Love and Anthropology

Heart Pump

An anthropologist named Schneider said, “Love can be translated freely as enduring diffuse solidarity.” Some have accused his definition as not romantic or that it wouldn’t be accepted by poets. I think it is one of the most beautiful definitions of love that I’ve seen.

Experience isn’t romantic, it can be but for the most part it is a dirty smelly boring thing, a reality filled with daily existence and the mundane politic of everyday life. Experience runs the gamut; it’s commutes and war zones, nine to fives and hunger pangs, coffee-shits and cold-sweats at midnight.

The Romantics definition of love is flowers, beauty, and higher powers that intervene beneficently wither gods or governments. Those romantic bastards may have struggled but their pursuits were patrician, where a mug like mine is getting through the rest of this day, the struggle to succeed, to overcome, to resist, to fight is where people like mine realty’s exist.

I don’t love for poetry, even though that may be a bi-product, I love because of trust. I don’t love because of flowers and their flourished fragrances, I love because I’ve found those few who would get my six when shit hits the fan. Love isn’t the lustful passions that overcomes me, love is the companionship felt after love is made. Love is solidarity, love is existing with others in companionship along the paths of life and helping each other beyond the barriers that block our way.

Those Romantic bastards helped us in our understanding, plucked at our heart strings but holding on to the Romantics and their notions of love have set us back in finding solidarity with each other in this struggle of life. Love the way you think you should, not the way some cat sold it. Love in the streets, love in the foxhole, love in-between the sheets, but all I ask is that you learn (if you haven’t already) what true love can be some time before you inevitably die, because it is worth it.

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We exist within the cultural makeup of the world and society around us. We, for the most, part don’t get to immediately choose the path that we want to take. We’re pushed and prodded by everything from the beliefs of our parents to thousands of hours of forced public schooling, from the laws on the books to the cultural taboos that guide our daily decision making process.

No one can guarantee anybody else’s freedom in this existence as freedom is not given by anybody, freedom is hard and dirty work but it’s possible to push the bounds of culture and to break through the mentality of control to snap the chains of the enslaved mind. You must sacrifice for anything worth having but even if you risk it all and sacrifice, nothing is guaranteed.

No matter what prison constrains me I shall be free, for freedom exists first in the mind of the liberated. Humans are born equal but few are born free. No matter what anybody says I cannot be someone’s property, they may believe it but property in its essence cannot revolt or subvert, just through the experience of cerebration that natural by-product of a human being existing expresses individuality and freedom to choose in whatever limited capacity there may be.

So learn how to choose what you want your experience to be, that’s what trying new things and education is for. We are born into a world of other peoples shit; their hang ups, society’s taboos, the dogmas of fools, and the rationality of the greedy. To find your own voice as the world around you screams, is to sing the song of emancipation.

Like the man said, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds.” So sing mother-fucker, sing! Sing the song of your own liberation.

Bad Dancing

I realized that I learned how to dance (or was influenced) from watching the rhythmic flowing moves of the Spartan Cheerleaders on Saturday Night Live.

My wife and I were hanging out on the couch channel surfing and enjoying the day off together. After a while we came across a channel playing old Saturday Night Live episodes. This minor moment, sitting in front of the TV, finger mindlessly and repetitiously smashing a button on a remote, changed my perspective on understanding the small influences that play into people’s lives.

Cheerleading for a chess tournament is a great set up for a joke but nothing more not something that influences people’s entire lives. We were watching these two characters on our little TV screen and I noticed a look creep across her face, at first I thought she was confused by the SNL skit, but as I watched her watch the Spartan Cheerleaders dance for a little while she started to say things like “hey you do that!” and “Oh God! Did you learn to dance by watching this!?” I then understood the look wasn’t confusion but recognition.

I chuckled and thought she was making a bad joke, I focused on our TV set and the longer I watched Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri dance their moves I recognized more moves from my own bad-ass repertoire. I realized in that moment I was not in fact a good dancer, just a confident dancer and I confidently moved like Saturday Night Live’s Spartan Cheerleaders.

I can now, looking back, only think about how Luke Skywalker felt, dangling, hand chopped off telling his evil and its maligned realization, “NO… No, it can’t be true!”

It was a moment of stark and immediate transition from judging the actors on the screen for being goofy dancers to ‘my god I am a goofier dancer and I learned from them’. After considering this life altering event I have reassessed and I’ve now determined not I nor the Spartan Cheerleaders are bad dancers, we just do like we do.

I’ve never been a great dancer. There are many times in my life I can look back to with fond reminiscences of moments I spent dancing. Skanking the night away at ska shows or dancing and slamming into others in the pit at punk shows. At prom, where I had more than one fine lady dancing around me, causing my teenage raddled brain to think that there was not a person that graced this green earth that pimped harder than I pimped at that moment.

I’ve done the robot everywhere my boots have led me, from the top of Rocky Mountain peaks to the ancient land of Afghanistan, from my mom’s Baptist church to that Taco Cabana I went to that one time. My twenty-first birthday celebration was a celebration for everyone in that upstate New York dance club when I fused Merengue, Booty Shake, the robot, and the sprinkler all into a terrible concoction that never should’ve been released onto this plane of existence. Ladies were throwing themselves at me and it was very nice of them to do so.

I do the tootsie roll without remorse, I shake my ass without course. I dance when I wanna, when the heart yearns for it, when acting the fool is my destiny. I don’t know if it was Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri, curse or blessing, or just a nudge in the right direction. A nudge that told a younger me that if I was dancing to not give one single fuck, not even if I’m a distraction my own team because… damnit I am dancing and you can excuse yourself from my awesome if you can’t handle it. To all the goofy or bad dancers, grab yourself some courage whether in giving it all away in the spontaneous awakening of your consciousness when you step on the floor or a beer or some shots, and get on the dance floor and join me in shakin’ that ass.

Like the lady said in some variation, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.”

So get out there and dance motherfucker, dance.