No, the old folks -- and I use this term loosely because I'm not yet 30 and therefore you are all old folks to me -- were dancing up a storm. This was at Arbor Crest -- a place so tranquil (old people love tranquility) and so in the middle of absolutely gat-damned nowhere that the GPS coordinates must be sent with AARP cards. They brought their picnics. They bought their wine. They danced all night. Everyone was drunk. Almost everyone was awkward. No one cared. It was a joyous scene.
The kind of scene that doesn't happen much at younger shows, where almost no one dances.It isn't now. I blame the fall of Michael Jackson, the rise of Dr. Dre, what the Spokesman calls "Freak Dancing" and rhythm-less white-boy indie rock. Even more so, I blame the deification of irony. The death of genuineness. The span of time that gave rise to Pavement and Slacker and the pop intellectual -- good things all -- turned music into an experience of the head, not the body. An act of connoisseurship and negation rather than acceptance.
"Rock and Roll: Music for the neck downwards." Keith Richards said that. I've always thought of Richards as a crazy old man. (He does little to dissuade the belief.) This, though, feels like nearly the sanest thing I've ever heard.
Things are getting better. Dance floors are more packed than I can ever remember, and kids are moving. Even amongst that breed of hipster who wears Ray-Ban Wayfarers, listens to Girl Talk and dances prodigiously, though, there's still self-concious. Things are still calculated.
We're in a transition away from worship of the ironic. Youth culture seems to be getting more earnest, less cynical. The word poser doesn't have the bite it once did. I worry, though, that when I get old (a sign that I'm getting old is that I've begun to worry), I'll never gather on the side of a cliff with a bunch of strangers and act like an idiot. Or like a kid.
It makes me a little sad. It also makes me wish I knew how to dance.