The last time things were this shit … the world threw an enormous dance party.
Last Saturday I went to see We Are Ian at the Perth Fringe Festival. This morning I listened to the news recap of President Trump’s State of the Union speech from last night.
And I thought: there’s a reason I was getting chills in the theater when the show started; there’s a reason electronic dance music still feels like home. I remember all the kids in florescent body paint dancing under purple black light, and watching the patterns glow sticks make through a crowd; I remember sharing hugs with strangers; I remember what it felt like to feel so, so safe and the sense that we were all in it together.
Of course, it’s easy to say I was only seventeen or twenty years old and horrifyingly naive. It’s easy to say it was all fueled by drugs (although for some of us it wasn’t). It’s easy to say it was just a phase, just a moment, just a passing thing.
But it was powerful and beautiful, and it was defined by energy and movement and an appreciation of joy. Of course it wasn’t perfect, but it also wasn’t caught up in who was what. If you were there for the music, if you smiled at a stranger … that was enough.
Maybe related, or maybe not: before vacation, I’d been thinking that I was pretty tired of politics, and identity considerations, and the news in general, and I was inclined to just stick my fingers in my ears and read sci-fi novels about spaceships, because isn’t that cheerfuller. Now, with a little more energy, and a little less burnout:
1. I’m going to aim to drive my car as calmly and politely as the people in Western Australia do. Wow. It’s impressive, and it makes life nicer.
2. I’m going to do my best to encourage quiet people to speak when they want to, and louder people to give them a chance.
3. I’m going to own up to joy – and support other people in finding, pursuing, & noticing their joy too. It’s so easy to get caught up in angst. There isn’t really enough physical space for all the people in the Bay Area to fit comfortably, at least given current building & infrastructure; work moves too fast for most people to feel like they have space and a chance to breathe; traffic is awful; etc etc etc. And even when things are good or okay, it’s easy to get caught up in competitive angst. But. It’s also true that there’s an incredible amount of beauty around, both in people and in the world around us. The more we notice it, the better. I’m going to pursue that for myself, and I hope help create an atmosphere where others feel comfortable doing so too.
That is all. Happy Wednesday!
#theater #philosophy #music