[Ed.: A reader passed along this video the other day and all these feelings came up as they often do when I watch something like this. I thought I’d let myself and my inner back-and-forths be presented “as is” as a sort of personal performance, rather than come up with some long-winded critical theorist “critique” or something. Read into this what you will. Consider it an exercise in thinking aloud. Just know, I’m not *trying* to be a c-word.]
According to Tadasana Fest‘s website:
Tadasana will treat attendees to an outstanding community experience, featuring world class yoga and one-of-a-kind musical events, in a city that has become the epicenter of yoga in America. A typical day begins around 8 am with beach strolls, smoothies, organic food and of course, yoga. Morning meditations will be on tap for early risers. Throughout the day, attendees choose from a variety of classes, workshops and lectures. In addition to practicing yoga, the Tadasana Village will offer an awesome place for people to connect, shop, eat and hang.
I’m not really sure what to say.
First, something has gotta be up when Wah! ends up being the most traditionally rooted-sounding voice in a video of yoga practitioners. Which is not to say that Wah! can’t throw down a mean bhajan, but typically I’d consider her the “eclectic” new-school participant in a roster of kirtan walas, and not necessarily the old-school voice of reason.
Secondly, I keep thinking about how this whole DJ-yoga-conscious capitalism scene is gonna look with about thirty years of class theory and privilege studies under our collective belts. You know what I mean? Like, I wonder if this is gonna look a bit…I don’t know…Saved By The Bell-ish?
It’s like when you look back at “hippie” culture having already read Black Panther literature (or even White Panther literature) and you think about which team (the hippies or the radicals) you would’ve played for had you lived during that era, and now you’re like, Oooo…. That hippie stuff is looking pretty weak these days. And then you remember about how the “hippies” were really just a media-constructed safety against Abbie Hoffman and the yippies, who were more or less set on being pests.
It’s like, all that privileged white “hippie” idealism just starts to wuss out when you stand it up next to other, less commercial, still mostly white, F’ shit up idealisms like The Situationists (Europe), Black Mask (NYC), Up Against The Wall Motherfuckers (NYC), or Weather Underground (Chicago).
I don’t know…
I guess I just can’t get down with this “we’re making a difference” thing when it’s coming from someone who looks like he’s about to down a $3.00 goji berry shot while dancing barefoot to a “global beats” DJ.
Know what I mean? I know that’s, like, ridiculously petty in a way….
It’s like this: Individuals and small groups of people are great. Individuals and small groups of people have fantastic ideas. Individuals and small groups of people are exciting and fun. Individuals and small groups of people end up throwing awesome spontaneous dance parties and starting weird collectively-owned anarchist vegan cupcake lending library bakery record stores. I *LOVE* individuals and small groups of people! It’s all these invented “progressive cultures” and “consciousness movements” that make me itchy.
Which is not to say I’m against, like, “tree-hugging” or anything. I’m the only person I know who actually—literally—hugs trees on a weekly basis. Like, I walk up to trees, I hug them, and whisper loving things with my mind into their tiny little bark ears. Seriously. But, I don’t hire MC Yogi to DJ while I do it. I just do it, ’cause I think trees want to be hugged and that if you do it enough and the tree isn’t totally hating on you ’cause you’re a stupid violent human, than, you might get a response.
But, I guess, for me, this video just represents a kind of culture-making I’m not into. A very “green” commercial culture thing using Burning Man–lite as a back drop.
But then, of course I feel like a jerk, ’cause really these people are just having fun, right? You know…goofing around…surfing the I’m-high-on-this-new-air-purifier-iPad-app-I-made wave. I mean, I like to goof around. I like to surf the I’m-high-on-this-new-air-purifier-iPad-app-I-made wave. I guess I just don’t pretend I’m doing anything to help a black kid from East Brooklyn get a better education while I do it….
I don’t know…. These kinds of videos with people acting in these kinds of ways make me feel weird. It’s hard to explain. I don’t mean any disrespect….