Applauding our own behinds

While returning from New York yesterday, I read David Rakoff’s Don’t Get Too Comfortable on the plane. Viciously funny. But that’s not the point of this post.

In a chapter entitled What Is The Sound of One Hand Shopping, Rakoff quotes the inimitable Lenny Bruce, saying:

Lenny Bruce described flamenco as being an art form wherein a dancer applauds his own ass

250px-Sargent_John_Singer_Spanish_Dancer

I love flamenco, in all its forms. The music, the fingerstyle guitar playing, the dancing, the atmosphere. I also love what Lenny seems to be saying, which I personally interpreted as “Be careful, don’t take yourself too seriously, otherwise passion becomes pretension.”

And I think we do need to be careful. We of the blogosphere and the A-listers, the technomemes and the Dr Seuss naming conventions and the Everything 2.0, we need to make sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We need to recognise that we’re nothing more than a bunch of passionate early adopters participating in a big and potentially far-reaching set of changes to how we communicate.

When I see the kerfuffle surrounding the Scoble-Facebook face-off, I begin to wonder. I really begin to wonder.

2 thoughts on “Applauding our own behinds”

  1. Two comments on this:

    1. I use Google Reader. I recently subscribed to several ‘popular’ blogs. Google Reader told me that each blog had no more than a few hundred RSS consumers reading those feeds through its system. OK so it is not the most widely used feed reader, but that’s still loooow. Early days yet.

    2. I always thought they trained flamenco dancers by trapping children in revolving doors.

  2. the too seriously charge is v timely. Just putting together a presention on a topic selected for me. Have found I’ve had to translate from the original business formality to a language that gets to the guts and takes the mickey… here’s hoping they won’t be offended

Let me know what you think