Dr. Dawg

Busting moves

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At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. ~Emma Goldman

Israel Defence Forces members dancing with Palestinians. Watch the whole video, above, and take note of the very last sentence of the news commentator, and her facial expression as she utters it.

There are blessed moments when ordinary people, ensnared as we all are in the various matrices in which we labour, think, love, and fight, just say “F*ck the machine,” let go, and float, as it were, above the whole thing—if only for a short, ecstatic time. And then we are called back into servitude; those moments of abandon, when we were most ourselves, give way to the incessant demands of something we are taught to consider the “real world.” We remember our roles, slipping on our straitjackets once again as we resume the serious business of life.

Yet we know we were not dreaming.

In that grotesque exercise in carnage and futility known as World War I, men in the trenches were sacrificed in their millions by the ruling classes of Europe—there had been a royal falling-out, and only the blood of their respective armies would set things to rights. But on Christmas Day, 1914, ordinary grunts just…stopped. They exchanged gifts, played football, and sang Christmas carols.

And then they got back to what they were supposed to be doing. 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded later, the hideous spectacle came to an end.

I have, as readers may be aware, some rather strong views on the Middle East. But that video, of soldiers dancing in a Palestinian nightclub, even hoisted on the shoulders of locals who were celebrating a wedding, cut through it all for a brief instant.

Then, as viewers know, the “real world” came crashing down. The IDF high command considered this a serious matter. The soldiers are being disciplined. The order of the universe, turned on its head for a few minutes, has been restored.

What happened in that club was…surreal.

My own opinions and analyses return. Things fall into place.

But you know what? There are times when all of us should just—dance. Happy Labour Day weekend, everyone, and play it loud.

[H/t Adam, b/c]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on August 30, 2013 9:35 AM.

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