Sunday, April 24, 2011

Where's the love for the awkward?

So this happened the other day, and I just wanted to write about it here...

I was sitting in the engineering center at CU, waiting for class to start and enjoying a sandwich, when I overheard a weird conversation. Normal chit-chat for some folk, but I always tend overthink everything.  I found their conversation to be comical, alarming, and disheartening; all at the same time.

Here’s the conversation:

A: “…so they just made their roommate wait out in the car?”

B: “Ya, dude, he just sat in there doing whatever.”

A: “how long were they gone?”

B: “Dude, they were in there for like a half an hour."

Shared laughing.

B: “They told [person who they were visiting: let's say person C] that he was out in the car, but when C asked why they just said, ‘you don’t want him in here’”

A: “What? Really?”


B: “Ya, dude, well, he’s so socially awkward. They wouldn’t want to hang out with him anyway.”

More laughing. They walk away.

I found it comical because I could imagine making one of my friends sit for a half hour in a car while I was hanging out and doing something, even though it wouldn't really be fair to my friends.  I found it alarming because these two guys (A and B) were so disinterested in how the person sitting in the car probably felt.  I mean, imagine sitting and waiting for someone you think is your friend while they insult you and disrespect you.  If you found out about it, you would be pissed off.  I don't think I would have stayed in the car the whole time.  Maybe I would have hit the horn or maybe got out and found something else to do.  I found it disheartening because there are a lot of socially awkward people in this world who have a hard enough time talking to people and fitting in that they shouldn't have to deal with some jerks who pretend to be their friends.  I don't know, just thought it was silly that these guys were so openly uncaring for someone who they choose to spend their time with.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dogon Dance and the Celebration of Death

Just watched a video in my ancient astronomy course today.  The video was about the Dogon people of Mali.  These people have a certain cosmology which is ingrained in their spirituality.  Also, the Dogon people consider all of life to be a dance.  They dance to celebrate life.  
The highlight of the video dealt with the Dogon’s dance for death.  They dance to celebrate death.  They dance people into their death and beyond.  So unlike the modern technological society I am a part of.  In western society, the propagation of the judeo-christian religions brought the idea that suicide was wrong, that death was bad and not a part of life, that death could be dangerous.  Jack Kavorkian was put in jail because he wanted to help people in pain to find their death.  We have forced death as far outside of our realm of thought as we could, as if death is wrong or bad.  I love how the Dogon celebrate death.  I love the idea of dancing our loved ones into their death.  Why should we fear death?  Why should we consider suicide to be wrong?  It makes no sense to fear a natural part of life.  
Of course, the Dogon don’t wish for death or seek it, but they respect death as part of life and they dance in honor of death.  I wish more people in this modern technological culture were open with death and unafraid.  It’s hard to deal with that.  I'd like to be open about death.  I'd like to dance to celebrate death.  And, I hope that when I die someone will dance to celebrate my death.