had between the police and the condominiums; completely ignoring any representation or envoy to the drum circle itself.
To me, this move is just another sally in the ongoing war against Mill Avenue culture that has been fought in some of the most underhanded and cowardly ways that I have ever seen. From Tempe’s campaign against the itinerant population, the slow bleeding away of anything unique or cultural about Mill, and through acts much like this—where back room “compromises” are made by people who I doubt ever got their feet dusty dancing to the drums they seek to silence.
Joined: 06 Jul 2005 Posts: 400 Location: Tempe, AZ
Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:06 pm Post subject:
*Mewls sadly* Criminal! Positively criminal!
Who takes up a residence somewhere without doing a little research to determine how well they'd enjoy their neighbor's noise habits?
You know it, girl.
This whole buisness is absolutely pissing me off. These retards have been trying to push out the actual real element to Mill now for years, which lends to my belief that they gave permits for the building of the Orchidhouse Condos to this purpose.
It isn't like the drum circle was invisible or anything, it wasn't like the people who were going to build it there didn't know it existed--and, on top of that, the people who moved in for the ambiance of Mill are now complaining.
And it's all backroom deals.
What can I say? I am royally ticked at those jerks.
Joined: 06 Jul 2005 Posts: 110 Location: Anns' Arbor, MI
Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:55 pm Post subject:
Ditto! It feels really weird now to have to go to the other side of the bloody street after 12am if I want more drums. >__<X
And have you SEEN the new sign by The Copper Man stating all the new rules n' such, like needing permits n' crap for a whole bunch of piddly crap?!? I want to bap it with a stick!
And it pisses me off something considerable. The gall that they would take over our park area which was given to them with the understanding that it would not be regulated against the Drum Circle. The area there was bequeath to the city by a sweet old lady who -- for all that I hear -- loved the Circle and all that its culture brings to the Ave. The city chose to blatantly ignore her wishes after signing a contract to the ends of upholding them.
They have managed to conveniently "lose" them as well.
I saw our mayor at Dennnis's memorial and I'm not sure about the man. Something tell me, that just like the man-on-stilts who presides over the Drum Circle, he too is too high up to know what he's lettering happen to the people of his own city.
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