because cool kids are boring

Bringing an end to the Standing Still

without comments

Artist: The Dismemberment Plan
Track: Do The Standing Still
Album: Is Terrified (scroll down)

As I mentioned before I’ve been reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Dancing In The Streets. The book deals with the effects of losing early carnival/festival type celebrations (with the music, dancing, masking/costuming, etc.) on western culture. It’s proven to be an extremely fascinating book and I highly recommend it to everyone. You can get a better idea of what the book is about by checking out this article.

I’m nearing the end of the book, and I’ve just started reading the chapter on the rock and roll rebellion of the 50s and 60s. I came across this paragraph and thought of the above song by the D-Plan. Do The Standing Still was written as a jab at the annoying habit of hipsters to simply stand there at shows, with arms crossed, showing no emotion. This favorite little non-dance move is still popular among many people, but it is slowly starting to crack a little bit. Now, the hipsters are swaying now and then. The hope is that one day hipsters will learn to move their arms, but it will likely take a lot more work.

Anyways, time to stop picking on the hipsters. Here’s the quote,

Rock struck with such force, in the 1950s and early 1960s, because the white world it entered was frozen over and brittle–not only physically immobilizing but emotionally restrained. In pre-rock middle-class teenage culture, for example, the requisite stance was cool, with the word connoting not just generic approval, as it does today, but a kind of aloofness, emotional affectlessness, and sense of superiority. Rock, with its demands for immediate and unguarded physical participation, thawed the coolness, summoned the body into action, and blasted the mind out of the isolation and guardedness that had come to define the Western personality. To the Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, white rock fans were simply trying to reclaim “their Bodies again after generations of alienation and disembodied existence.”

They were swinging and gyrating and shaking their dead little asses like petrified zombies trying to regain the warmth of life, rekindle the dead limbs, the cold ass, the stone heart, the stiff, mechanical, disused joints with the spark of life

Written by Matt

February 9th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Downloads