Friday, 12 February 2010

Carnaval 3: The Fun Killers

As far as I can see, there are three (or maybe four) things that kill the fun.

1. Big Cameras

There haven’t been many of them. But they make people self-conscious. Self-consciousness kills fun. Good fun seem to involve the loss of self-consciousness.

It’s not so much the little point-and-shoot cameras that revelers fling around. They’re fun, and used in the spirit of fun.

It’s the people with big cameras who don’t participate but just take pictures. They’re taking from the proceedings without giving anything. To take more than you give traverses a fundamental principle of life.

Good fun needs contribution, not documenation. Let it be and let it go.

I haven’t taken any pictures yet. I feel I should. I don’t know what to do about that. I’ll see what I can find on flickr.

2. Stages

So, I went last night to see the Tribal processions. I’m really interested in tribes, because if research suggests that play is a human need at all ages, that there’s some kind of singer and dancer in all of us, but we’ve been smothered by a Protestant Capitalist thing that says work is more important than play – if that is true, then I’m really curious to see what people do when they haven’t been smothered by a protestant capitalist culture.

And given the dominance of a North American economic and cultural model, the main people who potentially haven’t been thus smothered are tribes.

So, I went to see the tribal processions and they were just fantastic, powerful dancing and drumming and costumes. They weren’t contemporary tribes, an old schoolteacher told me; rather, contemporary Indians reviving practices now dead. Their feathered headdresses and skirts were made of gowdy coloured synthetic feathers, but my do these people have rhythm.

Their parade was FUN, but then it culminated at a stage where each group gave a performance of the dance they had been parading. The joy ended there. It drained from me. It drained from their faces. It drained from the whole palpable experience. They did the dances, sure, but the fun was lost.

(pic from cristiano)

3. Electricity

As the night went on more and more blocos joined the party, and some had electricity. Microphones and speakers. That killed the fun. It made some people’s fun drown out that of others. It hurt the ears of anyone too close. And when the speakers played unlive music, it broadcast a kind of deadness, an un-liveness, across the whole feel. It killed the fun.

There were no carnaval vans. They weren’t needed; everyone danced down the street.

Lights were useful though…

4. There was kind of a fourth. Groups of men just trying to make as much noise as possible. Crappy vibe. No fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment