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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mosh pits and life

When I frequented live concerts in the olden days, mosh pits did not exist.  How sedately we sat, or stood, finger snapping, singing along, clapping, stamping, yelling. But there was no room to “mosh”, until it was invented. I only knew about it; my punk nieces and nephews had interesting stories, and their friends even more.

I must have been sixty five or seventy the first time I saw people adjourning to the area in front of the stage to dance alone, or with somebody, or anybody, or anybody else. It was one of Bob Dylan’s final tours, featuring people as old as me, or more. I think Bob Dylan’s maybe a year old than I am, but that’s not the story.

Willie Nelson’s band was playing. I remember John Cougar Mellenkamp, though he’d dropped Cougar by them. And Dylan, performing last. My young friend Cara was in the mosh pit, twirling and dancing and hoping for Nelson’s red bandana. I found the entire spectacle a mesmerizing metaphor for life, and then forgot about it.

Laura has been dancing a couple of times of late that devolved into mosh pits. Once at school, when the band teacher left the room, setting off an impromptu session and some dancing, and then the teacher came back. The first time she said Mosh Pit, she looked stricken, until I laughed.

I’ve considered mosh pits and life frequently the last couple of years. Life goes on; the people in it change. My best friend moved far away, my next best friend quit me. The rest of my family support system faded back.  I was into the pit, elbows and knees, looking for folks of like interest.

I danced with the knitters and moved on. I danced with the young adult book club and moved on. But I’ve found more than a few people with interests in common. The impromptu National School Walkout brought to life several little activist groups among those of us out in the cold for seventeen minutes. When we’re back from vacation next week I’ll have even more places to go and things to do.

We’ll miss our first event, the opportunity to stand in the street in Akron on March 24th and help people register to vote. I do hope it’s warmer than March 14th.  But, we’ve organized another event to occur just before the Ohio primary on May 8th

The Ohio legislature passed a bi-partisan structuring plan for congressional districts, subject to voter approval. The end of gerrymandering in Ohio, we hope.

There will be a postcard party at the library in April, to send postcards to voters in the village and the township, giving them the number of the issue and encouraging a vote in support. We settled on the library when we decided no one house would have enough room or parking if we turned out as many people who came to the National School Walkout.


  1. It sounds like you're really showing people the way to do things right.

  2. LOVE your political mosh pit. And commitment to fairness.

  3. Good things come from things like the Walkout. Have a nice vacation.

  4. It seems the older we get the harder it is to make lasting friendships or we change so much we wonder how we were friends with certain people, or people die, people move, people get married and get too busy and so on. One must keep reaching out here and there to find like minded people with whom to associate. I'm glad you found some recently.

  5. My daughter saw Bob Dylan sometime last summer and said he was great. I saw him about 30 years ago, and he was not so great. He “might” have been on meds then.

    My long time friends are also moving or dying. It sure hurts and makes me feel lonely at times. Life goes on though and I, like you, have found new pastures with like-minded people.

    Have a lovely, and safe vacation.

  6. Interesting and pleasing how you just go on and on doing things that keep you busy, while I sit here wishing I didn't have to go on the doctor-ordered walk every evening.
    I've never been to rock concerts, I find them far too loud, even when I was much younger I preferred not to go.

  7. Yes - there's life in the old girl yet. She's like the energiser bunny who keeps on going!
    Oh and there certainly was a mosh pit last year at the Village People/ K C and the Sunshine Band concert here in Melbourne Full of young and old fans dancing away to those old hits.

  8. I had to look up 'mosh pit' but all I found was 'the area in front of the stage where moshing occurs'. I am still no wiser.

    1. Some of the audience gathers in front of the stage. They dance and sway with the up close music. And smoke and sing and wave their arms and suck up the music. It can be so crowded they are all moshed together. Let us know when you've tried it.

  9. Hari OM
    Releasing your inner mosher - WTG Joanne! YAM xx

  10. Postcard parties are the mosh pits for the resistance. :)

  11. the closest thing I've ever been to a mosh pit is trying to move through a Mardi Gras crowd in New Orleans. deserted by friends and family you go out and make new connections. you're my role model.

  12. The mosh pit is a great metaphor! I hope you have a great vacation, Joanne. You’ll be refreshed and ready for the pit again.

  13. Glad to see you're not going to be bored for the next litle while lol.

  14. We had something similar to the mosh pit when I was young, but then it was just people dancing in front of the stage in what was known as "freaking out". I often participated and had a great time. Maybe it was just a British thing?

    I admire your persistence in finding new friends after old ones have fallen by the wayside. It's harder to make new friends at our age.

  15. Nothing like a protest to make you feel young!

  16. Now is the time to build on the connections and momentum from the walkout - good stuff!