Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Shake that Butt and Save the World

Being a regular woman super-hero, you know, fighting for liberty, justice and the pursuit of a slice of my own and others’ rights to happiness, in the words of the Erin Brokovich character -- makes me “really quite tired”. (Contradicting the rest of that quote’s punch line-- I haven’t had opportunity to perform 634 sexual blow jobs, as of late... .) Getting ready to attend two conferences in DC this weekend, Book Expo and Michael Lerner’s Network of Spiritual Progressives , I find myself energized by deadlines, yet lagging, with a general “just-one- of- those- days” funkiness.

So, in a symbolic homeopathic Law of Similars what better way to conquer a funk than with a funk of another kind? Turned on the Cable Music channels and the first thing that came on was Old School rap. Now, I’m not a big rap listener. (Sorry, Tim McGraw-Faith Hill-NASCAR fans, Country’s not my speed of mojo, either. ) But Grandmaster Flash and Treacherous 3 vibrated just the right kind of repetitive beat and underlying jam that rolled my body and soul back to the deep-down joy- loving “ain’t the world grand” kind of real-me.

Fabric gets in the way when I dance—guess the old burlesque background from college days permanently exudes from my skin whenever there’s music – so I changed from my mid-spring, long –sleeved, computer- anguished, baggy shirt into a crop top. Started with firm, jolting diagonal rib and pelvic thrusts, very primal-powered; playing alternating speeds with more seductive arm sways, I moved over to a full length mirror (ballet-training posture check) and found myself sweating enough to strip the clothes. Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back” hula-gyrated my hips. And then returned to torso-shifting, foot-working to the Mr.Clean genie-pants jiving MC Hammer’s “Turn This Mutha Out”. Not too shabby for a 46-year old ma’am, eh?

Last week driving on the Atlantic City Expressway, I was mesmerized by the Chili Peppers’ trippy tongue-trilling “Give it away, GiveItAway, GiveItAway, GiveItAway, GiveItAway, now.” While Gangsta rap’s misogynistic phrasing and culture are an infantile defecation, not a cathartic tool (Law of Similars--like the nationalistically sanctioned war monging mantra “weapons of mass destruction” jargon), this Old School rap talks the God-given body human.

But let’s not “give it away” rather “give it with.”

What would happen if Congress had to vote law in a dance-off? Or couples had to dance divorce court in a show-and-tell display of their anger-love-confusion-power-needs? Iraq—Bush vs Sadam: Round One: Arthur Murray School of Dance , Round Two: the French Foreign Legion waltz scene in Marty Feldman’s 1977 parody of The Last Remake of Beau Geste . In schools and on the job— the controversial Moment of Silence (what is wrong with taking time to ponder or pray?) could be paired with a moment of Sir Mix’s recommendation to “Shake That Butt”.

Take a moment, stop whatever you’re doing, right now, and just shake that butt…feels good doesn’t it? Yeahh, it’s good to be alive in a physical body.

Signing off, my mid-day break— with Kool Moe Dee’s “I Go to Work” – a lot bouncier for the rest of this day. Tomorrow, perhaps a touch of Vivaldi?

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