Monday, August 11, 2008

the WSM dancing man phenomenon of 2006

In late 2006, a wave of outrage swept upon an otherwise sleepy town. It appeared to many that an injustice had occurred. A man was told to stop dancing. His name was Bruce Thomas and he often danced to the music played to throngs of people who picnicked on the lawn of a local health food store. On this Fall day, no music was playing but alas, Bruce danced on. Other adults hoola hooped and played guitar. Barefoot children ran wild in the dust that used to be grass, climbing small trees that could not support them. Wine was consumed and dogs barked. Thursdays at Weaver Street Market were a haven for the customers. A time to relax and break free of their hustle and bustle lifestyles, going to and from class, to the Research Triangle Park in their air conditioned cars. Here, they could discuss their children, their children's activities, and their favorite wine. Here, have some of this great cheese. Did you make it to yoga last week?

But as it was soon revealed, all of that had changed. Bruce had been asked to stop dancing on the lawn on that day, the owner citing it was bad decorum. And many of the devoted Weavers, as they were called, came together on discussion forums to discuss what should be done. The injustice! The singling out! What if more people were told they were not allowed to express themselves on the lawn? Didn't the WSM owners care about the community? It just wasn't fair. And many though very busy, haulted their work day, at various points, to write in. Some 400 messages in total, the conversation was heated at times and many points were addressed. It was all very democratic. It was clear to many about what needed to be done: have a dance-in.

The next Thursday, clad in t-shirts with the slogan "Footloose Bruce!" the protesters danced. They expressed. They felt. Because Bruce should have freedom! We all love him! It just wasn't fair.

Meanwhile, one week earlier, less than a mile up the road, there had been a fatal shooting at the Avalon nightclub. It barely created a stir. Why? What did community and freedom really mean to the Bruce Thomas supporters?

To the Bruce Thomas dance in protesters, fuck you. Fuck you and your leisure lifestyles. I pity you for clinging to some vague idea of protest. You humiliate yourselves. The real injustice is right under your nose with your vintage wines and cheese made in far away villages by quaint old men. You don't buy wine from the store you find unjust and then go express yourselves on their lawn! Have you forgotten what "consumer" even means?



peppergomez said...

nice one! reminds me of two things---

1)how some folks feel that they aren't expressing themselves unless their individuality is cranked up to 11. it's like "i am being repressed if i can't do a free form interpretive gaia honoring dance in my stinky clown colored hemp threads on a public lawn." that was oberlin to a T, but i can sort of understand it with 18-21 year old kids, but with adults in their 30's and 40's...oh the entitlement!

2)do americans (some at least) take the concept of individuality too far? it seems so silly and petty to get so riled up about some hippy who can't writhe around in public, and make that into the dreyfuss affair of 2006, when, like you say, there is a lot more of substance going on in town to channel that patented liberal righteous indignation towards.

that weaver street community is so bourgeois and pleaseed with itself it makes me wanna hurl. maybe i should buy a honda hybrid and plow into the crowd one saturday afternoon. imagine the conflicted thoughts that would go through their minds: "omigod! he's coming right towards me!! wait, is that a hybrid? this year's latest model? he must be one of us, but how could he...does not compute!"

peppergomez said...

ps- and let's not even touch on the fatuous duke lacross scandal, and those idiotic duke profs who got all up in arms (even signing some stupid form or manifesto or whatever) about the supposed wrongs of the duke lacrosse team. silly bourgeois liberals!

peppergomez said...

or those folks who stand outside whole foods with their iraq war protest signs. safe space!

Agent Polsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peppergomez said...

oh the weave...home of hula-hooping lawyers and prancing life coaches. got any tear gas?