I wrote the below ramble a few months after moving to Chico, California. It took me 3-years to do something about it. That “side project” has pulled thousands of local anti-social Facebook junkies onto the dance-floor and landed me some new friends. I can’t tell you why I waited so long to reboot something that indisputably made me so very happy. The ungrounded ego in my writing below is a bit embarrassing – but even in my blurry hindsight, I think that making my bravado public was necessary to push me out of of my wallow and into action.
Nostalgia – a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
Nostalgic Revolution – re-creating parts of the social environment of “the good ‘ole days” to organically manufacture more experiences worthy of nostalgic longing.
In college, I produced, DJ’ed and taught swing dancing. Some of the happiest times of my life were on the dancefloor, dressed up in vintage clothing I scoured from thrift shops and family. The whole dancing community reeked of unbridled happiness. We rarely drank anything but water, and all made damn well sure everyone in that room got on the floor. If everyone wasn’t loving it, it felt – well – wrong.
We’d lose ourselves in an impossible nostalgia, longing for a time only our grandparents had truly experienced.
Now I find myself longing for that time again. Nostalgia for a time of sloppily manufactured nostalgia. The ‘sloppy’ formula was/is simple. Fill an empty room with a bunch of people that either 1) are willing to suspend their selfish bullshit for a few hours, or 2) whose selfish actions are mutually beneficial (that was me). Then add music, and some subtle moderation by well-camouflaged alphas and oila, a happiness factory.
Beautiful and simple. The experience by itself had a tiny shelf life, but some of the memories … wow … they lasted. Nostalgic Spam.
After the lights went down, we stepped back into the real world, with its real problems and its real limitations. I want that back. That suspension of my own reality for a few hours minus the weed or booze
I didn’t sleep at all last night. Not a fucking wink. I searched for hours to find any sort of dances in Chico that at least had the skeleton of those wonderful times. Nothing.
Simple solution: I need to start producing vintage dances again. Oh, it’s an easy enough on paper:
Step One: Find People.
Step Two: Find Venue.
Step Three: Get People to the Venue.
Step Four: Add Music.
Step Five: Dance. Rinse & Repeat.
The pinch point is Step Two. Finding people willing to get well outside of their comfort zones when other, safer, more comfortable options are available … and to convince them to leave their agendas and their booze and their bull shit at the door … and to stir that resistant pot. Well, it’s gonna be tough.
But hell, when was sparking a nostalgic revolution *ever* easy? Once I get enough of these loops flowing, it will create eddies, and those eddies will become undertows, that undertow will become a riptide … ripping people out of their version of steady, drowning them in memories and spitting them back out into their world.
– Nate Wright, October 23rd, 2012 –
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