03 March 2012
The Philosophy of Dance
My professor Dr. Kerry, who is too brilliant for his own good, brought up in class the other day that he had toiled for months when Napoleon Dynamite first came out, over-philosophizing and analyzing to discover why this bizarre film had become a cult classic practically over night. That's one folly of brilliant people: they can't help but attempt to find any sort of strain of intellectualism or philosophical undertone in even the dumbest, most purposeless movies or t.v. shows.
With this one, however, I think he hit the nail on the head. He said something to the extent of Napoleon Dynamite resonating with the youthful generations because its characters ignored social cues and expectations. They were rebelling not in a teen angst or social revolution sort of way. That's Ferris Bueler's Day Off and The Shawshank Redemption. They were just straight up weird--unaffected by societal norms. The word autistic may have been used, but that argument only goes so far, since the characters were actually aware of the social cues that were flying over their heads.
Ok, that last sentence is kind of an oxymoron, but you get my drift...right?
With this new outlook of possibly the most over-quoted film in the last 8 years, I attended the 2nd Annual Euro Trash Dance Party. And there, I saw it. Napoleons and Pedros and Kips all over the place. I realized I was one of them. Dancing--as the cutesy cliche goes--like nobody was watching. One attendee remarked: "It's like everyone's just dancing in their own little world!" Dance parties at my friend Austin's house have a way of encouraging that, somehow. It's my favorite place to dance because NO ONE cares. About anything. It's liberating. It's something like this:
And then....one of my students showed up and I knew I had lost any shred of respect that she may have had for me based on my authority, my Romanian skills, and my Oxfords. A proud moment in any teacher's life.