Saturday, September 14, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
At one of my high school reunions, an old friend asked me to dance a half dozen times over the evening. I kept telling her I can't dance, but I finally acquiesced and we took the floor. Halfway through the song, she pulled me off the floor, wagged her finger in my face and said, "your wife could TEACH you how to dance."
I've never understood dancing, and sometimes that bums me out.
When I say I don't understand dancing, I don't mean I don't understand why -- I SO do. Who wouldn't want to be part of this unabashed celebration of... well, just having a body. And being around bodies. And music. And people. And friendship, and sweat and love. It looks wonderful, and when people are dancing around me, I find myself staring until I realize I'm being creepy. And then maybe a little more.
No, I understand why folks dance. I just don't understand how. I'm sure I could figure out dances with steps like Swing or Tango; I'm reasonably agile and have some sense of my body in space. But that thing that people do. That beautiful thing. When they hear music and run to an open floor and shout and move and laugh without plan or doubt. That I can't do.
When people ask me to dance, it's kind of like if you were a spectator at the Olympics and someone did a spectacular parallel bar routine, and then it was suddenly your turn.
Here's what happens in my head when I try:
Ok, gonna do it this time. It's ok, it's just dancing. Low stakes here. Nobody's watching me.
So, first off why don't I watch the other humans and try to do what they're doing. No, the male ones. What the fuck? Why are they all doing different stuff? That's not gonna work.
It can't be that complicated. The music has an organization system -- "beats," I gather -- if I can move one or more of my feet each time one of those "beats" goes off... What the fuck??? Why has each of my feet gained 30 pounds? Conservation of matter and energy alone should preclude that phenomenon...
Wait, I have a partner here. How's she doing? Oh, that's not good. She doesn't have that joyful, "lost in the moment" look I've observed on her in the past. She seems to have a "when's the moment gonna be over" look instead...
How. How do you do it. Somebody tell me, and I will fill your life with tokens of my gratitude. In the meantime, I'll be on the sidelines watching you in the least creepy way I can muster.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Thursday, July 28, 2011
As a kid, I loved this old Spider-man Cartoon. I saw an episode recently, and the show doesn't hold up at all. Gotta say though, it's theme song sure does.
How many theme songs since have had the sheer guts to open with a brassy, unapologetic fanfare (bwah bhaw bwah BWAH BWAW BWAH!), and hyperbole that might have been written by Stan Lee himself: "is he strong?/ listen bud / he's got radioactive blood."
It wasn't subtle or minimalistic or ambiguous in any way. It was designed to bring my 5-year-old self running into the living room, and it served that purpose without fail.
I still get chills.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
No, it's not because I'm religious or that I object to its message. I hate the Darwin Fish in it's most common current version (pictured), because it's a beautiful, subtle little joke spoiled by someone's urge to make sure I GET IT.
Years ago, the Darwin Fish made me smile every time I saw it. Its design was simple: the same fish you saw on many cars, with the addition of budding feet. It was smart, elegant and funny, but you had to do the work the first time you saw one -- you had to figure it out.
Somewhere over the years, someone decided you CAN'T figure it out. The answer? Fill the negative space with the name "Darwin" -- all in loud caps. Then they sent out teams of guys in plaid sport coats and bow ties to drive up beside you as you pass a car with the new, idiot-friendly Darwin Fish, follow you until you pull over and then elbow you in the ribs and say "do you get it????" "Huh?" "Huh??"
Those folks who added "Darwin" -- you're going to be seeing more of their work. At the moment, they're editing a new version of "The Grapes of Wrath" that ends with "...because she was BREAST FEEDING the starving man!!!! -- OMG! Isn't that sad????" Their remake of "Planet of the Apes" will include a narration: "...kneeling in the sand and cursing his fate, Taylor knew, he finally knew, that he WASN'T on another planet. He was on Earth. 'Cause it was The Statue of Liberty. Which is on Earth. And the fact that it's buried in the sand indicates..." They're even rewriting your favorite proverbs, and you'll soon be treated to gems like "a word to the wise is sufficient, because a wise person doesn't need you to explain everything."
By all means, please put Darwin Fish on your cars. I applaud your endorsement of science, especially at a time when it's under assault in our land. But please, please insist on the old, perfect version. If you can only find the new, cluttered design get out your X-Acto knife and make two statements with your fish.