A comedy play from 1716 called The Cobbler of Preston is believed to contain the first known iteration of the words “Tis impossible to be sure of anything but death and taxes”. The phrase itself became more common after a letter from American statesman Benjamin Franklin written in 1789.
There’s no question the phrase works on a literal level – but it also has a deeper meaning. The original play was based in Preston, then a town in the north-west of England, which had recently been the scene of a battle – all part of the ongoing Jacobite Rebellion. The battle brought death and injuries in a way not seen before to the area – with the play making reference to this.
And like so many other times in history, death stares us in the face once again. Last weekend, the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine flared up once again – with one of the incidents being an appalling attack by Hamas at the Supernova rave, which was taking place quite near to the Gaza Strip last Saturday.
Pictures of the aftermath have been shared far and wide on social media – and it’s now been confirmed that Supernova’s organisers, twin brothers Michael and Osher Vaknin, died as a result. Their charred remains were found at the site – Osher was buried in Jerusalem on Tuesday, with Michael’s funeral due to take place soon.
India’s very own Braindrop – real name Sumith Suresh – paid tribute on his Facebook page earlier…
Now, Ears To The House has a longstanding policy of not taking sides on political matters. We understand that our readers have a variety of views on these matters, and it isn’t our job to try and influence those. But what we will do is take a closer look at the issues arising from this conflict – and others more widely – for the dance music world.
For starters, what will the ongoing situation mean for clubbing and nightlife in the area? Well, it should be obvious – it means everything’s effectively off the table for a while. International travel into Israel is certainly out of the question – airlines are announcing the cancellation of flights into Israel on an almost daily basis.
In the longer term, it’s harder to say. Take Ukraine, as an example – it didn’t take long for the media to find out that raves were still taking place, even amidst a backdrop of men being conscripted into the army to fight. It’s not inconceivable that Israel and the Gaza Strip could witness a similar phenomenon – but there is one other factor which may be more of a consideration here.
Namely, potential acts of terrorism. This isn’t a new thing, as anyone who remembers the Bali bombings of two nightclubs in October 2002 will know – but it might well focus minds elsewhere with what’s going on right now. And it would be foolhardy to pretend the bad side of conflict – violence, rape, drugs, and so on – would somehow not be seen in the world of nightlife.
Is there also a potential for conflict to spread within the Middle East? There are a lot of other countries in the same area that have increasingly thriving club scenes – Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is one example with the likes of MDL Beast Soundstorm, Saudi Arabia is another. Whilst the chance of these countries being dragged into war seems low, it’s not impossible.
These are certainly interesting times in the dance music world – and part of its future might not be moulded by events entirely outside its control…