Dance Therapy for Uniformed Thugs – A Crazy Idea or Genius (or both)?

(Post updated/ edited 1.6.11)

On May 28, 2011 television host (and Iraq war veteran) Adam Kokesh along with several other activists participating in a flash-mob were arrested at the publicly-funded Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Their crime? Silently dancing, in celebration of the first amendment’s champion; a clear violation of their right to free-expression. In an excessive use of force, video was captured of Adam being body slammed and placed in a choke for his non-crime.

You can visit Adam’s site and read the story with full video here

Here are some of the highlights caught on camera.

Adam explains the background to the event and gives more details about what happened on that day following the arrests in this interview.

Whatever your thoughts are on people moving their bodies to music only they can hear (via headphones) in a public space, there are several questions which immediately present themselves:

  • Is pulling people apart, body slamming them to the ground, putting them in chokes by kneeling on the back of their necks, handcuffing them and arresting them (for….?) the mark of a free, civilized and sane society?
  • Although it’s questionable the couple of dozen assembled people constituted a ‘situation’ to begin with – could such a ‘situation’ have been ‘dealt with’ in some other way by the police (assuming that the ‘situation’ even needed ‘dealing with’ at all)?
  • Given that it’s the 21st century and we are supposed to be at the pinnacle of human civilization, might a more civilized, intelligent and mature way of behaving have been for the police to liaise with the public in a non aggressive (friendly?) manner, before standing back and allowing them to get on with their 15 minutes of peaceful silent dancing and aimiable socializing (while remaining on hand just in case it all inexplicably turned into a violent frenzy of criminal destruction) before eventually wondering off after the gathering and getting on with their publicly paid role: that of keeping the peace and catching real criminals and so on?

And if we step outside of socially instilled definitions for a moment and look at this from the perspective of objective common sense we can even ask these questions:

  • Were the burly men dressed in matching blue uniforms who showed up with weapons strapped to their belts, who carried out a coordinated, unprovoked, spontaneous, unsolicited and violent kidnapping of their fellow human beings (who were at the time unarmed and behaving peacefully) perhaps the ones acting the most crazy that day?
  • Which group really breached the peace at that memorial on that day?

Are these valid questions? What are your own feelings on these matters?

Here’s Stefan Moleneux of Freedomain Radio with his usual astute, wise and delightful take on the whole episode.

Stefan suggests, with some degree of humour, that it would be a good idea if  these thuggish (and rather overweight, it has to be said) police officers were required to attend dance classes/ dance therapy of some kind in order to help them to reconnect with their human side; not to mention everybody else’s.

But is this suggestion something we could actually take seriously?

Or maybe having a ‘human side’ and learning how to judge and respond to real life and spontaneous social situations doesn’t matter so much these days. Maybe we as humans living in world of increasingly virtual interactions, multi media entertainments, as well as organized (managed) events such as sports games and concerts, we can exist without so much emphasis on skills like cooperation, fairness, empathy, communication, warmth, compassion, affection and humour…… or….  maybe these kinds of values and social skills are in reality extremely useful for helping to prevent those annoying accidental collapses of a free society, like the ones human history is so full of.

Bearing all this in mind, I personally think the idea of giving some kind of dance therapy to the police (and any other uniformed workers such as private security staff ) is actually a stunningly intelligent idea – especially for those with poor people skills and a tendency to resort to thuggish behaviour. It is the kind of scheme which somebody (a charity perhaps?) with the resources should definitely consider taking on – and ideally make a documentary about it too. Such a scheme could easily end up being a roaring success; a success for all concerned, not least the police (or security staff or whoever) taking part in it.

The very idea of ‘fighting against’ violence or thuggish behaviour is quite obviously ridiculous, partly because it is a blatant contradiction in terms but also because today it seems all laws and other forms of government intervention are moving in the direction of sanctioning violence, encouraging violence, enforcing violence and even arming those who wish to commit violence as the ‘solution’ to all things in the world.

But even disregarding this fact, the best way people who lack social skills, human judgement and who are prone to thuggish behaviour can really be helped to rebalance themselves is for them to receive the encouragement and help they need to unpick their own programming for themselves. Or at least be given the choice to have a go at it if they want to! As with most things in life this help can be either viewed as a an impossible task or a social responsibility (not least to our children) or even as a sheer delight.

The reality check is that if we don’t help our fellow thugs and regard them, on the whole, as fellow victims of a system created by a hierarchical ruling class which is fundamentally pro-violence (and in fact utterly dependent on violence) then no one else is going help them.

And if they don’t get that that kind of help while there is still time then heaven help us all in the very near future ….

Perhaps you think I am being a bit fanciful and unrealistic suggesting we can all help each other out by mutually working through and repairing our ‘bad programming’, and you might think it is unrealistic to imagine something as ‘artsy’ as dancing could be of any help in that respect.

But I always say that every failure is ultimately a failure of imagination.

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare;

it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”

Seneca – Roman Philosoper, Statesman

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UPDATES:

More on the story here

Hitler Finds Out About Kokesh Dance Party!

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… your daughters belong to us now.

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A two part analysis by Rob Ager

Entertainment Does Not Exist – Part 3

(Watch Part 1 here )

Watch ‘Into the Fire’ documentry in full here

BUY THE DVD AND SUPPORT THE FILMMAKERS HERE

Watch an interview with documentary maker Dan Dicks here

Entertainment Does Not Exist – Part 2

(Watch Part 1 here )

Watch Part 3 here

Watch ‘Psywar’ in full here

Roseanne Barr’s Candid Reflections on Being a Celebrity and Working in Hollywood

And I Should Know

by Roseanne Barr

Published May 15, 2011 in the New York Magazine

Read full article here

During the recent and overly publicized breakdown of Charlie Sheen, I was repeatedly contacted by the media and asked to comment, as it was assumed that I know a thing or two about starring on a sitcom, fighting with producers, nasty divorces, public meltdowns, and bombing through a live comedytour. I have, however, never smoked crack or taken too many drugs, unless you count alcohol as a drug (I don’t). But I do know what it’s like to be seized by bipolar thoughts that make one spout wise about Tiger Blood and brag about winning when one is actually losing.

It’s hard to tell whether one is winning or, in fact, losing once one starts to think of oneself as a commodity, or a product, or a character, or a voice for the downtrodden. It’s called losing perspective. Fame’s a bitch. It’s hard to handle and drives you nuts. Yes, it’s true that your sense of entitlement grows exponentially with every perk until it becomes too stupendous a weight to walk around under, but it’s a cutthroat business, show, and without the perks, plain ol’ fame and fortune just ain’t worth the trouble.

“Winning” in Hollywood means not just power, money, and complimentary smoked-salmon pizza, but also that everyone around you fails just as you are peaking. When you become No. 1, you might begin to believe, as Cher once said in an interview, that you are “one of God’s favorite children,” one of the few who made it through the gauntlet and survived. The idea that your ego is not ego at all but submission to the will of the Lord starts to dawn on you as you recognize that only by God’s grace did you make it through the raging attack of idea pirates and woman haters, to ascend to the top of Bigshit Showbiz Mountain.

All of that sounds very much like the diagnosis for bipolar disorder, which more and more stars are claiming to have these days. I have it, as well as several other mental illnesses, but then, I’ve always been a trendsetter, even though I’m seldom credited with those kinds of things. And I was not crazy before I created, wrote, and starred in television’s first feminist and working-class-family sitcom (also its last).

I so admire Dave Chappelle. You did right for yourself by walking away, Dave. I did not have the guts to do it, because I knew I would never get another chance to carry so large a message on behalf of the men and women I grew up with, and that mattered most to me.

After my 1985 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, I was wooed by producers in Hollywood, who told me they wanted to turn my act into a sitcom. When Marcy Carsey—who co-owned Carsey-Werner with her production partner, Tom Werner (producers of The Cosby Show)—asked me to sign, I was impressed. I considered The Cosby Show to be some of the greatest and most revolutionary TV ever.

Marcy presented herself as a sister in arms. I was a cutting-edge comic, and she said she got that I wanted to do a realistic show about a strong mother who was not a victim of Patriarchal Consumerist Bullshit—in other words, the persona I had carefully crafted over eight previous years in dive clubs and biker bars: a fierce working-class Domestic Goddess. It was 1987, and it seemed people were primed and ready to watch a sitcom that didn’t have anything like the rosy glow of middle-class confidence and comfort, and didn’t try to fake it. ABC seemed to agree. They picked upRoseanne in 1988.

It didn’t take long for me to get a taste of the staggering sexism and class bigotry that would make the first season of Roseanne god-awful. It was at the premiere party when I learned that my stories and ideas—and the ideas of my sister and my first husband, Bill—had been stolen. The pilot was screened, and I saw the opening credits for the first time, which included this: CREATED BY MATT WILLIAMS. I was devastated and felt so betrayed that I stood up and left the party. Not one person noticed.

‘Roseanne’ – TV Series 1988–1997

[…………]

When the show went to No. 1 in December 1988, ABC sent a chocolate “1” to congratulate me. Guess they figured that would keep the fat lady happy—or maybe they thought I hadn’t heard (along with the world) that male stars with No. 1 shows were given Bentleys and Porsches. So me and George Clooney [who played Roseanne Conner’s boss for the first season] took my chocolate prize outside, where I snapped a picture of him hitting it with a baseball bat. I sent that to ABC.

[…………]

…..  Hollywood hates labor, and hates shows about labor worse than any other thing. And that’s why you won’t be seeing another Roseanne anytime soon. Instead, all over the tube, you will find enterprising, overmedicated, painted-up, capitalist whores claiming to be housewives. But I’m not bitter.

Nothing real or truthful makes its way to TV unless you are smart and know how to sneak it in, and I would tell you how I did it, but then I would have to kill you. Based on Two and a Half Men’s success, it seems viewers now prefer their comedy dumb and sexist. Charlie Sheen was the world’s most famous john, and a sitcom was written around him. That just says it all. Doing tons of drugs, smacking prostitutes around, holding a knife up to the head of your wife—sure, that sounds like a dream come true for so many guys out there, but that doesn’t make it right! People do what they can get away with (or figure they can), and Sheen is, in fact, a product of what we call politely the “culture.” Where I can relate to the Charlie stuff is his undisguised contempt for certain people in his work environment and his unwillingness to play a role that’s expected of him on his own time.

[…………]

Read full article here

Entertainment Does Not Exist – Part 1

Watch Part 2 here

Watch ‘Psywar’ in full here