Depression and Dancing
The 1930s was a truly remarkable time for swing dancing. Even though times were truly tough (tougher than now materially for most folks) people had been optimistic enough to simply go out and jump the blues away .
There were tons of bands, every joint had one, and in general what little money there was just flowed around. People had Fun (with a capitol "F",) and in spite of bad times, not because of them, they felt better after a night of blowing off steam.
Today's Depression is still going on, with little optimism about the return of plenitude for everyone. The future is not bright for kids materially and in the hope of discovering a life's vocation which satisfies the need for creativity and meaning, and even more striking is the way people have not had a positive view of the future.
I have been thinking for years now about this. When people are out having fun anyway, they seem to be free of societal depression. The world of today encourages isolation, and, since life is not a spectator sport, and we actually live in a participatory universe, I have looked for the return of the fun -- the bands, the dancing, the swing.
I have really seen it happening here in Paris this week (Easter 2015 -- April in Paris.) The dancefloor at Caveau de la Huchette has been completely full, even at 2:15 am, everyone looking joyous, delightful, clear, active and alive after the Good Time. There are all ages represented, everyone is out on the floor. Everyone is into it. I see the depression lifting, and I know we are coming out of it, not at all because of any particular politics or economics, but simply because we are Life, and nothing can stop or hide this freedom.
-- Al Copley,Paris, April 6, 2015