BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (3)
July 7, 2022
One in a series of 25 enthusiastic posts, contributed by 25 HILOBROW friends and regulars, delivering brief remarks on mottos, mantras, speeches, slogans, and other words to live by. Series edited by Adam McGovern.
“Joy Is An Act of Resistance” — Toi Derricotte
(“The Apocalypse Is Now, So Let’s Dance” — Rob Brezsny)
It’s Wednesday, and I am dancing. My bare feet skim the glossy wooden floor as Monica plays a pulsing techno song. As I move, I see the familiar faces of strangers who have become a peculiar and nurturing kind of family, wordlessly moving alongside me week after week. Jane, a woman in her 70s, with soft white hair and twinkling eyes swivels past me in a bright turquoise shirt. Just beyond her, Kaitlin dances lightly, like a chiffon scarf waving in a breeze. Jason swirls in sharp and graceful lines focused with monk-like intensity. In this pseudo-post-pandemic era full of strangeness and uncertainty, this moment is a sweet salve.
The poet Toi Derricotte, who used the phrase “Joy is an act of resistance” in her piece “The Telly Cycle,” illuminated something which we, at our deepest levels, understand. When we choose to embody joy, in spite of the oppressive forces around us, this is an act of powerful revolution. Today as I shake my arms and legs to the rhythm, I toil through the latest deluge of terrible news and national tragedies. My body is an alchemist, sifting through the debris and the grief of this fragile existence, purifying it with my liquid movements, hoping to catch a glimpse of the gold I know still exists within me and my community: curiosity, courage, and delight. As the music morphs into a tribal cadence my arm becomes a machete, cutting away the fear and the pain which is too burdensome to carry alone. A disco anthem replaces the native drums, chugging steadily, whisking us together. My companions and I shuffle our way through space and time. The triangles of golden dusk beam through the windows, reflecting each dancer’s passing skin, flashing like fireworks against the off-white walls. We are smiling, whirling, turning, remembering the gift of our aliveness, the generosity of the body, and the power of our radiant togetherness which is our birthright.
Honest joy is our armor, our true will, our guardian against the forces which seek to disempower us. Unchecked capitalism demands constant sacrifice from our bodies, our minds, our time, our language… even our imagination, hypnotizing us with unending, shapeshifting forms of desolation and despair. Still, Joy is the trickster angel-god who knows how to bend, how to sway, and how to remain light — even in grief, even against all odds. It is no wonder that “liberation movements have a long history of communal dance,” as the author Barbara Ehrenreich noted. If jubilant hope is meaningful in solitude, then its potency is only strengthened by the presence of other exuberant bodies capable of both embracing the present and crafting a different kind of future. One marked by connection, rather than violence.
BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: INTRODUCTION by Adam McGovern | Ran Xia on BLACK CROW BELIEFS | Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons on LEFT-CORNER BRICK | Andrea Diaz on JOY IS RESISTANCE | Lynn Peril on TO THINE OWN SELF | Miranda Mellis on THE FUTURE IS PASSÉ | Bishakh Som on LET THE WEIRDNESS IN | Lucy Sante on FLAUBERT’S PERFECT WORD | Stefene Russell on CRYSTAL SETS | Crystal Durant on LIFE IS A BANQUET | Adam McGovern on EVERY MINUTE AN OCEAN | Josh Glenn on LUPUS LUPUM NON MORDET | Heather Quinlan on SHUT UP, HE EXPLAINED | Adrienne Crew on WATCH YOUR PENNIES | Art Wallace on COME ON AND GIVE A CHEER | Julia Lee Barclay-Morton on WILLIAM JAMES, UNADAPTED | Christopher-Rashee Stevenson on TO EACH HIS OWN | Nikhil Singh on ILLUMINATE OR DISSIPATE? | Mimi Lipson on CHEAP FOOD TASTES BETTER | Kahle Alford on NOT GONNA CRACK | Michele Carlo on YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT | Marguerite Dabaie on WALKING ON WATER | Raymond Nat Turner on TRYIN’ AND TRANEIN’ | Bob Laine on WHEN YOU GROW UP | Fran Pado on THE SMILEY EMOJI | Deborah Wassertzug on PLACING YOUR BETS. PLUS: BLURB SERIES CODA by Lisa Levy.
JACK KIRBY PANELS | CAPTAIN KIRK SCENES | OLD-SCHOOL HIP HOP | TYPEFACES | NEW WAVE | SQUADS | PUNK | NEO-NOIR MOVIES | COMICS | SCI-FI MOVIES | SIDEKICKS | CARTOONS | TV DEATHS | COUNTRY | PROTO-PUNK | METAL | & more enthusiasms!