“If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution.”
That’s a quote falsely attributed to feminist-anarchist-eternal bad ass Emma Goldman. Â Here’s what she really said: “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.”
That’s what I saw tonight at the opening ceremony for the Allied Media Conference, nominally a conference on alternative media and social justice, actually much more: a conclave of new ideas more radical than TED, a utopian dreamspace of equality, acceptance, and radical humanism, a meeting point of the people creating the culture of the 21st century.
The opening ceremony tonight ended fittingly with participants dancing onstage (see photo): Â all ethnicities, all genders, all ages, all bodies, in ecstatic loving union: the whole made greater by the sums of its parts, each part made greater by the whole.
It’s at moments like this that I think we can win, that change is possible. Â Because the powers that be, the powers of oppression, express no such joy. Â The suited uniform of the corporate mogul or politician is a mark of conformity, of negating the self. Â It’s a faustian bargain for power, but requires self-repression and twisting of the spirit.
What the Allied Media Conference stands for is the whole person, deserving of love as we are for whatever we are. Â The current global system of cut-throat competition and self-loathing both seeded and soothed by consumer culture doesn’t hold a candle to this ethos. Â Another world is possible, and there will be dancing.