A famous Clint Eastwood quote ~ ''Dying Aint' Much of A Livin', Boy'' ~
seems to fit the sentiment that I want to pass on to the happy patrons of The Shambhala Music Festival. Bit of a tongue-in-cheek warning to those seeking Shambhala (Tibetan/Hindu/Buddhist) "place of peace/tranquility/happiness" ...only to find the collateral results not as tranquil as promised, and the "crash-and-burn' not worth the ride. Forgive in advance
the intended puns, sarcasm and facetious vein to this cultural-electrocardiogram...
as I am only trying to head-off some off it's inevitable heartbreak.
It has been said that "We all need to learn from our own mistakes" ... it has also been said that "Pain is the best teacher, but nobody wants to be his student" ... so herein lies the antidote to wisdom... pain killers! The very thing that we are all naturally equipped with to learn by, is inhibited with the use of intoxicants; the very bad experiences we could learn from, are numbed and sedated out of our memory, and in some
cases our very psyche and body is irreparably damaged.
This brings me to a "lesson learned" by some, ironically in part a "stones-throw" away (Nelson, BC) from an event that could use a sober thought. The (CBC) Nature Of Things
(with David Suzuki) documentary The Downside of High, seems to answer an obviously rhetorical question from most sober bystanders... "Can smoking pot make your kids psychotic? Perhaps. Recent studies have linked regular marijuana use
"Teenagers who start smoking marijuana before the age of sixteen
are four times more likely to become schizophrenic. That's the startling conclusion of some of the world's top schizophrenia experts, whose research is featured in the new documentary The Downside of High." http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/natureof...
So forget common sense, and lessons learned, what about law enforcement?
Though drugs and alcohol are banned from the Shambhala Music Festival, why is
there provision made for "drug purity testing" so that patrons can enjoy only the purist "banned" drugs? In addition to drug purity testing, there are "safe sex educators" and needle exchange venues on site; to make your drunken drugged date-raped
experience as non-memorable as possible... after all we don't want anyone "learning" ...especially NOT at hundreds of dollars taken-in for a "music" festival ticket!
"Raver dies at B.C. music festival ...Alcohol and illegal substances are banned but concert-goers are known to smuggle drugs such as ecstasy into the four-day party. RCMP and festival organizers do work to keep ravers safe, even setting up a tent to test the purity of drugs." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-co..."Exploring Shambhala's dark side ..."I've worked a lot of places throughout BC where there were similar activities and things got better each year, but I don't foresee that happening with this event. We've seen from our focus that things have gotten worse. We've been very fortunate, I believe, that there haven't been more fatalities and serious injuries as a result," said Sgt. Donovan with West Kootenay Traffic Services... "Last year, after the festival, we were inundated with crashes, I believe there was a total of nine crashes, that we were able to track, some were serious, some were minor in nature, caused by people falling asleep who were tired and over exerted, and tried to make it home. If they've been partying all weekend they are a real hazard to other motorists on the highway, and we see that," said Mansveld... "What we're all concerned about is the open drug trafficking and the open drug and alcohol use takes place at the rave." http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/127960503...
You know the old adage "You'll find what you are looking for" ... well if you are looking for drugs, sex and rock'n roll... er' psychotic schizophrenia; STDs or unwanted pregnancies; and crashing your car to the beat of whatever's playing; ...Shambhala just might be what you ordered !:] As Clint Eastwood said ~ ''Dying Aint' Much of A Livin', Boy'' ~
The "Devil's Advocate" would have you believe... "Well, people are going to do it anyway" ...not so. The only ones who are risking their lives with drugs/alcohol in such careless fashion, are those who think that they have little to live for without it. And so, they pursue artificial highs that their 'normal' life doesn't afford them. Soon they are willing to spend all they have (and what they can take) to keep that "high" going, because coming down would just expose the truth, and pain that could teach them.
I must confess, if I was young again, this would have been right "up my alley" ...but then again I was a suicidal train-wreck! Looking to forget, not looking to learn from my mistakes or anyone else's... and the drugs just made it easier. However, someone intervened, a most unlikely source of wisdom... my older brother. He came to see me when I was living above a 24/7 party... all he said to me was... "You are having too much fun, I have to get you outta here!" He had no idea that this "life-of-the-party" was planning to check-out permanently. I am sorry if I step on some DRUGNK toes, but my brother is no longer here because some soul "under the influence" took his and his oldest son's life, in a car accident; leaving behind his wife and another child without him.
If I owe in some part, my life to my older brother, I definitely owe this lesson to the living... because it could (and inevitably would) have been me that took his life. Another thing my brother said that was profound... "This world doesn't revolve around you" ...what a news flash. I was living so selfishly, oblivious to the collateral effect in those around me.
Part of my healing has been to help those like I was, pain is the best teacher,
...and when the student is ready, the teacher will appear... are you ready?
Downside of High | The Nature of Things | Trailerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyO3YmS4...
Downside of High | The Nature of Things | Documentaryhttp://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/139851...
Shambhala 2010: Drugs & Harm Reductionhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2mE3jIX8...
Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6YyCkMq_...John Piper - "Don't waste your life"http://dwynrhh6bluza.cloudfront.net/reso...
UPDATE - 14 months ago
UPDATE - 13 months ago
UPDATE - 13 months ago
Security guard drugged with LSD, GHB at Shambhala Music Festival
AUGUST 16, 2013
"The guard was rushed to our medical facility where she received acute medical care," wrote festival director Barry R. Wilding. "If not for our medical team, we are not certain what the outcome might have been. Suffice to say, they saved her life."http://www.theprovince.com/news/Security...
UPDATE - 13 months ago
"According to an RCMP statement, "Police made over 200 drug seizures consisting Cannabis (marihuana), Hash, Cocaine, MDMA (Ecstasy), Ketamine, Methadone and other drugs ... There are several drug charges being recommended for Possession For the Purpose of Trafficking."
In his open letter on Facebook, Shambhala director Wilding called for anyone with information about the incident to come forward. He praised the efforts of Shambhala's security staff and wrote that in the past, they have dealt with "weapons, drug traffickers, gangsters, being assaulted, being verbally abused and so much more that goes unnoticed.""
BY DAN FUMANO, THE PROVINCE AUGUST 16, 2013http://www.theprovince.com/news/Security...
UPDATE - 11 months ago
"CTV NEWS: Security guard drugged at music festival near Nelson, B.C.
Kootenay Boundary RCMP said it's just one of many drug-related incidents seen each year at the massive rave, billed as a drug and alcohol-free event.
"It's definitely far from that, and it's a very serious concern for us," said Insp Nick Romachuk. "Officers made over 200 drug seizures and that's the sort of thing we see every year."
The festival has steadily grown in popularity since its introduction in 1997, and so has its reputation as a place to obtain drugs. Officers recently seized marijuana, hash, cocaine, ecstacy, ketamine, methadone, GHB, and other drugs from festivalgoers, according to Romachuk.
"The drugs are a very large part of what's going on," he said. "We've had police officers inside the event offered drugs. It's part of the culture of this event." http://bc.ctvnews.ca/security-guard-drug...
"Shambhala has long had a reputation as a scene of rampant recreational drug use, and last year experienced the first death in its 16-year history.
A 23-year-old man died on August 11, 2012 from pulmonary failure as a result of "illicit and prescription drug toxicity." Toxicology tests found a mixture of morphine, diazepam, cocaine, MDMA, and GHB in his blood.
Wilding wrote that his team has been in charge of the festival's security for the last 13 years, and in that time has dealt with weapons, drug traffickers, gangsters, being assaulted, and verbally abused."http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/76769...