Hooray for rituals, celebrations, and rowdy good times

There is something cathartically liberating about having a few drinks with friends and dancing into the wee hours to energizing, rhythmic music.
There is something uplifting about being a part of a group celebration, a joyful ritual.
From here, about a new book, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy:

Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich believes she has identified a gaping hole in the lives of most contemporary Westerners. The human instinct for communal celebration, she says, is as deeply seeded as our sex drive, but modern civilization has bullied our Dionysian impulses to the sidelines. Yes, she admits, pop concerts and big-league sporting events still offer modern Americans the occasional opportunity to paint their faces and scream themselves hoarse. But, back before recorded history, communities frequently convened to dance and carry on for days at a time.

A major theme of her argument is that religious and political authorities have always been threatened when commoners gather for free-form revels, said Mark Coleman in the Los Angeles Times. Her history of “collective joy” is thus also a history of escalating suppression.

Yup. Not much going on to stimulate feelings of joy these days.
While on the subject of books, Tamara at Mining Nuggets takes a look at Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts of Being a Woman, quoting several of Ephron’s lines wondering about giving up the little things that bring us joy (eating “bad” carbs, especially really good crusty bread; spending money on things that make you feel good, etc.) when life is much too short anyway.
Ephron’s book reminds me of Judith Viorst’s Necessary Losses, which I read ages ago with great attention and appreciation.
Nope. Not enough joy. And that’s why I pig out on PiMs cookies — the best of carbs and the worst of carbs.


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