pennsicdance: final thoughts from the peanut gallery

Alex Clark alexbclark at
Tue Aug 30 14:07:58 PDT 2005

At 07:52 AM 8/30/2005 -0700, Sean D. Sorrentino wrote:
> >As for myself- the slope that floor sits on did a
> >HORRIBLE number to my feet, knees, and back 2 years
> >ago
>The bottom third on the south side is sloped as
>bulldozers run in the $500 an hour range, we must do
>the best we can with this problem. Please ask your
>dance partners to dance with you on the upper, flatter
>part of the floor, near the band shell.

As solutions go, this is a band-aid on a wound that is spurting in time 
with the patient's heartbeat. The slope of the floor is not a trivial 
problem for just one or two people. It is a serious reason why we should 
not expect all dancing to be in the tent. To the extent that I am 
adequately comfortable on either floor, I suspect that I am one of the few. 
It is my understanding that many people have problems with one or both of 
the floors.

> >But, I think, gradual evolution and elimination
> >will serve the dance community
>When you dock the tail of a dog, do you try to ease
>him into the idea by cutting off only one inch a day
>until it is finished? Or do you traumatize him just
>once and cut it all of at one time.
>Let's try a thought experiment. Suppose that after all
>these years of independence, we decide that the
>British had the right idea about which side of the
>road to drive a car. Suppose the President announces
>that on Monday, all cars will shift to the left side.
>If that works ok for a week, next Monday, the trucks
>and busses will shift over as well.

It seems to me that both of these analogies are wide of the mark. The only 
way that either one is nearly on target is that the President (presumably 
of the US?) has absolutely no authority to order people in the US (if that 
is who you meant by "we") to drive on the left on two-way roadways. 
Similarly, at this time nobody has the full and effective authority to 
enforce a "no GOOP" rule. One of the most important practical 
considerations here is that we should not make rules that are effectively 
self-defeating. The opposition to GOOP dances should be kept to a level 
that will never provoke a disproportionately large and effective reaction 
against it.

If we need an analogy, how about boiling a large and fierce lobster with 
unbound claws? If we handle it wrong, or try to plunge it straight into 
boiling water, it could hurt us. It might even hitch a ride on the arm that 
we're trying to jerk out of its claws, and then get away. If we carefully 
set it down in a deep pot of cold water and then slowly heat it up, it will 
never know what happened to it.

Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark  

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