April 14, 2007 at 3:37 pm #21982
note: hot off the e-press in China, Healing Tao instructor Thorny Bastard reports from the front lines….
Well it’s been a long damn time since my last China dispatch. perhaps years. who knows? who cares? this is a momentous occasion, a momentous metaphor.
I just got back from what’s got to be the first ever punk show in Shenzhen. And i tell you it was the real deal. some kickass old school, hardcore punk rock. some German band showed up and played original tunes plus two Reagan Youth covers and “I’m Seeing Red” by us DC Punks’ ole fave Minor Threat. Gooooooodddddddd dddddaaaaamn! It was good.
4 years in China without any rock n roll, and the first show I catch happens to be the first punk show also. Took some of my students and they were astonished, shocked, and then thoroughly and profoundly pleased by the explosion of exhuberance that instantly, like the three forces that gave birth to the 10,000 things, gives birth to the mosh pit. WHAM! and the chaos of creation begins.
A totally new, shocking, yet deeply moving experience for them. Having in a blink observed that this was REAL, i leapt over the rail onto the dance floor. my girlfriend was at first disconcerted. but it didnt matter. she could tell that there was something ironic in the apparent chaos–fellowship.
the long and short of it is that the mosh pit etiquette that died in america years ago is still alive in China. I made more friends in thirty minutes of thrashing than i did in the past four years. participation in the tribal dance is initiation into a sacred fellowship that is worldwide and transcends national boundries. my tribal dance has been perfected over the years since my first show in 1981 to see the DK’s at 930 club, and that 26 years of punk rock history was apparent to every scrawny chinese kid on that dance floor. My girlfriend and students were again shocked, amazed, befuddled and bewildered at the instant brotherhood that erupts from what to them at first seemed to be violence and anarchy. shaking hands. slapping backs. patting shoulders. knowing not the same language, yet speaking it to each other. The rapid and timeless collision and swallowing of yin and yang by one another in the great cosmic dance of creation expressing itself. too fast for tradition, too slow for eternity.
Furthermore, that german band had real respect for their elders, tipping their hat to Reagan Youth and Minor Threat, giving appropriate reverence to the songs of old. I doubt those shenzhen punks had any clue, but the spirits were there and moving among us. and they felt and were moved by them. every single element of the tribal ritual and tanscendance was there. i wasn’t gonna thrash, i didnt wanna thrash, i just wanted to introduce my studnets and friends to something different, but a voice called out from the past and the soul moves faster than light.
I fucked up my knee, fucked up my jaw and fucked up my nose. Damn! those scrawny chinese kids can mosh! All worth it for the ritual of chaos, the celestial vomit from which all things come. returning to the primal and freeing a nation of the bonds of 5000 years of oppression are worth the hurt.
the soul is stirred in the primordial soup. The lungs gasp for breath like an infant at it’s first moment of life. something is recreated and reborn. and is celebrated.
Some day rock n roll will make even this country free.
The punk never dies.
Thorny BastardApril 14, 2007 at 7:14 pm #21983April 16, 2007 at 12:52 pm #21985May 1, 2007 at 6:42 am #21987
I haven’t logged into daoist discussion in i-dont-know-how-long, and i see my punk rock dispatch posted here. what do you know! it’s nice to be appreciated by one’s teacher! and believe me the feeling is mutual!
There’s a reason i quit my job recently–time. how we choose to travel through time is important and i didn’t like the journey i was on. That punk show was the culmination of a series of important life decisions that amount to rebirth in the year of the pig, and that show was a physical manifestation. it was followed that week my a dream of mythic proportions that shifted from Doaist to the druidic metaphor with which i was raised. fantastic stuff.
wishing you all a lot of vomit, constant and continuous renewal through the celestial vomit.
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