Friday, August 28, 2009

A dance...

My humble readers, let us take a break from skepticism for a moment (it is my blog, so I am always on topic) and talk about one of life's little lessons. Or two, I don't know. The problem with life's little lessons is that they're all contradictory and lack universality.

I am a guy who does not mind being dead serious. I do not need to be quirky all the time. I do not need to be a fun-loving person.

Whenever I see someone describing themselves as "fun-loving" on facebook or the like, it strikes me as subtly ironic. Is it really meaningful to describe yourself as fun-loving?* For it to be meaningful, it has to tell us something we didn't already know. But we already know everyone is fun-loving. What sort of person would not love fun?

*I suppose it does not have to be meaningful. Meaningless self-descriptions are not out of place on facebook. My profile has one too.

But I take pity on these people who idly describe themselves as "fun-loving", and I wish to give their lives more meaning. Therefore, I would describe myself as not fun-loving. I still like joking around and parties and stuff. But the parties I enjoy the most are the ones which are no fun. If that doesn't make any sense, that is okay. You may assume I am being ironic, rather than dead serious.

One fun thing which I definitively do not enjoy is dancing. My dad enjoys dancing. He was into the disco scene before it was popular. Or so he tells me.

I am like one of those characters in one of those stories. One of those characters who is afraid to relax, afraid to dance, afraid to ask girls out. By the end of the story, he has overcome his social anxiety, and is now enjoying life like every healthy person should. I'm a bit like that person, except without the anxiety, fear, or character development. Also, I'm not fictional. I like to think that last bit gives me an edge.

But--true story--that changed! Some nights ago, I actually enjoyed dancing, for reasons which may or may not involve alcohol (I am 21, I am allowed to do this). It was a life-changing realization. Okay, not really. But now I know what it feels like to want to dance. And now I know for sure that this is definitively not how I feel most of the time. So now I am resolved. I'm not ever again going to dance in an attempt to overcome some imagined social anxiety. I'm only going to dance if I want to. Things are better this way, when we do what want, without worrying about social expectations.

In some ways, real-life character developments are so much deeper than their fictional counterparts.

Incidentally, I have been reading Timequake, by Vonnegut. I have been reading several Vonnegut books this summer. Timequake has many real characters, and fictional. Timequake is filled with non sequitur jumps from one subject to another, much like this paragraph, and the next. I wish I could write a bit like Vonnegut.

One of the nice things about modern minimalistic art is its participatory nature. If you see a painting with just a bunch of squares or bars arranged in a random fashion, you might find yourself thinking, I could have made that! Why would a museum bother putting up something I could have made? I contend that this is not such a bad feeling after all. You, too, can make art... doesn't that actually feel pretty good? Blogs are a bit similar to modern art in this regard.


DarkSapiens said...

Hey, congrats on the dance thing :)

It happens to me that when I find myself in one of those situations in which you have to dance even if you don't actually want to, I end up doing repetitive movements according to the music… but with my mind in a completely different place. Do you know this xkcd comic?

Do you reccomend that book, by the way? :D

And about the art in museums, my approach is slightly different. Instead, I think "Why would I to spend thousands of dollars to buy something I could have made?" But a lot of people do! Humans are interesting sometimes.


miller said...

Timequake? It is the sort of book which has no plot. Mostly, Vonnegut just reminisces a lot, while giving chopped up pieces of a book he wrote, but was unsatisfied with. I thought it was good, but it's definitely not the first Vonnegut book I would recommend. Cat's Cradle is the first I would recommend.

What sort of situation would you have to be in where you have to dance? I suppose if you were making a music video that would make sense, but otherwise, what for?

DarkSapiens said...

Ok, thanks for the advice. :)

About the question: a disco, with everyone dancing. No seats. Cold outside. And I didn't really matter dancing, it's that it wasn't an "hey, I want to dance" moment, just driven by the masses. And I went there in the first place to dance with some friends :LOL: