The Soapbox Archives:
This will be a bitter-sweet moment for the dance community. For a long time, the BSDN dance was the only real community swing dance in Boston. The rest of the popular dances were associated with dance studios. As such, a wide variety of dancers showed up at the BSDN so you could dance with a lot of different dancers. It was one community at the time. I stil remember when a certain state attorney-general crashed the dance.
In those days, the BSDN weathered the ups and downs of a fickle and fragmented community. There was a great lull in swing dancing around 1994 when West Coast Swing hit the scene and multitudes left swing/lindy hop for the west coast swing venues. The BSDN stuck with it and was able to enjoy the resurgence in 1998 when (east coast) swing and lindy hop dancing revived after the infamous "Gap commercial". There wasn't another independent swing/lindy hop venue in Boston until about that time. The Swing Dance article in the March 1999 issue of Smithsonian Magazine had its writer showing up at the BSDN to a *packed* hall dancing to the music of Doc Scanlon's Rhythm Boys.
However, things don't last forever. The BSDN lost the location that gave it its nickname "The IC Dance" at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Cambridge and went to Watertown. After 15 years as a good customer, the dance moved out of the St. James Armenian Church Hall when the church did not make the usual Saturdays available for the BSDN dances in September, October, and November of 2012 (not to mention raising the rent!). The BSDN chose to move to a new location with lower rent to maintain the current prices. Then in the middle of the first season the Armenian Cultural Center chose to raise the rent (not to mention that the expected October, 2013, date isn't available). The BSDN believed in paying bands well so the bands would want to play well enough to get invited back. It's tough to run a venue like that but the BSDN has been true to that goal.
It's sad to see the end of this long-running dance. I've been attending this dance since April, 1991, and I have a lot of fond memories from dancing there. I think I've only missed 5 or 6 dances in that entire time. I hope everyone comes out for the remaining dances to give the BSDN a good send-off.
Unlike the President of the United States and our other elected officials, we did not get to choose Edward Snowden to make decisons on our behalf. For better or for worse, we elected the current slate of legislators to stand in our place to make those decisions for us and they answer to us. I don't know much about the secrets Mr. Snowden revealed except that he was trusted to kept those secrets to himself. He was expected to be honorable and he violated that trust. The proper way for him to deal with the situation would have been to work to change the political environment from within the system. Now he's totally screwed.
I too want the ultimate utopia of total openness among the peoples and countries of the world. If everyone got along and didn't hide anything, then it'd be hard to misunderstand intentions. However, the reality is very different: some peoples and some countries don't like us, sometimes for reasons we'll never understand. Some of them truly hate us and would enjoy seeing us completely destroyed. Revealing the secrets of the United States government without revealing the secrets of the rest of the world is one-sided. It's helping our enemies...against us. That's treason, regardless of the best intentions, even in a time of peace. And running to other countries instead of standing up for his so-called "principles" means that this man believes those other countries are better than the USA for human rights. If that's true, then we've got bigger problems than domestic electronic spying.
The man is a traitor and I hope they catch him and demonstrate the justice of the United States. (I read too much Tom Clancy).