Monday, August 20, 2007

social therapy

Johann was writing about Diana- about whom I couldn't give less of a shit, but this passage caught my attention.

"In her brilliant book, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy, the American journalist Barbara Ehrenreich shows that human beings have evolved a deep atavistic need for moments when we all come together and engage in shared rituals. She writes: "Rock art from around the world depicts stick figures dancing in lines and circles at least as far back as 10,000 years ago. According to some anthropologists, dance and ritual helped bond prehistoric people together in the large groups that were necessary for collective defense against marauding predators." This instinct never went away. Our culture is very good at some things: generating wealth, say, or providing sexual freedom. But we are very bad at meeting this need for what the great sociologist Emile Durkheim called "collective effervescence" - "the ritually induced passion or ecstasy that cements social bonds". Instead we lived in sealed-off concrete boxes, and when we stand together, we look down and shuffle through our i-Pod playlists."

This is a clear advocation of dance music as a social therapy: The chance to meet and interact with strangers on neutral territory; the ability to bond with them on the dancefloor without having to give your name, where you livem what you do or a dozen other icebreakers to conversation; moreover, a place to feel part of the group and to express this through mutual appreciation of the spiritual experience of really, really filthy beats. Wicked!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to share your opinions of my opinions. Oh- and cocking fuckmouse.