Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
Undoubtedly, the US government loves to wage war– besides the obvious wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya– we have the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, the War on Women, and now… drum roll please… the War on Dancing. (Video here.)
Religious groups have been trying to suppress dancing for decades– remember the protests against the jungle rhythms of “Elvis the Pelvis” and the early rockers?
Now the US government has stepped in. Under the auspices of the Patriot Act(!) freedom of expression– including dancing– in not allowed in public places including the Jefferson Memorial.
Come on, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence!!!!! If anyone would allow people to dance on the smooth marble floor at his memorial, it would be Jefferson.
Check out the attached video above. According to an editorial in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star by syndicated columnist Leonard J. Pitts, Jr.– Anti-dancing enforcement insults common sense— the first people to be arrested for violating the Patriot Act by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial were a group of interpretive dancers who were free-form floating around the memorial to celebrate the birthday of one of this country’s most progressive thinkers. I can envision spirit of Jefferson saying, “Hey– don’t arrest these people! What happened to the land of the free and home of the brave that I envisioned? Seriously, I don’t mind the dancing!”
As a dancer, a progressive, and a Jefferson groupie, I don’t think we should take this lying down. I think dancers should organize nationwide dancing flash mobs in protest suppression of our freedom under the Patriot Act. Below is a west coast swing flash mob in Chicago. Tucson has a very active West Coast Swing Club. As the song in these videos (below) says, “Dance like it’s the last night of your life.”
Swing City Chicago West Coast Swing Flash Mob 2010
“Come on, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence!!!!!”
There is a website that newsies like called “Overheard in the Newsroom” where working journalists post witticisms and other pithy statements made in newsrooms during the course of a day’s work.
One of my favorites is this one: Editor to rookie reporter: “You only get to use an exclamation point once in your career; are you sure you want to use it now?”
Point well taken. I’m sure my j-school profs would not approve of 5 exclamation points either, but as you often remind me, this is an unpaid blog… not a newspaper. 🙂
I love it!!!!! I couldn’t tell from the video, but having been there, I know that the place is generally filled and a goodly percentage of the visitors are from other countries. I guess they have some really good stories to tell when they return home. Welcome to America! (No dancing allowed).
Police just hate it when someone does not “respect their authority”.