Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are We Human or Are We Dancer?

As the title of this entry may suggest, the latest hit single by The Killers is currently playing its chorus on repeat in my head. Granted the construction and style of the lyrics is incorrect at worst and unusual at best, but I think that's what makes them so damn catchy!

Most people take these words at face value and refuse to think twice. But you already knew I wasn't about to do that. The inspiration behind these words is a great Hunter S. Thompson quote: "America is raising a generation of dancers."

Thompson, better known as the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the king of self-titled "Gonzo" journalism, hated modern American youth and the trend of raising free-spirited, pansy, nonconformist, undisciplined children. He summed it up in his word choice of 'dancers', which I'll admit sounds much nicer than it is.

As part of the generation Thompson is referring to I take some personal offense to this categorical assignment. While I feel like I can openly relate to some of those descriptive assignments, I also believe that this is only an ingredient to the concoction of freedom that is infused in modern youth. As the members of the first generation without direct link to a world war, the first beneficiaries of a green revolution, the first techno-educated and implemented societal group, the first widely-open minded generation in regards to sexual orientation, the first work force in which a college degree is mandated for even the most menial of jobs, the first observers of both a unparalleled economic growth and a dizzying fall from that potential, and a plethora of other firsts we have had make us unrivaled in the opportunity for growth that we've had.

Maybe Thompson was right and we are a generation of dancers, but what irritates me is Brandon Flowers semi-assertion that we are either dancers or human. Assuming his definition of human is, at least, loosely associated with free-will this correlation makes sense. However this also assumes the monotony and conformation of dance, which is not what I believe was implied by Thompson's conatation. I suppose this is all a moot point since Thompson commited suicide in 2005 and Flowers refuses to describe his exact intention. Still it makes an interesting point of conversation and thought.

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