Friday, July 18, 2008

Town crier

Okay, everyone and their brother has already linked to this: Matt Harding's latest dance-around-the-world video, where this time he's invited the citizens of Earth to come out and dance around with him. I've seen it in at least three places in as many weeks; today before my lunch break I played it again, and I had exactly the same response to it as the first time...

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.>

...which is to say, I cried like a goddamn baby.

Sis IMed me while I was having my moment, all cheerily "how are you today?" and I had to laugh at myself, as I scoured my face with Starbucks napkins. "Why does it make you cry?" she asked, sincerely puzzled I think. And I have been trying all afternoon to articulate that. It's not to say that I don't laugh, too. I beam at this video. I grin like a loon. I loved Matt's earlier solo trips, too, and I am not sure why this one provokes such a visceral reaction in me. But there's something about the music, from the first instant...and then when the crowds pour in, shouting and laughing and all hoedown-jogging in place, with such joy...well. Tears spew from my eyes! I can't get hold of myself!

Joy. Maybe that is it--that my response to this video is a more essential kind of joy, where you laugh and cry both. It thrills me; it hits me in some spot so deep that the emotions get all piled up and come blurting and barrelling out at once. The little kids giggling--that gets me. In beautiful places, in desolate places, some adults and a few dogs and kids and kids and kids rush in, from their apartments, their school lunchroooms, their shacks, and they dance and dance and dance for the sheer fun of it. Showboating, doing cartwheels. I told Sis something like, look how simple this is. We're at war, all over the world. We bicker and backstab, we defend our ideologies to the death and scorn those of others. Somewhere, everywhere, every day, people are starving, are sick, are deliberately cruel, are tired, are lost. And then this one goofy dude goes and does a bad jig in the middle of the street, and reduces us all to our most human element. Run out there and smile and jump up and down! You! and you! and you! There's still hope. We can get along, the world can still be saved. Let's dance.

I had to watch it again, twice, getting the embedding to work. Yep, gleefully hiccuping all over the damn place.
* * * * *

In other news, I drove home from work this evening and found these, placed along about a block's worth of the median on 8th Ave NW, a couple streets over from my house:

I went home, threw my purse in the house and practically ran back down the street with my camera, wanting to make sure no one took them down before I got them all. I walked a few blocks further south, too, checking, but there didn't seem to be more to the story. Anyway. I know they're not for me, but I kind of wish they were. You know, maybe the guy (why do I think it's a guy?) who posted the signs is in fact a jerk; maybe he did something unforgiveable. How would I know? The hair thing, that's a little weird. But I really want to believe that it would and can work, too. I want to believe the intended recipient saw them, that he or she believes it too. It can work. It can! Say yes, oh, say yes.


Gael said...

I am so glad you saw those too!

There was a FOURTH one that has now vanished. It said something like

"Hey, at least I made a beautiful girl smile."

What a mystery...

Michelle said...

slowly losing track of the world from the nether regions of Scandi, so I had never seen the dancing and I don't know what you mean by the crying. I totally didn't. Completely.

Anonymous said...

It's the signs that made me cry.