Saturday, June 19, 2010

You're freakin' me out!

Yesterday I saw something that no human being should ever have to see. I saw two old people "freak dancing". Of course, this term really is a misnomer. To call it a dance is to call it an art, and there is no art to something that my dog tries to do to my cat. Dry humping to music is what it really is, and it needs to stop - right now. No, wait, it should have stopped before yesterday because now my psyche is permanently damaged. And whom do I blame for all this? Lousy teenagers - that's whom.

Brief digression before I continue: I saw this while at a Chicago/Doobie Brothers concert. A friend of mine gave me free tickets, and in all honesty, I thought that it was going to be only mildly entertaining and maybe even slightly lame. That turned out to be true for Chicago, not so true for the Doobie Brothers. Those guys were really good, and their music had the right mix of professionalism and raw energy that one should get from a live show. Not only that, but the vocals of the Doobies were in top form.

Okay, enough of that. This is about lousy teenagers and why they are destroying the world.

Dry humping to music (I shall no longer refer to it by its misnomer) has been quite the controversy at the high school where I work. I think it's safe to say that it's been a controversy at high schools around the country. While I didn't chaperone any dances this year, I heard that at the Junior Prom, the administration turned on all the lights due to the fact that there was too much dry humping. I know that at the past dances where I have chaperoned, I was instructed to break up any dry humpers. (I really wasn't interested in getting in the middle of that. I think I may have given a few glares, and it's not like I was getting paid to be there.)

If you want to try getting the teenagers you know to listen to reason on this, don't bother. They are amazingly obtuse when it comes to this issue. (I should point out that there are probably a lot of teens out there who really don't see this much differently than I do. They're still lousy for other reasons, I'm sure.) One of their arguments almost sounds reasonable until you take a half a second to think about it. It basically goes along the lines that the older generation has always looked down on what the younger generation has done, and in time, what was controversial eventually becomes accepted. Just look at what they thought of Elvis!

This is almost convincing, but I will make the bold statement that you will never have a dance class where dry humping is one of the "styles" that you learn. If they still have shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance in another thirty years, one of the themes will not be dry humping. You will not hear professional dance judges be able to go into detail about what was good and bad about a dancer's dry hump. They can do this with ballet, they can do it with tap, they can do it with hip hop dancing, but they will never do it with the dry hump. If they do, then my dog will get to be a contestant on those shows.

Let's face it, dancing, as an art form for the masses, has degenerated with every passing generation. It was no great shakes when I was a kid either. At prom and ball, nobody learned how to dance beforehand. You just moved around and did whatever you felt like doing. There were no steps, no moves. Is it a surprise that it degenerated into this? A lot of great dances involve sexual tension, but when you take the art away from it and keep the raging hormones, you're left with today's sad state of affairs.

I'm on Facebook, and I have a lot of students and former students on my friends list. Oftentimes, kids will post pictures of themselves during prom. Most of them are pretty innocuous with them just posing and smiling with their dates before they get in their limos. Sometimes though, you'll see photos of the dry humping. And it's not the boys who are posting them. It's the girls who do it. I was attempting to give a description, but look at the above photo and you'll get the idea. I'm tempted to comment and write things like, "Does your mom know you posted this?" or "Do you have any idea how degrading that is to yourself?"

But what's the point? They'd respond the same way teenagers have always responded. They'd tell me that I "don't get it". (The problem is, I do get it. I get it better than they do.) They'd say, "This is just the way we dance nowadays."

Of course, I could then explain why it's not really accurate to call it a "dance" and give the explanation that I just wrote above about why it isn't. But there's a saying that you can't reason somebody out of something that they were never reasoned into in the first place. I don't think anybody ever followed a logical progression, even a flawed one, in to thinking that dry humping was a form of dance. They do it because they see other people do it, and oftentimes there is little difference between humans and sheep.

Then again, maybe I should have taken a photo of the old couple. I could send it to them and say, "See! See what you're doing!" Nothing makes something instantly uncool than if old people are doing it.


Ingrid said...

Gosh Lance, I didn't even know at first what "dry humping" is. Of course I still have enough imagination.
Speaking of old people doing it, why do you think I don't want to see most aging rock stars perform? Their moves are just not appealing anymore. Even if their voices are holding up, which mostly they don't, they just look ridiculous. I can't imagine the Doobie Brothers sounding good like they used to.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I didn't think they would either, but I wasn't the only one to comment on how good they still sounded. At least with those guys, they're not dancing around and strutting like Mick Jagger - it's more about just playing the music.