This blog is beginning to suspect that one person is looking forward to Christmas even more than normal this year. And that person is Jeffery Eugene Mills, 58, from Detroit in Michigan, USA. He accepted a work engagement due to take place next week and is getting considerable stick from his own friends over it.
That engagement is to the MDL Beast Soundstorm festival in Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh. Now, Jeffery is a DJ by trade and has been since the 1980s. Such were his skills on the turntables that he was nicknamed The Wizard by those who saw him in his native Detroit.
But this particular engagement is controversial due to the fact this festival is being largely bankrolled by the Saudi Arabian government. And this government is frequently accused of human rights abuses on a massive scale – so anyone with any sense whatsoever might understand accepting a gig like this could lead to a certain degree of criticism.
Jeffery himself accepted this and posted two sets of defences on Facebook – both since deleted. The first appeared on self-declared baron of techno Dave Clarke’s thread on the subject. Not wanting to disrespect his hero, Dave shielded Jeffery from criticism before deleting the thread altogether. And Jeffery deleted the second, on his own page, after being even less able to shield himself from criticism than Dave was.
And now Jeffery has closed the comments on his Facebook page entirely to everyone. By doing so, he has reduced his page to the online equivalent of a newspaper – merely stating his thoughts and views with virtually no way for the reading public to respond. Jeffery is treating his fans like fools – and is making himself look like one in the process.
But I’d like to end this piece on a positive? Jeffery might be a fool, and he might seem to have forgotten the roots of love and respect whom techno is supposed to derive from. But I will not have it said that Jeffery is a coward. That honour – or should it be dishonour? – goes to the other guttersnipes who refuse to answer questions at all over why they’re going to this grubby festival…