Nov 9, 2007

How To Party Hard

Dan Witz - Big Mosh Pit (2007)

Tonight's Andrew WK lecture was good. Not good in the common definition "OK" or "mediocre", but in the deeper definition more akin to "right" or " the way things should be"... as in the "common good" or to "do good". Good like a good meal with the word good stressed, not like when someone asks you how your meal was and you say it was "good". Good in the way that changes your definitions.

To understand Andrew's content, it is first vital to clearly define and appreciate the term "party". A party and the act of partying is: unhesitating enjoyment, unforgiving fulfillment, celebratory breathing, extreme enlightenment, callous being, rock appreciation, reckless love. It is a state one can approximate with drunkenness and drug abuse, but doesn't really obtain until the acknowledgement that these vices are not truly necessary. Embracing the party doesn't perpetuate teenage behaviors, but makes sure never to lose the teenage excitement for life. The bottom line is to be conscious of yourself and what constitutes a "party" for you at any given moment, and then to define your perspective as embracing that sense of party with zest. And this is what elevates anthems like "Party Hard" out of frat playlists and into philosophical discourse.

Between the quirky format of inquisitive audience questions punctuated by dramatic stage dives, the night was incredibly grounded in place and time and essence. Andrew was thoughtfully self-conscious, poignantly reducing the experience to "room time" where a bunch of humans sit in a room and be together. His gratitude and focus on gut human-ness was deeply real in a way that is surprisingly absent given the number of moments we live in reality.

I doubt Andrew often gets described as subtle, but let me try. Andrew's message of thinking and being centered first, with the acknowledgement that this will have an unspoken impact on the world and other humans within it, was perfectly but ironically articulated by the lack of a lecture. He demonstrated this exact point just by showing up and writhing on stage as his true self, modeling with a subtlety that heightened the experience to visceral.

I didn't ask my question because Andrew was so clear that I already knew the answer. I was going to ask "We're all here in this room acting out and enjoying it in unprecedented philosophical agreement, but everything changes when we leave this room. How is this collective spirit maintained when we leave?" And then I realized that this is why we do what we do. This is why we forge opportunities to get together and celebrate life in art orgies like Madison Pop Fest.

Andrew WK - Party Hard (mp3)

Jon Sebastian - I Get Wet [Andrew WK Cover] (mp3)


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