Chicago is the birthplace of house, a electronic music genre characterized by funk-infused disco and a synthesized bassline. It transcends boundaries. No one is ostracized because of creed, age, ethnicity, sexual preference, or gender – all people come together as one, united under the same music. This is the epitome of tolerance and self-expression – you can dance as you please, and no one will care or look at you in disbelief.
To learn more, I tagged along with a couple of veteran house DJs and producers during the weekend. I had a behind the scenes look at major house clubs, such as Smartbar and Vision. Beats were pounding, people were dancing, and for a moment, the music transcended reality. But house music is more than just an adrenaline pumper. It is also about the underlying quest to search for identity and truth. At an after-party that lasted for 21 hours, a debate ensued about truth.
Truth, in essence, is absolute. Everything from good to evil, from ethically comprehensible to morally ambiguous decisions are encompassed by it. Truth is pervasive; it exists regardless of opinion. Any person that wants to deny the existence of gravity is welcome to jump off a bridge and test out the fact of its existence.
Everyone strives to know the truth but everyone’s perception of it is different. In less obvious scenarios, can one really determine what is good and bad? In other words, if you feel someone acted unethically, can you tell that person what he did is wrong if he perceives right and wrong differently than you do? For example, one man’s conscience keeps him away from alcohol, but allows him to do mind-altering drugs. To the hidebound thinker, this is a moral travesty but to this drug user, this is permissible, and as long as others are not harmed, it is perfectly fine.
Is there a morally correct choice to make in every scenario? There is no easy answer to this dilemma. Many complex issues arise from different perceptions of reality, which can commonly be seen in religion and politics, even amongst those who share the same fundamental beliefs. Uniting people under the same banner with mutual tolerance and respect is the first step for negotiation. Let the house beat go on.