Saturday, April 30, 2016

Camus had a point talking about Sisyphus

I lived on Beachwood Drive for about ten years, give or take. For those who've never visited Los Angeles, what may be most famous about said street is that it seemingly leads directly to the Hollywood sign. You know, that sign that says Hollywood and gets destroyed a lot in post apocalyptic and disaster movies. Note: The street doesn't actually get you to the sign.

There were two things one would encounter because of this, often on a daily basis: Tourists asking you to take their picture, and tourists parking illegally in your driveway so they could take pictures. Never mind the absurdity of taking a picture in front of a sign that is famous for being a sign that is famous (Hollywood in a nutshell). But no matter how nice or how awful you were to these people, there was nothing you could do about it to make a change. How could you? Were they going to tell the next person you ran into? No.

I walk a lot every day if I can help it. And the one thing you can not change is that some people have spacial awareness and some people do not. Some people do not almost blissfully so, to the point that it leaps over into awareness of being an asshole. But no matter how nice or how awful you were to these people, there was nothing you could do about it to make a change. How could you? Were they going to tell the next person you ran into? No.

I go out dancing all the time. Gross dudes don't understand they are gross dudes. Here is the one time that sometimes Sisyphus makes progress that seems real, even if it isn't. I don't usually peacock to peacock, but if the floor is right (that is to say, if I have space), I will go big to make a point. Sometimes that inspires gross dudes to go with me, like they think I'm on their side. But more often than I'd hope they get the point. And they do because ironic dancing only gets you so far when faced with skill. I have been going out dancing since I was able to buy a drink, and at this point I have to admit to myself (and others) that I'm good because false modesty becomes unbecoming.

But even if I win the battle, the floor usually hits capacity, and there's nothing I can do about gross dudes who don't understand that women like watching me dance - whether it's because they think it's funny a tall blond balding white guy is throwing down, or because they might want to fuck me - and that seeing me dance inspires them to dance, and that women don't want to dance when the see guys who stay on the floor and don't dance but either stare or look at their phones and don't like guys who stand in a line by the side of the dance floor. I don't like describing women as prey but as I have probably said before, a dance floor is an ecosystem, and any ecosystem with too many predators is doomed to collapse. But this is also about who's in the bar at the time.

It's funny, I was thinking about this last night, there was a guy in a toque who was standing around the floor in the middle of the dance floor, who migrated to the center, and I was dancing near him. Amerie's 1 Thing came on (for reference), and I was like "time to show off" because... that song and immediately after throwing down the two hottest ladies in the club started dancing near me. As if the fates wanted to prove my point. But this dude persisted in hanging out in the middle of the dance floor. The middle is sacred to me. One of the old bouncers at the Short Stop (my joint) used to call me "fire starter," because I could get the floor going, and if you're in the middle - if you're in the focal point - you want to be throwing down because that's where the energy comes from. To stand in the middle is an affront.

After, this led me down a rabbit hole of thought. What I've experienced of late is that more people than you'd expect aren't so much cold as anti-social, or ill equipped with social interactions. Everyone wants to be a little bit Don Draper - to be the playboy, what have you - but so few of us are. And I want to be inclusive, you always want to be inclusive, because it results in better net gains, as it were. I was totally dancing with the lesbian couple next to me and we were all digging it, but this guy I couldn't get a bead on - but at this point with legalized weed so many people are probably stoned all the time and don't even know where they're at. Part of me want to grab this guy and ask "Why the fuck are you standing here? What do you think you'll accomplish? Why aren't you sitting down or standing on the side of the floor?" Honestly I wanted an answer, I wanted catharsis. But the truth is that there was nothing I could do about it to make a change. How could I? Was he going to tell the next person I ran into who did the exact same god damn thing? No. But I move the bolder up the hill just the same.